Rebel Squadrons

PBF End of tour 6 ceremony

By FA Joshua Hawkins
Unit: Patriot Starfighter Group
Fleet NL, Jun 11, 2006
Back to Articles

Sitting at his new desk aboard the Windstorm, he looks out the view port while trying to look over some notes for the coming awards ceremony. He'd been on the McGrath for so long, he now had to get used to another crew and command style. As he sighs, he peers back over at his notes and speech he's written until the door chime alerts him that someone is here to see him. "Come." Josh responds.

"Don't bother getting up." Spokes said as he entered the office and waved Josh back into his chair. "I just came by to see how you were adjusting to the desk. Spent many a battle and done a ton of paperwork behind that desk. With luck, you'll spend more combat time than reading there."

"Aye, I've served under a few CO's who fought from this desk. It's very strange for me to be sitting here now. Commanding the McGrath is one thing, that's home. Here," Josh indicated the desk and office, "here you're the center of the fleet. There's no avoiding the spotlight here."

"You'll get used to it. Anyway, there should still be a bottle of Whyrren's 'Special' Reserve tucked away in one of the drawers, unless someone has already gotten to it. Jorval started that tradition, I think. One of the few things no one has ever complained about."

Josh opened a couple of the drawers and discovered the bottle in the far back of the lower right one and placed it on the desk. Then reached back in and grabbed a couple of cut crystal glasses and poured the obligatory drink. As the bottle opened the aroma of the alcohol inside brought a smile to the two faces, and Josh poured some of the deep amber liquid into the two glasses. It never occurred to him to use ice as it would spoil everything that made this "Special." "To what shall we toast?"

"To the Patriot Battle Fleet, Red Squadron and absent friends." Spokes intoned with enough of a somber tone to still the room and raised his glass.

"Aye, to Red, one of the greatest squads the PBF has ever had. Perhaps one day Red will live again." Josh replied as he pressed his glass against the one in Spokes' hand to create the very unique sound that made the glasses one of the better privileges of Command and then they drank.

"Still good after all this time so not that I mind seeing you, but why did you really arrive early?

"Right to the point," Spokes commented as he finished his drink and set the empty tumbler on the table while waving off a refill from Josh. "Much as I love how that tastes better each time, we do have a discussion that requires a semblance of sobriety. Things are looking kind of grim in the Minos Cluster. Intel believes there's a strong Imperial presence gathering, but, someone has to go in to both confirm and confront it. For certain, someone with a lot of firepower has arrived and turned the place upside down. That's why Retribution is being folded in under your Command. You'll need their help to infiltrate and figure out what's going on."

Josh nods and finishes his glass, putting the stopper back in after being waved off from Spokes. "That explains the ISD Arcanus. Perhaps that's the Imperial we're looking for, or at least knows who we're looking for."

"Something tells me that is just a small part of whatever is happening. I've heard unconfirmed rumors that one of the Emperor's Grand Admirals survived. I've heard the rumors before. Actually, I've been hearing them since before I joined the Rebel Squadrons. So, nothing is certain. Nothing can be confirmed. Nothing is official."

"Sounds like fun. Looks like we have our work cut out for us. With any luck the locals can give us some help."

"Perhaps. But if it does pan out, I wouldn't rely too much on the locals as there are still Sectors that would welcome a return to the Empire. Either way, Good luck! I have to head back to HQ for a bit, but, I'll see you at the ceremony." Spokes pushed back from the desk, turned and strolled out leaving Josh to the silence of the office and his thoughts.

