Commanding Officers Manual

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Commanding Officers Manual
General Data
Original by: Luciano Skar-Machado
Stardate: 230101
Reviewed By: .
  • MilesPrower Dagger
  • Kermie Mistwallow
Last Review Date: 230101
Becomes Effective: 230101 CURRENTLY IN USE
Published By: UF Starfleet Command
Editors: .
Intended Audience: All current and future members of UFStarfleet
Last revision Date: 230101


United Federation Starfleet; GOAL

To create an environment in which Star Trek fans from all over the world can come together and pursue their love of a common fandom; and to promote fellowship among those interested therein

We want to make sure you really feel like you are a Starfleet Officer.

Disclaimer: If at any moment you encounter conflicting information between the various United Federation Starfleet Manuals then the UFS Membership Manual trumps all other resources.

We would like to ask you that in the event you do find conflicting information in this manual that you email UFS Chief of Staff (chief.staff@ufstarfleet.org) directly with the locations as to where you found the conflicting information.


“Part of being a Captain is knowing when to smile, make the troops happy, even when it's the last thing in the universe you want to do – because they're your troops, and you have to take care of them.” - Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko

What are the qualities that make a great Leader?

Throughout history we have read and seen great leaders, those who have achieved great things in both diplomacy and battle. They have been able to turn the tide to their advantage in situations where it seemed that all was lost.

Loosely speaking, there are three types of leaders...

The first is the leader who plans in great detail. They plan to such an extent that each and every eventuality is taken care of. Planning in great detail is all very nice, but there is a drawback in such a commander, which is that they can tend to be somewhat fussy.

The second kind is the leader who has an instinctive grasp of the detail, charisma, and flair. However again, there is a drawback in this type of commander also in that they can tend to be somewhat erratic.

The third kind is the very rare kind, the kind who is a combination of the first two. A very good example was Captain Christopher Pike of the USS Enterprise. Pike used to plan in great detail. He used to talk to his crew and plan to meet all eventualities. In almost all situations, the crew knew what to do as the plan was comprehensive. But at the same time, Pike had the charisma and the moral courage to tear up plans in the heat of the battle and go for any situation that presented itself.

It is this combination of the two that makes for not only a great leader but a great Commanding Officer.

So back to the original question...what are the qualities that make a great leader? Well now that you have chosen to take the first steps in that direction, we hope you will find out your own answers to that question. This handbook aims to guide you through the administrative side of the job, but being a good leader is about so much more than being good at the desk job. We wish you the very best of luck!

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How to become a Commanding Officer

You must have a few things prepared in order to apply to start a ship of a line. Key word is apply, there is no guarantee that you will be approved to start a ship of the line -- there are a huge number of factors involved.

The minimum requirements to start a ship of the line:

  • A Commanding Officer who has taken and passed CGSD - CO Administration I, please contact UFS Chief of Staff for approval to go into CGSD - CO Administration I.
  • A total of four current members, including the CO, who are from the same sector that you are starting the ship in
  • A CO or JC that will be your sponsor, XO/VJC can not be used
  • Approved Starship Specs and Registry from ASDB

An applicant also needs to be in Good Standing, this means that they are showing UFS in a positive light in their day-to-day interactions, fighting against rumors, publicly praising and dealing with issues in private, ensuring a positive attitude when dealing with other members.

Using UFS as a platform for grievances or to disrupt the status quo does not hold anyone in good standing, you have to show that you can deal with issues that could arise as a CO, lead by example and prove that you can handle not only the stress but also the support of UFS and ultimately UFS Command.

Once all above is completed you will need to contact the UFS Chief of Staff to be approved be in the Runabout Program for a 3 month trial before you are Commissioned. During your 3 month trial, you will hold the title of Acting-CO/XO and remain in your current branch until the trial is over and you officially are Commissioned. Email your applications or questions to chief.staff@ufstarfleet.org

Shipshape

So, you want to be a CO, and you finally want to get your hands on that center seat. Well in order to do justice to the position, yourself, and most importantly your crew, then there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Teamwork

For your Ship of the Line to reach its potential, everyone involved needs to combine their efforts. If everyone does their job well, then it increases what you as a group can accomplish. You will need to work to ensure this need is recognised by everyone and know that great things can happen if individuals master the fundamentals and work together as one unit. Everyone will have their own unique role, some more active than others, but each person's individual role must still be recognised and appreciated.

Humbleness

Some people's attitudes tend to literally change overnight when they take command of a ship/station. It is expected from you that you continue to act the way you did before you took command. Being in charge does not mean that you are allowed to act in a manner that will belittle your crew or any other fleet member. Always remember that your Ship or Station is nothing more than a group of friends with a shared interest in Star Trek hanging out together.

Professionalism

People will decide 10 things about you within 10 seconds of meeting you based on your image, which is a combination of your appearance and behavior. Within UFS, you need to be constantly asking yourself, “Am I holding myself and those I am responsible for to a high enough standard?” Ultimately, your dedication, quality of work, and your personal conduct will say far more about who you are and what you stand for than any other thing you do.

Commitment

You have become a leader, are in charge of a full crew, and as a result you are expected to commit to the job. Being available to perform this job is crucial as your crew members depend on you. If you do not have the time and/or the willingness to commit, you are expected to step down and give others who can successfully perform the chance to do your job, including your XO. By holding the position of CO and not committing yourself to the job, you will not only be letting down your Ship or Station, but also letting down UFS as a whole.

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Responsibilities of the Commanding Officer

As with all leadership positions, command of a ship or station must be earned. To become a Commanding Officer a member has two options;

  • They can be offered a command

or

  • They can petition for a command

If their proposal has enough merit as well as they have some level of ability they can be granted command. Either way, you can only receive a command if you have taken and passed CGSD Admin I.

Administrative Duties

Monthly Status Report (MSR)

All Ships of the Line are required to file a Monthly Status Report. Reports are vital in any organization. They help you see where your Ship needs the most help or guidance. They also help you recognize a job well done, so the member or members involved can be commended.

