Our 21st Birthday

It’s going to be near impossible to top last year’s Day of Trivia, Webcast, and special edition Message & Almanac. And that’s for good reason: 20th anniversaries are a big deal in role playing! But 21st birthdays are important too. Indeed, if Independence Fleet (IDF) was a humanoid (living in the United States), the 21st would be even more important. I’m quickly getting off track…

What did we decide to do? For our 21 years together, here are 21 facts about IDF, Star Trek and/or other topics that might change your perception of time. Modeled after two articles from Buzzfeed (here and here), we hope you enjoy the list.

But before we do that, here is a special message for this year’s anniversary:

  1. IDF’s launch (July 4, 2001) was closer to the release of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (June 4, 1982) than it is to today: 19 years, 1 month vs. 21 years.
  2. Ditto for the North America release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (October 18, 1985): 15 years, 8 months, 16 days.
  3. And for the release of Windows 1.0 (November 20, 1985): 15 years, 7 months, 14 days.
  4. And also for the release of the world’s very first website (December 20, 1990): 10 years, 6 months, 14 days.
  5. The time from IDF’s launch on Angelfire to the registry of its first URL (July 4, 2001 – February 26, 2005) was longer than the entire run of Star Trek: The Original Series (September 8, 1966 – June 3, 1969): 3 years, 7 months, 22 days vs. 2 years, 8 months, 26 days.
  6. The time from the registry of IDF’s first URL to officially moving to its current URL (February 26, 2005 – February 29, 2020) was longer than the entire run of the TNG/DSN/VOY television series era from the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation to the finale of Star Trek: Voyager (September 8, 1987 – May 23, 2001): 15 years, 3 days vs. 13 years, 7 months, 25 days.
  7. The time from moving to IDF’s current URL to today (2 years, 4 months, 5 days) is shorter than all but three periods between Star Trek movies: The Wrath of Khan to The Search for Spock (1 year, 11 months, 28 days), Generations to First Contact (2 years, 4 days), and First Contact to Insurrection (2 years, 19 days).
  8. However, it’s longer than the time from Utopia Fleet’s founding (April 7, 1999) to IDF’s founding: 2 years, 2 months, 27 days.
  9. Utopia Fleet’s founding was closer to the North America release of the Atari 2600 (September 11, 1977) than it is to today: 21 years, 6 months, 27 days vs. 23 years, 2 months, 27 days.
  10. Ditto for the release of the original Star Wars movie (May 25, 1977): 21 years, 10 months, 13 days.
  11. The time from the launch of the original USS Sunfire NCC-3935 (February 16, 2000) to IDF’s launch was longer than the entire run of Star Trek: The Animated Series (September 8, 1973 – October 12, 1974): 1 year, 4 months, 18 days vs. 1 year, 1 month, 4 days
  12. The launch of the award-winning USS Sunfire NCC-3001-D (October 10, 2010) was closer to IDF’s founding than it is to today: 9 years, 3 months, 6 days vs. 11 years, 8 months, 24 days.
  13. The launch of the USS Chuck Norris NCC-4005 (January 2, 2012) was closer to the first Chuck Norris facts appearing on the Internet (sometime in early 2005) than it is to today: ~7 years vs. 10 years, 6 months, 2 days.
  14. IDF is older than the iPod (October 23, 2001),
  15. Facebook (February 4, 2004),
  16. YouTube (February 14, 2005),
  17. the Microsoft Xbox (November 15, 2001),
  18. commercially available Blu-ray Discs (June 20, 2006),
  19. and NBA All-Star LaMelo Ball (August 22, 2001).
  20. At IDF’s launch, Tom Brady had zero Super Bowl rings. In fact, he had only completed 1 NFL pass.
  21. The time from IDF’s launch to today is longer than the time from The Original Series finale to The Next Generation premiere (June 3, 1969 – September 28, 1987): 21 years vs. 18 years, 3 months, 25 days.

And for a bonus, something to look forward to next year: On our 22nd Anniversary, we will be further removed from the premiere of the 2009 Star Trek film (May 8, 2009) than IDF’s launch was from the premiere of The Next Generation (September 28, 1987): 14 years, 1 month, 26 days vs. 13 years, 9 months, 6 days.

Until then, let’s keep role playing!

Oh, I almost forgot: We have another video message for this year:

And in case you missed it, here’s a recap of our 21st Anniversary Webcast that was held on Saturday.

Awards Time: 2022

It’s been 20 months since we last presented individual major awards. In that time, our fleet has seen a lot of growth and set the bar high in a number of areas. It’s also been just over two years since we launched our new website and URL. Bottom line, it’s high time to recognize a few of the individuals who helped make all of this happen.

I’m also very proud to announce the creation of the Special Commendation Medal, which will be awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the crewmember level. With that in mind, I hereby issue the following seven citations:

The Special Commendation Medal is awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the crewmember level.

