The 'UFOP Award Ceremony' began in 1996, and was the first fleet-wide event created by our group. The ceremony offers the command staff of the group an opportunity to reward the hard-working members of the group.
Award Ceremony Process
The staff of our community have always taken the award ceremonies very seriously, as they are important in rewarding the members of our community, who we believe are among the best in the world. Over time, the process of the ceremony itself has become more sophisticated, to ensure that the best qualified individuals receive the awards they are most suited for.
The ceremonies are held once each year in the fourth quarter. The first order of business is an announcement from the Captains Council that the nominations for the ceremony are officially open. At this point, all members are encouraged to head to the nomination form to begin sending in their nominations. Members are reminded that they are to nominate fellow members only based on what has occurred since the last ceremony. They are also reminded that they should nominate fellow members based on their actual work, and not on their popularity.
The panel allows members to nominate one person at a time. The nominator chooses a colleague they'd like to nominate, as well as the award they'd like to nominate that person for. They then write a short description of why they feel the person should receive the award, and include a sample sim from that person to demonstrate their reasoning on the nomination.
Limitations on Awards per Ship
To maintain the integrity of the awards, and ensure that we don't hand out too many (thus, "watering down" the process), there are a few limitations on how many people can receive awards per ceremony. Here's how it works out:
- The awards in the Duty Post and Staff categories are only given out once per year.
- For the remainder of the awards which are not marked as special, only one person per ship can receive each award.
- Any given member can receive as many awards as their captain deems appropriate, assuming that no one else on their vessel has received the same award.
Nomination and Decision Regulation
A special committee is formed each ceremony to decide who will receive Duty Post awards, and the other awards which are marked to only be given out once a ceremony. In late 2003, the Captains Council decided on a new regulation for this process. What was decided upon is listed here:
- Any member in good standing can nominate any simmer for these awards by submitting the officer's name with supporting documentation (e.g. sample sim) according to the means designated by the CC. Multiple nominations of the same simmer for the same award are to compiled into a single dossier.
- The nominations are to be submitted to a panel of either three or five members composed of volunteers from the CC, the exact number to be determined by the number who volunteer. One of three or two of five of the panel members may be an FO instead of a CO.
- The individual panel members are to read the dossiers of the nominees for each award and to rank the top three nominees. The panel member is to determine this ranking according to how well the nominee's dossier fits the award description, and by that alone. The first place nominee is to receive three points, the second place nominee two points, and the third place nominee one point.
- The panel members are to total up the points given to all of the nominees. The award is to be given to the nominee with the most points. In case of a tie the panel members revote among the tied nominees using the procedure outlined in section.
- Should this revote still result in a tie, the award is given jointly to the tied nominees (but only should this second vote result in another tie).
The Award Ceremony Presentation
For the first few years of the ceremony, the entire fleet gathered to celebrate the occasion together. However, it soon became clear as the group grew in size that this was no longer conducive to simming, and was becoming a less positive experience. As such, it was decided to change the format slightly to allow the awards to be given in a manner that is better suited to the members and staff.
Once the nominations are authorized, the commanding officers are given at least a week to present the awards to their ship, if they choose to do so before the official group announcement. This allows those captains which would like to "surprise" their crewmembers, to do so. After the interim period, the website awards area is updated to reflect the winners.
Meanwhile, a staff ceremony is written by a member of the EC. This is conducted out of the normal plot flow, to make it more plausible. The staff ceremony is then posted in the awards area, and the website updated with these awards.