KETAR V, THE SHOALS — A nighttime drug raid conducted by the Colonial Coalition Marshals Service was met with resentment by the Romulan refugee community as officers from the USS Veritas (NCC-95035) worked to keep the peace.
We’re here with another interview with 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’s interview is with the writer behind LtCmdr. Jocelyn Marshall playing a human female assigned to the USS Gorkon. LtCmdr. Marshall is also the most recent recipient of the Boothby Award, an annual award for trainers who go above and beyond their Academy Training Requirements. These trainers display an outstanding example of dedication to bringing new cadets to our community.
THORAN: Hello LtCmdr. Marshall! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for the folks who may not know you?
MARSHALL: Hey! I’m Em and I write for Jo Marshall, the XO of the USS Gorkon. It’s the only ship I’ve written on since graduating from the Academy myself back in 2016. I live and work in Belgium as an Ops Officer for NATO, which is a lot more boring than it sounds. I’m from the UK and so, like most fellow expats, I have to smuggle tea across the border through France. Baked beans taste strange here and fish and chips cost a fortune. I’ve been roleplaying for years, I’m often found with a book in my hand, and if I haven’t got at least one 15-page JP going on, it’s cause for concern. And I have a slight addiction to coffee, but doesn’t everyone?
How long ago did you join Academy Training Team, and what was it like getting started?
I definitely don’t have to look it up… It’s been about a year now! I joined the training team as a Lieutenant in September 2018. Getting started was the easiest bit about the whole thing! For the first two sessions you volunteer for, you’re the resident ghost. You read the sims and feedback sent in, observe how the cadets are performing, and join in with the discussions in the staff group. All that prepares you for the real test. Writing as a mock cadet is both really rewarding and challenging. I think for the first time round, I was more nervous than the cadets! Like a PNPC, you develop a character ready to take their final examination with real cadets. It’s your job to set an example of how we do things, so every sim has to be scrubbed and polished for cadets to emulate — and they will! It’s so much fun to do.
What’s been your favorite part about training so far?
My favourite bit is always seeing a cadet I’ve helped to train graduatinge into the fleet and enjoying themselves. It sounds like a textbook answer, I’m aware, but there really is nothing like it. Over this year I’ve been in classes with some amazing writers graduatingslipping into our community who are now shooting up the ranks with boundless energy and enthusiasm. It’s a privilege to be one of the first people to sim with and get to know them before they’re all wearing Admiral tricorners.
How do you approach the role of CO of a training class – what’s going through your head as you’re simming?
I try and jump in with a lot of energy and create a welcoming atmosphere for the cadets to feel comfortable in. Coming into a group knowing you’re simming alongside existing members can be quite daunting for some, and having to roleplay in a format you’re not used to can be challenging. So, from the offset, my efforts go into making sure the cadets know they’ve got time to get used to it all, can ask questions when they like, and just have FUN! It’s a week where anything can happen — create a new species, get chased by a xenomorph through the vents, cure a plague, go back or forward in time — and I’m there to ensure they’re getting the best out of training by demonstrating those creative skills. If I’ve done my job right, they’re confident in taking their first steps into the fleet.
For some technical specifics, when I’m putting a sim together for the team, I make sure I’ve read and delved into everyone’s posts, capturing those small details they’ve included. I ask questions in character to tease out creative answers and solutions, and aim to ensure everyone knows how important they are to the story we’re crafting. Absolutely none of it could be done without a great XO and mock cadets. They help bring it all to life and make the role of CO insanely easier.
Some of the best advice I’ve ever had from my CO is, “If you take an interest in someone’s character, they take an interest in yours.” Regardless of whether we’re together for a week or a year, you’ve got a character and a story, so tell me about it.
What’s your favourite memory of your time on the training team?
Oh man, that’s a question! There’s so many classic moments! I’ve given the XO the run around on a haunted ghost ship, I’ve been the XO having issues with man-eating ankle-biting tribbles, and I’ve been the CO stranded on a planet with werebears scratching at the door and a full class of eight with no where else to go, slowly going mad.
If I had to pick just one, it would be writing for my mock cadet with Lieutenant Commander Shayne as the XO, where Shayne and my mock were trapped in a station room with a spider thing that was definitely out for eating them. The scene was eerie, the real cadet loved it and really got into it. It’s now a running joke that every class I do with Shayne or Commander Thoran becomes a Lovecraft homage.
What advice would give to those who are coming up through the ranks and headed toward the Training Team?
If you’re not quite at the point where you can volunteer for the training team, you can still start to put together those skills that you’ll need. Start thinking about facilitating the plot for your fellow crew members, how do you make it interesting and push the story forward, and observe how others around you write. It’s often said that writers improve by reading, practice and feedback, so don’t be afraid to ask for input from your mentor on how you can start preparing for the training team.
