Archive for February 14th, 2008

View from the Top: Denethor

February 14th, 2008 | Category: News

The first in what I hope is a series; “View from the Top” will see me going around a few of our illustrious leaders to find out more about them, what they do, and what they think. My first interviewee is 2nd Lieutenant Denethor, Executive Officer of the Navy wing Phoenix.  


Hello Denethor. First of all, let me first thank you agreeing to this interview, I know your time is precious. On behalf of the VE Today, welcome.

I’m more than happy to be doing this, so don’t worry about taking up my time, it’s perfectly fine.

Let’s start off with a little introduction: some people may only know you as 2nd Lieutenant Denethor, Corvette Captain and member of the Navy Task Force Alpha, can you fill in the blanks for us?

Well, I’ve been with the Navy for over six years now. I started off in Aegis Squadron then was approached by two other members, one of which was our beloved Arturus, to found Nazgul squadron as a Flight Leader. If I remember correctly, as it was 6 years ago, I believe that I even gave the squadron its name, so I’m happy to see that it’s one of the squadrons that are still active. In those 6 years I was forced to go into retirement/reserves a few times because of Real-Life. But upon those returns I was a Flight Leader in Kaph and Venom squadrons, and Squadron Commander of Kaph and Polaris squadrons. I retired for about a year, and then returned this last time to become Corvette Captain, and most of you know the rest.

A very impressive history, but why did you stop wanting to be part of a Squadron? How does writing as a pilot differ from that as a ship captain?

Well, when I came back this time I knew that I wouldn’t really have the time to commit as a squad commander or flight leader, and I knew that it would be even more odd to come back to being a flight member, because it had literally been years since I’d been that. Fortunately I had come back at a time when the high command was thinking about starting the task force, and it kind of fell into place from there.

Now, you have recently been made the Executive Officer for Phoenix wing, which is the main fighter wing for the VE Navy. Shazam of course is the current Commander of the wing, how do you feel about your promotion?

When I had first talked to Shazam about a job with him, it was in the Naval Academy, but that organization had so many promising members and he didn’t feel that he had the space for me, so he approached me with the Wing XO position. I had never really thought about it before, but when it was put in front of me, I was immediately attracted to it. I’m very honored that Shazam feels that I am a good candidate for the XO position, and then in the future the WC position.

What are your duties currently as the WXO? What sort of things have you been doing since your appointment?

Well, as most of you know, I sent out messages to every member trying to get their feel on their own positions and the Navy itself. Shaz felt that since I’d been gone so long, that I needed to start getting to know some of the “regular” guys who I most likely had never met, or only knew slightly from before I left. This obviously was a good idea, and I was happy to do it. The other thing that we’ve both wanted to work on is getting the quality and quantity of posts on stories up, and I’m seeing that getting better already.

Excellentt. Now as I understand it, you will eventually be taking over as commander of the wing, as our beloved Shazam wishes to retire. How to you feel about that?

I actually didn’t know that I was to be taking over when Shazam first talked to me. He had asked how I would feel with a WC position, but I automatically thought that it was to be of a second wing, that the Navy was picking up members and we would need another one. I actually found out I would be taking over when I read the meeting notes from the meeting that announced my position. It’s going to be sad to see him go, since I’ve known him the entirety of his career (he used to be my XO in Kaph), but it’s obviously something that we’re all going to have to deal with and keep moving from, and I’m honored that he feels that I would be a good replacement.

I’m sure you’ll do a good job. When you do become wing commander, what are your plans? Is there anything you wish to change/improve?

I honestly have not noticed a whole lot that needs to be changed; Shazam has done a stellar job with it. My current plans are to have some more competitions, both in writing and gaming (hopefully the boys at LucasArts will decide to give us Navy boys some more game platforms in the future). But right now my biggest concern is activity and the quality of posts. Some of the new guys just need to be taught the proper length and quality of a story post, and I hope to utilize SC’s and FL’s to help train them. (As has always been the case. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone; we’ve all been there as newbs)

Of course. When taking up the role of wing commander, you’ll have more involvement in creating the stories for the navy – will this deter you from participating in them? Do your current duties get in the way of your commitment to the task force?

I certainly hope that they won’t. In the future I wish to use my ship as a coordinating point during the battles, an HQ of sorts. I fully intend to remain active with the TFA, but it would obviously have to take a back burner to my duties as WC.

What is your view on the current state of the Navy? Obviously there aren’t as many people as in the Army, but do you think we have it pretty good anyway? Would you like to see more squadrons up?

From what I’ve noticed, the quality of the Navy is at one of its bests since I’ve been a member, like I said, my only qualms are with story quality, and activity (and by activity, I suppose I mean membership).

And finally, do you have any aspirations after Wing Commander? Will we be interviewing ‘Real Admiral Denethor’ someday?

Certainly everyone sees them self as “Rear Admiral” or “Grand Admiral”, but right now I just don’t see that as my future. Would I like to possibly be on the NHC some day? Yes, but what my position would be is any man’s guess and dream. I’m happy where I’m headed right now, and if the higher ups feel that I’m better in a stronger leadership role, then I’m obviously not going to argue. I’ve been here six years, and while my trek could be a slow one when compared to Riel Fury and Japheth (who both came in around the same time I did), I’m happy with it, and can see myself here at least another 6 years.

Well, once again thank you for the interview. On behalf of our readers let me just congratulate you on your appointment, and we look forward to seeing your work in the future.

Thank you, and I hope that I won’t disappoint. 


Stay tuned for more updates from “View from the Top”.

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