Recipients of the Meritorious Service Cross have shown consistent and dedicated service to one’s unit by having displayed a greater than average amount of activity over a period of several weeks that included participation in several projects, events or competitions.
I have worn many of shirts, sleeves, and collars throughout my several years in and out of this community. I have made friends. I have made a rough go at people. Time heals many of things and it is time and dedication in which Bravo Fleet was built upon and what continues to pulsate and flow through its veins. These simulations/games we mortal men and women run do not go without personal sacrifices, be it family time, an extra few dollars in a paycheck, or that vacation time we cut short because our writing friends need us or as COs, our sims or members need us.
Bravo Fleet has stood the test of time, but that has not been without difficulty and changes. Changes in leadership, changes in structure, and changes to Task Forces. We have lost some and we have added some over the years. However, one Task Force that has definitely had it’s fair share of difficulties in the recent past has been Task Force 72. I have been a member, an XO, and a CO in Task Force 72 and none of it has been easy. There was something about Task Force 72 that just made it an uphill battle for quite some time. As a CO, I had a sim that won Sim of the Month for TF72 at one point and it was off to an incredible start. However, it needed an XO. I was given a young man who was eager to write and have a vast creative drive within him. That man’s name was AJ and he truly believed in me and believed in my crew, but there was something more to AJ. He did not just want to be an XO. He wanted to give Bravo Fleet his best in a position of Commanding Officer.
The Fleet and the Task Force had seen something in him. He applied for a CO spot in Task Force 72 with the USS Pandora (a sim I used to be XO of when it was in the now defunct Task Force 47) and unfortunately nobody really got aboard and behind AJ. He was a little green as a CO, his Pandora did not quite have what it needed to catch the eyes of potential crew and it sank before being officially declared active from the best of my recollection. However, we all saw something in AJ and the Task Force gave him to me. AJ lost his Pandora and was nudged over onto my sim, and I did not just gain an excellent writer and a damn fine XO; I gained a remarkable man who was more supportive and enthusiastic than I had ever seen in a writer on this or any fleet.
AJ was an incredible XO, but he far surpassed what he could learn from me in all my years. I did teach him a few things, but he also taught me several things as well. I was unable to keep my TF72 sim afloat and active. My XO had his heart set on being a successful CO and I knew that. I could see that. I had to encourage and support that whatever the cost. When AJ was given the opportunity to try the USS Pandora again in TF72, I was ready to see him sail off with the sim. I closed mine and off I went, and so did the USS Pandora under AJ.
I may have helped him recruit several members of his crew, all of which who I believe are still active members of his sim, but that was only bringing in people to write. They needed a purpose and a leader. They found that in AJ, in Captain Temple. I’m nominating my old XO and a respected colleague because of his phenomenal work with the USS Pandora. The Pandora has been a beacon of hope in Task Force 72, which now under excellent leadership has grown and flourished. The USS Pandora remains as strong as ever and over the past few days, I have witnessed three or four new members join. AJ’s crew has consistently stuck by him through bouts of low activity and personal struggles as a CO, but through it all, it was the great leadership of AJ/Temple that has held that crew together.
I would like you to please consider Temple for this award as I truly feel it is well deserved and needed. The USS Pandora has been active again for the past few years, and that is no easy task.