UFS Command uses reports in much the same way. The reports that you file are used to determine the status and well-being of your Ship and the Fleet. They also tell UFS Command if there is a problem that they can help remedy before it escalates.

On the other hand, if you are doing a good job, UFS Command wants to recognize you for it. We do not want you to feel that your hard work and dedication are going unnoticed. That is why reporting is required by all Commanding Officers of our Ships of the Line.

Even if there seems nothing worthwhile to report you need to always fill it out. However, a ship of the line that has nothing to report is often a first indication that there is a problem.

  • A. What is the MSR?

The Monthly Status Report (MSR) is one of the most important requirements needed to retain your active Ship of the Line status. These reports contain an overview of your month-to-month activities and projects. You can also be asked to provide us with a brief description of future activities.

By comparing consecutive reports, UFS Command can then analyze your progress, and offer help or guidance in needed areas.

As the name of the report says....this has to be filled out every MONTH....if you're unable to file a report one month, make sure your XO does it for you, or give advance notice to the office of the UFS Chief of Staff. Failure to report for 3 months will result in drydocking of your ship for 30 days so you can fix the issues or become decommissioned.

  • B. How, when, and to whom do I file the MSR?

This Instruction is written for all Ship of the Line Commanding and Executive Officers in United Federation Starfleet. The purpose is to explain the importance of the MSR, the step by step process of filling out the MSR, and where it goes after you are finished with it.

First, MSR stands for Monthly Status Report, as the name says it is done monthly and it is used to report your status to UFS Command and for them, in turn, to report to the UFS Membership. The two key pieces of information that are sent are the membership numbers of your ship and the activities of your ship and crew.

All UFS MSR’s are done through Google Documents, the sheet is standard and the same for every ship so the information we receive is uniform and simple to access at a moment’s notice. The sheet for each ship is created and owned by a UFS Account to ensure ease of access by command and reduce the number of users on each sheet.

We will start with the opening page of the MSR

MSR1.png

The first page is a general instruction and information page, you will notice it is LOCKED. This page is maintained by the Office of the Chief of Staff and COs don’t have access to edit it. Please take note of the instructions.

The tab after that and each sequential tab is your MSR, one for each month. After the report is collected on the 5th of each month, the tab is LOCKED by the Chief of Staff. This is a safety feature to make sure it isn’t deleted by accident and the data is kept intact. The information submitted is then processed into a monthly membership report for command and the membership.

Let’s look at the monthly Tabs at the top of every page are the details of your ship: Note these are not necessary for your use as much as organizational indexes for the Chief of Staff’s Office.

MSR2.jpg

For the purpose of visibility, the top box has been cut in half to be easily read. Let’s start with going over each cell.

  • RED: The top cell is where the name of your Ship is.
  • Registry/Class (ORANGE): Registry And Class, this the registry number and class your vessel uses.
  • Sector (YELLOW): Which of the 20 UFS Sectors your ship is in.
  • Commanding Officer (GREEN): Who the ship’s commanding officer is.
  • Reporting Officer (Purple): The name of the person who prepared and is filling in the MSR.
  • Main Activity Days and Time (Gold): The day(s) and time(s) your ship meets and has activities.
  • Ship of the Line Level (White): This is the current level of your SOTL, it is filled in/updated by the Chief of Staff or the Office of Fleet Operations. (Please DO NOT EDIT this cell.)

The second half is:

MSR3.jpg

  • RED: The name of your ship covers the entire top of the page
  • Today’s Date (BLACK): This is automatically generated, don’t touch this cell as it is programmed.
  • Colony (PINK): Some Sectors have Colonies which are a sub organizational level, if you are assigned to one this is where it will be listed.
  • Reporting Period (PURPLE): The dates the report covers so the days of the month.
  • SLURL/Location (BROWN): Digital Resources, SL Location, Discord Link, Guild Names, etc.
  • Number of Crew (BLACK): This is the number of crew you have listed. It is automatically calculated, so DO NOT EDIT this cell. (Note: the number of crew generates based on those who are marked as ‘Active’, however it only includes Fleet and Marine personnel and does not include civilians.)

Next, we move down to Crew and explain the groupings.

MSR4.jpg

  • Active Crew (RED): These are members who are constantly active or at least in communication with the ship.
  • Inactive Crew (ORANGE): These are members who are not currently “Active” for whatever reason but can return. Extended LOA is for members who have an official LOA from UFS and have notified UFS they will be away but return. AWOL is for members who have vanished without any notice and the CO intends to remove them from their rosters. Honorary is a reserved title for those members of UFS that have either passed away or have been granted Honorary Membership status by the UFS Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • Arriving Crew (BLUE): The same process as Departing Crew, members transferring in are placed on this list for the month they join and on the next month tab is moved to Active Crew.
  • Departing Crew (GREEN): This list is for members who have been removed off the ship due to inactivity, or transferred off by the CO. They are put on this list until your report is submitted and removed in the next month. For example, if someone transfers off in the middle of June they are moved to this list and you remove them from the July tab, but leave them on the June Report.

Transfers: For members who are transferring from your SOTL to another, please mark their status as 'Transferred', in the 'Reason for Transfer' section please enter where they transferred to, and any additional comments that may be relevant.

Resignations or Retirement: For members who have either resigned or retired from UFS please mark their status as 'Resigned' or 'Retired', in the 'Reason for Transfer' section please enter any comments that may be relevant.

