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IDF 2003B logo

IDF official logo, 2003-04
Designed by James D. West
Modified by Rachael Rager

The History of Independence Fleet refers to the events in the life of that club.

Prehistory[]

Utopia Fleet logo 1999

Utopia Fleet official logo, 1999-2001
Designed by Annika McKenzie

See Utopia Fleet and USS Sunfire.

Utopia Fleet was founded in 1999 after a split from Bravo Fleet, which itself was founded in late 1997 after a split from Tango Fleet. In February 2000, Utopia Fleet launched the USS Sunfire, under the command of Commodore Jay Robertson. While extremely prolific, the Sunfire's crew was also highly dysfunctional. Robertson eventually resigned in June 2000, and his XO, Captain James D. West, took command. Sometime later, West made the sim independent.

History by year[]

2001[]

IDF banner 2001 recreated

IDF website banner, 2001-03 (recreated in 2021)
Designed by Charles Star

IDF banner 2001 file from 2013

IDF website banner, 2001-03 (unclear if original or recreation; file from 2013)

American flag

American flags were common on IDF websites from 2001-05.

During the spring of 2001, USS Sunfire Executive Officer (XO) Charles Star and Chief Science Officer (CSO) Robert Seldon began discussing the possibility of creating a new fleet. The Sunfire had been an independent sim since leaving Utopia Fleet (UF) in the latter half of 2000. However, before the duo developed any concrete plans, their Commanding Officer (CO), James D. West, approached them about using the crew of the Sunfire as the foundation for a new fleet. All three were mutually excited about the idea and the trio, later to be known as The Big Three, immediately began work to create their new fleet. After throwing around possible names for the new club, including Frontier Fleet, West suggested Independence Fleet, and the three agreed. In June, they adopted a three-point Founding Charter to govern all future decisions:

  • Fleet-level decisions would be made by West, Star, and Seldon together, by vote if consensus cannot be reached.
  • Each would independently run his own respective autonomous division.
  • Each would also update and communicate with the other two about internal division matters.

Later in June, West, Star, and Seldon announced their future fleet to the rest of the Sunfire crew, all of whom were in favor of creating the new club. The Big Three divided up the crew among them and each recruited additional players to fill out the rosters of their new respective sims. Independence Fleet (IDF) was then officially launched on July 4th with West as Commander-in-Chief; Star, Fleet Historian; and Seldon, Fleet Secretary. Seldon termed their new government the Triumvirate since the three shared power together. West was Division Director (DD) of Special Operations Division (SOD); Star, Deep Space Exploration (DSE); and Seldon, Defense Response Force (DRF). The original ship/sim line-up was as follows:

Special Operations Division

Deep Space Exploration

Defense Response Force

  • USS Washington NCC-11988, commanded by Rear-Admiral Robert Seldon

Shortly after launch, the Big Three released IDF's official regulations, which remained largely unchanged until 2020. IDF's monthly awards for simming excellence began in the fleet's first month of operation, with Star heading administration of the awards. The original awards were Best Post, Funniest Post, Most Posts, MVP, and the Recruitment Award. All three ships were represented by at least one awardee for July, with Lieutenant Ace Decade of the USS Avalon taking home the first MVP award. Decade had previously been a crewmember onboard the UF and independent Sunfire, but had been fired by West in September 2000. Other awards (Best Character Post, Outstanding Simmer, Rookie of the Month, Most Improved and the Genesis Award) would be added later as the fleet grew.

Star and the DSE launched the first expansion ship of the fleet, the USS Liberty NCC-4003, commanded by Decade, on August 1st. Seldon and the DRF launched the second expansion ship, USS Potomac NCC-23512, less than a month later. The Potomac was commanded by Captain Krol, a crewmember of the USS Washington and a prior veteran of the independent Sunfire. In September, West and SOD launched the third expansion ship, USS Goldeneye NCC-84653, commanded by Captain Emery L. Ashley, another veteran of the independent Sunfire.

Star and Seldon then jointly developed the idea of a fleet-wide monthly newsletter. The first issue was published in September 2001, with Seldon as the editor. He remained the regular editor, with Star occasionally filling the role. Common newsletter articles included news and information, current mission summaries of the sims, announcement of awards, a movie or book of the month, and an interview with a member of IDF. Ace Decade would eventually come to be the regular fleet interviewer.

2002[]

IDF website footer 2001

IDF website footer, 2001-03
Designed by Charles Star

Growth under the the Big Three was as constant as it was fast. IDF reached its first peak in January 2002 when the fleet had grown to 11 ships. The ship/sim line-up at that time was as follows:

Special Operations Division

Deep Space Exploration

  • USS Avalon NCC-3002, commanded by Captain Sutak
  • USS Liberty NCC-4003, commanded by Captain Ace Decade
  • USS Patriot NCC-26782, commanded by Captain Thomas Dupont
  • USS George W. Bush NCC-2004, commanded by Vice-Admiral Charles Star

Defense Response Force

  • USS Washington NCC-11988, commanded by Rear-Admiral Robert Seldon
  • USS Potomac NCC-23512, commanded by Captain Krol
  • USS Chesapeake NCC-18907, commanded by Captain Shawn Edwards

Unfortunately, IDF's early growth and stability did not last as many in fleet were growing tired of West's leadership, which some described as "bully-ish." Futhermore, West now declared that he alone had complete authority and control of the fleet, contrary to the original founding agreement among the Big Three. Star and Seldon recognized the growing problem, but failed to act as they didn't realize the severity of the situation. In February, Sutak and Shawn Edwards removed their sims from IDF without warning and formed a new Utopia Fleet, which was quickly dubbed Neo-Utopia Fleet (NUF) first by its detractors, and shortly thereafter by its own members. Sutak and Edwards cited West's and Seldon's leadership as reasons for their departure. Sutak invited Star to join the new fleet, but Star declined. Immediately after the split, other sims threatened to leave if West remained Commander-in-Chief.

