ASR Player's Manual Appendix P: Branch Billet Description

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Branch Billet Descriptions
Version 1.1


INTRODUCTION

ASR currently maintains 10 branches- 8 Star Fleet and 2 Civilian- to facilitate game play and to manage the awesome amount of creative resources authored by its members. In the loosest sense, a branch head's job is to administer the branch's own specific resources.

However, a distinction always needs to be made between "RP" (alternately called "operational") and "NRP" (also called "support") assignments. Unlike most other ASR billets, in which the player's characters are directly written about and around, giving them a sort of life of their own, a Branch Administrative billet is almost exclusively a Non Role-Playing or Support position. The job of the branch head is "behind the scenes"- he or she will maintain the branch web site, create and update documentation specific to his or her branch, etc. Essentially, the branch head is the keeper of the information that every writer in ASR may use to supplement his or her own creativity.

This means that, while a character is created for the branch head role, he or she seldom, if ever, comes up in role play aside from the odd passing reference made by another character. No where in RP should the player occupying any branch ever try to assert his or her authority over another player, nor should a branch head try to shape the sort of acceptable creative information particular to his or her branch through actual role play. Everything about a branch head's existence exists in support- behind the scenes of the actual story writing.

This is perhaps the most important facets of heading a branch; many heated discussions over this point have come up in the past, and was actually at the core of perhaps ASR's most difficult hour. Please keep this in mind as you enter ASR's Branch Administration.

Remember: develop your department's supplemental material and keep your database/web site updated instead of developing your character.

The other important thing to remember is the idea of properly citing borrowed material. Copyright laws require anyone to make sure due credit is given to the original creator of anything we use as source material. Any time a branch head borrows information from another source- whether the material is borrowed word-for-word or adapted and paraphrased for use in the world of ASR- proper citation is a must. Now, there are several forms of citation in existence; however, a simple remark at the bottom of any page that contains borrowed material citing the creator and source is generally acceptable. This goes for everything, including graphics.

Welcome to ASR Administration!


STAR FLEET BRANCHES

The Star Fleet branches are the "military" divisions within Star Fleet. They are manned by military personnel, and headed by a character usually with a rank of O-8 (RADM- navy; MGEN- marine), depending on the character's actual experience as a branch head in ASR. If the character has been a branch head for 12 months or more in ASR, he or she would be an O-9 (VADM- navy; LGEN- marine).

The first tier of assistants to the branch head would typically be O-6's (CAPT- navy; COL- marine) or, if he or she had 12 month's experience, an O-7 (CDOR- navy; BRIG- marine). If a second tier of assistants exists, they would most likely be O-5 (CDR- navy; LCOL- marine).

Because of the military nature of these branches, the branch heads would report directly to the Chief of Star Fleet Operations (CSFO) in the chain of command. A branch head would NOT go directly to the CINCSF unless he or she attempted to communicate through the CSFO first.


Star Fleet Judge Advocate General (SFJAG)

As head of the Judge Advocate General's office, a branch head would strive to supply the writers of ASR with material concerning military justice. Use of contemporary military resources (so long as such material is properly cited) is encouraged, adapting said material to use in the ASR world.

As part of JAG's database of information, a branch head might develop and update regularly the following documents:

  • a branch FAQ
  • information about a code of Star Fleet military justice
  • guidelines on how to develop and play JAG characters in ASR
  • a registration form so as to keep track of anyone playing a JAG character in ASR
  • any additional information appropriate to JAG's mission

Developing such supplemental material can be time-consuming; as such, the Commander, Judge Advocate General (COMJAG) is entitled to an administrative assistant to help with the maintenance of the database and the development of supplemetal material. This appointment is up to the player running the branch.


Star Fleet Public Affairs (SFPA)

Public Affairs is concerned primarily with anything dealing with ASR and its "real world" connection- advertising, newsgroup maintenance, etc. As such, PA's focus is divided into three sides- the advertising side, the policing side, and the maintenance side.