Once Spokes leaves, Josh turns back to the view port and picks up his speech and sighs. *This is going to be a long tour ahead of us. I just hope we're ready.*

Local time 1600
Windstorm’s Assembly hall

Josh is sitting at one of the tables near the podiums reserved for the command staff. Sitting in his dress uniform and feeling very uncomfortable. He is glad that old pilots and new are all gathered having a good time. Glancing at his watch and realizes that the ceremony is about to begin. He looks out over to the assembled dignitaries of the RS and High Command, and to his own Command Staff. Josh sighs as he gets up from his chair, leans over to Eric and whispers a command in his ear and then makes his way to the podium. "May I have your attention please? At this time I would like to get the ceremony started, so the bars will be temporarily closed until we're through. I'll do my best to keep this as brief as possible." Once the complaints and grumbling of the gathered settled down and people took their seats he began the ceremony.

"This has been a difficult time here in the PBF as of late, we were plagued by command changes, equipment bugs, and pilots off on other missions. I just want to thank each and every one of you for sticking with the PBF though all it's problems that arose during this Tour of Duty. Without you're help and hard work we couldn't have made it back here today. With that, it's time to honor those brave men and women who have helped make the PBF so great. At this time I would like to call to the podium, a man who needs no introduction, but is getting one anyway. You know him as a long time CO of the PBF, he's a friend to us all, and one hell of a great pilot, please welcome our Fleet Commander Tyrell “Spokes” Borran." Josh claps and applauds with the rest of the gathered pilots and dignitaries and makes his way back to his seat.

Vice Admiral Tyrell "Spokes" Borran rolled his chair forward so that he could view the assembled crowd all looking uncomfortable in their dress uniforms, but proud and happy just the same. "Thank you General. Greetings Gentle Beings. I trust that you are all enjoying this little gathering." Spokes reached up and adjusted the microphone so that it didn't interfere with his view of what was once the Grand Ballroom. "I'll keep this as short as I can so that we can all get back to the party..." The crowds' collective cheer and whooping drowned out the rest of his sentence, but he had expected no less and waited until everyone was seated and relatively quiet before continuing. "First, I want to congratulate all the fine pilots that fought during this Tour of Duty and the crew members that support them. There may not be a Combat Medal for the Deck Crew, but without them none of our Cap Ships or snub fighters would have made it. My personal thanks go to you all." Almost as one, the pilots that were scattered amongst the tables stood and began a round of applause that lasted longer than what Spokes had received. Spokes smiled and joined them for he knew that the value a Flight Tech, Second Grade, who knows how to use a hydrospanner could not truly be measured in credits. "That said," Spokes continued, "There are three Pilots that put everyone's hard work to the test during the Tour. For exhibiting extreme foresight in the heat of battle, flying every mission on time and inflicting heavy, heavy damage on our enemies, it is my honor to award Colonel Primlar Scuttlebutt and Brigadier Generals Steve Hawkins and Shane Long with the Rebel Squadron's Golden Eyes." All three officers strode forward and bent over so that Spokes could pin the Medal on their uniforms. He said a few words to each of them that no one else could hear through the applause. "Congratulations Gentlemen, you certainly earned the trinket and with that, I will turn this back over to PBF Commander Hawkins." Spokes turned and shook Steve's hand as he returned to the podium and Spokes returned to his table and his drink

Josh stands up from his seat adjusting his uniform and walks back to the podium, smiling at the proceedings. "At this time, I would like to introduce to you the PBF's Executive Officer, Major Eric Reagan. He'll be presenting a few awards so give him some patience, please." Josh claps with the gathered crowd and moves behind to head back to his seat.

Eric steps up to the podium, and after the applause dies down, he begins his speech. “The first medal I will be giving out is the Dantooine Key. The Dantooine Key is awarded to pilots who fly every mission during a tour of duty and report in a timely manner. These pilots deserve to be recognized for their undying dedication to the Patriot Battle Fleet and the Rebel Squadrons. Will the following pilots please come forward as I call your names: Vice Admiral Spokes Borran, Brigadier Generals Shane Long and Steve Hawkins, Colonel Primlar, Major General Phil Darkfire, Lieutenant Commander Damon Lightwind, Captain ZyenBacca, Captain Jaclyn Jenzer, and Major General Joshua Hawkins.” The officers come forward and the crowd applauds as Eric pins the medals on their uniforms. The pilots then return to their seats.

