My fellow members of Bravo Fleet, I have the honour of sharing with you all this year’s report from the Office of the Chief of Staff. The past year for the OCS has seen some significant staff changes, despite this entries for awards, promotions, competitions and events have remained strong and at an all time high! This was evident recently when the OCS processed a huge amount of awards and promotions shortly after the conclusion of our Fleet Action in the summer.
Though my tenure as Chief of Staff is still in its infancy (over 3 months so far), the department has given me plenty of joy to view and celebrate what our great community gets to share with one another. The opportunity to be a part of the excitement when a competition goes live or when someone is recommended for an award or promotion makes the work worthwhile. Seeing everyone congratulate one another on Discord is always pleasing, it makes my day and I hope it makes yours as well!
I could easily sit here and write that 2021 was another good year since Bravo Fleet moved over to its new system. We gave out a lot of awards, promotions and enjoyed a range of competitions. However, that would be boring and I know how much everyones loves to read! So here goes the 2021 reflection of the OCS. Enjoy!
Though we have seen a few changes with the OCS team this year, nevertheless the work has not stopped and everyone that has been involved has contributed to the success of the department. I want to take this time to thank everyone who has been involved with OCS this year, you all know who you are!
That said, I do need to highlight one person in particular. A special shout-out to Vince for his tenure as Chief of Staff from May to September. His steadfastness and patience as he trained myself and others up is much appreciated. A bulk of the work he did during this time set up a strong structure and framework for us to work from so the OCS was able to remain a steady powerhouse behind the scenes in the every day-to-day operations for Bravo Fleet. Due to his hard work and dedication, it has meant that my inauguration into the role was smooth and almost effortless. For this I am highly grateful and I plan to continue to uphold the example he set as Chief of Staff.
Finally, a big thank you to the current team. Arden, Dave P and Dean have shown me that we have got another strong team that are passionate about supporting and encouraging our members in all that they do. I look forward to the work we shall continue in 2022! Thank you guys!
Policy & Guidance Development
The OCS Policy and its linked guidelines have seen a few updates this year. The first main focus of these updates was to ensure clarity and understanding for all on the OCS Policy. It was felt at the time parts of the OCS Policy were open to different interpretations and not clearly explained enough. The updated OCS Policy provided more quality and coherent explanations, so everyone was aware of what was expected when someone wanted to submit a recommendation for an award or promotion.
Later on in the year further guidance was handed out from the OCS regarding the areas of Transfers, Competitions and Mentorship (see below for more details). Feedback from members at the time included understanding of what was expected for competitions to be accepted by the OCS and clarity around how the Mentorship Program would work.
I believe from what I have seen, all of these changes to our OCS policy have only contributed positively to the constant fun we have as a group.
In May, Vince announced the introduction of two new awards to Bravo Fleet. This included the Legion of Merit and the Rachel Garrett Order of Heroism. Since then both awards have been bestowed to three recipients for their amazing and extraordinary contributions to Bravo Fleet.
Ranks & Promotions Review
One area we wanted to focus on in the last quarter of the year was reviewing our OOC rank structure that we use to celebrate everyone’s contributions and achievements. This was one of the most significant changes that the OCS oversaw in my first few weeks as Chief of Staff. We had many ideas on how we wanted to refine the rank structure so that our members were able to experience the full range of activities that Bravo Fleet offered. We wanted those who joined us as new members to understand that we are more than a group that hosts role-playing-games/SIMMS! We also wanted to recognise that when someone hit the rank of Lieutenant Commander that it is a senior rank which unlocks so much for our players.
I am very proud of this work we did and appreciate everyone who suggested ideas for this review, including other department heads and the OCS team at the time. Along with the improvements made by Emily for BFMS where we can track people’s activity during their junior ranks, I firmly believe we have a great system that I hope inspires people to aspire to.
Launch of the Mentorship Program
One of Vince’s OCS babies, the Mentorship Program was launched at the end of August. Being a teacher myself, I firmly believe that every day we get to learn something new and it is important we share that learning with those around us. The development of the Bravo Fleet Mentorship Program has meant that we can recognise those long serving members in our community have something to share that can help our latest additions. I am happy to report that since its launch, five mentors have been awarded the Expeditionary Award for successfully empowering new members to work their way through our rank structure to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. We currently have six apprentices being mentored by their fellow players, I look forward to seeing their successes in the new year.
