Each month we interview a First Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” column 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, Lt. Colonel Wes Greaves, a Human male.
DeVeau: In our last interview, you shared a bit about yourself. Would you delve a little deeper? What made you decide to become a marine and serve our country? What’s that been like?
GREAVES: Sure. I’ve been in and around the Marine Corps now since 2009. Or rather that’s when I signed on the dotted line. I joined as an officer so my onboarding took quite some time as college had to be completed first. Needless to say it’s been a big part of my adult life. I grew up with 9/11 as a big moment in my life. A lot of my formative years as a child was watching news broadcasts on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I turned 18 when Iraq hit its peak. Regardless of the reasons we were in conflict, my country was at war and I didn’t want to let other people fight it for me. So when I was 19 I signed on the dotted line to become an officer in the Marine Corps. Lucky for me and my naive younger self, I missed the actual fighting by the time I hit active duty and joined the Fleet Marine Force. Though, I did get to contribute to the fight against ISIS with battlefield forensics, which was very rewarding.
Your character, Wes Greaves, is both First Officer and Marine. How does that translate into his position as XO? How do you keep the spirit of being a marine alive with your character now that he’s serving in a different capacity?
That’s the idea. The ‘Oumuamua has a small Marine detachment, so Wes Greaves serves as both the commander of that, as well as the First Officer of the ship. I try to bring the sense of discipline and directness of the Marine to the management of the ship’s staff. Mostly that’s achieved through Wes’s example. When it’s time to work, he presents himself as no nonsense, and expects those around him to do the same. That’s actually an interesting character development for Greaves, as he wasn’t always like that. Before he was placed as the First Officer, Greaves was an easy going friendly face. The role has changed his outward affect.
What are some challenges you’ve had filling this role, both OOC and IC?
Honestly, it hasn’t been that challenging. There’s just more of everything. Both IC and OOC, the First Officer is a leader first. In our game that means taking a step back from the spotlight to empower the writers around you. Most of my writing has transitioned away from doing and more into setting up the other characters in my scenes. I think that transition can be hard for some people to get into, without losing the fun in the game. I guess that has been the biggest challenge for me in a way. Keeping my enjoyment high while empowering others.
What has been the most memorable event or instance in your character’s life this past year?
Easy. Getting to command the Thor in a knife fight in a phone booth. For those that hadn’t been keeping up, the Thor got ambushed in low orbit in the Gamma Quadrant with its shields down. It caused the ship to crash land in the ocean. The skipper was off ship so it was Greaves in the big chair for the biggest crisis moment of his career. There were so many big moments to that mission too. From Wes calling red alert, to abandoning ship, to shouting fire! We ended up keeping the ship intact on impact, keeping her from sinking with a skeleton crew, then using her as a submarine to ambush our adversary and striking a mortal blow. It was one of the times where fighting really and truly was the answer to the mission, and as a Marine, Wes brought the fighting spirit and the never-give-up tenacity as a leader that was a highlight for me.
If things were different, for instance, if he were not a marine or an XO, where would you have him and how do you think that would change the character?
That’s hard to answer, because that would simply be a different character. I’ve got a handful of PNPCs, but none of them are very fleshed out as I use them primarily as scene boosters when needed. I’d say that if I had to do a completely different character I would play a young and naive helmsman. It’s sort of the polar opposite of the professional, prior enlisted, no-nonsense Greaves, and I think it’d be a fun dynamic to explore.
This will be our final interview with you as FO of the Oumuamua for a while as you take an LOA to focus on some real life matters. What do you think Wes will be up to until your return?
As a Marine, and now as a Lieutenant Colonel, I imagine Greaves has overstayed his welcome with a shipboard assignment. The Starfleet Marine Corps is huge, just like the Federation is. Shipboard detachments would be a small part of the larger Marine Corps ecosystem. I foresee Wes getting a reassignment to battalion command or regimental executive officer so the Marine Corps can make sure he doesn’t lose his talent for ground maneuver. Plus, he’s probably one of the few senior Marines in the fleet with such a strong understanding of shipboard operations. That’s something he could contribute to the junior officers in an all Marine unit. I’m sure the Corps will find a way to keep him gainfully employed.
Thanks for your time, Colonel Greaves!
You can read more about Lt. Colonel Wes Greaves on the wiki.