The hallmarks to a career in Starfleet are endless; graduation from the Academy, being able to create your own unique character and leading them down a path of your choosing, attaining rank along the way and the experience that’s coupled with it. Hallmarks such as achieving your first command staff position, or being able to sit in that center chair aboard your very own vessel, are certainly times that will never be forgotten. But what does it take to receive honors such as those? What sort of passion, creativity, gall or guts must one strive for in order to attain status like this? Newly commisioned Fleet Captain Toni Turner is going to help us understand just what it means to be a Captain.
FltCapt Turner commands the Duronis II Embassy and her sister ship the USS Thunder. Having been in command of the Embassy for over a full year, the Captain was proud to say that she’d led one of the most productive groups in the fleet. “…The Duronis II Embassy was awarded winner of the 2011 ‘Most Creative Sim’ by the Simming League. I couldn’t be prouder of the work they have put forth, nor more humble to be siming with them.” Words like that could quite possibly be enough to illustrate just what an undertaking command can be, but at the same time, it shows us just what rewards being the CO can bring. But let’s start from the beginning. We all have our humble beginnings, and eventual returns.
The Captain’s career started right where she is now: The Duronis II Embassy. At the time, the shining new Ensign was filling the role of counselor all the way until 238304.01, where she switched gears by becoming the Embassy’s Chief Medical Officer. Even then, the Captain was but a Lieutenant Junior Grade (Lt.JG). Therein lay one of the founding hallmarks in her rise to captaincy. For her, the acquisition of LtJG was the first step in looking towards command. “Captaincy was a long awaited goal. I began work on fulfilling my requirements by the time I reached the rank of Lieutenant JG, and never lost my focus on that goal.” Surely for anyone seeking to attain much of the same, this seems like time tested advice to keep in your personal log.
Personal diligence wasn’t the only thing FltCapt Turner credited for her success. Mentors and Captains that she served under once before, she now serves with side by side. “No one can succeed without help, and I don’t mean the kind of help that makes your career perfect. I’m talking about the characters who teach you the hard lessons that need to be learned. I learned a great deal from Admiral Wolf and Captain Tyr Waltas in that respect…”. Surely any new Ensign or someone training for a Command staff position can agree with this (I for one can personally agree…). “I could always depend on them to be honest with me. But they were not the only ones who helped me along my way. I had a multitude of friends from all over the fleet who never failed to teach me not to lose sight of my goals no matter how rough it was to reach them. ” And that my friends, may be the diamond in the rough in terms of advice: never lose sight of your goals. Words of wisdom at their finest.
Being a Fleet Captain doesn’t signify the end of the road by any means. The writer behind the Captain is still setting personal goals both in and out of character. Being that she is on the Executive Council, she says, “Fleet Captain Turner is still in the learning phase of the Executive Council, so at this point my short term goals is to learn the things I need to know to become a more effective member.” New avenues of service also lead to some of the same virtues that she’s always had, “I see Turner continuing to work toward the good of the UFOP: Starbase 118 and supporting it’s Constitution with my very best counsel.” Supporting the Constitution and becoming a prime candidate for management are defnitely wise goals for someone of her stature, so that other members of the community may be afforded the same oppotunities for years to come.
Affording the same opportunities can mean a few different things. That statement could help to illustrate the importance of having strong leadership and an effective council with Officers like FltCapt Turner and her associates. One of the other more important factors is anecdotal support; words of wisdom and advice from the Captain herself. She lays out her formula for success as such, “1. Start now in soaking up everything you can learn. 2. Don’t wait to be asked, volunteer if you have time to do OOC work for your ship or the fleet. 3. Participate in the Top Sims Contest and/or the Writing Challenge. 4. Join a taskforce. The UFOP: Starbase 118 News, the Publicity Team or Collective are good groups who always can use help. In essence, show your willingness to go the extra mile for the group.”
Words spoken from someone who has built her own success throughout the years, and show’s no signs of stopping at current. Ships like the USS Challenger, the USS Peregrin, the USS Geronimo and many others all know the name Toni Turner and the contributions she made along the way. Young Ensigns, take heed and really soak up the point herein. Going the extra mile: that is what Captains are made of. We must always be striving to further the community in order to provide the fun, creativity and entertainment that we all crave. Creating new challanges for not only your character, but for yourself IS the Prime Directive for any writer. Surely you’ll be rewarded for all the hard work, for all the dedication, but collar brass and award stripes are but keystones to view one’s career. The truth is my friends… the proof is in the Captain.