Star and Seldon then began negotiations with West to prevent further splits. Since Star was popular with the entire fleet and seemed to have no enemies, Seldon recommend that Star become the new Commander-in-Chief and that they return to the triumvirate style of leadership, sharing power equally, as they had originally agreed. West refused and insisted that he "wanted to be the big guy handing down the orders." He then fired Star and Seldon for "mutiny," "conspiracy," and "general treachery," among other things. This action, however, was illegal according to the fleet's founding charter, and had no bearing.

With the prospect of the fleet disbanding entirely, Star was able to convince West to let each of the fleet's nine remaining ships decide which Admiral they would follow. If the group following West had more ships, they would keep the IDF name, history, and property. If the group following Star had more ships, they would keep the IDF assets. West, Star, and Seldon all agreed to the plan, thus ending the First Triumvirate. West believed that the all ships except for Seldon's Washington and Star's USS George W. Bush would join him. In the end, it was only West's own Sunfire that went with him, much to his surprise. Of the eight other ships, four went with Star (3 DSE, 1 DRF), two elected to become independent sims (1 SOD, 1 DRF), and two immediately went defunct (2 SOD). The two COs who elected to make their sims independent were Krol and Priscilla Myst (aka Rachael Rager). West, not keeping his deal with Star, created a competing Independence Fleet. This group was quickly dubbed Pseudo-Independence Fleet and never grew beyond the Sunfire.

Immediately following the split, Star launched what was going to be DSE's next sim, Starbase 31, under the command of Commander Jonathan Webb, in the SOD. Ace Decade was promoted to Rear-Admiral and given equal standing with Star and Seldon, creating the Second Triumvirate. However, it wouldn't last as a month later Decade refused to be out-voted by the other two admirals on a fleet-level matter. He then resigned and removed the Liberty from IDF. On that same day, however, the Avalon-A was launched under the command of Captain Jeremiah Griffith. Krol returned the USS Minerva (formerly the Potomac) to IDF a short time later.

Lacking a suitable replacement for Decade, Star and Seldon elected to share power together, creating the Duocracy, and the fleet continued to grow. Seldon then retired in October, citing time constraints, leaving Star as the only member of the Admiralty.

2003[]

IDF 2003 logo contest winner

IDF logo contest winner
Officially adopted in 2003
Designed by James D. West

Super Space Command 3000 spaceship 2003

SSC3K spaceship
Designed by Charles Star

With Charles Star still the sole member of the Senior Admiralty, the fleet continued to grow and reached a peak of 14 sims in January 2003. The ship/sim line-up at that time was as follows:

Special Operations Division

  • USS Sunfire NCC-3001-B, commanded by Captain Audra Murchadh
  • USS Conqueror NCC-63303, commanded by Captain K'lar Rasmehlier
  • Starbase 10, commanded by Commodore Zachari Vrona

Deep Space Exploration

  • USS Avalon NCC-3002-B, commanded by Captain Taylor Dorian
  • USS Liberty NCC-91101, commanded by Captain Jeremiah Griffith
  • USS Patriot NCC-26782, commanded by Commodore Felicity Dragonetti
  • USS George W. Bush NCC-2004, commanded by Captain Jasson Asuka
  • USS Excalibur NCC-2997, commanded by Commodore Steve McCloud
  • USS Pioneer NCC-81277, commanded by Captain Josie O'Neal

Defense Response Force

  • USS Washington NCC-11988, commanded by Captain Dick Sprague
  • USS Horatio Nelson NCC-19958, commanded by Captain James Britanicus
  • USS Minerva NCC-36181, commanded by Captain Krol
  • USS Goliad NCC-18907-A, commanded by Captain Shawn Edwards
  • USS Legend NCC-95535, commanded by Captain Damien Hawkins

At West's request, Star allowed him to return to the fleet in late January in a subordinate role as Chief of Operations. West brought the USS Sunfire back with him in his return. Seldon also rejoined the fleet in the newly created position of Chief of Development, but resigned a short time later over a dispute with Star. Felicity Dragonetti then joined the Admiralty as Chief of Development, filling Seldon's vacant spot. During the spring, Star slowly turned duties over to West and Dragonetti in preparation for a summer-long Leave of Absence (LOA) due to real-life constraints.

On April 1st, Star, West, and Seldon pulled the first Super Space Command 3000 (SSC3K) April Fools' Day joke. It was an overwhelming success, generating numerous humerous responses. SSC3K ended up being one of only a few high points during an otherwise tumultuous year.

