The USS Freedom offers different types of membership statuses to meet the needs of the individual crew-members. Therefore the chapter has three types of memberships. They are Active Duty, Reserve Duty, and Honorary.
Active Duty Membership
The Active Duty membership is designed for those members who want to be active within the chapter, who participate in the online chats/meetings regularly, and wish to hold positions and rank.
Reserve Duty Membership
The Reserve Duty Membership is designed for those members who want full membership benefits but are not able to participate as much due to time restraints, internet availability, or distance from the chapter. These members are the same as Active Duty, except they are unable to hold leadership positions.
The Honorary Membership is designed to recognize individuals for significant contribution and support to the chapter or its interests. Individuals such as philanthropists, celebrities, local leaders, and other prominent non-STARFLEET members may be given this type of membership. Honorary Members may not hold leadership positions and are non-voting members.
Due to the STARFLEET membership requirement, the USS Freedom has moved to an all-digital membership, which has reduced costs and allows the chapter to have no chapter-level dues or fees. Crewmembers receive all publications and membership materials in electronic format (pdf). The standard membership package includes the following:
- Membership ID Card (digital)
- Membership Certificate (digital)
- All Promotion Certificates (as earned, digital)
- Award Certificates (as earned, digital)
- Membership Handbook (digital)
- Access to all issues of the ship’s newsletter, The Liberty (digital)
Membership Rights and Responsibilities
As a paid member of the USS Freedom, you are guaranteed certain inalienable rights of membership. Much of this is common sense for members of any chapter of STARFLEET; however, this section of the handbook seeks to list your most basic rights as a member of the USS Freedom. These include, but are not limited to:
- Right to receive a new or renewing membership packet and all its contents per annual membership.
- Right to receive any issues of The Liberty during active membership.
- Right to pursue the type of membership you want, and the right to change from one type of membership to another for any reason, without undue burden.
- Right to transfer from one chapter/department to another without undue burden.
- Right to participate in the USS Freedom to the fullest extent you wish to.
- Right to apply for any chapter position you feel qualified to participate in.
- Right to due process.
- Right for all sides in an issue to be heard before judgment is passed.
- Right to appeal all judgmental decisions.
- Right to be adequately informed of the availability of, and application process for, any available position at any level of the USS Freedom.
- Right to vote your opinion at any level of the USS Freedom.
- Right to participate in any USS Freedom program.
- Right to have Fun!
Positions and Rank
All members of the USS Freedom are encouraged to take part in local, regional, and Fleet activities. As individuals become involved and active in the organization, STARFLEET encourages its chapters to recognize that involvement and dedication through rank promotions. Likewise, once a member advances to the rank of Commander, The Regional Coordinator may grant promotions to Captain, and the STARFLEET Executive Committee (EC) may grant promotion of Captain and within the Flag ranks (Fleet Captain and higher) for service at the Chapter, Regional and Fleet levels. The simplest way for a member to receive a promotion is to take and pass the Officer Training School exam from STARFLEET Academy. Once passed, OTS accords a member the promotion to the officer grade of Ensign, a rank which that member is guaranteed through the remainder of his/her STARFLEET career, unless they continue to be promoted. No one, except the EC, can relieve any individual of a rank that has been granted by the EC including an officer commission from OTS to the rank of Ensign and Field Grade or Flag Rank promotions above the rank of Commander.
The Commanding Officer is responsible for all promotions (enlisted and commissioned) within the chapter. The system used on the USS Freedom is the point system to quantifiably allow members to progress through the ranks to Lieutenant. For promotions to Lieutenant Commander and Commander, the USS Freedom uses the promotion point system and a promotion review board.
Promotions beyond the rank of Commander are granted only by the Regional Coordinator (Captain only) or the STARFLEET Executive Committee. Flag Promotion forms are available from STARFLEET Headquarters and should be returned when completed. Once again, ranks conferred by the EC may be taken away only by the EC.
Rank and promotions are intended to recognize members that become involved in the organization, as well as those accorded higher responsibility within the organization, and should not be used to the detriment of any member. STARFLEET and the USS Freedom ranks are honorary and carry no “real world” weight to them. No matter how high in rank, no member has the right to violate another member’s rights; civil, USS Freedom, or STARFLEET. Individuals, such as Department Chiefs and other Command Staff Officers, may be accorded a certain amount of responsibility within the organization in order to provide them a means to effectively administrate. That responsibility is granted only on the condition that it is responsibly utilized, and that in performing those responsibilities the member adheres to USS Freedom and STARFLEET policies and guidelines. Those that use their delegated authority outside the bounds of the USS Freedom or STARFLEET policies may be relieved of their duties. The most important thing to remember in disputes over rank and authority is that this organization is primarily here for fun. This is all very much make-believe, and it’s not going to appear on anyone’s resume.
NOTE: See Regulation 100 (in the USS Freedom Handbook) for more information about promotions on the USS Freedom, and USS Freedom Uniform Guide for rank insignia diagrams.