Special Commendation Medal

Awarded to Lieutenant Aurora Vali of the USS Sunfire for outstanding role playing. She is the epitome of the quiet, reliable, and drama free achiever. A true team player, she is considerate of others, puts forth great ideas to the command, and introduces excellent plot twists for others to use–she does all the little things that others often don’t see.

Awarded to Lieutenant Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell of the USS Sunfire for outstanding writing. A role playing force of nature, she’s already second all-time with 20.43 total awards and one of the greatest simmers in IDF’s history. Durnell continues to produce posts of such high quality that one could mistake them for production level Trek.

Awarded to Commander Jonathan Grayson of the USS Washington for outstanding role playing leadership. He’s been the Executive Officer of the Washington for several years now, understanding the nuances of the Captain’s guidance and balancing it with a great pulse on the crew. He’s an excellent mentor, coordinator, and writer to boot.

The Command Excellence Medal is awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the sim Commanding Officer level.

Command Excellence Medal

Awarded to Captain Dick Sprague for commanding 10 different IDF sims, including the USS Chuck Norris and USS Albion. Sprague not only holds the record for most commands, but also the most Genesis Awards (11). In addition, he ranks third all-time among sim COs for total posts (3,198). A thoroughly unconventional CO, his sims are always unique.

Awarded to Captain Rhenora Kaylan for commanding the USS Sunfire and USS Liberty. Arguably the greatest sim Commanding Officer in IDF history, her outstanding games have garnered community wide recognition, including the 2010 Simming Prize. Incredibly, she also ranks first all-time among COs in both total posts (8,195) and posting titles (39).

The Distinguished Service Medal is awarded for achievement above and beyond the call of duty at the Admiralty level.

Distinguished Service Medal

Awarded to Rear Admiral James “Rook” Mirtoh for serving as Director of Personnel from February 2020 through today. He has efficiently ensured that IDF regularly recognizes its crewmembers for their excellence in role playing, a feature not seen in many other fleets. He is always fair and his efforts showcase the best IDF has to offer.

Awarded to Admiral Ken Gillis for serving as Chief of Technology and Fleet Executive Officer from July 2020 through today. Not only does he expertly manage the fleet’s entire technology stack, but his wisdom and guidance in other areas of fleet operations have proven invaluable. He is the best fleet XO in simming, hands down.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Much is being made about today. After all, it is 2-22-22. Or 22-2-22, depending on where you’re from. To top it all, it’s even a Tuesday! If you’ve been around IDF long enough, you know we also like neat dates. Here are just a few that come to mind:

  • The previous USS Sunfire launched on 10/10/10
  • The second USS Pioneer launched on 2/14/11 (Valentine’s Day): The original Pioneer was known as “The Love Boat” due to its relationship centered posts & stories
  • The USS Chuck Norris launched on 1/2/12
  • IDF’s new website launched on 2/29/20 (who doesn’t like a Leap Day?)

Some of our current games were launched on dates to honor prior games

  • The USS Sunfire in July 2020 to honor IDF’s 7/4/2001
  • The USS Liberty in August 2020 to honor the original USS Liberty’s 8/1/2001
  • The USS Albion on 2/16/2021 to honor the original Utopia Fleet USS Sunfire’s 2/16/2000

20th Anniversary Message & Almanac

It’s finally here: The 20th anniversary of the founding of this great club. Who knew back on July 4, 2001 that this group, launched with humble beginnings on Angelfire and YahooGroups, would not only still be around today, but standing among the titans of simming?

Independence Fleet has seen good times, bad times, and everything in between. Throughout it all, we’ve endured to create some of the best Star Trek role playing the Internet has ever witnessed. With that in mind, we have an important message from a very special guest:

In honor of this historic and momentous occasion, we hereby publish the Independence Fleet 20th Anniversary Almanac. It’s 20 pages of history, games, perspectives from the fleet, and more:

Whether you’ve been a member for one day or all 20 years, this legacy belongs to you! On behalf of the entire IDF Admiralty, we hope you thoroughly enjoy today’s message, almanac, and everything this fleet offers.

Let’s continue to tell our story…

EDIT (July 14, 2021): Anniversary Almanac Answers

Monthly Awards: June 2021

I believe this is the earliest we’ve ever gotten the monthly awards out. Enjoy, but don’t expect it to ever happen again!

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Chester “Duo” Maxwell
Chief Security Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Old Wounds Pt.1”

An emotional and provocative post with great use of language to convey inner turmoil.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lt. Cmdr. Sandra “Phantom” Risa & Lt. Dean House & Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lt. Chester “Duo” Maxwell & Lt. Thriss Kla’ren & Lt. Aurora Vali & Lt. JG Avarak
CO / XO / CFCO / CTO / CSS / CRO / CEO / CC / CSO
USS Sunfire

For “Into the Wormhole”

An exciting pass through the Bajoran wormhole. Nice use of the entire bridge crew: This is what writing Trek is supposed to look like!


