Rebel Squadrons

April 2014 State of the Rebel Squadrons

By RA Lamin Zykara
Unit: The Rebel Squadrons
SotRS, Apr 12, 2014
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April 12, 2014
State of the Rebel Squadrons

I. Foreward
II. A Word on Culture and Identity
III. Next Steps and a Request for Feedback
IV. Activities
V. Promotions and Awards
VI. Conclusion

I. Foreward

A month ago, my predecessor, Admiral David "Heavy" Pasiechnyk, stepped down shortly after his appointment, and I found myself elevated to being the Rebel Squadrons Fleet Commander. As someone who has been a member of the Rebel Squadrons for 14 years, and who had toyed with being the Fleet Commander many times before, it has been exhilarating, overwhelming, and ultimately, very rewarding to take the job.

Mere days before I took office, Admiral Michael Raven posted the March 2014 State of the Rebel Squadrons, in which he described a lot of the initiatives taking place under Heavy's leadership. With the transition of Fleet Commanders happening so quickly thereafter, I have not yet laid out my personal plans and vision for the Rebel Squadrons to the entire club. I aim to do so today, in this State of the Rebel Squadrons address, and to hopefully resolve any confusion or lingering doubts about our direction.

With that said, I want to also offer my public thanks to the membership of High Command, who have supported me during this transition, and to my team of executives who have helped me immensely in dealing with this new challenge. I could not succeed without you.

II. A Word on Culture and Identity

There has been substantial debate on whether we are a "Star Wars club focusing on gaming", or a "Gaming club focused on Star Wars", both in the general membership and among the members of High Command. This is a charged subject, as it drives down to the very core of our identity as an organization. People are rightly concerned that the club they have grown to love, their club, is being taken from them.

Please let me offer my personal assurances to every single member of this organization that I know, first and foremost, that this club belongs to its members. I have no intention of "taking" the club away from anyone, nor of forcing it to change into something that no one wants. Changes are coming, ones that I believe strongly in, but they are all designed to help each member contribute to the club however they want to participate. We do need to modernize, and to update some aspects of the club, but at the end of the day, we are neither defined as a gaming club, nor as a Star Wars club. We are a community, first and foremost, and no matter what else happens, we need to keep the community at heart.

III. Next Steps and A Request for Feedback

Earlier this week, I shared with the Executive Staff and the High Command a document outlining the next steps I see the Rebel Squadrons taking under my leadership. Both groups have been providing me with feedback on these ideas, and now I am opening that same document to the general membership, for review and comment. The whole document and supporting diagrams are found at the links below.

I ask that you review the document, despite its length, and comment on it so that I can get your input on the process. My goal in these next steps is to create an infrastructure, and leadership and organizational system, that allows for members to connect with other members who share their interests, permits new activities to grow organically, and returns our focus to community and relationships, by emphasizing one-on-one leadership and mentoring between members. The Rebel Squadrons is strong as long as our community is strong, and as your Fleet Commander, my role is to ensure that each member has the things they need to participate in our community.

Soon, we'll begin to implement the first parts of this model, once everyone has a chance to read and give their thoughts on it. As you will no doubt see after reviewing the plan, I'm not asking for a few minor changes from the Internet Office (there was some muffled cursing when I shared the plan with them...), and so we may start rolling out some things before the infrastructure has been fully written. For some, this may be unthinkable, but for us old foagies, I think it'll be a bit nostalgic - reminiscent of the days before the Roster DB! In any case, no major changes are going to happen until the plan has been out and in circulation for a bit, so that everyone has a chance to learn more about it.

IV. Activities

As I have said in a few different places, any time some members get together, have fun, and interact with each other, I consider that to be a win for everyone involved. To that end, while there are not any formal activities taking place at the moment, I am encouraging members to engage in informal activities as much as possible, and to report those activities via the Roster DB (when it is supported) or by simple emails to your Squadron CO. I'm rediscovering an interest in Terraria personally, but there are also initiatives dealing with the X-Wing Miniatures game, Warframe, Star Conflict, Star Citizen, and Minecraft. I'd love to see us expand even further - does anyone play Space Engineers, for instance? Or Starbound? Is anyone interested in building games, or mods, together? What about representing the Rebel Squadrons at conventions and such with official Rebel Squadrons swag and uniforms?