New we will break down the tabs for the Crew Lists, for clarity, it has been broken into two images:

MSR5.jpg

  • Legacy Name (RED): This is the name you are registered under in UFS, some people have character names that are not used on official reports.
  • Rank (ORANGE): Rank of the members, these are programmed in, in another cell, the promotion dates are generated so be sure you select the rank from the drop-down menu so that you do not damage the formula.
  • SCC (YELLOW): Member’s unique membership number assigned by UFS.
  • Position (GREEN): Only Commanding and Executive Officers are required to be listed, all others are optional based on the ship's structure, but you should note that any positions listed here have to meet UFS requirements (i.e. no counselor or non-Trek positions are permitted).
  • Status (BLUE): There are six pre-programmed options in the drop-down menu to be used: Active, Inactive, LOA, Transferred, Honorary, and In Memoriam. (Honorary and In Memoriam crew members should be transfered to Pinastri HQ)

MSR6.jpg

  • Branch (GREEN): This is not required as some ships might not use departments, however, all UFS branches are pre-programed into the drop-down menu for ease of use. When a branch is selected, it will recolor the entire row to that branches corresponding official color in UFS to help you visualize how each branch is with regard to members.
  • Last Promotion Date (RED): This is the second part of the formula to help track promotion times, this one you do need to fill in but you must use the required format (MM/DD/YY) in order for the math to work. This cell causes the next two to be filled in.
  • TiG Days Left (YELLOW): This cell is automatically calculated so DO NOT EDIT this cell. It shows you how long until your member’s TiG has been reached and is ELIGIBLE to be promoted.
  • Next Promotion (ORANGE): This cell is automatically calculated so DO NOT EDIT this cell. It shows you the minimum date your member is ELIGIBLE to be promoted. When a members time in grade is exceeded, this cell will be highlighted to help indicate to you that their minimium eligibility for promotion is now past. (As a reminder, promotions are not based on time in grade alone, for more information on Promotions see Section 2.1.3. of this manual.)
  • Crew Evaluations/Comments (BLUE): These are comments from the Commanding Officer to UFS Command. It is their personal thoughts and comments on the member if they have them, these can be used on future promotions and awards and for review if they apply for posts to UFS Command. Space here can also be used to inform the Chief of Staff and P&A Director of why someone has not been put forward for a promotion, if they are well past their TIG (while this is only a basic requirement for eligibility) it is good to show Command that we are not forgetting about our members and they are not falling through the cracks.

Next, we will cover the last three sections.

MSR7.jpg

The next section is Ship’s Missions and Activities (YELLOW) . This is for reporting your ship’s activities to UFS Command, this helps us decide on yearly awards for Ships of the Line as well as members.

There are two subcategories: Missions (RED) and Events (GREEN). Missions are generally for regular activities such as weekly role-plays or monthly meetings. Events are generally for more non-standard activities such as going to a convention as a crew or seeing a movie.

The Mission or Event Date (BLUE) tells us when they occurred. This is for internal reference as well as possible use in publications for the group.

Some Role Plays or other group activities are organized into Task Forces, if the mission is part of a task force it is recorded in the ORANGE box.

The location of the event is recorded in the GRAY box. This can be the SIM or Physical location.

The names of those who attended the mission or event are recorded in the PURPLE boxes. This is to ensure people get credit for their work or attendance.

MSR8.jpg

Most missions are posted on the UFS Forum, this is to help record your ship’s accomplishments and history, in the ORANGE box, you need to put a link to the mission log from the Forum.

Some COs decide to post their missions online since the log can be viewed by non-UFS Members and used as a recruitment tool. If you post your missions online you need to put a link to the page in the YELLOW comments box. If you want to have your log posted on the LCARS, open a support ticket with CompOps, and your ship’s mission page will be updated by the LCARS team. Then add the link to the relevant page here.

As stated earlier events are generally special activities so in the BLUE box you will give some details about the event such as if it was a movie or a convention.

If you have special notes about the event, such as the location is very friendly or to mention how a member contributed, place it in the GREEN box.

Now for the last two sections of the MSR.

MSR9.png

This box is for you to send in comments, questions, and suggestions to UF Starfleet Command. This can be used as an alternative to emails in case you are not sure where to send the email and if it's a low priority it helps to keep it from being lost in the cracks and ensures it gets to the people who need it.

MSR10.png

Within the top info box is two boxes for the Chief of Staff and Fleet Operations, which will used as a reply to your comments from the Subspace Message box or general information that UFS needs your all to know. They will use this box to inform you of any amendments you might need to make to your MSR, and also inform you that these have been checked. Please look at these sections regularly for comments from Command.

All of this information is collected by the Office of Fleet Operations to be compiled for the UFS Chief of Staff to be reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Now, this might seem like a lot to repeat for next month's report, but there is a trick to make it easy!

MSR11.png

Click on the little arrow (RED) on the newest month of your MSR. Select Duplicate (ORANGE). This will create a copy of the tab (GREEN) and all its content right next to it! All you need to do is rename the Tab to the new month and update whatever is changed.

Crew Transfer

The following is a step by step walkthrough on how to submit a UFS Ship of the Line Transfer Request. This only covers ships, not branches. Retired/Honorary/passed away members are to be moved to HQ.

These are only to be filled out by authorized personnel, CO/XO of Ships of the Line, Office of Personnel and/or designated officer in UFS Command. This is to ensure proper communication is done.

ONLY a CO/XO can transfer a member OFF or ON of their Ship of the Line, this is to make sure that they know the member is leaving and update their MSR and know the member is coming on and approve the transfer. This means that the member will have to inform the new and previous CO. The previous CO/XO files transfer to HQ and the new CO/XO files the transfer to their ship from HQ, and Personnel will then process the transfer request and email both the old and new CO along with the member that is being transferred.

Use the following form: | Ship/Station/Branch Transfer Request Form

Starting from the top down here are the steps:

Transfer1.png

1 - Use the drop down menu to select “Ship/Station Request”

2 - Put in the date this transfer is effective from, as in are they moving tomorrow or did they join a week ago. Format is MM / DD / YYYY

3 - You need to put the member’s official NAME in UFS not display or screen name, not nickname, not gamertag or handle, their official Membership designation only that is located on their service jacket. Then after their name, put their SCC, their unique registration number.

4 - Using the drop down menu select the Ship of the Line you are assigned to.