“The next medal that I will be awarding is the Dauntless Combat Citation. The Dauntless Combat Citation is awarded to those pilots that fly in 33% or more of the missions in a tour of duty. This citation signifies combat experience. Please hold your applause until all names have been announced. Will the following pilots please come forward: Vice Admiral Spokes Borran, Colonel Primlar, Colonel Dalton Strader, Brigadier Generals Steve Hawkins and Shane Long, Lieutenant Commander Damon Lightwind, Major Mario El Atlante, Colonel Jairo Pantoja, Major General Phil Darkfire, Captain Jaclyn Jenzer, Major Hermann, Rear Admiral Licah Fox, Captain ZyenBacca, Lieutenant Commander Dav Starlighter, Major General Joshua Hawkins, Brigadier General Gavin Phalon, Major General Gabrich Varmer, Captain Nixximus, Major General Xtremegene, First Lieutenant Galactic Angel, Lieutenant Colonel Lightning, Colonel Ste T, Colonel JB Barnes, Colonel Stalker, Fleet Admiral Rensal Darklighter, Rear Admiral Snappleguy, Colonel Dev Azzameen, Major Bonaparte, First Lieutenant Juval Tiesler, Major Jelf Boom, and Commander Alexander Vandross.” As the pilots come forward, Eric walks through the ranks and pins a medal on each of their uniforms. After the crowd applauds, the pilots return to their seats.

“The final medal I will be presenting today is Excellence of Duty. Excellence of Duty is given to those who demonstrate excellence within the bounds of their duties. These officers go above and beyond the call of duty to do whatever they can to contribute to their fleet and to the Rebel Squadrons as a whole. Will the following officers please come forward: Major Mario El Atlante, Major General Phil Darkfire, Colonel Dalton Strader, Lieutenant Commander Damon Lightwind, Colonel Jairo Pantoja, Major Hermann, and Lieutenant Commander Dav Starlighter.” The pilots come forward, and the crowd applauds as the medals are pinned on their uniforms. The pilots then return to their seats. “Thank you ladies and gentlemen. It has been an honor serving as executive officer for such a great fleet, and I hope to serve for many more tours to come. Thank you for all that you do. And without further adieu, here is your commanding officer, Major General Joshua Hawkins.”

After the applause dies down, Josh steps back up to the podium. “At this time it is my pleasure to hand out the remaining awards, and the promotions from squad CO's. I know this person is no longer with us, but the Unit Commander's Commendation goes to Fed Barron. I'll see he gets this shipped to him. Now would the members of these squad please come up when called. It's a pleasure to present the Unit commendation to the members of Crimson, Gold, and Sabre Squadrons.” Each of the squads came up one at a time and had their medals pinned to them and returned to their seats. “At this time I would like to present the Tour Champion award. This award goes to the pilot with the highest kills and the most points during a mission. The award goes to Vice Admiral Tyrell Borran.” At the gathered crowd cheered and applauded Spokes steps up to receive his medal. He shakes hands with Josh and salutes him, then turns to the crowd and salutes them as well before returning to his seat. “We're almost done, honest. Right now I would like to get to the promotions. These come from hard work, dedication, and bribery of their CO's. First off, Damon Lightwind, I promote you to full Commander with all the rights and duties there of. Congratulations!” Damon steps up and has his new rank pinned to his uniform salutes and sits down. “Lightning, I here by promote you to full Colonel, Congratulations!” Lightning steps up and has his new rank pinned to his uniform salutes and sits down. “Jacklyn Jenzer, I here by promote you to the rank of Major, Congratulations!” Jacklyn steps up and has her new rank pinned to her uniform salutes and sits down. “Nixximus, I here by promote you to the rank of Major, Congratulations!” Nixximus steps up and has his new rank pinned to his uniform salutes and sits down. “ZyenBacca, I here by promote you to Major, Congratulations!” ZyenBacca steps up and has his new rank handed to him with a certificate, as wookies don't wear uniforms very well. “Reb Lee Jackson, I here by promote you to first lieutenant, Congratulations!” Reb steps up and has his new rank pinned to his uniform salutes and sits down. “Markus Jarnhann, I here by promote you to Lieutenant Commander, Congratulations!” Markus steps up and has his new rank pinned to his uniform salutes and sits down. “Last but not least, Eric Reagan, I here by promote you to Lieutenant Commander with all the rights and duties there of, Congratulations!” Eric steps up and has his new rank pinned to his uniform salutes and sits down.