The sky is the limit here, people. Reach out to your fellow members and see what interests you have in common, and go have fun together!

V. Promotions and Awards

Despite only having taken office in the last month or so, I have already come across several of our members who are deserving of recognition for their service. Handing out promotions and awards is one of the best parts of being the Fleet Commander, and so I'm going to get right to it.

Lieutenant Colonel Kimiao Quinal, front and center! Kimi, when I met you for the first time playing Minecraft in January, I could tell from the start that you were an awesome person. I really enjoyed building out Tarsonis Isle with you. As time has gone on and I've moved into the role of Fleet Commander, though, something else has become apparent: how hard you are working on making the club a better place. I'm pleased to have you on the High Command as one of our aldermen, and proud of your hard work and service as the Red Dragon CO. For your efforts, I hereby promote you to the grade of Colonel. Congratulations!

Commander Hermus Dogan, front and center! Hermus, though you and I have only known each other for a short time, your passion for the club is apparent. Your drive is what lead me to appoint you as the new Legacy Gaming Coordinator, but it has also been apparent in your enthusiasm toward trying new things in the club (like Minecraft). In addition, a key member of my staff cannot say enough good things about your work for the club. I'm excited to have you leading up our legacy games, and I know you will continue to do great work. For your efforts, I hereby promote you to the grade of Lieutenant Colonel. Congratulations!

Lieutenant Commander Rahm Nyko, front and center! It has been a pleasure to get to know you through your role as an alderman on High Command, and I've enjoyed our conversations. Your work with our TOR guild has kept a small but strong club presence in the biggest Star Wars MMO out there. I'm glad to have you as part of my team, and i'm looking forward to big things from you in the future. In recognition of your hard work, I am pleased to promote you to the grade of Commander. Congratulations!

Admiral Tyrell "Spokes" Borran, front and center! Spokes, you have been a fixture on the Rebel Squadrons High Command for the better part of a decade. Though you are now stepping down from a voting role, your voice will continue to be heard at the highest levels of this club in your new role as a Special Advisor to the Fleet Commander. In recognition of your long service as a voting member of the High Command, I am pleased to award you the High Command Service Medal. Congratulations!

Admiral Joshua Hawkins, front and center! You have served our club with distinction for many years, including several times as a voting member of the High Command. As you step back to a non-voting role again, I am pleased to present you with the High Command Service Medal, in recognition of your meritorious service to the Rebel Squadrons as a member of the High Command. Congratulations! Don't go anywhere too quickly, Josh. I'm also pleased to present you with your 10-Year Service Medal! Congratulations!

Lieutenant General Markus Jarnhann, front and center! Markus, you're another person who has served for many years on the High Command, and who is stepping back to a non-voting role for the moment. You may not remember, but we first met and interacted in Zealot when we co-posted a few things almost five years ago. Since then, we've had some duels in High Command, but I've come to appreciate your dedication to the club and your willingness to work with such rapscallions as Sconn and Josh. It gives me great pleasure to present you the High Command Service Medal, in recognition of your work on the High Command. Congratulations!

Commodore Kirghy Lommax, front and center. Kirghy, I have a note from Sconn that says something about how you won March Madness 2014. Since I'm the one who took the job of Fleet Commander, and I did it in March, it seems like I would be the champion at madness in March. But, in any case, the paperwork otherwise seems to be in order, so I'm pleased to present you with the Citation of Victory for winning the 2014 Rebel Squadrons March Madness pool! Congratulations!

VI. Conclusion

It's been a busy first month for me as the new Fleet Commander, but I think we are moving in a good direction. There are a lot of challenges facing the Rebel Squadrons in the coming months, and things may get tough for awhile as we go through some growing pains. But I'm confident in my staff and in our community, and I know that we have a bright future ahead. Congratulations to all the award winners, and I hope to see many of you in the coming weeks. As always, my door is open and I'm always up for feedback - please just email me at if you have any questions, concerns, or complaints!

Until then, fly fast, shoot straight, and may the Force be with you.

All the best,

Commodore Lamin Zykara
Rebel Squadrons Fleet Commander


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