Transfer2.png

5 - You need to put your NAME in UFS not display or screen name, not nickname, not gamertag or handle, your official Membership designation only as indicated on your Service Jacket.

6 - Using the drop down menu, select where you are sending the member. Either to your ship or Sector 99 (Unassigned meaning they are leaving your ship) or AWOL (meaning you are invoking the AWOL process).

7 - Using the Drop down menu, select the member’s branch (Science, Medical, Security, etc) If your ship doesn't use these simply select “No Branch”.

8 - Write in the Role Play Position the member fills on your ship (Chief of Security, Biologist, etc). If your ship doesn’t use this simply put “Member” in the space.

Finally click on “Submit” to send in the form to Personnel for processing. If you have any questions or issues contact Personnel at personnel@ufstarfleet.org

Promotions & Awards

UFS has established systems for rewarding its members. These are through promotion in rank and the issuance of awards for specific achievements. History has shown us that these are both very emotive subjects and when handled badly, often cause much conflict.

For some members, rising through the ranks is the sole driving force for their involvement. For others, getting awards for achieving things in the group is their driver. Other members may think little of both rank and awards and have other reasons for being a part of UFS.

All Promotion and Award Nominations are submitted via the following document:| Promotions and Awards Form

For details on Promotions please read the UFS Promotions Manual

For details on Awards please read the UFS Awards Manual

As always contact the Director of Promotions and Awards with questions and support at promotions@ufstarfleet.org

If you need help writing your nomination, you can find a step by step guides here:

Conflict Resolution

While UFS cannot require you to accept or dismiss a member, such punitive actions at best maintain the “status quo” of bad feelings and often escalate. UFS recommends working with Command to try and come to a more effective and cooperative solution.

Do note, however, that UFS never accepts harassment or misconduct.

If such harassment or misconduct is happening in your Ship of the Line you must contact the UFS Chief of Staff or the Inspector General immediately and report it. This is as much for your own personal safety and liability as it is for the member(s) being affected.

Information regarding escalation procedures are outlined in the UFS Membership Manual.

Tools of the Trade

In order to maintain continuity UFS offers an abundance of different tools to keep track of its ships of the line and members.

As a Commanding Officer you need to be familiar with all of them

UFS LCARS NETWORK (WIKI)

The LCARS network has a repository of information from the earliest days of Starfleet listed under each ship or station. Every Commanding Officer is required to see that their records are stored accurately on the network for review. Your are responsible to make sure your Lcars pages are up to date

This includes

  • Main Ship Lcars page
  • Crew Manifest, make sure this manifest matches your crew manifest within the MSR, if the ship/station has it.

UFS Crew Manifest

This is your main administrative tool as a Commanding Officer.

Please familiarize yourself with all its functions. Make sure your crew manifest is always up to date, make sure your MSR matches this manifest...if there are crew discrepancies make sure to contact personnel@ufstarfleet.org right away, any other issues email fleet.operations@ufstarfleet.org

UFS Subspace Network (UFS Main Forum)

UF Starfleet maintains a massive network of relay stations that allow almost instantaneous contact between members of Starfleet. From the Forums to Discord.

Each ship has their own section within the forum. Generally it is used to put on crew logs as well as mission logs. You can use all this information to make sure your LCARs pages are up to date.

Many Starfleet Personnel use the Forum for social communications as well as personnel logs.

Forum Mission logs are recommended for each mission. As a minimum, they must contain:

  • 1) brief CO log intro to the mission,
  • 2) list of mission participants,
  • 3) summary of main events of the mission.

Ideally each member of the crew would write their own mission report, but it is acceptable for an appointed Mission Recording Officer to offer a summary of the mission instead of individual crew reports. Note: A mission log is not a copy/paste of the Chat Log, it is a summary of the roleplay that has occured

Social Media and Discord

Using Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Discord is not a requirement but we do recommend that you have it as we use it most of the time to inform and be social.

A member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must be an Admin of any Discord Servers or Facebook pages that are created using names of UFS Assets

Other Duties

Being in command of a UFS Ship of the Line is of course much more than administrative duties

Activity

As a Commanding Officer it is your main responsibility to provide activity on your Ship of the Line. After all, that's the main reason you were approved for the Center Chair.

Many of our ships are centered around Role Play, but you can have tons of different kinds of activity on your ship as that will attract a myriad of different crew members. However, regardless of what the focus is, UFS requires a certain amount of activity to be displayed

United Federation Starfleet launches ships of the line depending on who meets the criteria for the Ship of The Line program Level 1, so If your Ship is commissioned under the premise that it’s an RP ship, then that is what is expected of your Ship. Obviously as a Role Play ship you can also add other activities to cover the off mission times....but the main focus should always be the reason why UF Starfleet Command commissioned your ship

Missions (Role Play)

As a Role Play ship of the Line you are required to provide regular Role Play for your members and have them documented as missions on your MSR.

UFS Command requires at least 3 missions/events per month for Role Play based ships/stations.

Roleplay falls under the jurisdiction of the Chief of UF Starfleet Operations, If they feel your roleplay does not fit with the UFS timeline, can alter history or impact UFS as a whole they will contact you regarding this to offer advice and suggestions. Furthermore should you have any questions about roleplay you can contact them at chief.operations@ufstarfleet.org

Mission Reports

  • All UF Starfleet Installations and vessels are required to submit reports periodically to UF Starfleet Command for record keeping.
  • The MSR report will include the date and name of the mission and a link to the forum page where it is documented.
  • Mission reports are required at the completion of every mission, prioritized to tell if it needs to be reviewed for a special reason.

Online Ships of the Line

Some of our ships of the Line may be centered within the realms of Second Life, 3rd Rock Grid, Star Trek Online. As with Role Play, we expect a certain level of activity here as well.

