Awards Ceremony, 2012

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UFOP: StarBase 118 Fleet,

Every year, we take a full month-and-a-half to nominate, compile, ruminate on, and celebrate awards for the members of our community. This tradition -- one of our oldest -- is all about considering who is really putting in an incredible effort to our collective hobby, and in turn entertaining us, inspiring us, and creating a new and novel window into the Star Trek vision.

If this is your first time around: Welcome. This is kind of a big deal. The awards you've received on your ship reward you for your effort among the crew, but the awards below take that to another level by showing the true stand-outs among the fleet. Each award below is only given once a year, making them truly special and indicative of effort and talent.

If you've done this before: Thanks for sticking around and helping make it another incredible year.

Reading the nominations reminds me that what we have here is special and it's important. It's more than just a game -- it's a community. You don't find this level of friendship, achievement, and writing skill together in one place very often. I am, as always, appreciative of the chance to be a part of this, and I thank everyone for your time and effort in building our shared universe.

Now let's get started talking about all you incredible people, and your achievements of 2012.

-- FltAdml. Wolf

Duty Post Awards

We begin with the awards presented to members of our fleet who most fully realize the Duty Posts in which their character sims. The nominations to this category are reviewed by a panel of five Captains and Commanders.

The Prantares Ribbon

The Prantares Ribbon

Awarded to those medical officers who has moved beyond competence to display a true gift for the healing arts in the context of space medicine. The officers given this award should display the ability to keep a steady hand in the often hazardous conditions in which they must practice, as well as the willingness to risk their own life to save the lives of others.

Lt. Jalana Laxyn, USS Apollo - presented by FltCapt. Andrus Jaxx

"Chief Medical Officers are often cut-off from the rest of the crew while simming in Sickbay. But Jalana does not wait for someone to stroll into Sickbay to sim -- she can often be spotted engaging other officers to do her job. While she is always on hand to deal with the smallest medical issue, she is no stranger to the more complex problems. The writer behind Jalana has no problem doing the research needed to write her character in a believable manner. She doesn't hesitate to look over wiki pages to find medical history and use that information IC. With the i's dotted and the t's crossed, each sim reminds us why she is the Chief Medical Officer. It is with great pride and excitement that I award her with the Prantares Ribbon."
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The Natasha Yar Pin

The Natasha Yar Pin
Named after the Chief of Security of the USS Enterprise-D, killed in the line of duty, this award is given to those Security officers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in protecting and preserving the lives of their crewmates, even at risk to their own.

LtCmdr. Nugra, Duronis II Embassy/USS Thunder - presented by FltCapt. Toni Turner

"Nugra came to us after a extended absence, and soon, with a generous amount of creative simming, worked his way back up to his former rank and to head the Security Department. As a Gorn, he is a formidable figure against the enemies of the Federation, but his actions toward his crew-mates leave a positive impression. He is always there to boost lower ranked crew mates, and has encouraged others to contribute more frequently, while improving the standard of their simming. He has proved himself to be an exceptional leader, and always has a willingness to co-operate with the Tactical and Marine departments as well as the Command Staff. It is with great pleasure that I present LtCmdr. Nugra with the Natasha Yar Pin. Congratulations, Commander!"
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The Voyager Medallion

The Voyager Medallion
Named after the USS Voyager, this award is presented to those Operations officers who have shown great skill in keeping a starship in working order despite near-impossible circumstances. The officers receiving this award have advanced the field of Operations, making sure duty rosters, provisions, gear, and even recreation time are available... no matter what.

LtCmdr. Alexander Matthews, USS Mercury - presented by Capt. Aron Kells

"Ops is by no means the most prestigious of the duty posts. It lacks the wondrous discovery of science and the cathartic and potentially violent release of security; its practitioners must console themselves with the assigning of quarters and the knowledge that they've done it well. Yet if there's one person who can make the coordination between food allocation and flightplans seem interesting, it's Alex Matthews. Though he came to the position from a background in security and the marines, his barrack-writing experience gives him the knowhow required to handle starship minutiae. His recruiting of everyone from comms specialists to chefs and stewards to an implacable Vulcan flight ops officer (and, OOC, his writing of most of these positions) marks his dedication to the duty post. Combine this with his strong command presence and his routine command of the bridge and away teams, and Matthews appears to be the ideal Chief Operations Officer."
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The Sisko Tactical Cross

The Sisko Tactical Cross
This award is given to those Tactical officers who have shown cunning and bravery in battle. Master strategists, and experts in targeting and shield power distribution, these officers have done the impossible to save their ship and the lives of its crew.

