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Thu Sep 17th, 2020 @ 8:50am

Commander John Collins

Name John Collins

Position Executive Officer

Rank Commander


Character Information

Gender Male
Species Human
Age 35

Physical Appearance

Height 6'0"
Weight 157 lbs
Physical Description John Collins is not someone you would have suspected herded sheep during summer vacations as a boy. Physically, while he's tall and lithe for a human, he also is (quite beneficially for an intelligence officer) attractive, while also somewhat nondescript - he’s attractive, but in a hard to place where you know him from sort of way. His skin is naturally fair, but since his Academy days (when it was actually somewhat pale due to how much time he spent indoors with his studies), it has acquired something of a healthy color to it.

Family

Spouse none yet
Children none yet
Other Family Father: Kevin Collins - attorney-partner at Jones, Day, Perkins, Cole PLLC, a distinguished law firm on Earth
Mother: Mary Collins (nee Mangan) - Professor of History, New York University
Siblings: Sean Collins - 2 years older, researcher for a software development firm on Luna
Other family: Numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides of the family. Paternal grandparents deceased, maternal grandparents retired in Co Kerry, Ireland, Earth

Personality & Traits

General Overview John Collins is something of an enigma - part of this may be a result of the work he does, but a good bit of it seems to be innate, a natural reluctance to keep from “showing his hand”. He has many of the traits and habits one could want in a leader in his field; At the same time, however, some of the very traits that have made him successful up to now make him, at times, a difficult quantity to deal with on a day to day level.
Strengths & Weaknesses Strengths: John Collins has many strengths in his personality. He’s noted for his tenacity and stubbornness, which are helpful skills when you do the work he does. At the same time, his passionate nature off-duty is combined with a sharp intelligence and fierce logic on-duty - he’s raised compartmentalization to an art form over his years in Intelligence work, both as a collector of intelligence and as an analyst. He’s not the most natural leader, but he quickly tends to “grow into” roles of leadership when they’re thrust upon him, and he’s proven to be quite good at the work of leadership, even if he doesn’t seem to seek it out (despite his ambitions).

Weaknesses: At the same time, Collins’ very strengths can occasionally be weaknesses. The very tenacity and stubbornness for which he has been praised has also been the source of frustration for many who work with him - when he’s working an issue, it sometimes takes a lot to get him to let go. His compartmentalization has been described by some as “creepy”, and it’s not perfect - he can be protective of those he considers friends (versus those he merely lets seem to be his friend), and one of his superiors’ nightmares in regards to Collins is the unanswered question of what he would do were a friend to be threatened in an attempt to get to him. This isn’t helped by the fact that John Collins, for all his innate charm and social skills, tends to let very few people truly into his confidence - something that tends to be off-putting when he tries to form ties to people off-duty. He isn’t a loner, but he seems to keep only a small number of people in his confidence - preferring a few intense friendships over a larger number of people whom he’s less attached to.

Personal History John Collins was one of those boys everybody seemed to figure would go into Starfleet - though, not perhaps precisely where in Starfleet he ended up. Born in December 2359 as the second son of Kevin and Mary Collins, both John and his older brother Sean showed early on in life that they were ferociously intelligent. That sort of intelligence, with the potential it heralded, didn’t exactly fit well with the rural farming community where the boys were born. The Collins family, through John’s mother, owned a sheep farm of several hundred acres in County Kerry, in the Southwest of Ireland. Kevin was a lawyer who practiced all over Earth and before Federation courts in the Sol sector. Mary was a historian, when she wasn’t focused on raising two almost-too-bright boys with amply-demonstrated abilities to get into trouble. When new and tantalizing job offers were made to their parents, the boys and their parents moved to New Jersey, in North America, when John was five. They settled in a community along the Atlantic coast, while Mary taught at a university in New York City, and Kevin practiced out of his firm’s New York offices. So it was that John traded the existence of a farm kid, who herded sheep as part of his daily chores, for a faster-paced suburban existence. He still spent time every summer back on the farm, though it was now attached to his grandparents’ farm.

