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Twenty-Five years of the USS Ticonderoga

The first USS Euphrates command staff at the official launching.

Vice-Admiral Carl Stark, the first Commanding officer of the USS Euphrates/USS Ticonderoga was asked to write up some memories for the 25th Anniversary of the Star Trek club now known as the USS Ticonderoga. Here is what he sent in for the newsletter.

What happened Twenty-Five years ago by Carl Stark

Wow, March 2021 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Star Trek fan club known as the USS Ticonderoga.  As I look back on how this all came together, I have many fond memories.  Some of them good and some not-so-good.  But life is dealing with both the good and the bad.  I was asked to put down my thoughts on this fan club that I helped to start and grow. 

The year was 1995 and it was not a kind one for me while I was living in the Salt Lake valley.  I was working as a computer support tech for three different companies.  And in that span of a year, I had been laid off three times from those same three companies.  I was beat and discouraged.  One of the few things that kept my spirits up was my membership in the Star Trek family known as the USS Kelly

I had been a member of the Kelly since 1991 (on the 25th Anniversary of Star Trek) and I had earned the rank of Lt. Commander in the years that followed.  I had also been tasked with being the Chief of Security.  Looking back, I’m grateful for the time I spent as a department chief.  Running a department is like running a mini-starship.  I had to select an assistant department chief, meetings had to be planned and agendas written, I had to keep my members informed and active.  We helped each other with our rank advancement goals and special projects.  It was a sense of pride to have a good running department because I felt that I was helping to make the chapter a better club. 

As it turns out, this was noticed not only by the Kelly CO, Captain Dennis Hollinger and XO, Commander Richard Henline but by the Admiralty at Starfleet Command as well.  The performance of my duties had been noted in the USS Kelly chapter reports.  I was not aware of this at the time, but my name had been placed on a promotion list of possible future commanding officers within the fleet. 

After being laid off from my third IT job in 1995, I didn’t know what I was going to do next.  I had several job leads that I was pursuing when I was approached by a former Kelly member, Robert Aswin, who had moved up to Davis County the year before.  He was looking for roommates to live in his house in Layton and invited me to move up with him.  Another Kelly member, Mark Boone, had started a job at the America Online tech support call center in downtown Ogden and stated he could put in a good word for me.  I passed the interview with flying colors and was offered a position that would start in two months.  This would give me plenty of time to get things wrapped up in Salt Lake and moved into the new area at the start of 1996.  A fresh start after the disastrous year of 1995.

At a Kelly senior officers meeting I let Captain Hollinger and Commander Henline know of my intention to move up to the Ogden-Layton area in a few months.  While not a huge distance, I felt it was far enough that I could not give my Chief of Security duties the proper time needed to perform them.  They understood my decision to resign my department head position.  It was at this time that they let me know that my name had been placed on a promotion list with Starfleet Command. If I wanted to take a Runabout (chapter-in-training) to run in the Ogden/Layton area I had the blessing of the Kelly leadership and the Admiralty at Starfleet Command.  As Mark Boone (who was also a Kelly department head) and I were driving away from the senior officers meeting I let him know that I was giving it serious thought.  Mark turned to me and said that if I took on this new role, he would join my chapter-in-training despite still living in the Salt Lake valley.  My roommate, Robert Aswin, was very supportive as well. 

The Ogden/Layton region had originally been the home of a Star Trek fan club called the USS Dominion.  It had operated from 1989 to 1994 before disbanding due to a lack of recruiting new members and several members moving away.  But it had a lot of good remaining members who had enjoyed their time with the club.  There had been several other attempts at starting Star Trek clubs, but they hardly lasted after a year or two.  It was easy to start a club, but to keep a club going and growing took a lot of work.  While seeing those in uniforms with recruiting booths and having fun at meetings may look easy from the outside, on the inside it was a lot of time and energy.  As people found out after starting a club, this work could be exhausting if you were not prepared for it.  So, these Star Trek clubs never got very far.  But the USS Dominion had set the groundwork for the fans in the area to join the newly launched USS Euphrates. 

