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 USS Juneau, Lieutenant Commander Jansen Orrey, a human male.
DeVeau: Would you be willing to share a bit about yourself? Where you’re from, hobbies, that sort of thing?
Orrey: I am from Tennessee in the United States. I have all sorts of hobbies and interests but the things that either always hold my focus or that I always keep in circulation are history and painting. Reading and writing feel like mentions that have to be made as well of course.
You’ve been in Starbase 118 for some time now. Will you tell us a bit about how you came to the group?
In short, my grandfather died. I was raised by my grandparents and my grandfather and I would sit down every day to watch TNG when it was first airing. About part way through season 3 he introduced me to The Original Series as well. It was something we shared together. When he died I missed a lot of that connection, if not all of it just outright. I have been Roleplaying in some form or fashion since I was very young as well. He even picked up some of the Last Unicorn Games Star Trek books for me just because he knew I would like them. Same as a production guide about the Original Series. So to me it seemed like it would make sense to combine those two things. One of my favorite shows, and all the memories of watching it with him, as well as roleplaying. So I started looking, and even back then this was one of the best realized places a person could go for Star Trek storytelling.
Part of that is what keeps me coming back, I think as well, I have had periods of not being able to afford connection, my health, or even pure burnout over time. The group, though, has always been a place of friends and welcoming to me that I have always appreciated.
What ships have you served on and what duty posts have you played so far in your Starfleet career?
As long as you have the time for it all, haha. I started on Ops way back in the Rocar years. I served as a science officer there as well as the CMO for a short time. After that I spent some time on the Constitution-B as a medical officer and then a helmsman for a short period of time. After that I had to take a break for a little while before I came to the Vigilant to take over the post of Counselor when Grier moved to XO. As Reinard got his own ship I followed along to the Darwin-A continuing as Counselor before shifting to Assistant Chief Science Officer. The Gorkon was my most active ship as I bounced from Medical to Counselor to Diplomatic Attache. After that I landed back at Counselor on the Veritas where I stayed for my entire time there before the Juneau picked me up as First Officer.
How does being a First Officer compare to those other positions? How does it compare with your expectations of the office?
Being a First Officer is something of an amalgam of different jobs, so I think in a way all those different ships and posts helped to prepare me for the job of interacting with all the different sections of the ship’s crew to interact with.
As far as my expectations of the post go they played out as I expected. I enjoy interacting with all the different people across the ship and so being in a leadership role to do that is just more of a joy for the position.
What’s your favorite, and least favorite, parts about playing a First Officer?
Of course my favorite part of being a first officer is interacting with all the different members of the crew. Really being able to help all the different officers find their place and reach their highest potential. There are some amazingly talented people on the Juneau and across the Fleet it is an exciting time to be a part of everything going on here.
The struggle is the least favorite part, but if I had to pick something I would have to say the paperwork XD. Even that though is a needed and necessary part of the upkeep you need to run a ship and a Fleet as unique as this one.
What has been the greatest challenge, in character and out of character, with the command experience?
Out of character there is of course a learning curve to go from being even a ship’s staff member to the XO of a ship. It takes time to get used to those things but it is a wonderful learning experience.
In Character it was a big change for Jansen personally to get moved to a new posting. Just having gotten married and starting a family, likewise the difference from the Shoals to the Aavaro Wilds was a big change.
However in both situations it is all about hitting the ground running. Learn everything you can and tackle the problems you encounter head first. The great thing is that within the Fleet you will always have people there to help you out and guide you on your path no matter the goal you have in our group.
What are your hopes for the future for your character and for you as a member of this community?
Well Jansen’s goal has always been to become a Captain just like his father was so that continues to be a goal for him. For myself, I hope that I can continue to help the Fleet as a whole continue on the magnificent journey it has been on for all these years.
Thanks for your time, Lt. Commander Orrey!
You can read more about Lt. Commander Jansen Orrey on the wiki.