SUBJ: Lieutenant Valore's Conduct | TO: CAPTs Derenzis & Lyn

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Security Level 1 - Open
Stardate 95301.6


TO CAPT A. Derenzis; CAPT I. Lyn
CC ~~
FROM CAPT S. A. Bishop
SUBJ Lieutenant Valore's Conduct
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Alyx, Isadora,

I wanted a second opinion on this matter. Over the past few missions, I have noted Lieutenant Valore's rather brash attitude to situations, which sometimes border on disrespect to senior officers and disregard for Starfleet ideals. I do not believe that Lieutenant Valore does this with malicious intent, rather, due to a lack of experience in the missions that she has been undertaking. I would like to place a complaint to her commanding officer and request that she undergoes some supplementary training courses to shore up these weaknesses to enable her to be the best officer that she can be.

I believe her biggest weakness is that she is unable to gauge when, and how, to offer suggestions to senior officers. Whilst I do not want to stifle her comments or suggestions, sometimes she offers them out of time and place, which can disrupt how a mission might play out. Once again, I place this solely to the lack of experience that she has, and not because of any malicious intent.

I wanted to run this past you to see if it was just me who witnessed this, or if there were others. As two other senior officers who have been around the Lieutenant on missions, I felt that you both were best equipped to answer this question.

If you think that there might be a better way to solve this, please do let me know. As I am not her Commanding Officer, I do not believe it would be appropriate for me to approach her directly, and so relaying a message to her CO would be the best way to help her. However, if you believe that she would react better to other forms of engagement, please do let me know; I believe you both are closer to her than I am. If I can avoid making a formal complaint, I will definitely take that route, but if there is a danger of the failure of missions and potentially the loss of lives due to this, I will certainly intervene, for her own sake if nothing else.

Hope all is fine with you both. I look forward to hearing back.

All the best,

//SIGNED//
Captain Samuel Alexander Bishop PhD
Commanding Officer - USS Endeavour
7 Likes
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Stardate 95509.6
Security Level 1 - Open

TO CAPT Bishop
CC CAPT Derenzis
FROM CAPT Lyn
SUBJ Lieutenant Valore's Conduct

Sam,

Unfortunately, I have not observed Lieutenant Valore's behavior while on duty. During the recent incident involving Joris as well as the Allodi games, I was not present on the away team. Likewise, during her shuttle mission into the debris field I was not directly present. I will admit that your complaint comes as something of a surprise to me and if true should be addressed promptly.

At this point, I would object to making an official complaint without more context. When you witnessed these incidents, was it a matter of the way she chose to voice her suggestions or was she actively objecting to orders in such a way as to disrupt an operation? The former would indicate a difference in perceived command styles, while the latter is a more serious issue.

In either case, I would suggest bringing the matter before her directly. If you believe there was no malicious intent, I think this matter is best handled off the record if possible. A formal reprimand delivered from on high with little explanation may do more harm than good if the root cause is a lack of field experience. My recommendation: take a step back, take another look, and if there is a problem then discuss it with her like a command officer. If you believe she requires more training, recommend the classes. If she deserves her rank, she will heed the advice. Tell me more about what occurred and I'll be happy to have a word with her as well. If this approach fails, then escalation becomes the only recourse.

A final word. I realize my position may appear lenient, but this has nothing to do with my personal feelings towards the Lieutenant. I put a high value on open discussion and viewpoints, but also realize that there comes a time when rapid response and adherence to the chain of command are paramount. However, I have noted that the latter attitude is becoming more prevalent with respect to certain command officers. Officers of a military background seem especially predisposed to this.

Whatever the recent trials we have faced, Starfleet is not primarily a military organization. We are not an army. The same rigid structures and attitudes which benefit a military will also cripple us as in exploratory, scientific, and diplomatic ventures. However you choose to resolve this, I ask you as an officer and friend to keep this in mind.


//SIGNED//
Capt. Isadora Lyn
USS Eminence
5 Likes
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Stardate 95511.1
Security Level 1 - Open

TO CAPT S. Bishop; CAPT I. Lyn
CC ~~
FROM CAPT A. Derenzis
SUBJ Lieutenant Valore's Conduct
Sam, Isadora,

I'm afraid I have to agree with you, Sam, on the Lieutenant's conduct. I was in a position to observe Lieutenant Valore's actions both on this past mission and during the Joris encounter, and I would have to say that her actions were, if not detrimental, certainly not helpful to either situation. I agree that these actions are not of malicious intent, but I'm not willing to chalk it up to simple inexperience.