Lt. Colt Daniels, StarBase 118 Ops - presented by Capt. Kali Nicholotti

"A good tactical officer knows that there is more to the job than pushing the ‘fire’ button. In a realm where research is often needed, tempered reactions required, and a cool, calm head must always exist, Lieutenant Colt Daniels never fails to deliver realistic, well thought out results, regardless of what he is presented with.
"Throughout this year, he’s gone from a brand new player to a seasoned veteran that the crew often looks to for direction in both the realm of traditional Tactical information, as well as the lesser known and implied areas where these officers are found to be. He isn't afraid to throw ideas or situations out into the open, where his fellow officers can manipulate them as well, and he isn't one to ever back down from a challenge. This is readily apparent not only in his simming and work aboard Ops, where he’s made himself an integral member of the crew, but in the creation of the Tactical report he does for the Podcast team. He has been willing to step outside the bounds of Ops itself to reach out and connect with Tactical officers throughout the fleet to bring our Podcast listeners a report on the tactical readiness of their own ships, and of the StarBase 118 Fleet as a whole.
"Because of his intricate knowledge of the duty post, his ability to bring a new layer of realistic simming to his ship, and his willingness to go above and beyond the expectations set out for him, I take great pride in presenting him with this award."
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The Phoenix Award

The Phoenix Award
Named for the vessel that legendary engineer Zefram Cochrane piloted during his historic first warp flight, this award goes to those Engineering officers who continue this tradition of excellence in the field of engineering. By performing their tasks with enthusiasm, imagination and diligence, by managing to make their equipment perform above and beyond its rated capacities, the officers meriting this award further the mission of their ship by their superior know-how. In short, miracle workers.

LtJG. Ben Livingston, StarBase 118 Ops - presented by Capt. Kali Nicholotti

"If there is one idea you walk away with from any one of Lieutenant Livingston’s sims, it is the passion that he has for the Engineering duty post. No matter what situation he is facing, whether things are calm and steady, or utter chaos, he is able to give his fellow officers insight into the inner workings of the ship or station, without leaving everyone behind to muddle in the trappings of techno babble. He’s taken the time to delve into aspects of an Engineer’s work that aren't often seen in sim, and he uses both real-world ideas and information, as well as in depth Trek based tech and scientific principles to create the most realistic and amazing situations, solutions, and overall view of just what an Engineer should be. His crew as a whole, and myself in particular, have gained so much knowledge and understanding thanks to the sims he contributes, which has made the world our characters live and work in on a daily basis so much more realistic. Because of this, and his solid contributions as an excellent overall simmer, I am proud to present the Phoenix Award to Lieutenant JG Ben Livingston."
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The Cochrane Award

The Cochrane Award
Given to those Science officers who have contributed greatly to the advance of science in the midst of their Starfleet career, by staying knowledgeable about their field, participating in the community of science, but most importantly, by placing their knowledge at the service of their ship and its mission.

LtCmdr. John Valdivia, USS Discovery-C - presented by Capt. Tyr Waltas

"Commander Valdivia is the consummate Science Officer, and he lives his duty station. A true 'trekkie' to the last, he mixes real-world scenarios with Treknology to produce a believable, interesting and imaginative character. The solutions he derives for problems encountered by the crew are nothing short of brilliant. His imagination and unique ability were never more recognizable than the last mission of the Discovery prior to receiving this award. He dreamed up a believable way to stop a subspace quantum torpedo, deployed the solution, and stopped a ship-wide mutiny with the unquestionable and unassailable beauty of raw fact and science. For his efforts, his longevity, and his dedication to a post so often relegated to the background, he deserves the Cochrane Award."
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The Pilot's Sextant

The Pilot's Sextant
An award named after an old Earth navigational tool, the Pilot's Sextant is given to those Helm officers who have proven themselves to be the best of the best. From finding a safe route home to flying an emergency atmospheric landing, pilots who have earned the right to this award know the importance of staying focused, and puts their ability to make spectacular maneuvers at the service of their ship and its mission.

