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The History of
The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc.

Original Introductions

S. Smith
M. Smith
Rickard (1)
Rickard (2)

The Brief History

SFMC History
Commandants, SFMC

Commanders, STARFLEET
International Conferences
Admiralty Board
STARFLEET Historians


Chapter Four
John Wetch

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 STARFLEET’s Third Commander, STARFLEET, briefly succeeding Longshaw. A few short months later, Admiral John Wetsch became the Fourth Commander, STARFLEET.

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 Wetsch’s 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