Lieutenant Commander or Bust
Written by USF Sierra
Adapted by Commander Lanna D'aerthe & Revised by USF Arzie
“When am I going to get promoted?”
It is a question that lurks in the mind of every simmer, from Ensign to Commander. Each promotion an officer receives allows for a new responsibility on the ship. A Lieutenant could finally move pass the assistant officer point in their department and become an assistant chief. A First Lieutenant could finally head the department he/she has served in since their first day aboard his/her ship. And finally, a Lieutenant Commander could become the ship's Second Officer, leading away teams and contributing much to a sim and its plot. As CO and XO of a ship, captains and commanders have vital roles when it comes to simming, but Second Officers are just as important.
Simmers should keep in mind that the path to Lieutenant Commander isn't quick nor is it easy. Every individual matures at their own rate, even when simming. One person may make the journey from Ensign to Lieutenant Commander in a year, others in two. Some perhaps even more or even less. The USF Sim Guide lists minimal requirements simmers must fulfill before they are eligible for a promotion yet a CO is entitled to require more from his/her crew, but not to waive the minimums. If you decide to work toward the bare minimum, the time between your promotions will be longer as compared to that of someone who goes well beyond the minimum expectations.
When a CO feels that a First Lieutenant is ready to move up to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and into the role of a potential future host, he/she will fill out an ‘intention to promote’ form which then goes directly to USF Caitlin. Along with this form, samples of the promotee’s personal logs, duty logs, and biography should be sent. If, however, the CO fails to include these items, Caitlin will request them from the promotee.
After the form is reviewed, two things can happen. Either Caitlin will thank the CO for the notification and ask for the promotee’s new email address and the time and date on which the First Lieutenant was promoted so he/she can be interviewed, or Caitlin will point out the reasons why she feels the recommended First Lieutenant is not ready for the Lieutenant Commander rank. If she and the CO agree, the promotion will be put aside until the officer in question addresses the issue(s).
If everything seems okay, the promotion will go forward and Caitlin will contact the newly promoted Lieutenant Commander and arrange an interview. An interview has several purposes (none of which are meant to intimidate the Lieutenant Commander). First off, this one-on-one chat will give Caitlin an idea of how close the Lieutenant Commander is to being ready for hosthood and if he/she can take on all the responsibilities of running a sim.
The interview also gives Caitlin a sense of what the Lieutenant Commander needs to work on. For some it could be their leadership ability -- or maybe they have all the skills they need but are just lacking self confidence. Whatever the problem is, there's rarely need for concern. As stated before, there are usually various skills a Lieutenant Commander must learn or improve before being promoted to Commander and becoming an XO.
And finally, the interview serves the purpose of letting Caitlin become acquainted with the newly promoted officer. The opportunity to get to know the new Lieutenant Commander on a personal level gives Cat a chance to form a good working relationship with him/her and vice versa.
So now you ask yourself: “I've been a First Lieutenant for so long, how come I'm not a Lieutenant Commander yet?”
There are a lot of factors a CO considers before promoting one of his/her officers to Lieutenant Commander and, in some cases, Second Officer. The following list is fairly comprehensive and is meant to be a guide to help you aim for the goal of Second Officer and most importantly, the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Rest assured that it is not an interview -- just a tool left at your disposal. Additionally, lower ranking officers can also benefit by reading this list and using the information provided to further their simming skills and abilities in order to move ahead.
While most of these questions are answerable in a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ format, you should answer them in more than one-word answers. If yes, why? If no, why not and what can you do to improve? Be honest with yourself and thorough when answering these questions and you will gain a greater benefit from the self assessment. The list is broken down into two categories:
General Questions regarding your performance within the sim in general
· Do you make new crew feel immediately welcome to your sim?
· Are you courteous to your fellow crew?
· Do you understand the Chain of Command, and do you follow it?
· If you have a disagreement with another crew member, do you try to peacefully resolve it?
· If you cannot peacefully resolve it between you, how do you handle it?
· When attention is called, do you immediately come to AA and give your hosts the respect and attention due them?
· USF guidelines recommend one duty and one personal log per sim/week. Do you fulfill this?
· Do you attend the sim each week?
· Are you on time/early to the sims, stay the whole time, and not leave until dismissed?
· Are you an active sim participant?
· If you are not directly involved in the main sim plot, can you keep yourself occupied within the sim?
· If you are absent, do you give your hosts advance notice?
· If you must leave mid-sim, do you have good reason, and do you notify your hosts about it?
· Do you ever submit sim plot ideas to your hosts? If so, have they been used? If they have, did you assist in running the sim?
· Do you ever do joint logs with other crew?
· How do you get along with your fellow crewmates?
· How do you get along with your host staff?
· Have you ever been reprimanded for anything in the sim? If so, has the problem been resolved?
· If you have a problem with your XO or CO, how do you handle it?
· Are you willing to spend some time helping new simmers learn how to more fully enjoy their simming experience?
· Have you reviewed the USF Sim Guide lately?
· Do you lead Away Teams (ATs)?
· If you’ve never led an AT, have you volunteered to do so?
· When on ATs, are you able to create action for your team?
· Do you understand the function of Fleet Reps and High Command?
· Do you play by the rules, or do you insist on doing what you want to do, even if it conflicts with the main plot?
Departmental Your performance within your specified department, whether it be Security, Engineering, Science, Ops, Counseling, or Medical.
· If a new crew member is placed in your department, do you take the time to welcome them, let them know the expectations within your department, and any specifics they may need to know about that particular department for your sim?
· Are you a DH (Department Head) or ADH (Assistant DH)?
· If a sim plot does not directly involve your department, are you still able to keep your department and people active during a sim?
· If you are a DH or ADH, is your character somebody that the other simmers in your department can look to for leadership?
· Have you ever shown initiative in your department? For example creating work schedules, maintenance reports, equipment specifications, training schedules, etc.?
· Have you ever run drill/training sims for your department?
· Have you implemented ways to improve your department?
I hope these questions can be of some help to those of you seeking to boost your simming skills. If you feel you’re an officer who goes well beyond what is expected of any USF simmer and is being overlooked for a promotion, contact your command staff and/or Fleet Representative. (If you don’t know who your Fleet Rep is, check roster in the Core and find out who is assigned to your ship.) Your command staff and/or Fleet Rep should be able to provide you with feedback, tips, etc, and help guide you to your goal.
Now you know how to better yourself and your simming abilities is the USF - good luck and best simming!