Lt. Didrik Stennes, USS Drake - presented by LtCol. David Whale

"The role of the helm officer can be difficult for one to sim, lending itself almost too easily to the 'cowboy'-type pilot mentality with which we've become so familiar thanks to movies like Top Gun. Despite his clear skill at the helm of the USS Drake, Lieutenant Didrik Stennes goes to great pains to let us see how the stress and pressure of his job affects his character, and more than that, showing us the difficulty of the job. Complex and daring manoeuvres are not simply completed with a single line – we’re routinely treated to Didrik's internal monologue in figuring out how he’s going to complete the many tasks we set before him and even the self-doubt of whether he can complete them.
"Mister Stennes’s abilities extend beyond the confines of the Drake, being involved in several missions requiring precise shuttle piloting – including a rescue mission that saw the Lieutenant exposed to a 'mist' that affected him at a genetic level for which he is still dealing with the physical and emotional effects.
"The realism and down-to-Earth feeling Mister Stennes brings to both his character and his job have been a pleasure to read. He is a leaf on the wind – we just watch how he soars. Thank you and congratulations, Didrik."
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The Order of the Valiant Heart

The Order of the Valiant Heart
This award is given to those ship's Counselor who have shown great skill in protecting the mental health of their crewmates, clearly demonstrating superior ability to care, assist, and comfort those in need. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty in assisting their crewmates with their problems, and in preventing future problems from occurring.

LtJG. Collim Kieran, USS Discovery-C - presented by Capt. Tyr Waltas

"Counseling a crew as diverse and, I must admit, sometimes volatile as the Discovery is a difficult task for any officer. To combine that with a believable and compassionate method of conducting oneself is a herculean effort. Counselor Collim, in her short time with us, has proven time-and-time-again that she is not only a reliable crewmember, but a sentimental ear for each character. She sims a character dealing with her own faults as well as those of the crew, which is precisely what a good Counselor should do. Discovery is proud to accept its second recipient of the Order of the Valiant Heart, Counselor Collim Kieran."
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The Semper Fidelis Award

The Semper Fidelis Award
For those StarFleet Marines who have shown great skill in protecting their crew, accomplishing their mission, avoiding tragic loss of life in the line of duty, and upholding the values of the UFoP in times of crisis.

LtCol. David Whale, USS Drake - presented by Capt. Kali Nicholotti

"Without solid canon background in the Star Trek series, the Marine duty post is often one filled with controversial themes and plenty of ambiguity. For some, this means conflict, and possibly segregation from other aspects and members of the ship or fleet as a whole. It takes a unique mindset to approach the duty post of Marine in a manner that both falls in line with the best traditions of what Starfleet was meant to be and works towards integration and teamwork rather than the once typical ‘Jarhead’ mindset that is often thrust upon those who wear the green collar. In many ways, David Whale personifies this unique mindset, working tirelessly towards the goal of creating a new breed of Marines in a universe where we strive to forge teams, explore new (and old) ideas and worlds, and create peace on a galactic scale. Through in-character interactions both on his ship, the USS Drake, and on the duty post forums where he leads an IC Marine training exercise, and out of character work on the wiki, forums, and by reaching out to other Marine officers throughout the fleet, Lt. Colonel Whale has proven not only himself by standing out from the crowd with his new way of thinking about this duty post, but also the Marine post itself by showing that there is more to a Marine than war, violence, and the old, gung-ho mentality. He is a stellar example of what an officer in green can really be. The fleet, and the Marines within, are better for his work, and as such, I am pleased to present him with the Semper Fidelis Award."
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The Black Cross

The Black Cross Award
This award is given to a member of the Intelligence community that strives to accomplish the goals of Starfleet Intelligence, while simultaneously upholding the ideals and structure of Starfleet command. This person has the cunning to gather intelligence by means of deceptive dialogue or espionage, as opposed to force drawn confessions. While matters of intelligence are often game changers, this person strives to attain those goals within the boundaries of their Commanding Officer, and the regulations of Starfleet. This is the first presentation of this award.