Crew Environment

Provide for Crew WellBeing

The CO or a designated crew representative (usually the XO) must be available to crew and easily reachable for questions, concerns or questions about why they were not promoted, issues with attendance etc. It must be made clear to the crew who they can go to when they need to talk to command.

Provide RP Environment

If your Ship is designed as a Role Play Ship then the CO is responsible to assure that there is a RP environment for the crew in whatever medium their ship/station uses. In the grids, this would usually be some type of Ship/station RP set and land to put it on. However, if finances are an issue, then a Bridge rezzed in a sandbox might be an adequate workaround. If the ship RPs are not on a grid, then whatever "home base" is appropriate for that medium, such as a RP forum, Discord Channel or a RP/meeting area in someone's garage.

Staying Current on UFS Procedures and Requirements

Because UFS is a dynamic organization, procedures or requirements may change from time to time. These are communicated on the forums, in the CO Roundtable meetings (and minutes), and often in emails to the Commanding Officer Email list. It is the CO's responsibility to stay current on the UFS procedures and requirements.

Manuals will also have a section where you will be able to see what points have been changed during the last fiscal year

Fleet Breakdown

UF Starfleet is divided into 20 Fleets, one for each Sector and they share the same number, Sector 13 has the 13th Fleet.

Task Forces

Task forces have been set-up to easily coordinate and manage missions on a Fleet Level. While there are permanent task forces established, temporary task forces can be set up to facilitate extra missions that happen on a fleet level. Task Forces are designed so different ships can play together in the same story arc. Consult with the Chief of UF Starfleet Operations for more information.

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Getting Started

Once you have been appointed as Commanding Officer, you have a few tasks ahead before your first mission.

Appointing your XO

This is one decision you have to get right, as so much will depend on the character of the person you choose. Your Executive Officer (XO) will be your 'shadow' and ultimately the person who will be filling your position should you become unable to fulfill your duty (for whatever reason). But do keep in mind that having a XO is not a requirement, but is highly adviced.

It is very important that before choosing your XO, you ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I know this person enough to trust the ship/station of my command in their hands?
  • Will this person be able to think and act like I would?
  • Is this person able to commit to the same efforts I have?
  • Is this person able to lead the same way or better than I am?
  • Is this person as knowledgeable as I am?
  • Is this person willing to continuously learn?
  • Is this person willing to set an example as I do?

UFS Command reserves the right to deny an appointment of Executive Officers if it has been demonstrated that they lack the mentality or ability to accept the responsibility of leadership.

The XO is not required to have CGSD - CO Administration I, but it is required to progress to Ship of The Line Program Level 2 as stated in the UFS Membership Manual Section 3.

Identity

An identity is important to your Ship of the Line, as this will be what defines your group and what will attract new members. Identity can be centered around your Ship’s name (e.g., U.S.S. Galileo if, for example, if your group is into astronomy). It can also be centered around unique things that your group does or services it offers that few others do. A Ship can get involved in the community and carve out an identity that way.

This will be how others view you and your Ship or Station. It can be a focal point, as mentioned above, or it can be something as simple as friendship.

The choices are endless!

Web Presence

Your Ship or Station will benefit greatly from a presence on the Internet. Whether that be a simple web page advertising your Ship, or a specific online community for you and your crew. Maybe you will involve your Ship in social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Flickr.

Ownership of those pages are to be in the hands of UF Starfleet Command, done by giving admin roles to the UFS CoS, or Deputy CinC.

There are numerous options that allow for personal web space free of any cost, some of which even provide for free of charge community forums and chat rooms.

Your ship of the Line will also be provided with a UFS WIKI page that will contain a lot of information about your ship, including its history, crew and milestones.

Recruitment & Retention

As the Commanding Officer of a Ship or Station, it is your responsibility to ensure your crew members are happy and engaged. However, keep in mind that the crew will need activities and responsibilities to keep them engaged and actively involved. Some suggestions include Recruitment and Retention activities.

Part of the goal of UFS is to expand its membership base. When building your new Ship of the Line, it is considered inappropriate to use another Ship of the Line as a recruiting ground. It is understood people will transfer either for their own reasons or for advancement.

A few examples of what is acceptable

  • Offering a member a post that advances their career in UF Starfleet such as a Department Chief or Executive Officer.
  • If a member approaches you and asks about your ship and to join.

A few examples of what is unacceptable

  • Going to a member and offering to have them promoted to join your ship
  • Asking a member to tell other crew to leave to come to your ship
  • spreading lies and rumors to make a member want to leave their ship

Recruitment

It is up to you how you want to advertise your ship/station. Perhaps you prefer word of mouth and asking your friends to join. Perhaps your workplace permits flyers. Maybe just talking around the lunchroom or local coffee shop is your preferred method. Star Trek fans are everywhere, so it’s not hard to find other fans.

Another option might include posting on Trek-related fan sites. We ask that you do not recruit directly from other established Star Trek fan groups and other UFS Ships of the Line. One of the biggest mistakes a new Commanding Officer can make is to try to recruit off current ships as this will earn bad blood and is not permitted. Making promises of positions might gain you a few members quickly, but you have to ask yourself how loyal they will be to you and your Ship of the Line, not to mention your tainted reputation within UFS. Obviously advancement within Starfleet is a goal of a lot of people so sometimes members need to look for another ship where there are more positions open to advance their careers within the fleet.

We also ask that you always mention United Federation Starfleet (UFS) in your recruitment materials.

The possibilities are endless, only limited by your own imagination. Involve your crew in coming up with ideas and recruitment drives. However, if you do require some assistance with ideas, please contact the UFS Chief of Staff.

Retention

Once you have a crew, it is important that they remain engaged and active. As their leader, it is your responsibility to help them grow in their roles. This is critical especially for your new recruits, as they will look to the Ship`s Leadership for guidance. You will need to be aware of all the different sites and manuals available to the UFS Membership in general.