When Star began his LOA at the end of May, IDF was still at 14 ships. During Star's summer absence, the fleet began to stagnate as the awards and newsletters were not being completed on time or archived on the website properly. In addition, recruitment of new members slowed significantly. In July Rachael Rager joined the Admiralty in the newly created Director of Fleet Relations position. To make matters worse, Star was forced to postpone his return from LOA from September to December due to outside circumstances. In September Krol and James Britanicus joined the Admiralty as Division Directors. By the end of the month, IDF had fallen to 11 sims, and public disputes among Admirals and COs became commonplace.

The fleet continued to falter, and in October West, Dragonetti, and Rager unsuccessfully attempted to force Star into retirement. Star then informed them that he planned to retire from IDF in the summer of 2004, and urged them to hang until he could fully return to help in December. This was not soon enough for Rager as she removed her sim from IDF and convinced K'lar Rasmehlier to do the same, bringing IDF's total number of sims down to 9. Neither Rager nor Rasmehlier cited any specific disagreement with Star, but simply expressed their displeasure that he was going to return from the LOA. While Star still wasn't be able to return in a fully-active capacity, he was able to recruit during October and November for several struggling sims, preventing any more from going defunct. However, the awards were now no longer being archived at all and the website was falling into disrepair.

On December 2nd, West, Dragonetti, Krol, and Britanicus succesfully completed a coup d'état when they removed Star as Commander-in-Chief, less than two weeks before his scheduled return from LOA. They blamed the problems the fleet experienced during the summer and fall on Star, and promised to right the fleet. Immediately following the coup announcement, former Vice-Admiral Seldon began contacting many fleet members, expressing his support for the takeover. He encouraged those in favor of it to speak out publicly, and attempted to turn those who were against it. He had previously endorsed the coup in private to West et al, and even advised them extensively during its planning and execution. Seldon first denied this role in the coup, but later admitted to it after his AIM conversations surfaced, which strangely enough came from him. Seldon also began working on his History of Independence Fleet, which he never finished.

After first refusing to acknowledge the coup, Star left in the interest of fleet unity once it became apparent that, in his opinion, a majority of the fleet was indifferent to who the leaders were. He speculated that this was likely due to many being used to the Admiralty doing little to nothing for about six months. A few sim COs suggested to Star that he start a new fleet, but he instead encouraged them to stay in IDF. While Star accepted the mutiny, he did, however, maintain that it was not only unethical and unjustified, but also illegal. Oddly enough, Seldon then began speaking out against the coup toward the end of the month, and attempted to negotiate a compromise between Star and the rest of the Admiralty. This time, however, he was rebuffed by West and Dragonetti, who were both upset with him for leaking their private AIM conversations.

Even with his removal from the fleet, Star still kept his word to recruit a crew for IDF's newest ship, USS Raptor NCC-1104, during December (as he had previously planned to do after returning from LOA). Star recruited the entire crew for the Raptor, and it went on to win January's posting title under the command of Captain Gorath. This was IDF's first new sim in over 9 months, by far the longest such stretch to date. Star also completed additional recruiting efforts for several other sims that he wasn't able to help durung October and November, and then left IDF. He later commented that the biggest mistake of his simming career was selecting fleet leaders based on reputation and experience instead of character and ability, ultimately leading to the coup. West apologized to Star in January 2011 for his role in the event.

Seldon officially returned to IDF as Fleet Historian in December under the pseudonym George Wellesley to collect documents for the afore mentioned history project. However, he resigned and abandoned the project less than a month later. He would start and quit his History of Independence Fleet multiple times over the next 5 years, before giving up for a final time in 2008.

2004[]

IDF logo 2004A

IDF official logo, 2004
Designed by Shanti Harold

IDF logo 2004B

IDF official logo, 2004-05
Designed by Caroline Marion

With Charles Star gone, Rachael Rager returned to the fleet in January with the task of finding someone to fill the vacant Director of Fleet Relations position. After a few weeks of searching, she named herself the new Director, only to resign less than a month later without a replacement. Rager's Deep Space 15 sim remained independent throughout her third and brief tenure in IDF.

Former IDF and Deep Space 15 member Lieutenant Bryce Shumar formed Task Force Sword (TFS) in January, with the goal of "rooting out corruption" in the Admiralty. TFS members successfully infiltrated several IDF sims and wreaked further havoc on the fleet, leading multiple members to quit. It was speculated by some that Shumar was more interested in getting revenge on his former CO Rager, who had fired him back in 2003, than in cleaning up the Admiralty.

Unfortunately, the new Admiralty was unable to deliver on their promise to right the fleet and IDF continued to suffer under their leadership. The number of ships in IDF remained mostly constant throughout 2004, with new sims frequently being launched to replace the dying ones. These new sims, however, generally included few to no new simmers, and were staffed by taking crewmembers from the existing sims or by simmers creating multiple characters. The average posting totals also significantly decreased during this time. Instead of building up the sims, the Admiralty spent most of their time working on other projects, most notably a Hall of Fame and Star Fleet Academy, neither of which ever came to fruition.