Lt. Isaac Bale, USS Mercury - presented by Capt. Aron Kells

"Intelligence is far from the easiest duty post to sim. Often, character development or the reality of the job must be sacrificed in order to fit the intel officer into the mission or into the sometimes milquetoast Starfleet mold. The alternative, of course, is a Mary Sue intel operative whose advanced knowledge and shadow dealings provide immediately solutions to any problem. In times past, it was enough to simply write an intelligence officer who did not fall into either trap, but for the inaugural Black Cross, something more is required, and that something more is Isaac Bale.
"Bale began his tenure as a hardened jerk who went out of his way to annoy his shipmates, even when it doesn't get the job done; and while that may seem over the top to some, it was part of a long character arc that Bale's writer, Martin, discussed with me before he came aboard and had planned for the character. Thanks to a growing cache of humanity -- mistakes and an expanding knowledge of self, and not incidentally a series of increasingly important interactions with Dr. Velana -- Bale is slowly growing into a leader. He's the most dynamic character I've yet encountered, which only makes him better at his job and which allowed him to be the first recipient of this intelligence duty post award."
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The Strange Medallion

The Strange Medallion
Named after Commander Sally Strange, widely known as one of the most creative and dedicated First Officers in the fleet's early years, this award is given to those who perform above the call of duty in the position of First Officer.

Cmdr. Arden Cain, USS Mercury - presented by Capt. Aron Kells

"Every first officer is expected to step into the role of CO on his or her way to the rank of commander, but this is typically done after months and missions of close interactions with ship, crew, and captain. Occasionally, a first officer will find him or herself in a difficult or unexpected situation when a CO disappears or retires unexpectedly. But only one first officer in the many years I've been here has had to do what Arden Cain's done and become the backbone for a ship that lost two COs to retirement less than a month apart. For this alone, he deserves the Strange Medallion, but he's not content with resting quietly. The recently promoted Commander Cain goes out of his way to incorporate suggestions from junior members into the storyline; he, sometimes at the expense of his own character, allows time and room for response and growth from the ship's newest members; and he also manages to fit in his unique character background. He runs the Mercury's mentoring program, facilitates the Poll of the Week, is a Writing Challenge judge, and volunteers regularly in the Academy. He is the very definition of a fine first officer, and he completely deserves this award."
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Special Awards

Next, we continue with awards which recognize members of the fleet for particularly important contributions, or roles which affect the fleet's OOC areas. Here, too, the nominations are reviewed by a panel of five Captains and Commanders.

The Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award
For members who show great promise in many facets of their participation in the group, and to whom we look to as a future leader.

LtCmdr. Velana, USS Mercury - presented by Capt. Aron Kells

"When I presented the Mercury's general awards, Velana's name was not among them; but it is a mark of the group's closeness and her own focal point therein that many recipients went out of their ways to mention her, including in this message:
"If we are talking about inspiration, then I must take this opportunity to say how much I owe to Kristen. Ever since our characters first met on the Independence I have found her writing to be second to none. At times in ships gone by when I nearly left the Fleet it was she who kept me going. Anything I have done or achieve in SB118 is now due to her.
"I can think of no higher praise than this, the laudatory feedback of one's peers; but Kristen, Velana's writer, deserves to have her praises sung. I first encountered her when I began facilitating the Writing Challenges early in the year; I worked with her as a guest judge when Velana was a junior lieutenant, but I mentioned in passing that I imagined that I would see her back in the judges' circle sometime soon. In fact, I was holding myself in check, as I hadn't encountered a group member with such promise in quite a while.
"Kristen doesn't have it easy, either: while it seems like writing for an emotional Vulcan should be simpler than writing for their emotionless counterparts, she injects a bit of Velana's daily struggle into everything she writes and has crafted an unforgettable, complex character. I rely upon her not just for stories and suggestions on the Mercury's staff and OOC lists, but also as a gentle and personable mentor and as a strong leader for junior members of the crew.
"She leapt at the chance to join the Training Team, though she's done so recently; she likewise moved up immediately to co-facilitate the Podcast Team; and her careful background creation was recognized via Velana's selection as October's Featured Bio. She became one of the few members to win multiple Writing Challenges in one year and now serves as a devoted judge on the WC team; her feedback is always levelheaded and kind.
"Kristen, via her character Velana, is exactly the kind of empathetic, intelligent, and hard-working member that the SB118 group needs, and I look forward to following (and taking part in) her continuing storyline as our rising star continues her ascension."
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The Kalendra Award

The Kalendra Award
Awarded to a simmer who has performed (on more than one occasion) devious, unexpected plot twists. The simmer must have shown an ability to surprise their colleagues with clever plot twists that were relevant and plausible, given a particular plot.