As a base of knowledge, the main sites include the following:

  • United Federation Starfleet website (http://www.ufstarfleet.org/) - Your first stop for entry into all that UFS has to offer. You can also encourage your recruits to apply for UFS membership on this page using the “Join UFS” tab.
  • UFS Forums (https://forums.ufstarfleet.org/) - Our open forum for all members. It contains official announcements as well as a place for your Ship of The Line to have forum space.
  • UFS LCARS (https://lcars.ufstarfleet.org) - Our all-inclusive database of all that is Star Trek. It is in constant update mode, so if you have questions about something, please go through your Chain of Command to get confirmation.
  • UFS Service Jackets (Service Jackets) - Originally started in Second Life, UFS began in 2006 as a role play fan group. These Service Jackets have survived through every transition. Historically they have always been a source of pride for some members to be able to refer back to their Service Jackets when applying for a new post and for COs to help determine the eligibility of their crew for promotions and awards. Make sure your crew have their Service Jackets up to date as they are one of the things we look at when it comes to promotions , contact the UFS Personnel office at personnel@ufstarfleet.org or fill in the appropriate form through the database.
  • UFS Academy (https://academy.ufstarfleet.org) - our Online Academy, many classes on a variety of topics are available to all UFS members.
  • UFS Membership Manual (UFS Membership Manual) - A must for all UFS members to read.
  • UFS Discord server - A link is available for the UFS membership to join the server to connect with all other members of the group.

As you become familiar with these materials, it might be a good idea to delegate some activities to your crew. An active and involved crew is a happy crew, and they are more likely to stay with you. Someone could be in charge of tracking classes crew members have had at the Academy, or another would be responsible for ensuring the forums are updated. Again, the choice is yours. Of course, everything is voluntary, so choose your crew roles carefully and spread the responsibilities out so no one individual is so heavily burdened that they get burned out.

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Chain of Command

The Chain of Command in UFS Role Play is very simple and direct, the top of the chain is the Commanding Officer and directly below them is the Executive Officer. These two make up the command team that oversees all aspects of the ship/station. The next in the chain is the Second Officer who is a department chief on the ship, traditionally the Chief Operations Officer but it can be another department chief. Under the Second Officer are the Department Chiefs who oversee all personnel in their department. The Department Chief is whoever is in charge of their Department at any given time unless given to the Vice Department Chief.

Visually the chain, from bottom to top, looks like:

Crewmember -> Department Chief -> Executive Officer -> Commanding Officer

In most cases the standard Chain of Command is what is followed for reporting, however there are things that go outside the chain. All Role Play medical information is considered confidential and never leaves Doctor/Patient confidentiality without permission or if the patient could be a danger to themselves or others. The Executive Officer is in charge of all personnel issues aboard ship as well as officer reviews. Reporting procedures will at times vary depending on the size, compliment of the vessel and even the mindset of the Captain. For example the Defiant Class is very small with a complement of fifty, with a crew this small the captain is usually more active in the day to day lives and operations of the ship more than the captain of a Galaxy Class ship with over a thousand crew.

It should be noted that the above applies to Roleplay on UFS ships and stations, and not to the administrative duties of Commanding Officer and Executive Officer. Outside of roleplay, the only real authority on any ship of the line is given to the CO and XO by UFS Command, and the command team of any vessel is responsible for reporting to the UFS Chief of Staff as set out in UFS regulations and guidelines. See Section 11 for more.

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Departments

Starfleet is divided into branches and divisions for administrative and operational purposes, starships also are divided in such a manner. These departments have changed over the years, for example in 2280’s the Constitution Class starships were the mainstay of the fleet, the ships of the line and they did not contain an operations department, nor a security department or medical department as we would recognize them in 2365 aboard the ships successor the Enterprise D, Galaxy class.

Uniform Colors

Much like the department breakdowns over the years the uniform colors have seen changes and at times are viewed with confusion. One must always keep in mind that the divisional colors at times are shared and sometimes positions are bridged between one or more divisions or branches.

Department Chiefs

The title ‘Chief” is always applied to whoever is in charge of a specific aspect of starship functions. Some ships are so small with so few crew that the department is literally a single person. That person is still the “Chief X Officer” Or “Chief of X” these titles are usually interchangeable. A great example of this is again seen on the Defiant Class Starship, the ship’s doctor is the Chief Medical Officer and is often the only medical officer with the possible exception of a nurse or two depending on personnel availability.

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Ship/Station Operations

Several departments are required to allow a starship/station to function even in a small function. Some do not even really have departments onboard but at least there is a dedicated individual onboard to serve its functions. Example is Dr Julian Bashir we stationed on the USS Defiant as the doctor, but there was no real medical department, just the doctor there to tend wounds and provide what medical attention the sickbay onboard could provide. There are branches and divisions of Starfleet that are not represented aboard a starship such as Starfleet Academy.

Command

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The command department aboard a starship is made up of the commanding officer and executive officer at the minimum and depending on size of the ship will include the second officer and all department heads of the ‘senior staff’. The command department is charged with managing all aspects of the ship. While the Second Officer can be part of the command structure on a larger ship or station crew, they still retain their "normal" branch duty station and color uniform.

In general, commanding a Starbase is like running a traffic hub, there are thousands of people coming and going any time of the day. There is more dealing with day to day details and less surprises compared to exploring beyond the frontiers of Federation Space. There is also the possibility of a Flag Officer being on board to manage a sector or Fleet that a CO would have to deal with. Some would be good and let the CO do their jobs others would want to meddle. While the Second Officer can be part of the command structure on a larger ship or station crew, they still retain their "normal" branch duty station and color uniform.

Engineering

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Engineering oversees all aspects of maintenance of a starship and its systems. Engineering is its own department but under the umbrella of Operations since operations would be responsible for diverting power and resources for engineering to function. In some cases the ‘work’ of an engineer is delegated to other officers who specialize in departmental systems. Like a tactical officer working on a torpedo or phaser bank or a medical technician working on a biobed system.