Isadora, during the refugee situation at Raven's Star, the Lieutenant recommended courses of action that amounted to denying aid to the refugees on the suspicion that the refugee fleet might be a Tholian ruse. Both Sam and I had to remind her that the Pegasus was in a position to intercept, and that Captain Nimitz was an experienced commander who knew the protocol and be in a better position to detect any signs of subterfuge. As her words were in the hearing of a planetary ruler himself divided between offering mercy to a defeated enemy and exacting retribution, had we not gainsaid the Lieutenant, he might have chosen to deny asylum to the Faithful.

During the Joris encounter, the Lieutenant continued to put pressure on Joris long after both Captain Bishop and myself had realized that increased pressure was not going to work. I had to call her away in order to give Commander Akaela room to maneuver.

From these encounters, I agree with Sam that the Lieutenant demonstrates poor judgement in gauging a situation and selecting the appropriate response in absence of clear instruction from a superior officer. Her actions seem gauged to maintain total control of a situation, either to protect herself from harm or to ensure mission success at almost any cost. It is almost like she is on permanent Red Alert.

I took the liberty of reading her public personnel file, and found that, as a child, she was forced to flee with her family from her home colony due to a devastating pirate attack. Details of the attack were not provided, but it leads me to suspect she may still have some lingering emotional trauma that is adversely affecting her judgement, to the point that she will second-guess experienced commanders. Bear in mind, I'm not a counsellor; but I have had some personal experience with emotional trauma. I see a bit of myself in the Lieutenant, and I believe she needs help.

I would also note that in two previous assignments the Lieutenant was injured while under our supervision. The Sh'veran temple dig (which you had operational command over, Sam), and one of the Allodi games, where I provided instructions - and where, incidentally, the Lieutenant had to face Tholian opponents in physical combat. As a result, I would suspect that if either Sam or I were to approach her informally, she might regard our advice with suspicion. However, there might be another avenue open to us. I've noticed that Lieutenant Valore regards Captain Nimitz highly; certainly she and Nimitz have a bond. If neither of you object, I'd like to bring him into this conversation - he might be able to reach the Lieutenant in ways we can't.

All the best to you and your crews.

//SIGNED//
CAPT Alyx J. Derenzis
Commanding Officer, USS Shackleton
7 Likes
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Security Level 1 - Open
Stardate 95512.9


TO CAPT A. Derenzis; CAPT I. Lyn
CC ~~
FROM CAPT S. A. Bishop
SUBJ RE: Lieutenant Valore's Conduct
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Alyx, Isadora,

I seem to be agreeing with you both more and more these days, and I am not sure if that should be a worry or something to be proud of. The jury is still out on that one.

As Isadora has said, there may be a perceived command difference from both myself and Alyx than what the Lieutenant is accustomed to. Both Alyx and I have served on ships for many years and have been on countless missions where we have had to get our "boots on the ground" so to speak. We both have a wealth of experience to draw from. Lieutenant Valore has spent a long time behind a desk which requires an entirely different skillset. This is one of the reasons I wanted a second opinion on this matter.

Even with you agreeing with me Alyx, I cannot help but believe that Isa might be right. I am a military officer first and foremost and I know that my command style is geared towards that of a rigid chain of command. Old habits die hard.

Despite this, Alyx is correct in her analysis of the two examples outlined above. Both times I have noticed that Lieutenant Valore has attempted to take the situation into her own hands, away from that of the commanding officer. What I have noticed, however, is that I seem to be the common denominator in both examples. It could be that the Lieutenant does not have faith in my command decisions, for whatever reason. Alternatively, this could just be how I am looking at the evidence, through my military officer eyes.

I do not want to issue a formal complaint yet and hope to get it resolved informally. I did not know that the Lieutenant and Captain Nimitz were close; Alistair is a valued friend of mine and a fantastic Captain. I have no objections for him talking to her, if it resolves this matter. However, I am aware that he has a similar background to me and might also have a strong military-based ethos of Command. If he was to evaluate the Lieutenant, I believe he would fall in the same category as I would.

I will add him to the message chain. Perhaps he can offer some insight that we are lacking. For now, I would advise everyone to keep a close eye on the Lieutenant, especially in missions, and observe her behaviour. This may just be a small blip and out of character, due to a new posting and new commanders. Both events have been diplomatic events, and that too might influence how the Lieutenant has been behaving.

On a slightly unrelated note, are you both attending the Argo Summer Social on Risa? If so, it would be a good opportunity to discuss this face to face, as I don't anticipate returning to Deep Space 13 before that.

All best,

//SIGNED//
Captain Samuel Alexander Bishop PhD
Commanding Officer - USS Endeavour
2 Likes
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Security Level 1 - Open
Stardate 95512.9


TO CAPT A. Nimitz
CC ~~
FROM CAPT S. A. Bishop
SUBJ FW: Lieutenant Valore's Conduct
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Alistair,

I have been informed that you are quite close to Lieutenant Valore. Please see the message chain above.