The Euphrates was one of two Runabouts available to launch from the USS Kelly. A chapter-in-training allows newly minted commanding officers and crew to walk-the-walk of a Star Trek club, but still make mistakes.  Learning from these mistakes with help from the mothership allowed the club to grow and eventually graduate into full chapter status.  On Saturday, March 9, 1996 at a ceremony at the Davis County North Library in Clearfield, Captain Dennis Hollinger presided over the launching of the USS Euphrates under command of Lt. Commander Carl Stark with Lt. Robert Aswin as the Executive Officer and Lt. Mark Boone as the Second Officer.  After the ceremony the first official activity was touring the Hill Air Force Base Museum as a group and going to dinner soon afterwards.  You know a meal had to be involved in there as we always seem to get together with friends for a meal.

Running the USS Euphrates did take a lot of hard work.  There was even one meeting where the only people who showed up are those that came in the CO’s car.  But there were other times when the persistence and hard work paid off.  The Euphrates lead the group of volunteers who helped at a Salt Lake appearance of William Shatner at a Star Trek convention.  Shatner was so impressed with the volunteers that he complimented them the next day at another Star Trek convention put on by the same organizer. 

After going through the growing pains of a year and a half I had been promoted to the rank of Commander and the Admiralty at Starfleet Command informed me that we were nearing the end of their chapter-in-training phase.  I was instructed to decide upon a final chapter name and class.  A list of several chapter names and classes were provided to me to select from.  After looking over the list I narrowed it down to three possible choices.  The Nebula-Class USS Virginia, the Cheyenne-Class USS Black Hawk or the Intrepid-Class USS Ticonderoga.  These names were presented to the crew and the majority of them voted to become the USS Ticonderoga.  The primary reason this name was selected was because of the history of vessels named Ticonderoga.  Apparently, this decision had shocked Captain Hollinger and Commander Henline as they thought the larger Nebula-Class would have been selected.  They even had a schematic poster of the USS Virginia printed up in anticipation of the decision. 

On October 25, 1997 the friends of the USS Euphrates: The USS Kelly, USS Rendezvous, USS Zambezi (i.e., the future USS Retributor), Rebel’s Associated (a local Star Wars fan club), the IRW Falcon (a local Romulan club) and other friends got together for a meal and the launching ceremony of the USS Ticonderoga. This was held at a banquet center in Kaysville.  There I was promoted to the rank of Captain and given command of the USS Ticonderoga, NCC-74676. 

However, the changes were not stopping there.  Our parent organization, Starfleet Command and the Admiralty based out of Baltimore, MD after running the organization for over eighteen years had decided to disband at the end of 1997.  After finding ourselves without a parent organization I had to decide what to do with the USS Ticonderoga.  We could have joined another existing parent organization out there.  But most of them charged dues to join and we had a lot of success being a dues-free organization.  I didn’t want to turn away a fellow Star Trek fan and his family because they couldn’t afford $15 or more in dues.  We could have proceeded as an independent club, but life is better when you share it with friends.  So, the USS Ticonderoga joined up with the USS Kelly, the USS Retributor (both of Starfleet Command) and the USS Rendezvous (an ex-SFI chapter who had gone independent years ago) to form Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet.  When we had told Starfleet Command of our intention to band together, the Admiralty gave us permission to use the name “Starfleet Command” in our title and promoted Captain Dennis Hollinger to Admiral just before disbanding.  Thus, making the USS Ticonderoga a plank holder with Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet.  I’m happy to say that this new beginning has allowed us to grow and meet more friends as new chapters have joined in on the fun.

