The Squadron is the basic unit of the Starfighter Corps. While battles can be fought with massive destroyers or combat-oriented cruisers, the clashes between one fighter squadron and another can determine who has the advantage. Within the VEN, squadrons are the heart and soul of the SC. When you graduate from BT, you will be put into a squadron and from that day forward, you are obligated to participate in it. This page will tell you exactly what is expected of you and what you'll get for doing it - or for neglecting your duties, as the case may be...
A basic VEN squadron consists of sixteen pilots at most (more usually, 12 pilots). The squadron is split up into even smaller groups called 'Flights.' There are four fighters in a flight - thus, every squadron has three to four flights. Within a flight, there is a Flight Leader (the member who gives orders to the rest of his small group), and each person is assigned a partner. This partner is called a wingman - they are a squadron member's greatest asset, and will probably save your life on more then one occasion (Or you save theirs).
Above the Flight Leaders is the SXO, Squadron Executive Officer. They are second-in-command and are the back-up in case the SCO, Squadron Commanding Officer, disappears or is unable to perform his or her duty. The Squadron Commanding Officer is always the first flier in the squadron, meaning that they will receive a '1' after their squadron name. (Examples: Raptor 1, Tuk'ata 1, Nightshrike 1, etc...)
Lets pretend you are now in a squadron- what now? Well, you need to ask your commanding officers (The SXO and SCO of your group), what you're doing and how you must get involved. Once you are given that answer, treat it like an order.
Being active is a blend of several activities, but mostly involves regular posting on stories and reporting each week. The basic measure of activity is how long it takes you to respond when told to do something. But it's also important not to give quantity at the expense of quality. If you are posting hourly but each post is worthless to the story and doesn't contribute at all, you might as well not be posting. When we ask for activity, we ask for quality and consistent activity. We also ask for cooperation and understanding - When people get in sync, their writing improves as they bounce the story off one another. At first, story posting might seem a little daunting since you don't really know anyone, and might not even want to post out of fear that you might "mess the story up," but as an active member of your group - you must. Be brave and you will be rewarded. We really just want you to choose a level of activity that you can manage, and stick to it. (But the more active, the better - Higher activity leads to a lot of good things.) Don't take on more than you think you can. We are here to help you and facilitate you in any way we can- this should be fun, not a chore.
What about RL (real-life) issues? Don't think that we will judge you if you decide that RL pressures are getting to you and you need to take some time off. RL is RL - this is only a pastime, enjoy it but don't abuse yourself in an attempt to do something you know won't help. Please, have a good time, but let us know if things are going on and require attention. Taking off without asking is about the worst thing that can happen to a squadron- so give us some warning if possible. If you just leave and don't tell us what's going on, your squadron may remain dependent on you although you are absent - remember that you are in a group. The VEN requires time and patience, so please don't treat it like a joke; have a good time and remain on your toes.
You are requested to post on a story at least two or three times a week to be considered fully active- they should be good posts that show the basic elements of story writing- that's all we ask. Have fun with them and try to branch out to the people of your group as you do so- it's a team sport really; everyone else should be having fun as well.</p>
A report is a weekly synopsis of what you've done. All it requires is a few sentences about what you've been up to, and then to send it to your commanders (SCO and SXO) as well as your Flight Leader (FL). This can be simply saying you've been spending the majority of your time posting on the story, or working on a website or graphics for your groups or maybe using some time to do some PPC (Pay-Per-Click - can be found on the side bar of the main VE site). By doing this, you direct your commanders to exactly where you've been active so they can observe it first hand. Keeping an even and fluent reporting schedule can get you a promotion or commendation if you're lucky. If you don't send in reports at all, well, eventually you'll be fined, then demoted, and then reclassified as AWOL and removed from active duty.
Note: Any problems or conflicts you've been having to deal with should certainly be put into these reports so that the situation can be corrected. If you have any questions, but have been unable to find someone to talk to - put them in so that they might be answered. Reports are an ideal way to get what you're really thinking about across to your commanders without attracting attention. This is what we call using the CoC- Chain of Command.
For a list of default report templates, click here.
As a member of a squadron, don't act like a total moron. The final rule of the CoC (Code of Conduct)- "Don't act stupid." This means no spamming (constant, incessant blathering on the ComNet with no substance), insulting other members, talking down to other members, and other rude behavior. Doing so is completely unacceptable and will be punished to the furthest extent - you have been warned. If you see someone else doing it- report it! Send a message to your commander who will forward message whomever it concerns.
If you are on the IRC channel and have been insulted for absolutely no reason, take the entire conversation and copy and paste it from start to finish in a message and send it away. If you have been treated incorrectly at all- we need to know. The VEN is based on respect- let no one think otherwise. You are a member of the VEN, so act like it. Take the time to compliment your members and even those outside of your group. Competition is good, but squadron fights are not healthy. Some day, you will see the ESC (Elite Squadron Competition)- this is where your sportsmanship and squadron pride will show the most. We hope you don't disappoint us, but instead inspire.</p>
Upon completion of Chapter I, The Character, you will be placed in the training squadron, Raptor. You will be required to post several times on the training squadron's topic and send in a report to the appropriate personnel.
Also, during Chapter I you should have constructed your ID Line using the information here. Your ID Line will not be that long to begin with, but you can update it as soon as you are placed, this exercise is simply to get you used to the feel of being in a squadron, and to identify people via their ID Line. ID lines are placed in your signature, so that they appear every time you post. You can edit your signature by clicking Profile near the top of the ComNet page and scrolling down the page it brings up until you find the right section.
You may report to your post now.
Upon completing at least one good post in the training story and sending in one weekly report, you will be placed in a squadron and embark on your journey with the Vast Empire.