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New bylaw codifies First Officer requirements

The Executive Council (EC) is constantly evaluating our successes – and debriefing our challenging moments – to determine how we can replicate what works and change what doesn’t. As a result of a recent evaluation of a ship decommissioning, the EC recognized that we had no defined requirements for the selection of First Officers, and ensuring that they were recognized as the second in command of ship.

A new bylaw has been created to solve this confusion, with three main points:

  • First, that a Commanding Officer of a vessel must have the appropriate authority to choose the First Officer of the vessel.
  • Second, that a First Officer must be a member in good standing with a minimum of nine months experience since graduating from the Academy, OR six months experience and experience acting as a Training Officer in the Academy.
  • Third, that a First Officer is the ship’s second in command even when other players – who may have a higher rank more experience – is assigned to the ship.

As part of drafting this bylaw, the two Councils – in coordination with First Officers from ships in the fleet – has drafted guidance about the rights and responsibilities of First Officers. This guidance is made available to new First Officers upon appointment to the role, in addition to our detailed “Lt. Commanders Training Manual.”

Head to the wiki to read Bylaw 9 and see more details.

While the UFOP Constitution defines our group’s structure and elements, the bylaws are clarifying additions which help guide our day-to-day work and ensure that important rules have the weight of community law.


Congratulations Captain Jarred Thoran

The Executive Council of UFOP: StarBase 118 is pleased to announce that Jarred Thoran has completed the requirements for promotion to the rank of captain!

Three cheers for our newest captain! Click here to head to the forums and add your congratulations.

Currently the commanding officer of the USS Atlantis, Captain Jarred Thoran has been with our community since 2017. After graduating from the Academy, Thoran was assigned to the USS Blackwell, part of the Andaris Task Force as a security/tactical officer, working his way up through the department to become chief of security before being promoted to the position of First Officer, a duty post he served as for both the USS Blackwell and the USS Columbia before taking command of the USS Atlantis.

Richard, the writer behind Thoran, is currently a Deputy Commandant for the Academy and the facilitator of the Publicity Team. He also served as the Awards Facilitator for the 2019 Awards Ceremony and has been recognized multiple times with awards of his own such as the Locutus Award, Boothby Award, Sarpeidon Award, Strange Medallion, Shuvalis Diamond of Recognition Ribbon, and the Rising Star Award.

You can read more about him in this interview published earlier this year.

The promotion to the rank of captain is a momentous occasion in our community – the result of years of writing, mentoring, and learning the ropes. This multi-step process starts with nomination from two members of the fleet at or above the rank of Commander, an initial vote from the Executive Council followed by a written exam, a practical exam, an interview with the Executive Council, and a final vote from the Executive Council. Candidates must show that they have mastery of the art of leadership, a strong knowledge of Star Trek, the ability to teach, and great simming skills.


New Academy Graduates

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Chip Foley, Mekhil Prime, Maxwell Traenor, and Luthas!


Laptop computer with the screen closing and illuminating the keyboard

How and why you should use a dedicated password manager

As the webmaster for our site, I get a lot of automated messages from all our various systems, including – pretty regularly – notifications when people have been locked out of our systems for trying the wrong usernames and passwords. Inevitably, I see some of the same folks bumping up against our logins, particularly once you’ve reached a certain level and have access to more areas of our site like the Lt. Commanders training area.

We’ve tried some utilities to make it easier to log into the site, but often they become cumbersome to work with over the long term as security standards change. One login system we had for our WordPress site started requiring monthly manual updates that were a nightmare!

I’ve solved this problem by using a dedicated password manager. I have only two passwords I remember: The one that opens my computer, and the one that opens my password manager. Beyond that, every password is a long, random, and complex set of characters. Not only does that ensure that it’s hard to break my passwords by randomly guessing, but if one website in my life gets hacked (looking at you, Target.com!), hackers don’t have access to everything else. It also means that I don’t ever have to worry about trying the wrong password in any of our sites – as long as the username and password are correctly filed with the URL of our site, it’s popped into the form automatically by my password manager and I’m good to go!

If you’re struggling with this, I definitely recommend checking out this article that explains more about why you need a dedicated password manager and also which one is the best to pick.

I personally use 1Password which I find to be really well designed and easy to use. But it costs about $4/mo if you pay yearly. Other password managers (like LastPass) have a free version anyone can use!