Engineering on starbases perform the routine maintenance for the station but are more often required to supplement starship personnel while docked to help with repairs, upgrades, or maintenance so that the ship’s personnel can take R&R from prolonged missions.

Intelligence

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Intel is unique in a way that they work with all departments on data gathering, analysis and research. This can come in many forms within Roleplay or behind the scenes assistance with planning. They do not have unlimited access or magic passes to any and every terminal and task. Intel officers should be hardworking and dedicated to their tasks, dedicated only to finding the truth and solving any issues with discretion and professionalism.

Intel officers should be knowledgeable in defensive tactics, piloting, basic medical and other general knowledge that will be outlined below. In some cases, knowledge and know-how will be the best tactic against our obstacles. Our missions do not always have “visible” enemies. Sometimes we just need to seek knowledge and truth. Discreetly. The same as with Starships, Intelligence personnel are usually assigned to data gathering and working with the other departments to decode and find solutions to problems.

Marines

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As a dedicated combat force, Starfleet Marines were standard aboard starships of the United Earth Starfleet after the Xindi Crisis and during the Romulan War as MACOs. Since the incorporation of the United Federation of Planets Marines have not seen shipboard deployment except for special circumstances and were developed into a dedicated and expanded combat arm of the Federation at the behest of the Andorian and Earth governments. Since the Dominion War Marine Detachments have again started to be seen on some starships at the request of those ship captains.

As a dedicated combat force, Starfleet Marines were standard aboard starships of the United Earth Starfleet after the Xindi Crisis and during the Romulan War as MACOs. Since the incorporation of the United Federation of Planets Marines have not seen shipboard deployment except for special circumstances and were developed into a dedicated and expanded combat arm of the Federation at the behest of the Andorian and Earth governments. Since the Dominion War Marine Detachments have again started to be seen on some starships and stations at the request of those captains.

Medical

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All starships have medical personnel aboard, most have a medical department but some have a medical team or contingent. As with all things aboard a starship, space and need are the key factors, smaller ships require less crew which require less medical personnel. The Saber and Defiant classes have fewer personnel so do have a full on medical department but have medical personnel to see to the medical well being of the crew.

Medical departments on stations, just like starships depend on size, enormous stations such as Spacedock and Deep Space Nine have large staffs to handle the traffic.


Operations

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The operations department came into existence aboard starships with the creation of the Excelsior Class in the 2280’s, before this there was no operations department aboard starships. The operations department was created to ease the administrative strain on current departments and the management burden of command. Operations organizes all resources on the ship such as power, sensor time and divides it up as needed for each department. No matter the rank of the chief operations officer, their position places them on the same level as all other department heads on an administrative level. The Chief Operations Officer is usually the second officer because of the level of responsibilities attached to the job but in some cases, such as Harry Kim on the USS Voyager, Commander Tuvok was the Second Officer. As Chief of Security Tuvok reported to Kim and could not order Kim how to divide the resources unless he was in command as second officer since only command can give operations orders.

The operations department differs greatly from starships aboard starbases, for one it is much larger and more demanding. Operations aboard a station have to deal with all traffic coming and going, meaning berths for ships, people coming and going as well as maintenance and supplies for ships leaving. Operations aboard a starship is often called the nervous system, aboard a starbase it also takes would be the muscles as well due to the massive workloads required of them, the level would vary depending on traffic of course, the Operations Staff at Spacedock in Sol is pry one of the most trying jobs in Starfleet.

Science

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Science is just like medical, most if not all starships have science personnel but not a department. This is because not all ships have the equipment or space to support a large amount of personnel or research. Look under Section 10.3 for more details on Departments vs Contingents.

Science departments on stations are both a blessing and a curse. They greatly increased the size of some stations as well as available resources means they can perform more detailed research. The curse is that the stations that have these capabilities usually get most new discoveries after starships on the frontier discover them and perform the first tests.

Security

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Security and Tactical used to be a seperate departments and while still separate divisions of Starfleet they are commonly combined aboard current Starships for convenience and ease of management. A ship will always have some of these personnel aboard ship though in numbers that might not constitute a department.

Security forces on a Starbase are more police in nature, having to interact and oversee civilian populations that have a much more forgiving set of laws than Starfleet. They are still responsible for the safety of the people aboard the station as well as the station's weapons but are less combat oriented than starships. Tactical personnel would be responsible for the weapons systems of the station. Aboard a station it is much more common to see these posts split due to the much higher workload some Security Chiefs are under.

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Other Departments

Of course the above departments are not the only that can be found aboard a starship, simply the most common ones, there are several additional branches and divisions of Starfleet that can be deployed aboard a starship if needed or desired.

Civilian

While not a department per se many starships and stations host a civilian compliment and in some cases even civilians working on ship/station. While most people would think of civilians as bartenders or barbers there are possibilities of civilians being stationed on ships as scientists and engineers to aid with research and development in their field of expertise. While these civilians are required to operate under Starfleet rules they still exist outside the established chain of command and are usually not held to the Starfleet regulations and restrictions. Civilians do not count towards a ship's membership numbers on the MSR.

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Starbase Operations

Starbase vs. Starship

Starbases are stationary facilities that support starships not the other way around. Stations like Spacedock and Deep Space Nine support huge numbers of ships and personnel, smaller classes would support smaller numbers of ships and personnel.

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Reporting Procedures

In most cases the standard Chain of Command is what is followed for reporting, however there are things that go outside the chain. All medical information is considered confidential and never leaves Doctor/Patient confidentiality without permission or if the patient could be a danger to themselves or others.

The First Officer is in charge of all personnel issues aboard the station as well as officer reviews. Reporting procedures will at times vary depending on the size, compliment of the station and even the mindset of the Captain.

For example the Defiant Class is very small with a complement of fifty, with a crew this small the captain is usually more active in the day to day lives and operations of the ship more than the captain of a Galaxy Class ship with over a thousand crew.