LtCmdr. Tracey Townson, USS Tiger - presented by FltAdml. Tristan Wolf

"If you open the earliest sims in the archive of StarBase 118 Ops, from May of 1998, you'll find the station awash in panic. A madwoman who had long bedeviled the crew of Ops had finally found a way to exact revenge against her arch-nemesis, Capt. Ciara Randor, by planting bombs around the starbase in preparation of blowing it up. The revelation took the crew of Ops by surprise, and since then, the name Kalendra has gone down in our community lore as a name attached to a plot twist so insane that it invigorates the plot and engages the writers in an entirely new way.
"Long-time member Townson can now also be recognized, alongside her mastery of the B-Plot, from her award in 2002, for her skill with plot twists. Her recent PNPC work with a character named Arrhae Fethraie Sahen was what won over the judges this year, and the creative examples provided certainly fit the bill for this award. Thanks to Tracey for her long service to the community, and for constantly finding new ways of surprising and delighting her fellow crew-mates."
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The Sarpeidon Award

The Sarpeidon Award
Given to any simmer who has made outstanding contributions to the 118Wiki. Sarpeidon was the world in TOS's "All Our Yesterdays," in which the planet's population created a library containing their entire world's history. This is, in essence, what our wiki strives to become: a collection of our group's history and a simming database.

LtCmdr. Roshanara Rahman, USS Mercury - presented by FltAdml. Tristan Wolf, Wiki Administrator

"He is known by many character names -- Roshanara Rahman, Tenzin Zhou, and Charles Sampi to name a few of the most notable -- but by whatever name you know him, you undoubtedly have seen his contributions on the wiki. Although he has just recently become a wiki admin, he has left an indelible mark on the look of the wiki, and how it's used.
"He has created numerous templates and tutorials, including those for how ship names are displayed. He put together a character age calculator, while setting up linkable graphics that send clickers to a page of our choice, instead of the graphic's data page, which is useful particularly on the Intelligent Lifeform Index.
"He is also the facilitator of the Featured Bio Contest, which highlights the best wiki profiles, while also helping others to increase the quality of their profiles to meet rigorous standards. A rising tide lifts all boats, and it applies here.
"For his tireless work as a wiki gnome, and for his dedication to our site's central repository of knowledge, we present him the Sarpeidon Award. Many thanks for your hard work Mr. Sampi LtCmdr. Rahman!"
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The Data Artistic Award

The Data Artistic Award
Rewarded to any officer in the fleet who has made a consistent effort to enter each of the bi-monthly writing challenges. Most notably, the officer must have continued participation even if their submissions were not picked as the winner, thus sticking with the challenge and always giving other something exciting to read.

Ens. Verana, USS Discovery-C - presented by Capt. Aron Kells, Writing Challenges Facilitator

"I was a bit surprised when I received my first forum message from Verana, because she was the first to ever approach or thank me regarding feedback I'd given for a Writing Challenge. Since then, we've taken to speaking during each Challenge, not because she's asking for advice, but simply because she gets excited in a way I haven't seen before about each theme and what she can do with it. When she was forced to miss a shorter Challenge, I could tell she was very disappointed as she'd even written a story for it; but she quickly picked herself back up and told me that she was quite sure she knew how to adapt it for the next Challenge. For this award, I look for those members whose participation enriches the Challenge, and Verana definitely does that. We are lucky to have her in the group and regularly submitting to the Writing Challenge."
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The Boothby Award

The Boothby 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.

LtCmdr. Danzia, USS Drake - presented by FltCapt. Andrus Jaxx, Deputy Commandant of the Academy

"Last year the Boothby Award was created to recognize trainers to who go above and beyond their academy requirements. Lt. Commander Danzia has been a member of the Training Team since 2385(2008), and during that time she has been involved in over 70 classes, ushering in many new members. She often volunteers and is able to set the example for all incoming officers. With her constant presence, attention to detail and consistent feedback, we have been able to add many new officers to the fleet during that time. On behalf of the Training Team Staff, it is my pleasure to award Lt. Commander Danzia with the Boothby Award for 2389."
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The Xalor Clan Xifilis Award

The Xalor Clan Xifilis Award
Given to any simmer who overcomes any sort of disadvantage while simming. This award was originally called the "Rachel Garett Pendant," but was renamed for the 2000 ceremony to to honor a respected simmer in UFOP: StarBase 118 who passed away in that year. This is the only Special Award that is given more than once per ceremony.