The Advertising side of PA is exactly what it sounds like- it handles all web and newsgroup advertising. First, The PA branch head seeks out friendly and/or related newsgroups and posts (if allowed) ASR's FAQ and Introduction letter. Second, the PA branch head makes certain thatASR is registered and linked to internet search and metasearch engines; this may require the branch head to advise other branch heads to make certain their sites' metatitles are appropriate. The goal is simple- to attract new players to our game. The advertising arm seeks to do just that.

The Policing side of PA focuses on keeping unwanted posts from finding their way onto the newsgroup (alt.starfleet.rpg) on the main Yahoo! Groups archive. Defining "unwanted" posts is simple- anything not ASR-related is considered "unwanted." We do not allow other organizations to advertise on our archive or newsgroup. Therefore, chasing down rogue posters is an important part of PA's responsibility.

The Maintenance side of PA is concerned with maintaning PA's database of information on the internet. As part of SFPA's database of information, a branch head might develop and update regularly the following documents:

  • the ASR FAQ (one of the two primary advertising documents)
  • a document introducing potential new players to the world of ASR (the other primary advertising document)
  • the ALB FAQ for players interested in joining ASR
  • the ASR QuickStart Guide, the handbook all beginning ASR players use to get themselves acclimated to ASR
  • links to all ASR branches, ALB and the home site, so that a potential new player can see the rich culture of ASR in its entirety
  • guidelines that outline for players (and outsiders as well) where and what to post
  • any additional information appropriate to PA's mission

Traditionally, the Commander, Public Affairs (COMPA) has been allowed to appoint a Deputy Commander to help him or her with the workload- Public Affairs can be a lot of work, and so a good assistant is needed.


Office of Star Fleet Records (SFREC)

The branch head of Star Fleet Records maintains a database of all information pertaining to ASR. On the SFREC web site, you would find the following information:

  • all important documentation specific to each fleet and branch of ASR, such as branch FAQ's and links to fleet home pages
  • all historical ASR info, such as an Historic Admiralty List
  • any general ASR-wide information, such as awards descriptions, rate and rank descriptions, etc.
  • links to any and all unit archives withing ASR
  • links to all branches and fleets of ASR, including Armstrong Lunar Base (ALB)

The Commander of Star Fleet Records (COMREC) is essentially the keeper of ASR's history and ASR's librarian. As such, COMREC is allowed to have an assistant on staff, but historically has not been required.


Star Fleet Engineering (SFE)

Star Fleet Engineering can be seen as a three-headed beast:

  • developing and updating Star Fleet ship designs and maintaining the Star Fleet ship database and registry
  • developing statistical models and information on the ships and weapons employed by foreign powers
  • developing new technologies and maintaining a database of this information

The development of any Star Fleet-specific material is handled by SFE proper, and is done so at the behest of the Commander, Star Fleet Engineering (COMSFE). However, the development of statistical material for ships of foreign powers falls under the purview of the Bureau of Alien Technology Assessment (BATA), a subdivision within SFE. BATA has its own head, and he or she reports directly to COMSFE.

On the SFE web site, you might find the following information:

  • an FAQ detailing SFE's purpose
  • a database of Star Fleet ship specifications, schmeatics and deck plans
  • a database of starships currently serving in ASR
  • a library of technical information regarding weapons systems, defensive systems, engines, etc.
  • a database of known foreign ship specifications

Due to the obvious importance of SFE's role in supporting ASR's writers, COMSFE is allowed several assistants, including an Executive Officer (SFEXO) and a BATA division head (DIRBATA); often, DIRBATA has an assistant as well (ADBATA).

Historically, this branch has worked very closely with the Office of Star Fleet Intelligence (OSFI), especially in developing foreign ship specifications, and Star Fleet Sciences (SFSCI), most especially in developing new technolgies. Such cooperation is encouraged for the sake of game continuity.