On March 1, Vice-Admiral Felicity Dragonetti was promoted to Admiral, and took over as Director of Fleet Operations. Admiral James D. West was then reassigned to the new position of Director of Fleet Intelligence. Vice Admiral Krol became Director of Fleet Relations, and Vice-Admiral Richter Hiron became Director of Fleet Development. The changes were met with disapproval among sim COs as the original search for a new Admiral had only mentioned one position, not two. The general consensus was that the appointment of the fourth Admiral position was unfair because it lacked transparency.

Also in March, Rear-Admiral James Britanicus defected from IDF, taking two of its sims (USS Washington commanded by Nniol N'Var and USS Horatio Nelson commanded by J'Dem) to form Far Point Fleet (FPF). Like NUF before it, FPF took many cues from IDF's culture, most notably the awards and newsletter formats, command structure, and website content.

On April 12, Admiral James D. West unilaterally reassumed the position of Director of Fleet Operations, claiming that the position should not be left vacant due to Felicity Dragonetti's recent LOA. West assured the rest of the Admiralty that he would return to his old role upon Dragonetti's return. Dragonetti never did return, and eventually resigned from IDF, as did Krol.

During the summer, Hiron set out to update the IDF website, find a new Director of Fleet Personnel, and to generally rehabilitate the fleet. On September 1, Hiron presented West with the idea of promoting then Fleet Historian Jeremiah Griffith to Director of Fleet Personnel. He also proposed that the trio of West, Hiron, and Griffith be promoted to the same rank, and that the fleet return to a triumvirate style of management. West initially opposed the idea, but eventually agreed. In September, James D. West remained as the Director of Fleet Operations; Vice Admiral Hiron was promoted to Admiral, and remained in the Director of Fleet Development position; and Jeremiah Griffith was promoted to Admiral and assigned as Director of Fleet Personnel. The Third Triumvirate was formed.

The trio of West, Hiron, and Griffith worked well together, and by the end of 2004 the fleet was again stable and productive.

2005[]

IDF logo 2005

IDF official logo, 2005-10
Designed by Caroline Marion

On February 4, Admiral Richter Hiron retired from the fleet due to the indefinite ban of close friend Captain Hayward Kitchner-Hallet--Hallet had been accused of multiple violations of the fleet's anti-harassment regulation. Hiron expressed that he could not personally honor the ban, leaving James D. West and Jeremiah Griffith as the only members of the Senior Admiralty, ending the Third Triumvirate.

In mid-February, West began an extended LOA and left Griffith in command as Acting Commander-in-Chief. Independence Fleet saw substantial growth during this time as the USS Dread, USS Hikaru, USS Daedalus (later known as USS Independence), and SB 001 all launched. Also, the USS Victory returned to IDF in March.

In May, West returned from his LOA as Commander-in-Chief, and Griffith returned to Director of Fleet Personnel and Relations position. Over the next few months, West and Griffith focused on stabilizing the existing sims. Later in July, Griffith launched the USS Paradox, Starbase DS24, and the USS Chesapeake-C.

By August the fleet was again growing tired of West's bullying style of leadership. The sim COs issued a unanimous petition to Griffith, calling for West to resign and for Griffith to become their new Commander-in-Chief. Griffith immediately refused the request, and informed West. West responded by firing Griffith and removing all references of him from the IDF website. However, the COs persisted and issued an ultimatum to West that they would all leave IDF to form a new fleet if he remained. West then sought advice from former Vice-Admiral Robert Seldon, who recommended to West that he leave quietly and allow the fleet to continue. West agreed, and announced his retirement, leaving Griffith as IDF's Commander-in-Chief.

On the day of his retirement, West was promoted to Fleet Admiral, making him the first individual to hold the rank in IDF. West later speculated that Griffith successfully consolidated power against him by building relationships and launching ally-sims during his LOA.

2006-09[]

Fleet Admiral Jeremiah Griffith continued as Commander-in-Chief, leading a transition from YahooGroups to Anodyne Production's Simm Management System in 2006, which contributed to further growth and a peak of 22 sims in 2007.

However, infighting among Admirals in 2008 caused instability throughout the fleet as both sims and players left in droves. By the end of 2009, IDF had been whittled down to only four sims.

2010[]

IDF banner 2010

IDF website banner, 2010-12
Designed by Katsuo Hayashi

On September 21, fleet CO Jeremiah Griffith re-instated Charles Star as Chief of Fleet Operations, with the task of rebuilding the now two-sim fleet back up. On October 10, Star then launched the USS Sunfire-D, under the command of Captain Dick Sprague, as the first step of his new fleet expansion program. Eerily similar to IDF's original July 2001 line-up, the October 2010 ship/sim line-up was:

Task Force Alpha: Deep Space Exploration

Task Force Bravo: Defense Response Force

Task Force Delta: Special Operations Group

Many were calling the newly assembled command staff of Commander-in-Chief Jeremiah Griffith, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Katsuo Hayashi, Chief of Fleet Operations Charles Star, Chief of Fleet Personnel and Relations Mason Storm, Chief of Fleet Development Caroline Marion, and Director of Fleet Intelligence Arkady Zolnerowich the greatest in IDF's history. It wouldn't last, however, as on October 25, Griffith, Hayashi, and Zolnerowich unexpectedly retired due to personal reasons. The USS Washington also left IDF on this date to become a private sim, again leaving IDF with just two ships.