If you’re in two minds now whether to volunteer, think back to how your academy training went. Remember how you felt during that first week. Did your team make you feel welcome? Did you enjoy writing with them? Did you make friends? You can do that all over again on a monthly basis. Your time, effort and dedication to the team will be absolutely invaluable and so very appreciated. It’s one of the most important teams we have in the group — bringing in new members into the fold — and if you’ve got the experience and time to do so, you won’t regret it. As a team, we work well together, we volunteer when we can, and we have a laugh. It’s always fun, it’s incredibly rewarding…
…and you can wrestle a nine-foot tribble into the path of a xenomorph maw, if you really want to.
Thank you so much for your time — we’ll let you get back to training!
ISHNAG SYSTEM — With time running out for the crew of Starbase 118 Ops aboard the USS Narendra (NCC-26595), a last-ditch effort to destroy a bioweapon launched by the ruthless Children of Molor, fortunately, proved successful.
The United Federation of Planets is all about bringing its members together. Federation worlds are spread all across the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, and vary wildly. Each planet has their own climate, history, attitudes, and cultures. However, all of them can still come together and work towards a common goal that benefits them all. Hundreds of species serve side by side in Starfleet and the Federation government. For the most part the interactions between all of the members of the Federation is related to defense or other vital government functions.
The Olympic Games on Earth brings together most of the countries on Earth to compete together in various sporting events. What if the Federation had something similar? Each member planet has not only the unique physiology of their native species, but also that planet’s physical characteristics and the sports they have there. While Vulcans have more raw strength than other species, they might lack as many experienced athletes or be at a disadvantage in the cold. Meanwhile the team from Andoria would likely find that operating in the cold weather conditions of most winter sports comes naturally to them.
Different sports will require different skill sets and most planets will have at least one sport where they have an advantage. But who do you think would wind up with the most wins? Does Team Earth have your vote? Which Federation world would win the most gold medals?
New members are the lifeblood of our community. They help to replenish the fleet and allow us to launch new ships, allowing our community to become stronger and provide exciting and new opportunities for our players. Without new members it is hard to sustain recruiting levels to replace those who go on leave or retire from the group.
Finding prospective members and bringing them to us can be a challenge, especially when there are so many other things vying for people’s attention – which is why we need you help – and with all the announcements of new Star Trek series’ what better time to start spreading the word of our community?
WHAT DOES THE PUBLICITY TEAM DO?
In short the Publicity Team is responsible for raising awareness of our community to the outside world with the aim of bringing in new members. There are a number of ways we do this – through social media posts, word of mouth recommendations, real world and internet events as well as online and offline advertising.
Within the team itself we share ideas on how to raise awareness of our community and put those ideas into action. Participation in the can range from finding interesting content to share on our social media channels to writing articles that we can share with the wider world on various websites. Most of the task take no more than an hour a month, with no commitment, so you can join today and step back later if you find that it does not fit your schedule.
What have you got to lose?
WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
We need all the help we can get to spread the word. If the above sounds interesting to you and you want to be a part of expanding the fleet then get in touch. You can sign up with the below link, where you will be added to the Publicity Team email list, introduced to the team and then jump straight in. If you have any questions or would like to know more, then contact the team’s facilitator Jarred Thoran.
MA NO UMI — Away Teams of the USS Gorkon (NCC-82293) escape pirate asteroid Nassau in a daring raid as Orion Syndicate vessel Labyrinth Scream suffered a warp core breach in the Kamarov Corridor.
STARBASE 104 – The crew of the USS Constitution-B have enjoyed an extended period of shore leave while docked at Starbase 104.
Every month, the Academy staff works to compile the statistics about our recruiting and training for the fleet’s informational purposes. Let’s take a look at how we did as a fleet in July.
This first graph depicts the number of applications that we have received each month this year. The month of July saw twelve new applications. This is an increase from the prior month and the third highest number so far this year.
The following chart shows how our new members found us, according to their application:
This final graph shows how many people graduated from the Academy during the month of July. The fleet saw seven graduates during the month of July, which is a stark increase from June’s four. This includes two applicants who applied during the month of June. We also had three applicants whose training did not conclude until the beginning of August.
These new recruits are the lifeblood of our community. Without them, it becomes difficult to keep our ships fully crewed and even more difficult to grow the fleet. If you’d like to help us recruit more members and grow our fleet, you can join the Publicity Team using this form.
SAGITTARIUS REACH — Starfleet Command has today confirmed reports that five officers from the starship USS Columbia believed to have been killed on assignment are alive.
There are some unspoken rules of life that seem to hold true wherever one goes: Gas station sushi is a risk. Towels are inordinately valuable for any situation. And great leaders of any cause tend to have a beverage of choice.
Such is true for many of the Starfleet captains we’ve grown to know and love: We have seen the great Jean-Luc Picard indulge in a cup of Earl Grey on occasion, Benjamin Sisko frequently sip on raktajino, and Captain Kathryn Janeway’s obsession with coffee approaches legendary status.
Whether facing down the Dominion or trying to get across a hostile quadrant of space, drinks help fuel Starfleet and those that drive it. This week’s poll asks for your character’s favorite drink. Do they enjoy the bitter flavor of black coffee? Are they more of a tea drinker? Maybe they enjoy something else completely.