Star Fleet Sciences (SFSCI)

The Commander of Star Fleet Sciences (COMSCI) is tasked with providing technical information to players (most especially the unit CSciO's around the fleet) in the "hard" sciences, such as astrophysics, xenobiology, etc. As such, the typical SFSCI web site might contain the following information:

  • an FAQ detailing SFSCI's purpose in ASR
  • a database of star classifications
  • a glossary of science and science-related terms
  • info connected to various subdivisions of SFSCI, including some or all of the following:
    • Space Sciences, including Astrogation/Stellar Cartography
    • Physical Science
    • Biology/Xenobiology
    • Physics
    • Mathematics and Logic
    • Anthrpology
    • Archaeology
    • Astropolitics
    • Computers and Intelligence

As is obvious, the running of SFSCI can be a daunting task. As such, COMSFI is allowed assistants to help in the development and administration of the branch. Traditionally, there has been one assistant (SCIXO); however, the job is such that individual subdivision heads might be sought by the aggressive COMSCI. Another possibility could be a liason between COMSCI and the SFE and OSFI branches, as they traditionally share much work.


Office of Star Fleet Intelligence (OSFI)

The Director of Star Fleet Intelligence (DSFI) has the job of developing and maintaining guidelines for the proper role-play of intelligence characters in ASR, as well as maintaining a database of "sensitive" information on the state of affairs of various foreign powers.

An important task of the DSFI is to make clear the distinction between INTERNAL and EXTERNAL intelligence. Just like the CIA in America or MI6 in England, OSFI is NOT allowed to invesitgate any internal matter- that job is given to SECIS, the investigative subdivision of JAG, and roughly analogous to the FBI or MI5. OSFI may involve itself in matters external to Star Fleet and the UFPs- the doings of foreign powers and their agents, for example.

OSFI has two facets- the operational and analytic. The Operational sub-division, headed by the Director of Operations, Star Fleet Intelligence (DDOSFI), is the liason to the RP characters. Typically, the DDOSFI would approve character placement and develop mission objectives for OSFI characters within the scope of the character's posting. The DDOSFI reports directly to the DSFI.

The Analytic side is handled by the Director of Intelligence, Star Fleet Intelligence (DDISFI). Typically, the DDISFI analyses and interprets new information submitted by a player, working with the player to insure that continuity is kept between the new material and anything that has been previously established. Eventually, such information would find itself on OSFI's (or SFE or SFSCI, depending on the context of the info) database. The DDISFI also reports directly to the DSFI.

  • On the OSFI web site, the following information might be found:
  • an FAQ outlining OSFI's purpose in ASR
  • guidelines for developing and playing an intelligence character in ASR
  • a database of geopolitical and other related information of various foreign powers
  • a registry of ASR intelligence characters
  • development of supplemental material olutlining the duties of the Starfleet Security and Investigative Services (SFSECIS), the internal security force of Starfleet

Aside from the aforementioned subdivision heads, the DSFI may bring in frequently-contributing players as Special Analysts (SA) attached to specific fleets.


Star Fleet Medical (SFMED)

The head of Star Fleet's Medical branch is tasked with overseeing the development and updating of medical information pertinent to ASR and maintaining a database of this material for use by ASR's players.

Star Fleet Medical is nominally divided into two subdivisions- the Medical Science subdivision and the Counseling Science subdivision. The Medical Science subdivision, headed by the Director of Star Fleet Medical Sciences (DIRSFMED), handles the traditional medical side of SFMED. He or she would handle the development of new medical instruments and surgical techniques, and keep a database of CMO's assigned to the various units in ASR. He or she would also find it useful to keep a glossary of medical terminology, both actual and Star Trek-related. The DIRSFMED would report to the branch head, the Commander of Star Fleet Medical (MEDCOM).

The Director of Counseling Science (DIRSFCOU) is responsible for developing supporting material for ASR's COU players. Such material might include a glossary of mental illnesses, guidelines on how to develop and portray a COU in ASR, etc.

One might expect to find the following information on the SFMED web site:

  • an FAQ detailing SFMED's purpose in ASR
  • a glossary of medical and psychiatric terminology
  • a database of known diseases and their effects, both physical and mental
  • a database of Star Fleet medical equipment and their uses
  • links to outside sources a CMO/COU might find useful
  • a registry of current CMO's and COU's in ASR

Traditionally, the MEDCOM has not needed more than the two subdivision chiefs to administer the branch. However, an optional subdivision, Star Fleet Medical Investigations, Research and Development (SFMIRD) could be created to help the development process and widen SFMED's scope to include Medical Examiner's duties, if the MEDCOM so desired.