Another handy feature that Emily created for us is the ability for us to keep on top of who is active with the Bravo Fleet via their access to the main site. The introduction of the AWOL transfer has significantly streamlined how we are able to monitor our active membership numbers. We had some members return to us because of this service and it has been a great tool, not just for the OCS team, but for task force staff to know who is and isn’t around. Initially it did take Vince and I some time to get through everyone (a big thank you to the TFCOs and TFXOs at the time who aided with this), but we now know our membership numbers are more accurate and reflect the true size of our community.
Stats for the Year
The following statistics for the year show just what an incredible year we have had in regards to the amount of awards and competitions organised that the OCS has processed! There are so many ribbons and promotions that it was hard to be able to count every single one of them. Ribbons alone must be in the thousands and promotions in the hundreds! Hopefully everyone can see that it takes time to review every single one and it is more than just button pushing!
Awards/Medals awarded in 2021
- Starfleet Medal of Commendation: 20
- Starfleet Readiness Medal: 2
- Expeditionary Award: 5
- Action Medal with Planet Cluster: 71
- Action Medal with Star Cluster: 87
- Action Medal with Galaxy Cluster: 95
- Starfleet Bronze Star: 16
- Starfleet Silver Star: 15
- Starfleet Gold Star: 13
- Medal of Achievement: 17
- Meritorious Service Cross: 25
- Silver Palm: 11
- Star for Distinguished Service: 12
- Star Cross: 10
- Legion of Merit: 3
- Jonathan Archer Order of Merit: 13
- Rachel Garrett Order of Heroism: 3
- Christopher Pike Medal of Valor: 2
- Zephram Cochrane Medal of Excellence: 0
- Starfleet Medal of Honor: 1
- 111 completed competitions (+3 to be completed by 7th January 2022).
You may have noticed that we have no stats for our other Action Medals, we are planning to address by updating the competition tiers (see below).
New Competition Tiers
From January 2022, our non Fleet Action competitions will be placed into one of the following tiers, based on who creates and judges them. We are making this update because the current system, where tiers are based on audience, was not reflective of the reality that every single competition we have run to date has been fleet-wide. This way, more awards will be there to go round, while keeping the original intent of some sort of tiered system based on where the competition is coming from!
- Tier 1 competitions created and judged by the Bravo Fleet Senior Staff.
- Tier 2 competitions created and judged by members from Bravo Fleet Command.
- Tier 3 competitions created and judged by Bravo Fleet Members.
Awards for each tier will be as the following:
Tier 1 – Bravo Fleet Senior Staff organised competition:
- First Place: Action Medal with Galaxy Cluster
- Second Place: Action Medal with Star Cluster
- Third Place: Action Medal with Planet Cluster
Tier 2 – Bravo Fleet Command organised competition:
- First Place: Action Medal with Star Cluster
- Second Place: Action Medal with Planet Cluster
- Third Place: Action Medal with Moon Cluster
Tier 3 – Member organised competition:
- First Place: Action Medal with Planet Cluster
- Second Place: Action Medal with Moon Cluster
- Third Place: Action Medal with Comet Cluster
Looking Forward & Closing Remarks
As I said at the start of this report, though there have been some changes to the OCS staff this has not had a detrimental impact on the many great celebrations we have shared across Bravo Fleet. It has been an excellent year for this as our membership expands and people enjoy what our community offers them.
At present there are no significant plans for the OCS for 2022, the main priority is sustaining what has been established this year and developing our work from there. I would like us to be ambitious and encourage our members to strive for as much as we can reward them for and to be involved in our community.
Awards and promotions are how we recognise everyone’s contributions. I do hope we get to see more players achieve our higher awards and ranks in 2022. It will be great to see a few more captains by this time next year!
In regards to our mentoring program, I would also love to see a larger number of our more experienced players come forward and volunteer to become mentors so that when a new member joins, we can pair you up almost instantly. Please let us know if you are interested.
I want to make sure we continue to provide high quality competitions and we can see an increase in the amount of participation from everyone, especially as we now have the new tier system. The OCS is interested to see more players submit ideas for competitions, the more variety and originality we can have the better! The OCS team is planning a few competitions for the new year to help with this and we are happy to provide feedback and support with creations.
In early 2022, I am hoping to announce a new Deputy Chief of Staff, so watch this space!
We will carry on to work alongside other departments and review how we can continue to reward everyone’s time and contribution here in Bravo Fleet. Our job in the OCS is to ensure Bravo Fleet remains member orientated, so any feedback, ideas or suggestions is always welcomed.
I look forward to the challenges and endeavours that 2022 brings for the OCS and wish all of my fellow members a prosperous new year!