How to write a GREAT R1 Awards Entry
By Karen Berenberg
I know a few things about R1 Awards, and what make a great and often winning entry. As the saying goes the devil is in the details. It does not matter if your chapter has 10 members or 50 members. It does not matter that your Chapter is an active meeting chapter or a correspondence chapter. What matters is that you do stuff and then using the requirements of the awards, paint the best possible picture of what you did so that the judges understand what you did.
When writing Award recommendations it is necessary that you give all the vital information of why
this award is warranted. The recommending officer should give enough details of the actions performed so that the Awards Committee can get a clear mental picture of what the nominee actually did that
was so deserving of an award. If your recommendation reads like the following it will more than likely be turned down.
I highly recommend Lt. Jameson for a Regional DSA for the exceptional service and duties that he performed as Chief Medical Officer for the last three years aboard the USS Doodle Bug. Without his efforts and dedication, this ship would be nothing.
While this sounds nice...what EXACTLY did he/she do that was so above and beyond the call of
duty, extraordinary or deserves recognition? What were the services? What were the duties? Remember we were not there and it is up to you to tell us all these things. This is the information that the Awards Committee is looking for. No, we do not want a tome of information. However, if a person is truly deserving of an award the recommending officer should really take the time to prepare the
recommendation so that the recommendation shows just how glowing the person or
chapter really is. If all that appears on the recommendation form is one or two sentences - just how deserving is the award?
Items to include:
Date and Events – (for awards like the “Let me help” you may want to list all candidates yearly activities)
Specific Actions or Duties performed (summary)
What EXACTLY did this person do that was deserving of the award? (Include some of the relevant details or examples)
Compare the above recommendation with the following:
I recommend Lt. Jameson for the exceptional performance and duties that he performed as Chief Medical Officer of the USS Doodle Bug. Here are some examples of the services that he has performed as CMO. His department is considered the most active on the ship. He holds regular department meetings that are entertaining as well as educational. Their meetings often have guess speakers, such as Dr. Leonard McCoy who came to discuss the joys of space Xeno medicine. He has each department member to host a medical topic (real of fictional). He even rotated the meetings at the department members’ homes so that each of them has a chance to participate. His has organized annual CPR and
First Aid classes for the entire chapter and some of the closer STARFLEET chapters and even got certified for several classes himself. So far half the crew is certified. Lt. Jameson has even put together a comprehensive “Guide to the Sickbay” - Medical knowledge for the 24th Century, which has both real and fictional Trek Medical information in it. I received a letter from the Cmdr. James Eddington, RDC of Medical, commending Lt. Jameson and his staff on the manual and their general department activities with other ships’ medical departments and indeed the other chapters in the fleet. Lt. Jameson has also taken it upon himself to send each member of the crew who is on the sick list a ‘get well soon card’ signed by all the members of the crew and makes phone calls to all these members. Lt Jameson is one of my most dependable and active members. He has never missed a reporting deadline for either myself or with the RDC of Medical. There is so much more that I could write about this officer; however,
I feel this is sufficient showing just how valuable a Region One member he is. Without his efforts and dedication this ship would be nothing.
Just remember the awards committee has no knowledge of the person you are recommending or what they have done that is outstanding or deserving. There have been instances where we received award recommendations from individuals that have not panned out. The person basically showed up to events, but never actually did anything note worthy. Region One awards are meant to show our appreciation to outstanding members of First Fleet. (And we know that’s about all of Region One). We just need you to tell WHAT they did.
Recommendations Do’s and Don’ts’
Be Honest – don’t do a disservice to either yourself, the person,or the group you are recommending by including misinformation. "The first duty of a Starfleet officer is to the truth--be it scientific truth, historical truth, PERSONAL truth. It is the guiding principle on which Starfleet was founded!" as Picard would say.
Recommend the correct award. Individual awards are for just that an Individual. Although if you are doing lots of Good conduct award … you can list all of them info in the summary section. A unit Award is used for a team of people (away team, department…etc) who work on a project or activity or the entire chapter. Use the criteria for the award to best match the action. If you can’t find one, and feel the award or recognition is well deserved, then please ask.
Be sure to correctly fill out the Name, Rank, SCC#, and Chapter of the person you are recommending. If you don’t know this information check with their CO or the STARFLEET Membership database.
When recommending UNIT awards. You MUST include the names and SCC#'s of everyone involved who made up the team, unless it’s the whole chapter. Unit award recommendations should come from the team leader and not the individual member. If you were part of a team and think you deserve
recognition, please discuss this with the team leader – it is up to them to put you in, the not Awards Committee.
For many of the Academic Awards that is not from Starfleet Academy, you MUST include a copy of the documentation. It can be scanned and included in a separate e-mail.
If you mail in hand written recommendations, PLEASE WRITE LEGIBALLY - If I can't read it, it may be returned. There is an on-line form available to use - for those chapters or individuals with web access. There are also forms that can be downloaded that are useable by most Word Processors.
Although the award certificates are free, you still have to provide a SASE to have them mailed to you. If you want them as PDF certificates, please state this on the on-line form.
All award recommendations at the Chapter level MUST be approved by the Commanding Officer or the Executive Officer. These officers just have to OK them, not submit them. Regional Staff Officers making recommendations for those members involved in their programs can just send their recommendation directly to the Awards Director who will forward them.
Do not try the sandbag recommendations. Put all of your information one ONE recomendation form. Don’t use the essentially same information for different awards recommendations. As specified on page 5, this is a NO NO. We do actually read each and every one of them and keep them on file. During the
Annual Awards it is not necessary to do an annual recommendation as well as a normal one. Those entries that do not receive an annual award, may receive a non-annual award. In this case the
recommendations will be kept on file until after the annual award process.