Star Fleet Marine Corps (SFMC)

A distinction should be made between the administrative head of the Marines (the branch head) and the operational head of the Marines. "Operational" directly concerns role-play, and, as the ground forces branch of Star Fleet (as opposed to the Naval branch), the operational (Commandant, Star Fleet Marine Corps, or CSFMC) head of SFMC is usually handled by the CINCSF. The CSFMC handles all things directly related to RP, such as assigning Marines to their billets out of ALB. Alternately, this task might be handled by the Assistant Commandant, portrayed by the CSFO. Since these tasks are more role-play oriented and not of a support nature, the branch head of SFMC should not concern him or herself with such details.

The Chief of Staff, Star Fleet Marine Corps (CoSSFMC) is the administrative head of the Star Fleet Marine Corps. The task of the CoSSFMC is to develop and maintain a database of information for the use of ASR's Marine contingent. Such resources might include:

  • an FAQ stating SFMC's purpose in ASR
  • a database of Marine rates and ranks
  • a database of typical Marine occupation specialties
  • a database of typical Marine equipment and vehicles
  • a database of Marine troop divisions and groups
  • a database of typical Marine weapons
  • a database of intel concerning the deployment, strength, etc. of the ground forces of foreign powers

The CoSSFMC typically has an Adjutant (ADJSFMC) to assist him or her with the development of support material and the maintenance of the branch's web site.


FEDERATION BRANCHES

Federation branches are the "civilian" branches of the Federation. Civilian personnel man these branches, and the branch heads usually hold some sort of advanced degree- most likely a PhD. or, in rarer cases, a Master's degree with considerable experience in the relevant field. Given the nature of the civilian departments listed below, such experience would likely have included an Ambassadorship or similar consul appointment, and may have included some sort of prestigious university position.

Assistants to these branch heads would most likely have similar degrees and educational experiences, but perhaps have less actual experience in relevent fields.

As the heads of civilian branches, the branch heads would report directly to the CINCSF and NOT to the CSFO, as the CSFO is in charge of only military matters.


UFP Department of Colonial Affairs (UFPDOCA)

The Secretary of the Department of Colonial Affairs would be responsible for maintaining the database of colony worlds created by ASR players in RP. He or she would not necessarily have to create such worlds; he or she would simply post any worlds submitted to them by other players. Also, the Secretary of DOCA would maintain the database of "megacorporations" in existence in ASR.

A typical database for UFPDOCA might contain the following information:

  • an FAQ outlining UFPDOCA'S purpose in ASR
  • a planetary classification system
  • a database of submitted Federation colony worlds
  • a generic submission form to guide ASR players in the development of new colony worlds for use in ASR
  • a database that both defines and stores megacorps
  • a generic submission form to aid ASR players in the development of new megacorps for use in ASR

A couple of distinctions should be made clear by the Secretary of UFPDOCA. Firstly, the UFPDOCA database is for Federation colonies only; the development of foreign powers information is the purview of OSFI. Secondly, UFPDOCA is simply a clearinghouse for planetary information, and does not deal in cultural information whatsoever. UFPDOCA offers the measurable facts about the colony- size, population, etc. Detailed cultural and geopolitical information is the purview of the UFP Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UFPESCO).

The Secretary of UFPDOCA typically employs an Undersecretary to help in the administration and the development of the branch.


UFP Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UFPESCO)

The Secretary of the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization would be responsible for the development and maintenance of the Cultures and Civilizations database, which would contain educational, cultural and scientific summaries of both Federation and non-Federation civilizations. Aside from this database, an FAQ detailing UFPESCO's function in ASR would be created and updated as necessary.

The Secretary of UFPESCO has not typically needed an Undersecretary, as the billet does not have the same developmental tasks as the other branch billets. However, should this change, an Undersecretary can be secured for assistance.


VERSION HISTORY

  • 1.1 (06 March 2004)- minor changes to responsibilities of SFJAG, OSFI by Scott Lusby
  • 1.0 (17 October 2003)- minor corrections and editing by Scott Lusby
  • Beta (25 April 2003)- created by Scott Lusby