Funniest Post

Ensign James Phoenix
Tactical Officer
USS Washington

For “Shattered Past”

Not your typical Funniest Post winner, but it gets the job done very well.


Genesis

Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon
Commanding Officer / Commanding Officer
USS Sunfire / USS Liberty

For “Genesis — Joint Mission” / “Genesis — Joint Mission”

An instant classic in IDF history, the Sunfire/Liberty crew swap begins.


MVP

Commander Jackson Andrews
Executive Officer
USS Albion

A prototypical XO, Andrews led his ship in posting and showed great leadership by nimbly playing off of the leads from other characters while simultaneously creating openings for others.


Most Posts

Lt. Chester “Duo” Maxwell
Chief Security Officer
USS Sunfire

For writing 13 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Chester “Duo” Maxwell
Chief Security Officer
USS Sunfire

Returning to simming after a lengthy break, Maxwell rejoined the Sunfire and was a powerhouse all month. Initiating posts, working well with the existing crew, and being a general pleasure to role play with.


Rookie of the Month

Lieutenant JG Avarak
Chief Science Officer
USS Sunfire

Despite joining after the joint mission began, Avarak jumped straight into the fray, initiating several posts and participating in the ship-wide joints posts. A great first month!


Recruitment

No award this month. Get recruiting!


Another great month for our ships and the entire fleet. In other news, our 20th anniversary is just three days away! Also don’t forget to attend our special webcast on July 3rd. See you there!

Monthly Awards: May 2021

I hope everyone enjoyed SciWorld yesterday. It was an instant classic! Thank you to all who played a part in putting it on, including Aurther Winters, who was just awarded the Ongoing Worlds Community Honor for his efforts as Chair. Congratulations!

And now, on with the May monthly awards:

Best Post (Single Author)

Lt. Cmdr. Grexx
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Albion

For “Stop blowing holes in my ship!”

A great character introduction, and the character’s introduction to his new ship… along with its problems.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Lt. Cmdr. Estella Stratton & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson
Chief Counselor / Executive Officer
USS Washington

For “Quiet Time”

A fantastic character development piece between the two Washington crewmembers. Well done!


Funniest Post

Capt. Shran dh’Klar & Lt. Deanna Celes & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Lt. Cmdr. Estella Stratton & Ens. Connor Carrick 
CO / OO / XO / CMO / CC / CSO
USS Washington

For “Dealing with Duplicates”

A classic ensemble post that reads like a great sitcom episode! Hilarious!


Genesis

None this month.


MVP

Lt. Cmdr. Grexx
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Albion

The Chief Engineer joined the Albion after many years away from simming. He immediately integrated himself into the story, drove the plot forward, and worked well with the crew. It’s as if he never left!


Most Posts

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Liberty

For writing 12 posts.


Most Improved

Ensign James Phoenix
Tactical Officer
USS Washington

Ensign Phoenix dove into the current mission and showed an eager willingness to advance the story, both for his own character and the greater storyline.


Rookie of the Month

None this month.


Recruitment

None this month.


Keep up the great work, everyone, but let’s make sure we have winners in all categories for June!

USS Sunfire & USS Liberty Sim Swap

We know this is crazy, but basically the crews are trading ships: USS Sunfire CO Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon & crew and USS Liberty CO Captain Rhenora Kaylen & crew are permanently swapping ships.

Wait, what?

Over the last week, each crewmember added their character to the other sim. Then today, the two Captains published joint genesis posts on each sim: Here’s the Sunfire’s & here’s the Liberty’s. Crewmembers are free to participate on both sims for the remainder of the missions, which will be wrapped up before the end of the month. At that time, legacy Liberty members will have their characters deactivated as they continue on the Sunfire, and legacy Sunfire members will have their characters deactivated as they continue on the Liberty.

Why do this?

Both sims have tremendous histories here at IDF. In fact, IDF was born out of the original Sunfire, and it was one of our three launch sims back in July 2001. Shortly thereafter, the Liberty was our first expansion sim on August 1, 2001. The current registry numbers hark back to those early days. When we relaunched both sims last year, circumstances led to the Liberty crew largely consisting of players from the last incarnation of the Sunfire. They’re simply going home now. And fortunately, the crew of the Sunfire are good enough sports to play along.

How will these joint missions turn out?

I have no idea, but they’re sure to be wild as we’ve never attempted anything like this before!

With that said, as of today, Captain Rhenora Kaylen is now the Commanding Officer of the USS Sunfire, and Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon is now the Commanding Officer of the USS Liberty. Congratulations, Captains! May you continue to lead your sims to new heights!