He grew up like that - initially, he found himself not exactly fitting in either place, with an accent that either sounded “too Irish” to those in North America, or “too American” to those in Ireland; he had plenty of friends, though, once he overcame a certain shyness, and he prospered as a boy, learning martial arts to help fend off the bullies who targeted him for his background (which suburban kids derided as a throwback, to say the least), and joining Scouting as soon as he was old enough; he became an Eagle Scout when he was 15. Scouting was where he first found himself bit by the leadership bug, upon reflection. He wasn’t a natural at it, but he had a certain talent for thinking clearly and acting under stress - whether that stress be a camping trip that faced bizarre mishaps, teaching new Scouts what they needed to know after all others had failed, leading boys and girls on wilderness trips through places like the New Mexico mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch, or tracking animals through the Appalachian Mountains. Scouting was also where he first became attracted to the idea of Starfleet service - his scoutmaster had served as a Security and Tactical officer over a Starfleet career before he’d retired back to Earth, and the stories he would occasionally tell of life in space, the good, bad, and ugly alike, entranced the boy. It certainly seemed better and more exciting to him, for all the faults it might have, than life in the near-Utopia that was Earth.

At the same time as John was learning the fieldcraft of a Scout, though, he was also proving his reputation in the classroom - he was an excellent student generally, but took to history, civics, and languages with a particular passion. When he was considering his options after high school, though, he had plenty of offers from all sorts of universities - but still, he focused on Starfleet Academy, to his parents’ initial dismay (his father, after all, wanted him to become a lawyer!). He was accepted on his first attempt, and was inducted as a Cadet in July 2376 at the beginning of “Plebe Summer”.

The Academy was much more congenial to him than civilian life had been - he adapted quickly to the discipline and routine of the Academy, proving an early standout. Despite this, he found it difficult to choose his path forward, seemingly faced with more viable choices than he was expecting - that is, until the second term of his Plebe year, when a fellow cadet who he was dating introduced him to the officer who’d recruited her to the Academy. He was invited for a conversation over a glass of liquor by Lieutenant Morrison. By the end of that conversation, he had been reeled in: He agreed that he would pursue a career in Starfleet Intelligence...a career choice he was, fittingly, particularly discreet about.

That shaped his Academy career, then; Over the next three years, he would become known as a cadet who was likely to go places, but who kept his cards close to the vest both emotionally and professionally. As a cadet leader, he found himself commanding a squad of cadets in his Yearling (second) year, a platoon in his Cow (third) year, and a company in his Firstie (fourth) year; he did excellent at those tasks, even commanding a cadet battalion that final year at the Academy, the mark of a definite performer. Academically, he was a solid performer, as well, working towards completing a major in Interstellar Relations.

So, in May 2380, he graduated from Starfleet Academy in the top twenty percent of his class - bound, few knew, for an intense combined training course in both intelligence analysis and in actual intelligence collection. This course lasted a year - and the isolation that was a part of it nearly had him considering giving up. He was, as he put it to an instructor, “not one with a vocation as a monk, nor any pretense towards such a vocation”.

But get through it he did, graduating in May 2381 and being assigned quickly to a Starfleet Intelligence field unit. He refuses to speak of what he did as a member of that unit for the next three years, during which he was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade, except to say that he was assigned as a case officer responsible for collecting intelligence. After that, he was assigned as an analyst on the Contingency Plans Staff at Starfleet Intelligence headquarters on Earth; in this position, the young officer found himself briefing senior Starfleet officers and Federation officials, often on the crisis of the moment, with only minimal preparation time, and often being called to analyze situations “on the fly” as they developed. It was two years of long, exhausting days; nonetheless, he was noticed for his skill both as an analyst and briefer, which won him an easy promotion to Lieutenant at the end of his tour, along with an assignment as a commander of an intelligence collection unit - about which he again says little, even regarding who its target for collections was.

