Tag Archives: Seventh Fleet

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

Happy Holidays *<]=)}

December Greetings!

The year has flown by so fast, and 2019 is nearly done. (For some of us, that may not be a bad thing.)

Just a couple of reminders:

Wednesday, December 11, is our monthly meeting. This will be our gift exchange meeting, and our mugato mascot is orange this year.

For the gift exchange:

*Items can be new or used. (If buying new, please don’t spend more than $10.00.)
*For used items – PLEASE ensure they are clean and have all their parts. (No used hygiene items. It’s a white elephant exchange, but make sure that whatever you give is something you wouldn’t mind receiving.)

*All items need to be wrapped, with no tags. (Wrapped in a plastic grocery bag or newspaper is totally fine.)

*Each person wishing to participate in the exchange must bring a gift.

*Remember that if the gift you bring – the item itself, not the wrapping paper or packaging – matches our mugato, you get a treat. What will that be? You ask. I don’t know yet, I answer.  😉

*I will go to the library earlier in the day and pay the food fee, so feel free to bring light snacks if you’d like. (Nothing that can’t be cleaned up with a broom, please!)

December 31st is our annual New Year’s Eve party. This year the theme is a Hawaiian luau, and the meal is Hawaiian haystacks.

If you’d like to join us, please head over to the Facebook page and sign up for something on the event announcement
https://www.facebook.com/events/2492311541022865/
or email me directly, Tico.Co.Erica@gmail.com.

Here’s hoping the last weeks of 2019 are kind and filled with joy!

-=/\=- Erica

September Already!!!!!

Greetings, all!

If you’re just finding us after FanX, welcome! Thank you for taking the time to check us out.

Our monthly meeting is this Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at the Roy branch of the Weber county library; 2039 w. 4000 s., Roy. Our meeting room will be open at 6:30 pm, and we will start with the informational part of the meeting at 7 pm.
A)-Don’t forget your awesome show-n-tell items.
B)-Remember that Damon will be asking a couple questions from the latest issue of the newsletter and has prizes to hand out for correct answers. (You can find the latest newsletter under the download links.)

The basics: we have been around for over twenty years. Our area of patrol covers from Ogden to Kaysville (roughly), and are a founding member of a larger group of Star Trek clubs, Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet. The fleet stretches from southern Idaho (Burley/Heyburn/Rupert and Idaho Falls, specifically), all the way down to Utah county.

We are a free club, because, as Admiral Stark likes to say, it already costs too much to be a Star Trek fan. What this means on a practical basis is that you pay your own way. We try to have a good mix of free and paid activities, to include the largest number of people. From time to time, we will hold fundraising events, generally for larger items like ship banners and the medals that we award for various reasons.

As far as involvement goes, you can be as active or as passive as you’d like. Some people enjoy going through the ranks and taking on leadership roles within the club. Others prefer to just come and have fun with like-minded people. All are welcome. We make sure it’s easy to cater to your personal level of enjoyment.

(Also, in case you’re wondering, no, we don’t care if you are a member of another Star Trek – or any other fandom – club; and no, we aren’t *just* about Star Trek.)

On other fronts, this is the last month for the awesome display at the Roy library. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, make sure you do so. Maybe come to the meeting a little early, so you have time to peruse the amazing collection.

To end this post, I’ll just drop a reminder here about the Klingon End of Summer BBQ. Saturday, September 28, 1-4 pm, at Central park, 330 Center st., Clearfield. BYOM and something to share. The ship will provide plates, napkins, utensils, basic condiments, and charcoal for the grill.

Thanks again for your time, and I hope to see you all there on Wednesday!

-=/\=- Erica

A New Year and the Chain of Command

January 27, 2018
Promoting the rear admiral to vice admiral

Greetings, all! And happy new year!
I hope the first weeks of 2019 have been treating you well. We have a great opportunity to truly show off what the otters can do, when we host the annual Fleet Banquet on the 26th. I have full faith that we can blow it out of the water – we’ve pulled together and made great things happen many times in the past.
Thank you, all, for a great 2018. I know we can make 2019 even better.

