The history of the USS Freedom starts in October 1992 when a group of members from the USS Starward Fury decided that it was time to form another chapter. After the group petitioned the USS Starward Fury to be their Support Ship and consequently being denied because of ill feelings between the two groups, the group petitioned the USS Star League from North Augusta, SC to be the Support Ship. The crew opened their arms to us and in October 1992 the group officially became known as the Shuttle Braxton-Bragg.
For the first nine months the chapter organized itself into a very organized and productive chapter. The Shuttle Braxton-Bragg primarily operated on Fort Bragg, North Carolina as an official club approved by the Fort Bragg Garrison Commander. During these nine months the chapter grew from the original size of 16 to 32 before she was commissioned 9 months after her launch. The chapter participated in numerous events supporting such activities as the Fort Bragg Youth Program, the base recycling efforts, the Angel Tree Project, Campbell Soup Labels for Education, and numerous food drives to name just a few. Members also participated in several Star Trek Convention Security details for the Trek O’ Rama conventions.
On July 4, 1993 the Shuttle Braxton-Bragg was officially commissioned as the USS Freedom (NCC-71817). The following months saw great growth and activity. The chapter conducted several camping trips, participated in the Fort Bragg Youth Services Anniversary celebration, and actress Ellen Bethea who had been a Youth Counselor at Fort Bragg was made an Honorary Member of the chapter.
In November 1993, the USS Freedom‘s Captain was reassigned for a short tour to South Korea, so the chapter conducted its first CO/XO elections. This was also the time the chapter had its first shuttle, called the Shuttle Lynx. The Shuttle Lynx became a correspondence chapter and was the first chapter ever to be in South Korea.
Under the command of her second Captain, the chapter moved more towards the fun aspects of the chapter. More events such as swimming activities, movies, Star Trek TV nights, camping, and community service activities were planned.
In July 1994 the chapter’s first shuttle was officially commissioned as the USS Lynx and upon its CO’s return from his overseas duty, Fort Bragg became home to both the USS Freedom and the USS Lynx.
In November 1995, the USS Freedom conducted its second elections for Commanding Officer and First Officer. It was during this time that the chapter shifted further away from formal business like activities and became more of a social get together. This continued into 1996 and the situation became worse with the problems happening in STARFLEET. The chapter decided to change the class of vessel from the Galaxy Class to the Defiant Class and with the STARFLEET elections concluding, the chapter decided to leave STARFLEET and become its own independent club in January 1997.
During this time, personal struggles and turmoil spilled over into the club and within several months the chapter began to disband. In an attempt to save the chapter, the ship’s fourth Captain returned it back into STARFLEEET for a few more years, but with a much smaller crew then before.
In 2003, after the events of September 11, 2001 the chapter was officially decommissioned after numerous members who were military began deploying overseas and the chapter was no longer a priority at the time.
In July 2014, members of the USS Helen Pawlowski decided that the chapter was just too big and decided to take on the challenges of starting a new chapter. Some of these members had actually been crewmembers of the original USS Freedom. On August 24, 2014, the USS Freedom NX-71817 was officially launched with the Station Robert de Bruce as the USS Freedom’s Support Chapter. The chapter had to first complete her 9 month shakedown cruise. During this time, the chapter devoted to organization of the chapter and setting up a good foundation for the chapter to grow. The chapter participated in several community service projects such as the Angel Tree, Toys for Tots and recycling to name just a few. The chapter also held several fun/educational activities. Members of the crew participated in visits/tours of such places as the USS North Carolina, Ft. Fischer, the NC Zoo , NC Aquarium, several trips to the local beaches, and several cookouts during the warmer months.
On June 16, 2016 the USS Freedom NCC-71817 was officially commissioned as a full chapter of STARFLEET. Many of the members continued to participate in the chapter community service projects and fun activities. Every September the chapter cosponsored a yard sale that members are asked to donate unwanted items to. The proceeds were divided up to the members who either donated or volunteered to work the sale or both to help pay for the members STARFLEET annual membership. Any funds left over went to the chapters represented for things like unit t-shits, patches, etc.