Image credit: unsplash-logoPhilipp Katzenberger


New Academy Graduate

Please welcome our newest Academy graduate to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: John Hankow!


Help keep the fleet informed by joining the Community News Team

We post community news every day here on our website blog, and it plays a vital part in not only showing prospective members how active our community is, but also helping our search engine rankings and, of course, informing our community about what’s happening!

You can help us put together interesting content for our community by joining the News Team – the commitment is about one hour a month, and participating is super easy. Here’s how it works: Each month, you’ll get a list of article ideas. You can come up with your own article, if you have something you want to write about, or choose one of the suggestions.

Then, using the guidance on our wiki area, you’ll put together an article to be posted before the end of the month. You’ll add it to our WordPress site and submit it to the news queue for review by the team facilitator.

Participating on the News Team is a great way to contribute to the overall fleet, and to show your captain that you’re interested in working toward promotion.

Get started by entering your information into the form below. It’ll be sent to the team facilitator who will welcome you to the team and direct you on what to do next!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Duronis II Embassy crew under new leadership with new mission

For over 10 years, our unique, award-winning simming installation called the Duronis II Embassy has told the story of the Laudeans – a newly warp-capable species with the power to detect energy fields – and the Federation’s efforts to woo them into the union and away from the Romulans and Zalkonians.

In that time, Rear Admiral Toni Turner (Ann), one of our longest-standing members and the longest-commanding leader, innovated new storytelling techniques and forged a path that had never before been tried in our game and rarely in others. Now she – and the Embassy crew – will be transitioning into a new story.

Having earned a break after all these years, Turner is handing the leadership of her crew off to Fleet Captain Aron Kells (Tony). And the crew of the Embassy will be moving to the USS Thor, which will serve as their new permanent assignment and operate as an independent vessel.

The Executive Council, Rear Admiral Turner, and Fleet Captain Kells are committed to ensuring that the Embassy crew receives a grand sendoff from the fleet’s longest-standing simming installation–founded over 15 years ago–before making the full transition to the Thor. Ann will continue simming for her character Toni Turner aboard the Thor in her new role as Ambassador. We thank her for her simming and her service, on behalf of 118 simmers past and present!

Tony, no stranger to command, has commanded four ships, served on the Executive Council, is currently the Captains Council Magistrate, and has chaired numerous task forces and contests.

On behalf of the Executive Council, we wish Tony, Ann, and the Embassy crew fair winds as they begin their next adventure aboard the Thor!


New Academy Graduates

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Tobias Steiger and Jeriko Eilari!


Slingshot around the sun: Donations goals met for 2020 and 2021

After asking the fleet to step up a few weeks ago to make sure we could meet our 2020 donations goal for May 1, we received a fantastic and thrilling outpouring of support. Soon after, we met our 2020 goal, and then fulfilled all of the 2021 goal, which means we’re set until May of 2022!

Huge thanks to these incredible donors: Jo Marshall, Genkos Adea, Geoffrey Teller, Oddas Aria, Tara Wilkins, Addison MacKenzie, Alex Blair, Jacob Horne, and Ferier Kian. One incredibly generous – anonymous – donor fulfilled than 50% of the 2021 goal and counts as our largest single donation in the group’s history!

Additionally, we received a few donations to help our advertising campaigns, and as such we hope to launch some Google Ads in the next few weeks to help with recruitment.

Our community relies on donations from our members to keep our website, forums, and wiki online. It’s only with your support that we can keep our resources online and ensure we protect our domains.


Add your Writer ID to all emails

Just a quick reminder to all members of our fleet that your Writer ID should be attached to all emails you send on fleet business, including your sims and also the OOC messages to your ship list and taskforces.

These Writer IDs are critical in helping our fleet staff keep track of your contributions to the fleet, and are used in helping review your past efforts for the sake of promotions and other commendations.

We recommend adding your Writer ID to your email signature and making sure your signature is identical on both your desktop/laptop email client as well as your mobile device email client – sometimes, like in the case of Gmail – the email signature is set by device type (desktop/mobile/tablet, etc.) as opposed to by account.

We have a full tutorial on our wiki that explains how to add your Writer ID to your email signature, as well as some other methods you can use if that doesn’t work for you.

To check your Writer ID, head to the Complete Member Directory on the wiki. Have questions about your Writer ID? Talk to your ship’s CO for guidance!


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