Just before his departure, Griffith named AJ Wheeler the new CinC, and Wheeler subsequently made Star fleet XO. They reinstated the monthly awards for October, and the first fleet newsletter in years was published in November. Due to the work of Wheeler and Star, IDF was up to six active sims by December 1. Joseph "Stealth" Carroll also returned to action as Fleet Inspector General during this time.

2011[]

IDF logo 2011

IDF official logo, 2011
Designed by Katsuo Hayashi
Modified by AJ Wheeler

SciWorld 2011 logo

SciWorld 2011 official logo
Designed by AJ Wheeler

FallFest 2011 logo

FallFest 2011 official logo
Designed by Caroline Marion

With the launch of the USS Challenger on January 1st, IDF was up to seven ships:

Task Force Alpha: Deep Space Exploration

  • USS Avalon NCC-82047 (Galaxy class), commanded by Colonel Zachariah Reynolds
  • USS Malinche NCC-96778-C (Galaxy class), commanded by Vice-Admiral Mason Storm

Task Force Bravo: Defense Response Force

  • USS Washington NCC-11988-B (Sovereign class), commanded by Captain Shran dh'Klar
  • USS Liberty NCC-91101-B (Sovereign class), commanded by Captain Jimmy Rogers
  • USS Patriot NCC-26782-A (Galaxy class), commanded by Captain Robert McKenzie

Task Force Delta: Special Operations Group

  • USS Sunfire NCC-3001-D (Defiant class), commanded by Captain Rhenora Kaylen
  • USS Challenger NCC-7008 (Prometheus class), commanded by Captain Dick Sprague

In January, during other discussions between Charles Star and former Fleet Admiral James D. West, Star posed the idea of a return to Independence Fleet for West. After much thought, West decided that he would like to return in some yet-to-be defined leadership capacity. Star then brought West's request to IDF CinC AJ Wheeler, who immediately rejected the idea. West, displeased with Wheeler's decision, began simming on three IDF ships anonymously. He was later discovered, and then indefinitely banned by Wheeler from both leadership and simming positions in the fleet. Wheeler cited that five of the seven current commanding officers were in favor of the ban, though the decision was controversial. A few months later, in April, Wheeler allowed West to return to the fleet to sim.

On March 8th, the USS Sunfire was awarded the 2010 Simming Prize for its energetic and engaging sims, becoming the first entity from Independence Fleet to be so honored.

On April 1st, IDF was joined by Starfleet Legacy Alliance and Theta Fleet in pulling the second Super Space Command 3000 April Fools' Day joke. It was again a huge success, generating many humorous responses.

Independence Fleet hosted the 2011 SciWorld Online Convention April 14-16, with Charles Star serving as chairman. Contributors from ten different clubs hosted a variety of events during the three-day convention. It was the first SciWorld held since 2009. The Simming League Distinguished Service Medal was subsequently award to Star, becoming the first individual from IDF to receive an award from the Simming League.

On July 4th as a part of its ten-year anniversary, Independence Fleet inducted the first-ever class into its new Hall of Fame. The ten indivuduals enshrined were Julie Absecon, Samira Barajas, Entera Danae, Ingoldo, Reggie "Big" Johnson, Henry "Hank" Logan, Steve McCloud, Dick Phelps, Kiara Rodale, and Tavik. Also on July 4th, the fleet issued official censures to ten individuals for grave and damaging acts against the fleet, breaking from the simming norm of banning players. Those censured were Bryce Shumar, Felicity Dragonetti, James Britanicus, James D. West, James "Rook" Mirtoh, Krol, Nniol N'Var, Rachael Rager, Robert Seldon, and Sutak.

On September 11th, IDF launched the newest USS Avalon. Also in September, Landon Wakeland was made Chief of Fleet Communications. Wakeland immediately set out to update IDF's social media presence, of which he was very successful.

On October 28th, IDF hosted the 2011 Simming Fall Festival, the first ever FallFest. Charles Star again served as chairman. Continuing the tradition of the SciWorld Online Convention, FallFest was open to all simmers and online role-players, regardless of rank or club affiliation. Contributors from five different clubs hosted a variety of events during the seven-hour festival. Landon Wakeland served as the web DJ for the festival's audio coverage--the first ever such program for a simming convention or festival.

On November 13th, the results from the 2011 Tournament of Simulations were announced. The USS Sunfire was the E-mail division's Best Star Trek Sim, while the USS Liberty took home the Most Creative award. Together, IDF won two of the three awards for which its sims were eligible. Although IDF's other two entrants, the USS Challenger and USS Constellation, didn't place, they also received high marks from the judges.

Many of the initiatives led by IDF and its members in 2011 gave rise to a renaissance of cooperation among clubs and fleets through recurring events and projects. The newfound community order established in this period continued to evolve over the next few years.

