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Trevor Russell

Ordo
Responsibilities of the OIC and SoG

9 posts in this topic

I wrote this document during work, typed it during class, and consulted with numerous veteran officers. Finally, I consulted with Aryte Vesperia, who instructed me to post it here with his blessing.

Responsibilities of the OIC/SoG

The post of OIC is of utmost importance, but is often underused. This document serves to outline specific guidelines and areas of improvement.

Firstly, it is important AT ALL TIMES to maintain an OIC. As this is a military organization, someone should always be in charge. It cannot be stressed enough, as every scenario on base dictates the need for strong leadership. If there is even one person on base (which, the base should never be empty) then there should be an OIC.

As such, the most critical part of constant OIC maintenance is the Ritual of the Transfer of Command. The OIC checks the sim, and starting with the highest rank, begins to message available personnel. It is NOT recommended to solicit the post over the COM channel. Officers can (and often do) ignore this, and the post is most likely to fall to an eager but inexperienced NCO. Next, after a willing person is ready to take command, the OIC relinquishes command on COMS, and the new OIC takes over on COMs. It really is as simple as that! If there aren’t any online officers on base, check your friends list for off-base officers. Only after that is fruitless do you consider giving it to an NCO, using the same process of IMing. Do not resort to COMs solicitation, as it is not nearly as effective.

Once an OIC is established, he must establish an SoG. Many OICs completely ignore this part, but this post’s importance must not be underestimated. The OIC has the option of maintaining the current SoG, or appointing his own; either is acceptable. If the SoG must leave, he must announce it to the OIC, who is then responsible for appointing another SoG. It is NOT acceptable for the SoG to choose his successor.

If you are the OIC, you should be well aware of personnel on base. If you are an NCO, you should make a concerted effort to hand it off to an officer when possible. If an officer shows up on base, ask them how long they will be online, and if they are willing to take OIC. Any officer not detained in an important project and planning to be online for 30 minutes or more should take OIC. By important, this means Ordo-related, productive, homework-related, and usually time-pertinent. If, instead, you are an officer, it is courteous and recommended, although not outright required, to offer the post to anyone of a higher rank. Furthermore, if you are not OIC (and are an officer), the OIC is an NCO, and you are not otherwise reasonably detained, you should assume OIC (politely) to maintain an officer's presence in command.

This leads into the next point, which is the laxity of officers on base. To put it simply, if you aren’t willing to command, you should not be an officer. Command is THE PRIMARY duty of an officer. Many officers as of late have neglected this, often out of laziness, leaving command of the sim to less-qualified personnel. NCOs should be a last resort, not a regular occurrence. What is more, neglecting command should be a punishable offense.

Another common problem is lackluster command. The OIC’s primary duty is to coordinate defense, but often this is underperformed. Even with a single attacker, the OIC should be organizing the defense against this one person. Also, OICs and SoGs are prone to go inactive, usually for phone calls, bathroom breaks, or food runs. Depending on the duration, the OIC/SoG should have a plan. Anything less than 5 minutes with no hostiles present, the OIC should inform the SoG to take the lead for the time. If the SoG is leaving briefly, he should inform the OIC. The OIC then has the choice as to whether or not to take SoG duties, or appoint another SoG, either temporarily or permanently.

Considering it is a post often held by the Imperator himself, the responsibilities of the OIC are paramount. ANYTHING that occurs on base should be known by the OIC. The OIC monitors enemy positions, assigns troops to specific areas, maintains near constant communication and coordination with the SoG, and calls for aid/admins when needed. The OIC is also responsible for discipline on base; including dispute resolution, administering minor punishments, and generally keeping the base orderly. This isn’t to say that having fun isn’t permissible, but base security and defensive readiness should NEVER be compromised.

The SoG has similar, though distinctly different responsibilities. It is the responsibility of the SoG to contact every non-Ordo person that enters the base. Hostile armies are an exception, as their intention is clear. When contacting, the SoG should be polite, but also professional and official, insistent even when needed. He should find out who the person is, are they suspicious (known alt, known bot, suspected bot, suspected alt, griefer, blank profile, et cetera), and forward all of this information to the OIC and/or the COM channel. The SoG has the secondary duty of assisting the OIC with all of his duties, particularly by micromanaging while the OIC is macromanaging.

Footnote: Aryte mentioned he'd like me to say this:

Don't make Aryte OIC. He will take it when he's ready. If you need him to, ASK him, don't just make him OIC and don't tell him.

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Once an OIC is established, he must establish an SoG.

While having an SOG is undeniably a boon to the functioning of the sim, unless policy has recently changed, it is sill a position that is assigned or not at the discretion of the OIC.

Good piece though!

