When Fleet Admiral Longshaw stepped
down as the Chief of Staff due to serious hospitalizing illnesses in her family, it took a
little while to stage the election for the next Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command
(Commander, STARFLEET). During this time Admiral Brandt Heatherington, who at the
time was 14 years of age, stepped in as STARFLEETs Third Commander, STARFLEET,
briefly succeeding Longshaw. A few short months later, Admiral John Wetsch became the Fourth
The Wetsch administration improved further on the
organizational structure of STARFLEET. The STARFLEET Officer's
Handbook was greatly improved and a previous backlog in distributing
membership packets was addressed. Also in August, 1981, the IRS granted STARFLEET
the official designation as a 'Non Profit Organization'. These accomplishments, however, are
eventually overshadowed with problems that had developed that could only be pointed to the
lack of experience, youthfulness and indecision on the part of those in charge.
Soon, breakdowns in communication between staff members, Fleet Admiral Wetsch, and the
membership in general began to manifest themselves. Correspondence was not being answered
and membership applications and renewals were not being processed. This was complicated by the fact that the membership fees of the time, $3.00, did not cover the cost of making and sending
membership materials, which cost a total of $5.00. Members complained bitterly to
Heatherington as his own parents help in covering the funds need to make and send
membership materials. These problems became so bad that the Star Trek
Welcommittee; actually blacklisted STARFLEET. At this point, extreme
and immediate measures became necessary, lest STARFLEET start to whither.
Admiral Heatherington chose to leave the position of Chief of Personnel and Vice Admiral
Eric Stillwell stepped up from the Vice Chief position to take over. Admiral Stillwell
then began a personal crusade to improve STARFLEET under a program called
"Mandate for Change". While Admiral Stillwell at first had nothing but praise
for the efforts of Fleet Admiral Wetsch, soon his vision of what STARFLEET should be
differed from Admiral Wetschs and a power-struggle formed between the two.
A new STARFLEET Constitution was approved in July of 1981, which defined the ruling
body of STARFLEET to be "The Admiralty Board". This Board consisted of the Chief
of Staff, the Vice Chief of Staff, and the Chiefs of Operations, Personnel, and
Communications. It gave the Chief of Staff the power to appoint and remove all officers in
STARFLEET, including other Admiralty Board members and chapter commanding officers.
It also defined the type of chapter based on members, ranging from Tugs (fifteen members)
to Dreadnoughts (fifty-plus members). While the concept of Regions as we now know them did
not exist, one chapter was chosen by the Chief of Staff to be the "Flagship" for
a group of geographically-located chapters. STARFLEET members also had
the option of now being "Associate" members or requesting a rank and serial
number from the Chief of Personnel.
With delays in the publishing of the official STARFLEET
newsletter, Admiral Stillwell started his own high-quality newsletter, called the STARFLEET
Supplemental Communiqué. With the help of his roommate, Chief of Communications
Vice Admiral Anthony Wynn, who used the pseudonym "T. Wxyn", this soon came to
replace Starfleet Communications as the official news source for most
members. Admiral Stillwell used this to help improve his position in his struggle against
Fleet Admiral Wetsch.
Chapter Five: Eric Stillwell