A short note on chain of command, both within the club and within the fleet. There has been much discussion concerning observing the chain of command, which is also the chain of communication.
When we’re talking about official communications, there is a very specific trail to follow: department chief > first officer > commanding officer > fleet council > admiralty board. If you truly feel as though you have an issue that you can’t discuss with your department chief, your first option should be another department chief, or the assistant department chief, who can then bring it to the X.O., who can then take it to the C.O. Ideally, we are close enough that we can take care of issues quickly and between the involved parties. If, for whatever reason, you feel as though you can’t speak directly to the necessary party, there are workarounds to solve any issues.
There have been occasions within the fleet wherein members of a ship have gone either directly to the admiralty, or to members of a different ship, disrespecting and disregarding the official chain of command, blowing problems completely out of proportion, and blindsiding their COs and XOs when the issues are brought up at fleet council meetings. Keep in mind that this is *only* for official fleet business or issues. Chatting with other members of our fleet-wide family is welcomed and encouraged.

Thank you all for your time. See you next time!
-=/\=- Erica

What should we do for 2017?

The new year is here (finally).  As we do at every January meeting, we fill out our calendar for what events we would like to do.  Is there an activity or charity event that you would like to see the Ticonderoga participate in?  Bring the details to the January 11th meeting and we can see can find a time for it.

As mentioned above, the January meeting will be on the 11th at the Roy Library.  We will still be starting at 7:00pm.  Bring a friend, bring family, just be there.

We do have one activity already lined up, on Saturday, January 28th.  This is the date of our annual Seventh Fleet Admiral’s Banquet.  The host is the USS Valkyrie and they have already covered the food costs (yes you do not need to pay for food, but a donation jar will be available if you wish to donate).  The meal will be a potato bar.  If you cannot have this, you are welcome to bring your own meal.  This will start at 2:00pm and will contain speeches and videos from the different chapters.  This is a uniformed or nice-dress event. It is also a very wonderful opportunity to meet the other members of our Star Trek family.  Please RSVP with the Captain ASAP if you wish to attend this event.  She needs to turn in a head count for this event.

Happy New Year everyone.

What we will be doing in August (and early September)

71ieqe.jpgIf you are checking out our website after meeting us at the Star Trek Beyond promotion, welcome.  We hope that you find information on our Star Trek family interesting.  We look forward to meeting you and your family/friends at any of our upcoming meetings or activities.  We loved watching the new movie and we would like to thank the Layton Cinemark for hosting our promotion.  They were very accommodating.

Our first event in August will be our regular monthly meeting on Wednesday the 10th.  We will be meeting at the new Weber County Library – Southwest Branch (2039 West 4000 South, Roy, UT 84067).  This will be at 7:00pm in the large auditorium.    We will be discussing the movie, Star Trek/Sci-Fi Show and Tell and the upcoming events at the Salt Lake Comic Con (see below).

For our monthly activity the crew has decided to beat the heat and take in a swimming activity at the Roy Aquatic Center (2977 W 5200 S, Roy, UT 84067).  We will be enjoying the fun from Noon to 5:00pm on Saturday, August 20th.  You can bring in your own lunches.  Make sure you bring sunscreen and lawn chairs.

Salt Lake Comic Con will be held on Thurs-Sat, September 1-3.  The USS Ticonderoga is heading up the Seventh Fleet booth at the convention with our life size Borg Regeneration Alcove.  The Ticonderoga is also heading up a Star Trek panel at the convention.  William Shatner will be appearing on Thursday.  Other Star Trek guests are lined up for the event.  For details visit www.SaltLakeComicCon.con

Some news from the Fleet, Captain Roger Taylor has moved from Bountiful, Utah to Idaho Falls, Idaho.  He is taking the USS Essex up to it’s new patrol area and will be building a new crew.  The previous crew of the Essex have transferred to the new chapter-in-training, the PCU Protecteur.  Congratulations to the new chapter-in-training and good luck to Captain Taylor in Idaho.

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.