OK, so I would assume that most of you who have managed to fight your way through the internet monsters and ISP trolls to get here probably did so via our IFS site. And if you're anything like me, one of the first things you do when looking around a new fleet is to look at the Command Staff manifest. But each fleet has their own definition of what each of these positions are, so you're probably wondering - what exactly do they do?
Well, here I'll try and explain each position shortly for you.
Pegasus Fleet Commanding Officer
The Pegasus Fleet Commanding Officer is in overall command of the fleet. They are chairperson and a voting member of the body called the Pegasus Fleet Admiralty (known in some fleets as a Fleet Council), and have certain additional powers. For example; they can break a tie in a vote within the PFA, even if they have already voted themselves, and they can issue Executive Orders. You can read more about these in the Constitution.
Pegasus Fleet Executive Officer
The Pegasus Fleet Executive Officer is the fleet's second-in-command. Whoever holds this position does so as a secondary position, in addition to whichever other Admialty-level position they hold, and he or she holds a certain amount of authority within the fleet, which comes in handy when settling disputes between members. If the PFCO is ever away or incapacitated or removed/resigned from office, then the PFXO steps into their role temporarily, and in the case of the latter, is the first in the line of succession to become the PFCO.
Lots of fleets have Academies. In fact, I can't think of one that doesn't, or at least doesn't try to. The Academy Commandant is the man or woman in charge of the Pegasus Fleet Academy, and are responsible for the Commanding Officers and Cadet Courses at the Academy (the two which the fleet must have) as well as any others that they petition the Admiralty to add at a later date. The Commandant is in overall command of the Academy and its instructors, but as the quality of the courses effect a large number of people in the fleet, the PFA assists the Commandant in his or her role, and will look over any new or updated course materials, to help make sure that it is the best that the fleet can make it.
Director of Personnel & Recruitment
The Director of Personnel & Recruitment is a combination of the older positions of Director of Personnel Management and the Director of Fleet Recruitment. In their personnel guise, this person is responsible for the character side of IFS - transfers, managing deleted characters, making sure 'any ship' apps get to where they're needed most - that sort of thing. They're also responsible for the fleet's awards; creating and maintaining awards which are to be universal fleet-wide (though of course COs can add their own individual awards to their simms as well).
In their recruitment guise, they are also the chief advertiser for us; they send out adverts for the fleet on a regular basis, and get people to come flocking in to join us. They also help out COs who are having difficulty recruiting themselves; whether that be helping them work up a decent-sounding ad, or showing them a few places which have been proven to yield some good results. Recently, the DPR has been at the forefront of our so-far-successful foray into the Social Media realm, and as such as are at the forefront of making sure that our recruitment methods are keeping up with the modern world.
Director of Research & Development
Arguably one of the most important positions within a Star Trek simming fleet, along with the Director of Personnel & Recruitment. The Director of R&D is responsible for the fleet's ship database - making sure that our specifications are our own, but as realistic as can be allowed for in the realm of Star Trek. A good R&D Director will push to make the specifications database as complete as it can possibly be, with class design histories and deckplans to go with the figures. They are also responsible for viewing and giving provisional acceptance (or denial) of new technology proposals, which will then be brought to the PFA to get the official stamp of approval. Without the Director of R&D, none of our ships would have any specifications at all - you wouldn't know whether you were flying a warship armed with dozens of torpedo launchers, or a little garbage scow with only one deck. The department also includes the Galactic Anthropology Committee - the organisation within Pegasus Fleet that handles development of Fleet Canon.
Judge Advocate General
Oooh, the scary one. The Judge Advocate General is generally the one position that players always seem to have an in-built, automatic distrust of - I know I did when I first started simming. But in truth, most JAG directors I've known have been very likeable and reasonable people, and not at all like the preconceptions we all have. Non-the-less, the JAG director can sometimes have the most unpleasant job at times; they are responsible for enforcing the fleet's laws and justice system are applied fairly, and making sure that we perform in a wholly legal manner. They are the person who disputes get taken to when they cannot be resolved any other way, and they are the one who often has to give the bad news to one of the parties in these disputes. The Judge Advocate General is a non-voting member of the Pegasus Fleet Admiralty, but still sits amongst the Admirals and makes comments on proposed changes to fleet documents to ensure that they are all concise and do not conflict with each other.
Chief of Fleet Operations
This is one position that likely has a fair few of you confused a little bit. It is not a common position in other fleets, but Pegasus had adopted it to assist with streamlining our command structure. Originally, the Chief of Fleet Operations was only in existence while the fleet had no Task Forces, and served as the de facto Task Force CO for all simms within the fleet during those circumstances. Now, the position is held by the individual who has overall responsibility for all Task Forces within the Fleet. They sit above the Task Force COs in the chain of command (though they may choose to also hold one of the Task Force CO spots themselves), and serve as a single concise voice for the fleet operations division (that's where all of the sims are!) on the PFA.
Task Force Commanding Officer
No longer a PFA-level position; falls under the Chief of Fleet Operations
A Task Force Commander is the leader of a group of simulations called a 'Task Force'. TFCOs are there to provide a point of contact to get ideas put through to the fleet command, and to provide help in all sim matters. They keep a close eye on the sims in their Task Force, preferably checking in on them and seeing how their posting and activity is going at least once a week, and they receive COs monthly reports, which further help them understand how their Task Force is doing. Every sim within the fleet belongs to a Task Force, and so noone will ever be without a person to go to for help. Task Force COs can be assisted in their duties by Task Force Executive Officers
In time, as the fleet and its needs grow, a number of these above positions will gain subordinates, which will often also be added to the Command Staff manifest, but each of those will be explained when and if they are created, and we might even think of a better place to describe them than here!
So I hope that this post has helped you understand the fleet's command officer positions a little more, and who knows; perhaps one day soon you'll be filling one of those spaces on the manifest!
Have a question? Ask here, and a member of the staff will do their best to answer it for you!
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