All best,

//SIGNED//
Captain Samuel Alexander Bishop PhD
Commanding Officer - USS Endeavour
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Stardate 95512
Security Level 1 - Open

TO CAPT Bishop, CAPT Derenzis
CC CAPT Nimitz, A
FROM CAPT Lyn
SUBJ Lieutenant Valore's Conduct

To all concerned,

Alyx, thank you for the summary. I was unaware of the details of the Lieutenant's behavior, and this information does seem deeply concerning. Whether or not the attitude and timing of Lieutenant Valore's opinions qualifies as unbecoming conduct is something I consider a grey area. She does appear to be overzealous, but does not appear to have openly countermanded a superior or defied a direct order. In my opinion, these are the lines which divide differences in command style with insubordination. With respect to this issue, my previous call for restraint stands.

I do find it much more worrying that the Lieutenant's opinions appear to land consistently on the side of self preservation, aggressive action, and suspicion bordering on what is almost paranoia. While understandable to an extent in a combat setting, to me these seem to be in direct opposition to the ideals that the Federation and Starfleet stand for. To suggest a course of action which is anathema to the ideals of Starfleet within earshot of another party is simply not acceptable conduct. If the refugees had been denied asylum, it would be Starfleet which bore responsibility for the action regardless of what the official report read.

I believe this second issue should be addressed ASAP. Ideally off the record by Captain Nimitz or whichever officer is most appropriate, but this is a matter which should be escalated if the trend continues. I was not aware of Valore's past, and I do sympathize. If she requires counseling, then she should be advised to seek it out. However, past trauma cannot be allowed to impact present performance. As Sam pointed out, this may have potential consequences up to and including unnecessary loss of life.

We have all been in situations where the Starfleet choice is not the safest, or the surest, or even the smartest. But they are the ideals we choose to uphold. If she intends to continue her service, this is something she will have to accept as well. In any case, I don't believe I'm of any further use here. All of you are veteran officers with a much better understanding of the circumstances, consequences, and other nuances of the situation than I.

Sam. You still owe me a jacket. For a self proclaimed military officer, your punctuality is nothing short of horrific.

//SIGNED//
Capt. Isadora Lyn
USS Eminence
6 Likes
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Security Level 1 - Open

TO CAPT S. Bishop; CAPT A. Derenzis; CAPT I. Lyn
CC N/A
FROM CAPT A.H. Nimitz
SUBJ RE: Conduct

Captains,

First let me start off by stating, Lieutenant Valore is aware of her actions. She has confined in me that she questions her actions in the past, while in each mission that she has accompanied me on, which has been a sizable number in her short time with the 38th, I have found no fault in her conduct at all.

Secondly, I feel I must point out. Lieutenant Valore is still very much a junior officer. As such she is still learning and growing as an officer. I need not to remind each of you that when we were junior officers, we've all stumbled trying to find our feet. Filing a complaint this soon while she is trying to find her footing would undo any progress she had made.

Third, I am willing to discuss with Lieutenant Valore about how her actions have been perceived in the eyes of other Commanding Officers. It is true that Lieutenant Valore holds me at high regard, she has also expressed an interest in a transfer to the Pegasus in the near future, should she make the request, I will be happy to grant it to her. I believe with a little help and guidance from myself, she has the potential to start down a career path to become a great asset to Starfleet with time and experience under her belt.

//SIGNED//
Captain Alistair Nimitz
Commanding Officer/ USS Pegasus
4 Likes
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Security Level 1 - Open
Stardate 95514.0


TO
CC CAPT A. Nimitz
FROM CAPT S. A. Bishop
SUBJ RE: Lieutenant Valore's Conduct
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Alistair,

It is reassuring that the Lieutenant is aware of her actions, which further strengthens the fact that she is not doing this with malicious intent. However, using her rank as an excuse for making poor decisions is not one I hold in high regard, especially when they go against Federation policy. There is inexperience, which I do understand, and there is a blatant disregard for prior training.

I do not believe any more needs to be given as evidence for this. As someone who knows her better than anyone else in this chain and as her potential future CO, I am trusting you to talk to her about this matter. With that, I consider this matter resolved.

However, if I witness this again, regardless of how she acts with you around, I will have no choice but to file a complaint. I will not do so baring any ill-will against the Lieutenant; I would like to see her grow into an exemplary Starfleet Officer.

Isa, I'll give you your jacket on Risa.

Regards,

//SIGNED//
Captain Samuel Alexander Bishop PhD
Commanding Officer - USS Endeavour
3 Likes