"On a sadder note, at this time I would like to draw your attention to view ports." Josh nods to Eric who whispers something into his comm unit. After a moment there flies by 4 X-wings all bearing Red colors, the gathered people understood what was going on and most bowed their heads. "It is with sadness that I must retire one of the greatest squadrons the PBF and even the RS has ever seen. Red Squadron will live forever in our hearts and in the history books. To the members gathered here, who are part of red squadron, and who were part of red squadron, I salute you!" Josh salutes the crowd, and to his surprise all the dignitaries stand up and salute the gathered crowd. Some former red Pilots look around and start walking forward to the front of the podium, Misko Markot, Shane Long, Steve Hawkins, Hermann, Bonaparte, Juval Tiesler, Damon Lightwind, and Lightning. As the gathered pilots stand in line they to salute to everyone, and as if planned, turn to face the X-wings outside and salute them as well. Most of these pilots now wear the colors of their new squads, but all of them have something that denotes red squadron on their uniforms. "I thank you all for your service in Red Squadron, and to the PBF. At this time I would like to bring up Colonel Misko Markot to the podium please." Josh claps with the rest of the crowd and moves out of the way so Misko could come up.

Misko is dressed in his old Lt. Colonel uniform with only one medal on it and has his helmet in his hand. Once there he looks around the room for few seconds and than starts his speech. "As a former Red Squadron Commanding Officer I feel obliged to say few words about the squadron where I spent a great amount of time, both rough and nice. Red Squadron has always been considered a place where you could reach for the stars and some of Reds did that. Milestones that where achieved by great members like Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles gave us former members of Red Squadron a feeling that it is our duty to try to be better than the rest. Unfortunately during this daring time Red Squadron lost many pilots, fresh graduates tended to avoid involvement in Red and with all that in mind squadron lost its credibility and it was inevitable that its existence was no longer maintainable. I'm very sad, and to be sincere, now I feel like I want to cry." He stops for almost a minute and looks very sad, than continues. "I would ask PBF Command Staff to give me some space to organize small Red Squadron history "museum", as I think that such icon as Red have been deserves at least that. I brought with me my old helmet with insignia of Red Squadron, my old uniform with rank of Lt. Colonel which I wore when I became Red C.O. and a medal, Unit Commendation which was awarded to me while I was Red C.O. with this explanation: For excellence of duty, superior activity over the last part of tour 3 both in the fleet and in Valor wing. This squadron has shown interest not just in completing its flight objective, but also showing extra effort doing so. They stand as a model for the rest of Valor and PBF. These three things will be my contribution to small exhibition of Red History. And for the end I would like to remind you all not to forget what Red Squadron did for Patriot Battle Fleet and Rebel Squadrons. May the Force be with you." The crowd cheers and applauds for the compelling speech overwhelming Misko for a moment. He salutes the gathered members and returns to his seat, and Josh returns to the podium.

"Without further delay, I would like to thank the Fleet Commander, and various members of High Command, gathered dignitaries, and to you pilots of the PBF for attending this ceremony. I have one more announcement before we end this. The first round of drinks is on me. After that, those who get promoted pay the next rounds. The Bar is open!" With that he salutes everyone gathered to the cheers and applause of the bar being open, and heads off to thank the dignitaries who came for this occasion.

MGN Joshua Hawkins


There are no comments for this news post yet.