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Miscellaneous

Acting-Commanding/Executive Officer

There are questions as to why some are given the title of Acting-Commanding/Executive Officer for 3 months. This title is given to those who have little to no knowledge or experience as a Commanding/Executive Officer within the group. People who have served as acting-CO in an unofficial or official term for more than 3 months on their ships will when given their own ship/station not be assigned as acting-CO/XO as they have then served their time.

Same goes for those who have been Executive Officer, and if moved to be a Commanding Officer but has not done any of the administrative duties will be placed as an acting-CO for a total of 3 months. Unless otherwise stated once those 3 months have passed the title becomes official and no longer acting. As an acting-CO/XO you are still expected to wear the red Command uniform.

Executive Officer in Command Branch

Questions arise if the XO has to be a command branch officer or like Lt. Commander Spock under Captain Kirk can remain in another branch.

First thing that has to be understood is that this was considered very abnormal by command at the time but since the ship ran fine they saw no reason to interfere.

The next thing that has to be understood is that on a general basis, Vulcans are more efficient than humans especially at mental work, at the time the first officer had to do a lot of personnel, administrative and other paperwork, much less than today. Spock was the first and at the time most likely only Vulcan in Starfleet, T’Pol was given a commission in United Earth Starfleet at the rank of commander and never had to work her way up, Spock is the first Vulcan to attend UFP Starfleet Academy and the first to be commissioned as well.

The standards and regulations at the time would have been written for humans who made up most of Starfleet and since Spock could perform the duties of 2 posts as well or better than two humans he did so. Today the First Officer is expected to be a command branch officer unless the ship or station has a specialized function, such as a medical ship, shipyard, ect.

Department vs Contingent

As mentioned under the Department section not all Starships or even some installations have full departments this is because of the limited space onboard. Aboard the USS Defiant Dr Bashier was the Chief Medical Officer and had space dedicated to medical operations but the Defiant did not have a Medical Department because it lacked the space for the people and equipment except to provide emergency support.

Even though Dax was aboard she was on the ship she was filling an Operations position as helmsmen not science officer. The Defiant of course isn't the only class that has these limitations; there are starships that are designed as clippers or border patrol ships that would not have science personnel either.

A Department would be classified as having sufficient personnel and equipment to perform various tasks, for example a Medical department would be able to provide a certain amount of medical support as well as perform experiments and research and a contingent would be able to provide emergency to basic care only. If an officer is the only one in the department they are usually called a chief.

Security vs Tactical

At one time these were separate departments about most starships however with better computer systems as well as the ability to carry more personnel they are often but not always combined into the same post, especially aboard starships. Security is the department that ensures the safety of the ship and crew, to over simplify it, they are a police force. Tactical is the department charged with all the offensive and defensive systems of the ship or station, shields, phasers, torpedoes and even hand weapons to make sure they are fully operational and in combat situations handle them.

Weapons Policy (Metaverse)

On UF Starfleet Installations and Vessels no one is armed unless the ship is on alert or is posted to a duty that requires it.. Basically it's up to the CO to decide if and when weapons are needed during battle.

Assignments

An individual account/membership may only serve in one branch and on one ship. If you have a crewmember on your ship, that is their primary assignment. A single membership cannot serve permanently on another ship/station. They can guest or what we refer to as (NPC, None Player Character) however the general rule is 1 Account = 1 Assignment. Secondary billets, such as working in a JC office, at the Academy etc are permitted. No member may hold more than 3 positions in UFS (whether this is on one character or spread across multiple).

Do keep in mind that as a CO/XO you may not work in the Office of UFS Chief of Staff, this is to avoid any conflict of interest regarding personal information held.

Uniform Policy (Metaverse)

For those that choose to roleplay in the UFS main universe and timeline, Uniforms are provided within the metaverse to assist with the immersion.

The Uniform policy can be found here - Uniform Policy

When adhering to the Uniform, either all of the uniform is to be worn as issued (no additions) or none of it is to be worn. The uniform represents UFS in the virtual world and as such must be worn in accordance with the uniform guidelines.

Space Station vs Starbase

A Space station is a stationary, artificial structure in space usually designed to support a crew at a specific location. They serve as support stations for starships, observation posts and defensive installations.(i.e. Former station SS Peedy Thor)

A Starbase is sometimes used to refer to a large Federation support facility, sometimes planet-side but usually orbital. Spacedock is a term used exclusively (i.e. Starbase 755 SS Nimbus, SS Tranquility).

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NON-COMPLIANCE OF DUTIES/RESPONSIBILITIES

United Federation Starfleet takes pride in its Ships of the Line, its Command Staff and its members.

Therefore it is of the utmost importance that all ships of the line operate within the same principles and carry themselves with distinction.

When a Ship of The Line is given to someone, it's important to understand that the name and intellectual property remains property of United Federation Starfleet.

If a CO is unable or unwilling to perform their duties as listed below:

  • Filling out the MSR monthly. If no MSR is filed after 3 months the ship will be drydocked for 30 days before being decommissioned.
  • Follow the Role Play rules given by the Chief of UFS Operations, as they are responsible for the Role Play Aspect of all Ships/Stations of the Line.
  • Acknowledge emails in a timely fashion. Within 48 hours.
  • Adhere to UFS Policies and Procedures both in the membership manual and CO manual.
  • Sharing(add/remove/edit setting), formatting or editing the MSR layout is not allowed unless permission is given from the UFS Chief of Staff.

The Office of UF Starfleet Chief of Staff will try to work with them to assist the CO/XO. If they are unwilling/unable to make changes, they will be given a warning and a time period of 30 days to start doing their duties. If, after that period, they are still not doing their duties one of two things will happen. Either a new CO will be appointed OR the ship or station will be recalled and crew will be assisted in relocation.

Endnote

It is our hope that you have found this manual to be useful to your development as a Commanding Officer. Any questions should be submitted to the United Federation Starfleet Chief of Staff at chief.staff@ufstarfleet.org

We look forward to working with you in the future.