Now there are a ton of different events, memories, and happy times that I could write down for this article.  However, I know our poor editors only have so much space allotted in this issue.  So, I’d like to wrap up with how I ended my term as the Commanding Officer of the USS Ticonderoga.  One of the philosophies that we try to live by within this organization is “train your replacement”.  As a volunteer organization we understand that real life comes first.  Real life has given our friends opportunities in their lives that may cause them to move to other areas.  There have also been times that other issues have caused some members to cut back on the amount of participating that they can dedicate.  And unfortunately, a few of them have entered the final frontier beyond this life.  Thus, we have attempted to teach our leaders to give opportunities to those under their command to expand their leadership roles.  This way when real life rears its ugly head, we can tell the affected individual to take care what they need to and that the club will still be here upon their return.  So, in the early 2010’s I had initiated the “Captain for a Month” program on the Ticonderoga.  Any member who had reached the rank of Lt. (j.g.) or higher could volunteer to be the acting CO of the Ticonderoga for the month.  They would be responsible for conducting the monthly meeting, writing up the senior officer meeting agenda, preparing the report for Admiral Hollinger and (if it happened during the month they were acting CO) attend the quarterly Seventh Fleet Council meeting with myself and the XO.  This would give a ton of leadership experience to the volunteer and allow the chapter to see how they would handle command.  I had four different members participate in this program before I had been approached by Admiral Hollinger.  The growth of the Seventh Fleet had reached a point where he needed more than himself to run the organization.  He had been thinking of asking one of the chapter CO’s about taking a position with the Admiralty, but he didn’t want to leave a chapter without a commanding officer.  The question he asked me was “If I gave you a promotion, is there anyone you feel confident in taking over the center seat of the Ticonderoga?”  Because I had done the “Captain for a Month” program, I felt confident that one of the four candidates could fill the position.  Both the Seventh Fleet Council and the crew of the USS Ticonderoga accepted Lt. Erica Abner-Stark as the new CO.  She was given a field promotion to Captain (don’t worry, she still went through and completed the rank requirements adopted for the fleet) and took over as the Ticonderoga CO in 2011.  I will let her tell her adventures as the Tico CO in her own article.

To my friends who joined this Star Trek fan club and just came to hang out, to those who volunteered as department chiefs and senior officers.  To those who served as executive officers, newsletter editors and more.  And especially to the spouses of those who volunteered, I say thank you to you all.  The USS Ticonderoga would not be celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary without your dedication, hard work and effort.  I’m looking forward to 25 more years of friendship, adventures, and family.

Tally Ho,

Vice-Admiral Carl Stark, Commander-in-Chief

Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet

From the Captain: New Department Chiefs

Intrepid Class Conference Room
Intrepid Class Conference Room

Greetings, All! As you all know, we’ve been doing some reorganizing in an effort to make the club run more smoothly, and trying to do away with redundancies. At the end of June, all department chiefs were released, and applications were taken throughout June and July. Some of our chiefs are new, some are returning, and I’m happy to have all of them.

John Barnes – Civilians
Brandee Burke – Ops (social media)
Richard C Luke – Medical (emergency preparedness)
Julia Nielson – Engineering (merchandising)
Brad Jacobs – Science (photo album & archives)
Damon Ricks – Conn (Newsletter & crew anniversaries)
Sarah Podwys – Communications (Newsletter & crew birthdays)
Annie Stephens – Security (ship’s library)
Troy L. Oldham – Klingons (Sub-Department)
Ivan Podwys – Tactical (gaming)

Those of you that have not yet reached the rank of Lieutenant junior grade will have the title of “Acting” department chief, until such time as you reach Lt. (jg), or you decide to step down.

Congratulations! I hope all of you are ready for a challenge, because some of these departments have been left to languish, so are going to need a good deal of work to rebuild.

Please remember that it is your job as chief to get and keep your department running. Dave and I can help out, but we can’t build your department for you.

The duties of a department chief are as follows:

1 – Have fun! If you’re not having fun, what are you doing here?
2- Make certain department members are having fun.
3- Making progress on moving up the ranks.
4- Assist department members to move up the ranks.
5- Commit to attending both general ship’s meeting each month, AND the monthly senior officers’ meeting. Be prepared with departmental reports.
6- Commit to calling all members in your department once a month, keeping them informed of activities and any changes (because life happens!) Also, collecting any needed RSVPs from your department members and passing that information on to the XO and Captain in a timely manner.
7- Coordinate departmental activities – at least one a year, though more is fine.
8- Coordinate one ship activity each year. (This can be combined with #7.)
9- Gather and track the following information on department members: years of service and earned medals; and make certain the XO has that information.