Monthly Awards: April 2021

After our 20th Anniversary Trivia Day on Saturday with prizes, here are your April 2021 Monthly Awards, but unfortunately without prizes:

Best Post (Single Author)

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Liberty

For “Time is 07 Hundred”

I love it! No one thinks about the mundane routine of a Starfleet officer and this one does that, with a lot of humor thrown in, along with a good plot hook. Well done!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & CPO Remal Kajun
CO / C
USS Liberty

For “Journey into Madness”

Very nice dialog & easy to read. The two of you write well together!


Funniest Post

 Lt. j.g. Travis Ryson
Chief Science Officer
USS Montana

For “Breaking the Fourth Wall”

Unusual use of camera looks and dream sequences. I like it!


Genesis

Capt. Dick Sprague
Commanding Officer
USS Albion

For “The Undiscovered Starbase”

Just what a genesis post should be: Short, with lots of open ended things happening. This is what gets the creative writing juices flowing.


MVP

Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
Executive Officer
USS Liberty

The XO came up big again: developed our new mission, helped write the Genesis post, and continued to guide and steer the rest of the crew toward our desired outcomes. He is a continued credit to the ship & fleet.


Most Posts

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Liberty

For writing 27 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Dean House
Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Liberty

Lt. House moved the storyline along quite well and also started a joint post to bring the crew together for some well needed off duty action–nicely done!


Rookie of the Month

Maj. Kaden Ross
Marine CO
USS Liberty

Major Ross jumped straight into the fray, getting involved with the current mission and establishing connections with the existing characters. He has already made a great impact on the Liberty in less than a month.


Recruitment

Lt. Aurora Vali
Chief Counselor
USS Liberty

For recruiting the Liberty’s new Marine Chief.


Keep up the great work as we head toward our actual 20th Anniversary this summer on July 4th.

Monthly Awards: March 2021

Sorry for the delay, but your IDF March winners are below:

Best Post (Single Author)

Lt. Sheeraashaa Genno
Chief Security Tactical Officer
USS Albion

For “The Short Straw”

Interesting format, and an even more interesting mystery to solve! Well done!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & CPO Remal Kajun
CO / C
USS Liberty

For “Contemplation”

Nice work here. Great turns of phrase, good character development, and excellent dialog. Captains are humans too, after all.


Funniest Post

 Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lt. Anna These & CPO Sapphire
CSS / CMO / MaA
USS Liberty

For “I am Blue Sasha Fierce pt1”

You had me at backwards Klingon poetry…


Genesis

Capt. Aurther Winters
Commanding Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “Truth and Consequences”

Great opening, and lots of directions to take this!


MVP

Lt.jg. Awal Kronnelti
Assistant Security/Tactical Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Lt.jg. Kronnelti was consistently excellent all month, coordinating joint posts, keeping the story moving, and leading the way in wrapping up our last mission. He nailed it!


Most Posts

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Liberty

For writing 23 posts.


Most Improved

Lt.jg. Djon Zyngh
Chief Science Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Coming off his rookie month, Lt.jg. Zyngh took his writing and role playing to the next level, showing improved coordination with others and introducing several curveballs in the plot.


Rookie of the Month

Lt.jg. Steven McCloud
Chief Medical Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Joining mid-month, Lt.jg. McCloud is already simming like a veteran… it’s as is he’s been role playing for years!


Recruitment

None this month!


In other news, Captain Emmalyn Marcus assumed command of the USS Montana from Captain RS Harrison on April 1st. A special thanks to Captain Harrison for helping us get this sim off the ground, and best of of luck to Captain Marcus as she guides the ship to new heights! Marcus was the Montana’s XO prior to becoming CO.

2020 ToS Winners Announced

The 2020 Tournament of Simulations (ToS) winners were announced yesterday at Ongoing Worlds. We were fortunate enough to have four of our sims listed among the 23 that won prizes.

Congratulations to the USS Wayfarer, USS Ganymede, Starbase 80, and the USS Liberty! We already knew that all of our sims are fantastic, but it’s still great to get this type of acknowledgement from the community. Well done, IDF!

Outstanding Star Trek:

Star Trek Gameplay:

Independence Fleet actually has a long history of winning at ToS. Our first awards came in 2011 with the USS Liberty and USS Sunfire. 2012 was a monster year with five winners: USS Chirikov, USS Liberty, USS Rioja, USS Sunfire, and USS Victory. We then had one winner apiece in 2013 (USS Victory) and 2014 (USS Chuck Norris).

2014

Excellence in Creativity:


2013

Best Star Trek sim:

USS Victory


2012

Outstanding Star Trek Sim:

USS Chirikov

USS Victory

Excellence in Creativity:

Excellence in Character Development:

Excellence in Readability:

USS Rioja


2011

Best Star Trek Sim:

Most Creative Sim:

Which of our sims are going to win for 2021? It’s anyone’s game!