Each month we interview a First Officer or Commanding Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” and “Captain’s Corner” columns to get to know them better and learn more about what their positions entail.
This month, we’re interviewing the First Officer of the starship USS Oumuamua, Major Wes Greaves, a Human serving in the new frontier.
DeVeau: You’ve told us a bit about yourself in a past interview, would you mind sharing about your character, Wes Greaves?
Greaves: Sure! Wes Greaves hails from the Pacific Northwest in the United State, specifically near the cascade mountains. He grew up in the great outdoors doing all manner of things from rock climbing to sailing in the Puget Sound. Many of his formative years were in the 2370s and he was really influenced by the Dominion War and the ever-present threat of the Borg. It was in this environment that he really developed a desire to protect the Federation and when he came of age the Starfleet Marine Corps was an obvious choice as one of the only Starfleet duty posts dedicated specifically to the defence of the Federation!
Initially, Wes enlisted and served for nearly ten years as a combat engineer in various Marine Corps duty postings across the fleet however he was eventually convinced to continue his career in the officer Corps and so Starfleet Academy became a part of his future. The rest, as they say, is history!
Would you share with us a bit about your character and his journey to First Officer?
Greaves: My idea for Wes Greaves started as something far from wanting to be a leader within the greater organization of Starfleet. He was a Marine, through and through and that’s where his leadership focus lay. My first few missions with the character really honed in on his troop leadership skills and made apparent his weakness for anything really involving starships. From those humble beginnings, I’ve grown the character through a lot of IC scenes to come to embrace the challenges and boons of operating underway. From leading his first away mission to the first time in the big chair, I’ve tried to really emphasize how uncomfortable Greaves initially was in those uncertain circumstances. Through that purposeful internal reflection came a lot of growth until Greaves now sits confidently in the centre chair or leads away teams when the skipper calls on him to do so.
It’s been a ton of fun working through the process of having the character learn to be comfortable in new leadership positions. My favourite part of this game is leaning into character weaknesses and the growth to become a First Officer has been a joy in that regard.
What is different about being a First Officer as opposed to a regular crewmember?
Greaves: Really it’s twofold: the OOC workload and the IC focus. As the first officer, I hold an OOC position of authority to help keep the train on the tracks when it comes to missions and gameplay. That typically takes the form of low impact record keeping every month and the occasional conversation with the rest of the ship’s command staff. For missions specifically, we usually are scheming in the background trying to make sure every scene is engaging and fun for the writers in them. IC however the focus is a little different too. I try to write the first officer as a coordinator of actions and vice as the centrepiece of whatever is going on. When I was a more junior crewmember each of my sims usually revolved around things I wanted my character to do and thinking about how I can tie other characters into those ideas. Now as the first officer I’m usually trying to find ways to empower the other characters in the scene with me.
What has been the most difficult part of this position?
Greaves: Honestly it’s not too difficult. With decent organization skills and some extra time carved out for administrative duties, there really isn’t much more to it. The hardest part is trying to keep track of everything going on across the ship with enough attention to interject if a scene is stalling or fading. Knowing when and how to do that takes a skill all on its own, which I think is probably the toughest bit of the responsibility.
What is your favourite thing about being a first officer?
Greaves: That one is easy. I like being involved in mission planning. Getting to come up with fun and interesting stories to explore is a blast. Planning that out from conception to implementation is its own kind of treat. No matter how much you think things through, the other writers with us always take the story in a fun and unexpected directions. That process of conception, implementation, and adjustment really is a joy to me.
What are your future plans for Greaves as a character and for yourself as a member of SB118?
Greaves: I’m really not sure. Sometimes I think it would be fun to get to really take Greaves to create some new command stories with his own starship, while at other times I’m perfectly happy writing the First Officer. I’m not sure what lies next for me within 118. Only time will tell. For now, I’m perfectly content to keep on writing Star Trek stories with you all!
Thanks for your time, Major Wes Greaves!
You can read more about Major Wes Greaves on the wiki.