Becoming a department chief is a serious commitment of time and energy, and the club will no longer tolerate CINOs (chiefs in name only). We all understand that sometimes life happens, and that the club is not real life. However, that is no excuse for neglecting the agreed-to duties for months on end because someone is “too busy” or “forgot”.

Department chiefs can select assistants. Assistant department chiefs must be willing to make the same time and energy commitments as the chief, and be willing and able to step in and take over when needed.

As with all voluntary positions, if something is a priority, you will find a way to do it. If it’s not a priority, you’ll find excuses.

On to the changes in the departmental duties! The main thing we wanted to do was to make things easier, and to eliminate jobs that were no longer relevant.

For example: back in the day, it was the job of Communications to assemble the newsletter, and the job of Conn to distribute the newsletter. Nowadays, that is unnecessary, because they are all available to anyone who wants one, with the click of a button. But, because assembling the newsletter is the second-biggest job in the club (biggest is the XO’s job of keeping track of points, and keeping on top of rank advancements). Now, the newsletter will be a tag team effort between Communications and Conn, so the job doesn’t fall on one set of shoulders.

For Medical, we felt it would be a good idea to have a department to help us make certain we are prepared for any eventuality. Living along the Wasatch Front, there is always the specter of a major earthquake. Then we have the regular occurrences of power outages caused by harsh weather; flooding is a thing that happens; and you never know when the zombie apocalypse is going to start!

To Science, we moved the twin jobs of keeping the photo album and archive/scrapbook updated. It just didn’t make sense to have those duties split between two different departments. (It resulted in no one knowing where these things were currently located.)

Security now has the duty of curating the ship’s library. If you’re looking for a Star Trek book to borrow, there’s a good chance our library has it.

Operations has the duty of staying on top of the club’s social media accounts:
Facebook Twitter Instagram Tumblr USS Ticonderoga-A on Snapchat

Engineering hasn’t changed – it’s still all about the merch! Hats, shirts, badges, bags, thongs, whatever!

Tactical is another that stayed the same. Tactical is all about the games – board games, card games, RPGs, tabletop, video, etc.

Klingons are a sub department. In other words, in addition to his regular duties as a member of the Security department, the chief of the Klingon department educates us on Klingon culture and language, among other things.

The Civilian department is where crew members go who aren’t really interested in gaining rank – they just want to come and have fun. But, they still need to be kept in the loop regarding events and activities. The Civilian chief greets all newcomers, making them feel welcome, (and making sure the Captain and XO are aware of said newcomer.)

As a side note, if anyone wants to change departments, you are more than welcome to do so. Just make sure the XO and I know about it.

Also, department chiefs can step down at any time. Again, just please be sure to let the XO and I know.

Whew! That’s a lot of information to take in, but I believe it will make the club better in the long run. Thanks for sticking around for all of it!

USS Ticonderoga 20th Anniversary makes local paper

The first USS Euphrates command staff at the official launching.
The first USS Euphrates command staff at the official launching.

EXTRA, EXTRA!!!!! Read all about it.  Yes once again our Star Trek club has made the local newspaper.  In the Friday (March 18th) edition of the Ogden Standard Examiner published an interview with Captain Erica Stark and Rear Admiral Carl Stark about the 20th Anniversary of our Star Trek family.    The article can be found here: http://www.standard.net/Lifestyle/2016/03/17/northern-utah-star-trek-club-20-anniversary.html

Can you believe it?  We started this little get together in the basement of the Clearfield Library in March, 1996.  Our first activity was a visit to the Hill AFB Museum.

What are your memories from the past 20 years?  We would love to hear them.

USS Ticonderoga, NCC-74676-A officially launched

CaptStark_AdmHollingerNow that Captain Erica Stark has completed all of the requirements to achieve the rank of Captain (not an easy task in the Seventh Fleet) the next version of the USS Ticonderoga can now launched.  At the USS Ticonderoga room party at CONduit, Seventh Fleet CinC Admiral Dennis Hollinger officially launched the USS Ticonderoga, NCC-74676-A.  Ronin Class Starship.  Admiral Hollinger presented the dedication plaque for the new starship to Captain Stark.