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Furthermore, if you are not OIC (and are an officer), the OIC is an NCO, and you are not otherwise reasonably detained, you should assume OIC (politely) to maintain an officer's presence in command.

I thought it was never okay for anyone to take over the OIC position without first having permission from the current OIC?

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The intent is to have the region in the hands of an officer as often as possible. Albeit respectfully.

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Legs can be broken, names written down. This is an empowering document. Please recall, the Guard do not generally assume OIC unless there is a lack of available officers. We're the last step before the call for NCOICs. Thus, Praetorians, assume OIC if it is asked and no one is stepping up to the plate. If passing off OIC is difficult, find a Praetorian and ask if they are willing to do so. Evocati are granted a bit more latitude in that as de facto officers, they can assume OIC when a general call is made.

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I would like to add a point that since the OIC is in command, that it is also the task of the OIC to make sure a combat report is filed after a defense of the base. I have seen lately that there is a great lack of some personnel doing this and forgetting to or assuming someone is taking care of it. These reports do need to be filed so we know who is attacking us and when they are.

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I would like to suggest, since this is already up, that if an NC/OIC's friend comes to visit when that person is in charge, they should pass their power to someone else. While their friend is there. I say this because most people will be inherently biased in favor of their friend should they be doing something wrong. As a result, that friend (whom is visiting) gets to do more than a normal visitor would in respects to how they act towards other members and such. I am not saying that it is an often theme, but I do believe that it would be a good precaution. Not to mention that with the responsibilities of the NC/OIC passed off, the Ordo member can now focus more on their friend instead of ignoring them to take care of their duty.

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Adding this as a foot note:

The confidence by which we operate is one that is born out of a respect for authority and an adherence for authority. The rule of law is sacrosanct—yes, discretion goes into this rule of law, but by provision and a base line, we are an organization that operates through formality, regulation, and protocol. At times, the complex system of norms and rules become complicated and requires modification in order to ensure clarity, however that is not currently the case. A reinforcement of the basic expectations is due: by statute, by order, by all rights—the appointment of an NCOIC/OIC at any time entitles the holder with absolute discretion and the dire responsibility of maintaining order on Titan.

There are very few situations in which an NCOIC/OIC may be overruled, all of which require the presence and commitment of a senior officer. An NCO may not subvert another NCO and take control; however an officer may subvert an NCO to assume control when the situation warrants the exercise of power. Assumption of control from another member is a reserved matter and must be utilized cautiously.

Following the command of an NCOIC/OIC (henceforth referred to simply as “OIC” for simplicity sake) is extremely important. Orders issued by an OIC should be considered as holding the full weight of authority. In the event that the OIC exercised power inappropriately, it is their responsibility and they will be reprimanded: as such, it is appropriate to afford the OIC the benefit of the doubt and carry out defensive decisions and maneuvers by their lead. The only exceptions thereof would fall under the jurisdiction of an officer, or if decisions made by the OIC directly conflict with the written/codified rules.

Failure to adhere to an OIC in the commission of battle shall be deemed and is deemed insubordination. Per statute, insubordination is a severe level infraction and carries with it major penalty. This is said not to scare, but to remind all individuals to the gravity and importance behind the existence of the OIC, the role the OIC holds, and the necessity to remain orderly under the OIC’s lead.

Additionally, holding the role of OIC is a distinct honor. It should be nothing short of a respected, sought role by all levels of personnel. Although it does carry with it a high level of responsibility and the potential risk of error—if an individual acts within good faith, no error shall constitute punishment. Officers and senior NCOs alike shall be held with the expectation of seeking the role of OIC when available, without exception. It is understood that officers and senior NCO alike typically have a degree of work, assignments, and various tasks that would otherwise make holding the position of OIC difficult—but such is the nature of the job of holding a senior role. In the event that question arises about the capability to maintain a role while being busy: appoint a SOG. SOG is an extension of an OIC and can manage the rudimentary day to day elements, permitting an OIC to handle multiple functions.

Proper use and function of the OIC role is fundamental to our organization. It is lamentable that there is any reluctance to perform the role. There was a time in the past that I held it almost continuously. It built a very strong skill set for me—without any resources to speak of. Now, any individual can pick up OIC status, perform the role, and have an endless wealth of resources to ensure their success.

There is no individual within the Ordo incapable of holding the role of OIC. It boils down to a willingness to step outside one’s box. Think about it: we are attacked over a hundred times a week. That is a hundred opportunities to present the Ordo, demonstrate your prowess, and protect the organization. I expect nothing less from my officers and nothing less from my officers-to-be. You all make me proud, time and time again. Do not let this be a point of contention when it is within your reach.

Thank you.

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