LtJG. Collim Kieran, USS Discovery-C - presented by Capt. Tyr Waltas

"All of us have encountered a time when we don't feel like simming. Be it the intrusion of real life such as a long day at work, writer's block, or simply having nothing to contribute at the moment. These obstacles are easily overcome by a good writer. However, life is capable of much more difficult challenges.
"The writer for Collim Kieran has endured an unimaginable trial over the past year. Defeating cancer twice previously, it returned again in 2012 and she was forced to undergo radiation and chemotherapy. She would write me from her hospital bed APOLOGIZING for not simming quickly, and I lost count of how many sims were sent from her recovery bed.
"That was amazing enough, but she had to endure much more than this, including some very personal losses that left her in a challenging position. Despite that, she never took an LOA, always responded to sims even when I asked her to take it easy. For her dedication to the group and her fighting spirit in the face of crushing adversity, I am proud to see her awarded the Xalor Clan Xifilis Award."

Lt. Talya Robins, USS Avandar - presented by Capt. Della Vetri

"Whilst simming can seem to take on a life of it's own, each and every person has to balance their writing with things in the real world. For some, that can be far beyond the level of challenge that most of us experience, yet they still keep on top of things. Lieutenant Talya Robins is a prime example of this sort of achievement – despite issues that have had a serious impact on her, she has maintained both the quality and creativity of her writing, as well as keeping herself involved on both IC and OOC fronts and regularly coming in as one of the most prolific simmers in the Avandar's crew.
"Lt. Robins' level of dedication to the sim and her eagerness to be a part of it in the face of the real-world issues she's had to deal with, deserves recognition, and I am both pleased and proud to present her with the Xalor Clan Xifilis award for her work over the last year."
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Staff Awards

Staff Awards are reserved solely for officers who are Commander in rank, or above. As the people in our group who carry the burden of leadership and investment in our future success, it's important that we take a few moments to recognize the dedication and work they put in throughout the year. Without a staff as dedicated as the one we have, we simply wouldn't be able to sustain our community nature and many of the activities we enjoy.

Staff Member of the Year Award

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For staff members who have contributed tirelessly to the organization through any number of OOC channels, while maintaining excellence in simming on their vessel.

FltCapt. Andrus Jaxx, USS Apollo - presented by FltAdml. Tristan Wolf

"One of the things I value most highly in those folks who look to become part of the group staff is being a self-starter. And on that front, Jaxx is fully realized. The gusto with which FltCapt. Jaxx participates in our organization has made him an integral part of our day-to-day operations. He volunteered to help the Training Team with whatever they needed to make the team work administratively, and ended up becoming the second Deputy Commandant. He totally revitalized the Podcast Team, which has just completed its fifth new podcast for the year. He acted as the Captains Council Magistrate in 2012, dutifully managing administrative discussions and votes. And while he stepped back from the Newsies Team to give others the chance to lead, he laid the groundwork for us to meet our daily goal of one article a day, which has been a crucial part of keeping our site fresh and highly-ranked with Google.
"This is just a smattering of the OOC tasks he's taken on, not to even mention keeping a robust simming rate on his ship, where his crew speaks highly of him, and his simming skills.
"FltCapt. Jaxx embodies the very essence of what ensures our community is self-sustaining year-after-year: he is jovial, kind, fair, always willing to lend a helping hand, concerned with bettering simming and creating an atmosphere that fosters great writing, all while being tirelessly dedicated to our community. Without a doubt, FltCapt. Jaxx is Staff Member of the Year."
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The James T. Kirk Cross

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Given to new Commanding Officers who show outstanding potential in the field of commanding.

Capt. Aron Kells, USS Mercury - presented by Capt. Diego Hererra (née Tallis Rhul), last year's recipient of this award

"It seems fitting that the James T. Kirk Cross, which is awarded for outstanding potential in the field of command, should be presented to a captain who dedicates themselves to supporting their crew and fostering an environment for top quality simming. This year's recipient was given an opportunity to take command under difficult circumstances but picked up the ball and ran with it harder and faster than anyone could have hoped. The investment he has shown in his crew comes through loud and clear in the praise that they so readily give for him and the thought he puts in to advancing writing technique and thematic development is second to none. It is my honour to present the James T. Kirk Cross to Captain Aron Kells. Congratulations, Captain!"
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The Sarek Star

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Given to a command officer who shows great diplomatic ability in working with members and staff.