TicoAPlaque

 

Even with this major goal accomplished, the Ticonderoga is not sitting on it’s laurels.  We have Fantasicon coming up at the Pleasant Valley Library (Weber County) on June 6th.  We also have a ton of events planned for the year and we are also continuing to grow.  We could have two new chapter-in-training Runabouts launched by the end of summer.  Now is when we need your help and now is when we need new ideas.  It’s time to boldly go.  Let’s see what’s out there.

19th Anniversary, March Meeting and March Activity

picard_clappingFirst: The USS Ticonderoga started as a Star Trek club on this date, March 9th, all the way back in 1996.  We met at the Clearfield Library to announce our launching (as the USS Euphrates, a chapter-in-training off of the USS Kelly) and then went to the Hill AFB Museum as the activity.  That was nineteen years ago.  How many clubs last for over nineteen years?  Congratulations to all of you who contribute towards the club.

Second: The March Meeting is coming up on Wednesday the 11th at 7:00pm.  And yes we are back at the Roy Library after having to find alternate locations for the last two months.  Bring your Star Trek show and tell items.  More importantly, bring a friend to introduce to the club.  Remember you gain 10 leadership points for each new recruit.

Third: Our March activity will be held on Saturday the 14th.  Lt. Richard Luke will be conducting a leather working class.  There is a $5 material fee for the items we are making (a rounder, a coin purse or a key-chain).  Please RSVP at the meeting so we have enough material.  We are also encouraging everyone to celebrate Pi Day by bringing a favorite pie.  This will start at noon at Starbase 40.   You may want to eat lunch before coming over.

Welcome to the USS Ticonderoga

tumblr_mlqazxxMau1re4m0po2_250We had a great time promoting the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie at the Megaplex 13 theaters in The Junction.  One of the best parts was meeting all of the various Star Trek fans that came out to see the movie.  There were a lot of people in uniform and a lot of interested people who stopped by the booth.  The life-sized action figure box resulted in a lot of fun photos.  We even had the Ogden Standard-Examiner come by to profile us in an article (which will be added to our In The News section soon).

So to all of those interested Star Trek fans who are now reading this website, welcome.  We made this website for our members and possible members to find out more about our free Star Trek fan club.  We have been a club since 1996.  You can read about some of our past in our History section.  We have had a wide variety of Past Activities and Upcoming Events (we are always looking to try something new).  Our Community Service is also something that we are very fond of promoting.  We are very proud of our Intrepid class starship and it’s Namesake.  What really makes our club a family is our Crew.  We are a founding chapter of the Seventh Fleet, our parent organization.  We also get along with a lot of other Star Trek/Sci-Fi groups and proudly display the gifts we’ve received in our online Trophy Case.  Besides this website, you can also interact with us on our Facebook page or on our Yahoogroups.  If you have any questions that are not on our FAQ, you can Contact us and we will be more than happy to answer them.  If you are ready to Join, you can fill out a membership application and we will let you know when the next USS Ticonderoga meeting will be.  Welcome aboard.

January monthly meeting – planning our 2012 events

So it is time for the regular USS Ticonderoga monthly meeting to be held on Wednesday, January 11th.  As per usual this will be at 7:00pm at the Weber County Library meeting rooms on 25th and Jefferson.  Unlike other meetings, this meeting is a huge one for the crew.   This may be the last chance to order a Seventh Fleet Calendar on it’s final run ($10 a calendar).  Captain Erica Stark will have the latest information from the Seventh Fleet Council Meeting.  But most important, this will be the meeting that the club as a whole gets to plan out all of our events that we want to hold for 2012.  We will be talking about fleet banquets, fleet games, conventions (CONduit, Starfest and Star Trek Las Vegas) and more.

Bring your friends, bring your ideas and lets set a course into 2012.