2012[]

WorldWideSims 2012 logo

World Wide Sims logo
Designed by Caroline Marion

IDF banner 2012

IDF website banner, 2012-17

With the launch of the USS Chuck Norris on January 2nd, the fleet line-up was:

Task Force Alpha: Deep Space Exploration

  • USS Avalon NCC-3002-E, commanded by Captain Joe Megson
  • USS Malinche NCC-96778-C, commanded by Vice-Admiral Mason Storm
  • USS Constellation NCC-11017, commanded by Captain Ena Robi
  • USS Pioneer NCC-81277-A, commanded by Captain Zartog

Task Force Bravo: Defense Response Force

  • USS Washington NCC-11988-B, commanded by Captain Shran dh'Klar
  • USS Liberty NCC-91101-B, commanded by Captain Jimmy Rogers
  • USS Patriot NCC-26782-A, commanded by Captain Robert McKenzie
  • USS Chirikov NCC-80032, commanded by Captain Devys Argent

Task Force Delta: Special Operations Group

  • USS Sunfire NCC-3001-D, commanded by Rear-Admiral Rhenora Kaylen
  • USS Challenger NCC-7008, commanded by Captain Aranan Sesade
  • USS Javelin NCC-11003, commanded by Captain Alexander Sexton
  • USS Indomitable NCC-27315, commanded by Captain Ralloc ch'Srjula
  • USS Chuck Norris NCC-4005, commanded by Captain Dick Sprague

Special Interest Sims

  • USS Nova NCC-7315-B, commanded by Captain Gareb th'Zarath
  • USS Liberty Belle NCC-87921, commanded by Captain Caleb Virgil
  • USS Bonaventure NCC-1745, commanded by Captain Jas VanHorne

On January 4th, Admiral Charles Star retired and was replaced by Vice-Admiral Landon Wakeland as Chief of Fleet Operations. On that same day, AJ Wheeler awarded the first Independence Fleet Distinguished Service Medal to Star.

IDF continued to thrive under the leadership team of Wheeler and Wakeland. On March 10th, IDF was awarded the 2011 Simming Prize for its effots to facilitate community, both within and outside of the fleet. This was the first time a club had been awarded since 2006. IDF also tied Phoenix Roleplaying with a high of five Tournament of Simulations awards for 2012.

Along with Band of Brothers, Before the Mast RPG, and Stargate Command Sims, IDF participated in the 2012 World Wide Sims April Fools' Day joke, the largest prank ever pulled in simming history.

On July 4th, the 2012 Hall of Fame class of Airika Calhoun, Ace Decade, Paula Fredericks, Jeremiah Griffith, and Richter Hiron were inducted.

The fleet continued to grow and be productive through the rest of 2012, hitting a peak of 26 sims in August. However, a controversy in July led to three individuals receiving official fleet censures.

2013-19[]

SciWorld 2013 logo

SciWorld 2013 official logo
Designed by David Ball

IDF banner 2017

IDF website banner, 2017-20


The fleet continued a slow decline that began toward the end of 2012. New sims were being launched, but slightly more were leaving or going defunct. In addition, the Admiralty stopped issuing monthly awards after July 2013, and the Hall of Fame was then suspended indefinitely in June 2014. The 2013 Hall of Fame class from the year before consisted of Jasson Asuka, Seth Rain, Mira Rodale, Alayne Tolbin, and Zachari Vrona. IDF did host the 2013 SciWorld Online Convention, which was chaired by Landon Wakeland. However, the convention received mixed reviews as SimEnc (SciWorld's sponsor) & Chas Hammer (SimEnc's owner) struggled to attract visitors after alienating many of the site's contributors with restrictive and controversial policies. IDF's posting totals continued to drop over time as it was not uncommon for multiple sims to have zero posts during an entire month, especially in later years.

Eventually Wakeland left his position as Chief of Fleet Ops and was replaced by Vice-Admiral Kaylen Rhenora sometime before January 2015. There were also several other shifts of Admiralty personnel. However, multiple disagreements within the Admiralty stalled any efforts to halt or reverse the decline. According to one Admiral, there was a "major conflict" that happened in or around 2015. All news was not negative, however, as AJ Wheeler and James D. West both won Squiddies (2013 and 2015, respectively), and Charles Star won a Simming Prize (2016). Also, the USS Victory and USS Chuck Norris each won Tournament of Simulations awards in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

By 2019, while several sims were still listed on the IDF website, only the USS Sanctuary, USS Washington, and USS Chuck Norris were still active. In either April or May of 2019, the fleet website went offline and no one was able to get in touch with Fleet Admiral AJ Wheeler to get it restored. The USS Chuck Norris crew continued to sim over email to keep their game and the fleet alive.

Separately, the club UCIP launched the USS Independence under the command of Captain Dex Hellion with a registry number of NCC-70401, in honor of Independence Fleet's July 4, 2001 founding. Several former members of IDF joined the sim. In addition, James D. West and James "Rook" Mirtoh each appeared as guests in episodes of Charles Star's The Simming Endeavor: Season 1 game show on Ongoing Worlds. Along with Bella, Star was later awarded the 2019 Simming Prize for The Simming Endeavor.

2020[]

IDF logo square 2020

IDF square logo, 2020
Designed by Sadie Stanton

FallFest 2020 logo circle

FallFest 2020 circular logo

On February 29th, Fleet Admiral James D. West assumed command of IDF and named Admiral Charles Star Chief of Fleet Operations, with the task of assembling a new Admiralty and organizing the fleet. West also dismissed the prior Admiralty, released all sims except the USS Sanctuary and the USS Chuck Norris, and announced the launch of the USS Ganymede (commanded by Captain Dyllon McMahon).