Capt. William Rogers, USS Drake - presented by FltCapt. Idril Mar

"Since he was a new ensign about USS Ronin under my command, fresh from the Academy with the new ensign smell, Captain Rogers has been dedicated to working things together. He surprised me in his ability to do so, even as a brand new member of the ship. This past year has been challenging for him, especially as he moved into the command role. Captain Rogers has handled the transition with grace and poise, never losing his innate ability to weave people and their often disparate lives into a cohesive whole. This fact was mentioned specifically a number of times in the nomination process and noted by members of the command staff as well. For that ability, so highly sought and so often lacking, we award Captain William Rogers the Sarek Star. Congratulations!"
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The Christopher Pike Pendant

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Awarded to commanding officers who command their ship with honor and dedication, and help to provide an creative atmosphere which fosters outstanding simming.

FltCapt. Toni Turner, Duronis II Embassy/USS Thunder - presented by FltCapt. Idril Mar

"Though Fleet-Captain Turner and I have had our differences, there is one thing of which I have never had any doubt: her ability to inspire her officers to produce imaginative and creative posts and plotlines. This fact has been recognized repeatedly within the fleet and even by groups outside of our own. Under her leadership, the Embassy won the Simming League's ‘Most Creative Sim Award’ for 2012, after being tied for the same award in 2011. This external recognition and the internal dedication to fostering creativity that it takes more than qualifies Fleet-Captain Turner for the Christopher Pike Pendant. Congratulations!"
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The Shuvalis Diamond of Recognition

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For long-term achievement in leading the Training or Publicity Teams as a way of advancing peaceful relations with "newly discovered life forms."

Capt. Kali Nicholotti, StarBase 118 Ops - presented by FltAdml. Tristan Wolf

"We recently expanded this award to cover both Training and Publicity, and I'm so glad we did, because more praise for Capt. Nicholotti has been much needed. Many folks are not aware that she's been an integral piece in helping us increase our standings with search engines and ensuring that the content on our social media is fresh on a regular basis. I worry constantly about the fact that I often get pulled into a project that shifts my focus from publicity and social media, but whenever I return, I find that Kali's been handling it without any oversight or prodding from me, which is the mark of someone who's invested enough in our community to take ownership in it.
"Because we owe her much of our publicity success in 2012, Capt. Nicholotti is this year's recipient of the Shuvalis Diamond of Recognition, as well as our gratitude for her hard work and devotion. Many thanks, Kali."
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Member Service Awards

Each ship's captain helps compile this information by looking at the initial placement date in our files. The results are incredible -- so many people who've been here for so long, or keep returning even when real life takes them away occasionally.

The list below only contains members who have newly hit the threshold for the award. For example, a member who's been here for four years, and received the 3-year award last year, won't be listed below. You can see all previous winners of Length of Service awards here.

3-Year Members

  • Nugra, graduated from training on 09/11/2002, but took more than one year of LOA time
  • Rune Jolara, graduated from training on 11/26/2005, but took more than one year of LOA time
  • Lance Firestarter, graduated from training on 03/07/2006, but took more than one year of LOA time
  • Valis, graduated from training on 02/8/2007, but took more than one year of LOA time
  • Michael Valentino, graduated from training on 02/24/2007, but took more than one year of LOA time
  • David Whale, graduated from training on 12/20/2008
  • Bowrapiquis Jetseen, graduated from training on 01/01/2009
  • Kevin Breeman, graduated from training on 01/15/2009
  • Alucard Vess, graduated from training on 01/23/2009
  • S'Peek Avandar, graduated from training on 01/23/2009
  • Raj Blueheart, graduated from training on 01/31/2009
  • Ian West, graduated from training on 05/09/2009
  • John Valdivia, graduated from training on 05/17/2009
  • Kali Nicholotti, graduated from training on 05/25/2009
  • Kaedyn Zehn, graduated from training on 05/26/2009
  • Inarr Rogg d'Squamos, graduated from training on 5/29/2009
  • Miles Unum, graduated from training on 05/29/2009
  • Nearian Ben'thal, graduated from training on 06/16/2009
  • Diego Herrera, graduated from training on 07/14/2009

