Each month we interview a member of the Academy Training Team for insight on how our training works, and as recognition for all the hard work that goes into training new members each and every week of the year!
This month, we’re sitting down with Capt. John Nugra, a Deputy Commandant for the Academy.
WOLF: Hello Capt. Nugra! Tell us a little about the player behind the character.
NUGRA: Greetings, Admiral! Well, a lot of people know, my name is Jonathan and I have been a member of UFOP: Starbase 118 RPG since 2003. Had a small hiatus between 2006 to 2012, but could not stay away. In real life I work as a freelance writer doing copywriting and blog articles for companies.
You’ve been with the group for quite a while now – tell us a little about what it was like earlier in your career, and how the group has changed over the years?
It was quite exciting. I was originally assigned to the USS Victory (the same ship I took when I had the privilege of taking command) and the crew was focused on action and adventure missions.
What changed over the year that there was not much emphasis on writing as there was on RP, which is one of the major changes we have today. The fleet of today has found a balance between the writing and the RP which I have been enjoying quite a lot.
Where do you sim in the fleet currently, and why’d you choose that ship after stepping down from command of the Victory?
I originally went to the USS Columbia to help out there as I knew a bunch of simmers there, but after Commander Brek decided to step down from command, I moved to the Doyle (now Athena) as Nicole and I are were good friend and our families knew each other outside of Starbase 118 . We have a lot in command from story types to command style and it just felt like a good choice to make. She, her family, and her crew are good friends now!
Tell us more about your role as a Deputy Commandant. What do you do with the team?
As Deputy Commandant, my job is to oversee the COs and FOs that are running the class so that if there is any situation that could arise that they won’t be able to handle I can step in and get it fixed with little to no problems for the cadets. I am like an advisor in case they have questions about a situation they have not seen before too.
I also handle creating the classes and all the steps that go into it like selecting the cadets that go into classes, selecting the training members that will go into what position, and filing all the paperwork after the fact so Cadet Stewards can follow up.
You long-ago completed your requirements to the Training Team for promotion. What kept you active on the team?
I stayed on the team because I love being part of the team that brings new members in to the best fleet on the Internet. I have been simming and online RPing since 2003 and this is the best, most comprehensive training new writers have ever gotten and it is smooth enough that the cadets don’t feel daunted.
Being apart of that system makes me feel that I’m giving back to the fleet that helped give me such a great community of family and friends.
What’s your favourite memory of your time on the training team?
My favorite memory is not just one incident, but a collection of things that became my favorite memory. In 2013 I had a cadet come through who showed so much potential and asked more questions that I have seen in a cadet. She wanted to make sure that she was simming correctly and was doing it right for her ship.
We stayed in contact both Out Of Character and In Character with my PC Captain Nugra making appearances at her promotions. I am speaking of Captain Selene Faranfey, our present Captain at Large. I got to watch her go from a new writer to my boss. To have such connection with players no matter where they are in the fleet is just amazing!
Was there anything that surprised you about the Academy Staff group, once you moved up from the Academy Operations team?
Yes! It had gone from a mess to a well oiled machine. I had the opportunity to be on the Training List and personal assistant to Rear Admiral Jessa Anassassi in 2005 and there was nowhere near the level of detail, tracking, and follow up that we have now. The Training team has gone from a minor group to a pillar of our community. It’s a mind boggling change.
Thank you so much for your time — we’ll let you get back to training!