Star immediately introduced a staff of Director of Technology Vice-Admiral Ken Gillis, Director of Art Rear-Admiral Sadie Stanton, Director of Media Rear-Admiral Bolak, and Director of Personnel Rear-Admiral James "Rook" Mirtoh. A few days later, USS Washington CO Captain Shran dh'Klar announced that his crew preferred to stay in IDF instead of leaving. West and Star both agreed and allowed the Washington to remain in IDF. The fleet continued with a new blog to replace the old newsletter, a revised social media footprint, and the reinstatement of the monthly awards for March, after a nearly seven year absence. On March 31, the USS Sanctuary officially transferred from Independence Fleet to UCIP in a deal previously brokered by Charles Star, who served as UCIP's President from 2017-19.

On April 1st, IDF was joined by Theta Fleet in pulling the Super Space Command 3000 April Fools' Day joke once again. Just as before, it generated numerous humorous responses. IDF also launched the USS Eminence (commanded by Captain Caymen Greener) and welcomed Starbase Mikia (commanded by Captain Jensen Russell) in April, although Starbase Mikia would leave less than a month later. On June 26th, West issued Distinguished Service Medals to Charles Star, Ken Gillis, and Sadie Stanton for their efforts with the fleet's new operations, website, and infrastructure. West also renamed the Excellence in Service Medal the Command Excellence Medal, and issued it to Shran dh’Klar, Steven MayTa Death, and Shane Youngblood for leading their sims through the transition period.

On June 30th, West retired from Independence Fleet and named Charles Star the new Commander-in-Chief. Star then permanently retired the Fleet Admiral rank from IDF, promoted Gillis to Admiral and made him fleet XO, and issued Distinguished Services Medals to West and AJ Wheeler. Sadie Stanton also resigned due to time constraints.

On July 4th, IDF inducted seven former members into its Hall of Fame, this first inductions since 2013. The inductees were Chameleon "Cam" Circuit, Gorath, Laria Jorel, Ena Robi, Jimmy Rogers, James Sullivan, and Landon Wakeland. The latest version of the USS Sunfire (commanded by Captain Thomas Devoe) then launched on July 9th.

On August 1st, IDF officially abolished its banned and censured lists. Also in August, IDF launched the latest versions of the USS Wayfarer (commanded by Captain Michael Meezo) and USS Liberty (commanded by Captain Rhenora Kaylen). On September 1st, Starbase 80 (commanded by Captain Kathleen O'Shea) joined IDF. August was not without drama, however, as at the Wayfarer's CO, Captain Michael Meezo, resigned his command three times before completing his first 30 days. For the first resignation, he rescinded it before it was accepted while also complaining that no one had tried to talk him out of it. For the second, Charles Star convinced him to stay. His third and final resignation was accepted by the Admiralty in early September. About half of the Wayfarer's crew followed Meezo to the USS Sunfire, where he became the XO. Over the next few days, Meezo and several of the transfers engaged in trolling those who decided to remain on the Wayfarer. On September 11, Meezo created the independent sim USS Repulse and advertised it on several recruiting forums. However, he deleted the website within a few days.

On September 15, the CO of the USS Sunfire, Captain Thomas Devoe went on a profanity-laced tirade against a crewmember of the Wayfarer, which Devoe refused to apologize for. Then presented by Star with the options of apologizing or resigning from the Sunfire, Devoe chose to resign. When announcing his resignation to the Sunfire crew, Devoe characterized it as due to "creative differences" with the IDF Admiralty. Later that evening, Meezo and Devoe launched Defiance Fleet with two uncrewed sims. Many of the crewmembers who previously followed Meezo to the Sunfire chose to join the duo to Defiance Fleet. Meezo and Devoe also attempted to poach other members of IDF, including offering command to at least one. However, the Defiance Fleet website went offline less than a week after its launch. The group did re-emerge at the end of September on a different URL, having lost all data from their first URL. Meezo also continued to infiltrate IDF sims with fake names for months, and Defiance Fleet officially closed in May 2021. Meezo later apologized for his role in the affair and rejoined IDF.

On November 14, IDF co-hosted FallFest X with Pegasus Fleet. Co-chair Ken Gillis was subsequently award the Community Honor from Ongoing Worlds.

2021[]

SciWorld 2021 logo

SciWorld 2021 circular logo
Designed by Ken Gillis

IDF April Fools 2021 screenshot

Screenshot of 2021 April Fools' Day website

20th-Anniversary-Special-Message

Screenshot of 20th Anniversary video message from Jonathan Frakes

Independence Fleet 20th Anniversary Almanac Page 1

Image of cover page from the IDF 20th Anniversary Almanac

On January 8th, IDF launched the TOS-movie era sim USS Montana under the command of Captain RS Harrison. On February 16th, IDF launched the USS Albion sim, continuing the tradition of the previous USS Avalon, under the command of Captain Dick Sprague. The Albion was also noted for is use of both open role playing and the script format, much like the pre-IDF USS Sunfire.

