Senior Officer Training
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Below is an explanation of the duties, responsibilities, and requirements to hold the positions of Department Head, First Officer and Commanding Officer.
"A CO is responsible, first and foremost, to the troops under his/her charge." --Gen. Valarie Thomas, SFMC
There are numerous responsibilities inherent with the command of a starship at Federation Space. You were not picked at random to become a Commanding Officer. You were picked for this position because you showed the promise of outstanding role-playing skills and a willingness to go the extra mile in your posts and in your dealings with other players. You should be proud of where you are, you worked to get here.
New players are the life blood of Federation Space. As a result, Commanding Officers, through their First Officers, should do everything in their power to make new players feel welcome and to include them in the game.
One of your primary jobs, as a CO, is to insure your crew members have an opportunity to participate in the game. What does that mean? It means that you, along with the GM, need to make sure everyone has a fair chance to add to the story. I know you can't force people to post, and that's not what I'm asking for. I'm asking for total crew involvement in the story. You and the GM are the primary plot developers. So if one of your Tactical Officers is sitting around doing nothing, try to establish some sub-plot to keep that player involved in the game. The only way players will stay with us is if they are having a good time. If they consistently try to add to the game, but no plots develop which utilize their skills, then they will get bored and leave. This is probably the hardest thing for CO/FO's and GM's to deal with. It's hard to make a story that will include everyone. But we need to give it a try.
That leads into the assignment of participation points and crew rosters. Each month, by the 25th, the CO must submit a crew roster to the Group Commander. The crew roster should contain every crew members name, rank and position as well as the participation points you are awarding. Participation points are completely subjective and assigned by the CO. You may award anywhere from 1 to 500 points for participation. You should establish some guidelines for your crew members so they know what to expect. I would recommend posting any ship-wide rules in the captain's ready room. A good guideline is 500 points to a crew member that posts 3-4 times a week. Remember, not everyone can log on every day. Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you have problems assigning points or with players that aren't happy about the points they received, notify the CINC.
Next, we'll discuss medals. Not every crew member is going to earn a medal every mission. Medals are the CO/FO's means of rewarding outstanding or consistent play. Use medals sparingly, to reward outstanding play. If you issue out too many medals, they lose their meaning. The guidelines for medals can be found on the medals page. Any questions can be directed to the CINC. All medals, until the club becomes better established, will go through the CINC for approval.
Lastly, I would encourage all CO's to take pride in their ships. As we continue to grow and add new ships and new groups, it's important to make our site stand out. As a CO, you should look at ways to customize your ship. How do you do that? Well, there are a few different ways. Every ship has a plaque with a dedication quote on it. For example "To boldly go where no one has gone before..." or "Always ready" etc. Every ship should have one of those and it's up to you to make that happen. If there is a weakness on your ship, it's up to you to find out what it is and work to improve it. The more pride you take in your Fleet and your ship, the more your crew will as well.
In short, the responsibilities of the CO are:
- Crew participation
- Updating ship rosters
- Assigning participation points
- Awarding medals
- Taking pride in their ships
- Approving subplots & NPC's
As First Officers are directly responsible for the crew, it's logical to assume that the First Officer should be the one to take new players under their wing. First Officers need to draw new players into the game by involving them in either the main plot, or by developing a sub-plot centered on the new player's character. This is the primary job of the First Officer. First Officers are the crew's direct link to the Commanding Officer. If you need to get subplot approval, run it by the First Officer first. The FO is the best resource to getting issues resolved before having to contact the Commanding Officer.
First Officers are considered Commanding Officers in training. First Officers should take the same kind of pride in their ship and group as the CO does. FO's are where Federation Space finds its next Commanding Officers.
The First Officer is above all responsible for greeting new players and making sure they, along with the rest of the crew, are involved in subplots, or the main plotline. If a player stops posting, the FO should email them and find out why. The FO is the ship's Personnel Officer and is responsible for their crew's retention. Without player retention, there will be no new ships commissioned and the FO cannot move on to a CO position. All FO's should be in possession of a 'Welcome Letter' that they are to send to the Cadets upon graduation and assignment to their ship. This letter helps to let the new players know that you are aware of them and are looking to try and make the game more enjoyable to them. It also acts as a quick reference and help guide to getting the new players started off on the right foot.
Their responsibilities include: receiving point recommendations from the Department Heads, adding their own recommendations, and sending the crew point recommendations to the CO by the 23rd of every month. FO's can also recommend medals and awards to players that they see as performing above their normal responsibilities. If a Department Head is not posting, it is up to the FO to email them and find out why. The First Officer is also in charge of looking over player bios and trying to find a way to incorporate a subplot around the players to keep them interested.
Department Heads are assigned to their position by the ship's Commanding Officer for showing a history of excellent playing and the ability to lead others in their department and to keep the players involved in the main plotline, and various subplots. Department Heads are the first line in crew issues and resolving any problems or concerns. The Department Heads should work closely with the First Officer to keep the ship running smoothly and to ensure that all players are keeping involved and not being left out of the story.
Department Heads are the First Officer's eyes and ears to each department. If you have a player that has disappeared, or has nothing to do, contact your FO. You can also be proactive and email any people in your department that had dropped off, or you see being left out. Department Heads should utilize the players in their section, rather than relying on NPC's or doing everything themselves.
Department Heads are responsible for sending their point recommendations to the First Officer by the 21st of every month. Department Heads help to run subplots regarding their department and to make sure that everyone under their command is involved. Department Heads are an integral part of the ship's operation. The duties of the Department Head include welcoming the new players to the ship in post and to email anyone in their department that has stopped posting. If a CO or FO notices a player has gone missing, the Department Head is usually their first stop in finding out why.