Greetings all and happy new year! This is the first official report from me for a while - it's been a busy month or so - RL work has been exceptionally challenging in supporting the UK government's COVID-19 pandemic response, which ironically also featured myself and the family being stricken with the disease for a shortish while.
That being said, I hope everyone had a peaceful and relaxing holiday/Christmas season. The recent month has provided us with an opportunity to reflect on the past year's activities and consider what the Warrior and TIE Corps membership experience should be, and what opportunities can be created for Warrior Pilots to engage in fun, social activity. More on this below.
As mentioned above, myself and the Squadron Commanders have been considering how we can help improve your membership experience. Its easy to say "just run competitions", but there's more to it than that - I think we need to be smarter in how we approach all activities (not just competitions) to ensure they are interesting and inclusive, as well as having a long(ish) term plan to work to. This, I hope, will provide several benefits. The first is that we can plan out a activities over say the next 4-6 months for the Ship, interlaced with wider Fleet events, and demonstrate these to you - it also allows you to hold us to account if things are not happening or progressing. It also allows me to share the burden with the rest of the Ship's command staff.
So what does all this mean?
I have broadly divided ship activity into four "Lines of Effort" and the CMDRs have volunteered to act as focal leads for each one. If anyone would like to be involved with, or has ideas for any LoE, please contact the lead CMDR.
LoE 1 - Recruitment. We recently took the difficult decision to close Sigma Sqn. This reflected partly the low activity from some in the Sqn, but also the difficulty in recruiting new members. It is apparent that recruiting, and specifically recruiting for the Ship, needs to be a concerted effort - identifiying communities to approach, ensuring that on-boarding of new SLs is thorough and seeking opportunities to "sell" the club. This is likely the most difficult LoE to see success in, but is also likely one of the most important. Lieutenant Colonel Aardvark (Kappa) is lead for this LoE.
LoE 2 - Competitions. Competitions form one of the core activities for the club. I would like to start developing a more cohesive series of competitions for the ship that incorporate all the usual comp activities that you may be familiar with - flying, fiction, trivia etc, but wrapped around an ongoing narrative. My hope is that this will start developing a sense of ethos and history for the Ship, building on our wiki entry and adding more flavour to otherwise generic competitions. Major fr0zen (Rho) is lead for this LoE.
LoE 3 - Ship Activities. This covers anything that isn't competition related that Pilots can take part in, or even run. The aim is to enhance the Ship's camaraderie and ethos through these activities. Examples are Discord events such as games nights, meetings, flight nights, a Ship fictional run-on, developing the Ship/Sqn/Pilot wiki pages and more. This LoE likely offers the most freedom in coming up with ideas to try. Captain SkyShadow (Sin) is lead for this LoE.
LoE 4 - Communication. One of the foundations of a "good" unit is good communication. The aim of this LoE is to consider how we can communicate better as a Ship - both up and down the chain of command. Are we fully exploiting the tools we currently have - emails, Discord, TC news page, and are there other effective means? Do pilots have all the information they need and if not, how can this be improved? I will be leading this LoE with assistance from Colonel Pete Mitchell (Theta)
So a lot of words, but what does this all mean? In the short term, my expectation is that each lead being brainstorming some suggestions and ideas that have a tangible output - and my hope is that members of the Ship lean in to assist - any ideas, suggestions and even criticisms you may have are welcome. Without these we cannot improve. Realistically though, things will take time to enact - we run purely on voluntary contributions of your personal time. The old adage that "RL always comes first" must remain true - after all this club is aims to be a fun relaxing space, and not a chore. That being said, what also remains true is that the more you put into the TC, the more you'll get out. And the opportunity is here to start shaping the Ship's future direction. Please engage, please contact the LoE leads.
Two Ship competitions commence tomorrow!
ISD Warrior Trivia Season!
Starting tomorrow, I will be running a season of Star Wars trivia for the Ship - nothing flashy here, it will be very similar to the TC Trivia Grand Tour or any other trivia competition. The only difference will be that each trivia set will revolve around a theme - the first one is music associated with SW. In addition to weekly, monthly and seasonal winners earning the IS-GR, SR and BR respectively, participating Pilots will also generate a tally of correct answers which will contribute towards milestones earning the IS-CR. So even if you can't type at a gorillion words per minute, or need to take the time to DuckDuckGo the answers, there is still every incentive to take part, as doing so will contribute towards the milestones. Full details here.
The link to the timed trivia is HERE - it begins tomorrow and ends on 16 Jan.
A Threat On The Horizon
This second competition, also starting tomorrow, is slightly longer term and links in with LoE 2 above. The basic premise of the competition is to design an enemy or threat that will be used as a basis of narrative driven competitions in the future - effectively an NPC "main boss" to act as a framework around which Warrior operational missions will take place. Entries can be as detailed or light as you wish, incorporating things like a fictional history, a wiki or INPR entry, details of assets such as military strength, fleets, home planet resources etc - it's entirely up to your imagination to come up with a Zaarin or Dread Pirate Roberts. The competition will run until 6 Feb and entries to myself. I and the CMDRs will then judge the entries on criteria including quality, scope and originality. Scoring this type of competition is unavoidably subjective - 1st through to 3rd place will earn the IS-GR to BR but there may be CRs for exceptional entries that don't place. It's entirely possible that at the end, entries will be combined to create our fictional threat. For ideas, please have a look at the Warrior's wiki entry.
A fairly chunky report this time round, with a lot of think about. But hopefully this sets the conditions for a successful and active year going forwards. I repeat again - please consider engaging with the LoEs, suggesting your ideas and thoughts. Ultimately the chain of command can put hours of work into creating opportunities for you to have fun, but if Pilots don't volunteer their own time (and be appropriately rewarded for it) then much of this effort ends up nugatory. That being said, drop me an email, or Discord message and I'm always happy to chat through anything.
High Admiral Mordechi Wolfe, Warrior Commodore