On April 1st, IDF pulled an April Fools' Day joke by altering its main webpage to appear like a website from the 1990s. The page was designed and created by Fleet XO Ken Gillis.

On May 8th, in honor of its upcoming 20th Anniversary later in the year, the fleet hosted a six-hour Trivia Day, complete with prizes for the event winners.

On June 1st, the USS Sunfire and USS Liberty began the fleet's first-ever sim swap as Liberty CO Rhenora Kaylen and crew permanently traded ships with Sunfire CO Sandy "Ghost" Shannon and crew. The two sims also conducted a join mission during the month of June.

On June 12th, IDF hosted SciWorld XIX, with Aurther Winters serving as chair. Winters was subsequently awarded the Ongoing Worlds Community Honor.

On July 3rd, Ken Gillis hosted the fleet's 20th Anniversary Webcast, where he announced the Hall of Fame Class of 2021 and drew three prizes for those who had won monthly awards dating back to March 2020. The Hall of Fame class consisted of Joseph "Stealth" Carroll, Wesley Chase, Caroline Marion, George Ruiken, James D. West, and AJ Wheeler. On July 4th, IDF officially marked the 20th anniversary of its founding by publishing a congratulatory video from Jonathan Frakes and a 20-page almanac reflecting on the past, present, and future of the club. The anniversary events and documents received rave reviews from both members and non-members. In addition, all fleet members as of July 4, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2021 were awarded the newly created Anniversary Medal.

On IDF's 20th anniversary, the fleet line-up was:

Task Force Alpha

  • USS Albion NCC-3020, commanded by Captain Dick Sprague
  • USS Ganymede NCC-80107, commanded by Captain Dyllon McMahon
  • USS Wayfarer NCC-72113, commanded by Captain Akeno Misaki

Task Force Bravo

  • USS Liberty NCC-4003-A, commanded by Captain Sandy "Ghost" Shannon
  • USS Washington NCC-81533-E, commanded by Captain Shran dh'Klar

Task Force Delta

  • USS Chuck Norris NCC-4005, commanded by Captain Aurther Winters
  • USS Sunfire NCC-3935-B, commanded by Captain Rhenora Kaylen
  • Starbase 80, commanded by Captain Kathleen O'Shea

Task Force Omega

On October 31st, Rear-Admiral Bolak resigned due to time constraints.

2022[]

Imperial Defense Fleet 2022

Imperial Defense Fleet logo
Designed by Ken Gillis

On January 12th, Commodore Heather Meadows filled the vacant Director of Media position.

On March 5th, Aurora Vali, Bonnie "Bon-Bon" Durnell, and Jonathan Grayson were awarded the first Special Commendation Medals for crewmembers. In addition, Dick Sprague and Rhenora Kaylen were awarded Command Excellence Medals, and James "Rook" Mirtoh and Ken Gillis were awarded Distinguished Service Medals.

On April 1st, for the annual April Fools' Day joke, IDF changed its name to Imperial Defense Fleet and made it appear as if Fleet XO Ken Gillis had overthrown Charles Star.

On July 4th, for the fleet's 21st anniversary, IDF published a blog post with 21 reflections on the passage of time. The Fleet also released two videos messages, one from actor Andy Robinson and another from actor Brian Baumgartner. The 2022 Hall of Fame inductees were McGregor Blaine, Savai N'gellin, K'lar Rasmehlier, Dusty Redroi, and Zingela. Ken Gillis reprised his role as host of the second annual anniversary webcast, in which real prizes were awarded.

On September 28th, IDF published a video message from actor Brent Spiner recognizing the 35th anniversary of the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

On November 26th, the USS Chuck Norris was awarded a Squiddie award for facilitating the community experience going back to 2012. This was the first sim from IDF to win the award, although it was IDF's third win overall.

On December 23rd, IDF launched its only new member sim of 2022 when the USS Churchill, a previously independent game officially joined the fleet, under the command of Captain James Stewart.

2023[]

On January 2nd, IDF published a video message from actor Chuck Norris recognizing the 11th anniversary of the the launch of the USS Chuck Norris, IDF's oldest continuously operating sim in its current form. IDF then launched the new sim USS Eclipse, under the command of Captain Aven LaCroix on January 16th.

IDF Retro 2023 screensshot top

IDF retro website from April 16, 2023

On April 16th, IDF changed its website for the day to version resembling its original 2001-03 Angelfire site. This was in honor of the 2011 SciWorld Online Convention, which had taken place 12 years prior on April 14-16, 2011, and is considered by many to be the genesis of the modern community that now has multiple conventions, awards, and events. The 2011 SciWorld also took place 12 years after the original 1999 SciWorld Online Convention.

On June 20th, IDF released a video from actress Nana Visitor in honor of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's 30th anniversary.

On July 4th, for the fleet's 22nd anniversary, IDF published a blog post with a movie poster for each sim, with the USS Wayfarer taking the top prize as voted on by leaders from other fleets. The Fleet again released two videos messages, one from actor Garrett Wang and another from actor John O'Hurley. The 2023 Hall of Fame inductees were Steven MayTa Death, Maryam Syed, and Spaardra Tamis. Ken Gillis also returned to host the third annual anniversary webcast, in which real prizes were awarded again.

External links[]

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