5-Year Members

  • Kael Thomas, graduated from training on 11/1/2003, but took more than one year of LOA time
  • Nemitor Atimen, graduated from training on 10/25/2005, but took more than one year of LOA time
  • David Cody, graduated from training on 2/23/2006, but took more than one year of LOA time
    • David was originally a member in the first year of the organization, before we even had a formal training program!
  • Danzia, graduated from training on 12/9/2006
  • Sinda Essen, graduated from training on 1/30/2007
  • Quinn Reynolds, graduated from training on 1/30/2007
  • Tal Tel-ar, graduated from training on 05/25/2007
  • William Rogers, graduated from training on 7/14/2007
  • Karynn Ehlanii Brice, graduated from training on 10/2/2007
  • Andrus Jaxx, graduated from training on 10/07/2007

10-Year Members

We now have a total of seven people -- not including myself -- who've hit the 10-year mark. --FltAdml. Wolf

  • Danny Wilde, graduated from training on 08/08/2000, but took more than one year of LOA time
  • Tracey Townson, graduated from training on 08/19/2000, but took more than one year of LOA time
  • Idril Mar, graduated from training on 10/18/2002, was missed from last year's awards!
  • Boris Hendon, graduated from training on 03/01/2002
  • Tyr Jashin Waltas, graduated from training on 10/20/2002
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Top Sims Contest Winner

The Bane of History, Repeating by Captain Kali Nicholotti, StarBase 118 Ops - presented by FltAdml. Tristan Wolf

"It's fitting that last year's Rising Star would be this year's Top Sims Contest winner. This sim stands on its own, even as it is a piece of a larger story about relationships, leadership, and vulnerability. The historical references are beautifully written, while the personal elements, touching on previous events and previous heartbreaks, convey to even casual readers a much bigger human experience.
"There are many deserving sims that are written every day. Nonetheless, this one definitely deserves the title. Congratulations, and gratitude to Capt. Nicholotti for such a wonderful piece of writing."
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Commendations

What's the award we give for sticking around and just being generally awesome every day, keeping up the mundane, day-to-day work that helps this community humming along? Hopefully, these words below will do the trick. --FltAdml. Wolf

FltCapt. Sidney Riley

  • As the long-standing Commandant of the Training Team, she has carved out a niche in the history of our group as a consummate steward of our most important and high-profile non-ship institution. Whereas previous Commandants burned out long before reaching her milestone, she has remained steadfast and reliable in the role of this team's facilitator. Beyond that, she has led her ship through a trying year and remains very active. On the more personal side of things, I'd like to let everyone know about something that will probably embarrass her a little, but I must do nonetheless: Riley is one of the fleet's most caring and thoughtful award nominators. Year after year, I regularly see her nominations put forward for folks around the fleet who she has watched closely -- if quietly -- and is able to draft a wonderful and enthusiastic nomination that tends to hit on things other people miss. For that, she deserves much thanks.

Capt. Tyr Waltas

  • Last year I included in the awards a shout-out to Capt. Waltas, who's currently our longest-running Commanding Officer. I'd like to do the same this year, as he continues to run a solid ship with a fine crew. This year, they reached their highest-ever sim count total, with their three highest sim counts ever. Congratulations to them, and thanks to Capt. Waltas for his continuing dedication to our community.

Capt. Della Vetri

  • As the Captain At Large, Capt. Vetri has the responsibility of not only sitting through a lot of process and discussion, while compiling the monthly sim numbers for each ship in the fleet, so that we can see the simming health of each ship. It's a thankless job, but Vetri has done it well in the past year -- continuing to uphold the values that earned the writer behind this character the Sarek Star last year. Thanks to Capt. Vetri for dedication to the job of being a great Captain, and also for participating in the process of leading this group.
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Special Thanks

  • Idril Mar, for helping with the staff awards.
  • Kali Nicholotti, who ensured that the Member Service Length awards were checked against last year's list for accuracy.
  • Sidney Riley, who facilitated the Awards Selection Committee that whittled down the Duty Post and Special Award nominations to the winners you saw above.
  • All of the Captains (and one First Officer) who wrote the presentations above, for taking extra time to fashion carefully-worded explanations for why each person won an award.