After two years, though, John Collins was definitely ready to take it easy. But “taking it easy” is rarely a thing the duty of a Starfleet officer allows, all the more when you’re in intelligence. Sure, when he handed over command of his unit in May 2388 to his successor, he got ordered to take leave; on the other hand, it was ordered because he hadn’t done so voluntarily since graduating from Starfleet Academy. Thus why it was a full 2 months of shore leave on Earth, followed by an assignment to the Headquarters section of Starfleet Intelligence on Earth, where he would serve for the next while on the staff of the Commander of Starfleet Intelligence. It was a “9-5” sort of job, as it would have been called in a previous era, but it got him introduced to any number of people who might be helpful in his career ahead. It was a change of pace though, one which worried Collins; more precisely, he worried he’d been permanently benched, seen as more suited to a staff role “riding a desk” than a role on the front lines. His boss, the Commander’s chief of staff, assured him that wasn’t the case, but didn’t explain more until a fateful day in March 2389, 9 months after his arrival, when he called the Lieutenant in for a chat in his office.

It turned out that Captain Rucker was true to his word. Collins was to be promoted to Lieutenant Commander and, in July, become a student at the Starfleet Command and General Staff College, the new-ish training course for rising Starfleet officers with "major command potential" - designed in spirit after the naval and military staff colleges of the 20th Century on Earth. Upon successful completion of the course, he would serve as the Flag Intelligence Officer for the Commander of the 2nd Fleet out of Andoria. It would, if he played his cards right, mean eventual consideration for the Starfleet Command School and an XO position somewhere down the line.

This left Collins surprised, to say the least, but he dove into the changes and his new coursework all the same. In May 2390, he graduated the Staff Course with an MA in Interstellar Security Studies (his thesis was on the political reforms underway among Romulans after the Hobus Supernova; It would be safe to say he was skeptical any improvements in relations with either Romulan political entity would be sustained) and was indeed assigned to the staff of Commander 2nd Fleet; he reported in July 2390 after a month's leave (that he took voluntarily, for those keeping track).

At his new post, he earned a reputation as a demanding leader, expecting both analytical rigor and a willingness to clearly state opinions from his subordinates. In staff meetings with the Rear Admiral commanding 2nd Fleet, he was quiet but didn't hold back his thinking. He was the son of a lawyer and it showed in his argument style - he tended to carve his opponents up with genial yet sharp arguments before finally clubbing them like seals with the logic behind them. When you were arguing him, you tended not just to come into agreement, you were gently maneuvered until you couldn't do anything but agree.

Then came Command School, along with a promotion to Commander. This was actually difficult - Collins had spent so long in Intelligence that he thought rather differently from the average officer, and he had a period of adjusting to actually letting people get to know him. As it was, he seemed to have done so well enough to satisfy his peers and instructors, graduating at the end of the 10-month course in October 2393. Following 60 days' shore leave on his own initiative, he was posted to USS Solaria as Executive Officer.
Service Record Service Record:
December 2359 - Born in County Kerry, Ireland
July 2376 - Entered Starfleet Academy on Earth
May 2380 - Graduated Starfleet Academy; Commissioned as Ensign with a Bachelor of Science in Interstellar Relations, and a branch assignment in Intelligence - ranked in the top twenty percent of his class
May 2381 - Graduated as Ensign from Starfleet Intelligence Combined Course; assigned to Starfleet Intelligence field operations
July 2383 - Promoted to Lieutenant junior grade
May 2384 - Assigned as Analyst, Contingency Plans Staff, Starfleet Intelligence Headquarters, Earth.
May 2386 - Promoted to Lieutenant. Assigned as Commanding Officer, Intelligence Collection Detachment 2015.
May 2388 - Tour as Commanding Officer ends; Ordered to take shore leave for no less than 60 days by Starfleet Medical (Commander Starfleet Intelligence concurring).
July 2388 - Returns to full duty; assigned to staff of Commander, Starfleet Intelligence at Starfleet Headquarters
May 2389 - Promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
July 2389 - Assigned as Student, Staff Course, Starfleet Command and General Staff College, London, Earth
May 2390 - Graduated Staff Course with MA in Interstellar Security Studies.
July 2390 - Reports as Flag Intelligence Officer, 2nd Fleet (HQ Andoria, flag aboard USS Perry)
January 2393 - Promoted to Commander; Reports as Student, Starfleet Command School
October 2393 - Graduates Starfleet Command School. 60 days leave follows.
January 2394 - Reports as Executive Officer, USS Solaria.