Sovereign Class Starship
20 Years Commissioned Starship in STARFLEET
On 23 March 1996,
the USS Shiloh, NCC-74683, was commissioned as a full
fledged starship of STARFLEET at MidSouthCon 15, which was
held in Memphis, Tennessee. Representing the Shiloh
was Captain Jeffery Higdon and Lieutenant Commander Timothy
Raines. The commissioning, done in concert with the
commissioning of the USS Mark Twain, and the USS
Shekmet, was done by Vice Chief of Operations,
STARFLEET, Commodore Deborah Leafy, who also commanded the
mothership USS Alacrity, NCC-1881.
On 13 April 1996 the Shiloh received a Certificate of Appreciation from the US National Park Service for their work in the Adopt a Monument program. This same day, a Model of the USS Shiloh was christened at Shiloh National Military Park.
The yearly Shiloh Ship's Awards was developed to give the crew some much need recognition on a local level. The winners are picked by the Executive Committee upon the recommendation of the Division Officers. The Cadet of the Year is picked by the Commandant, Ships Cadet Corps; Only NCOs, Junior Officers (Ensigns and Lieutenant, j.g.) on the day of selection, which is the 7th day of December of each year, who qualify for these awards. All members who qualify for the Officer of the Year. Correspondent Crewmember of the Year is picked from all members of the Shiloh who do not live in the greater Rock River Area. Both Crewmember and Correspondent Crewmember of the Year are picked from all members regardless of status. The basic criteria changed in 1997 awards when the Shiloh became Starfleet Central, which merged with Federated Alliance in 1998, and thus qualifying for rank in Federated Alliance and also was affected by the move of the chapter from Henderson to Rockford. The DSA is awarded by the Commanding Officer. The criteria for the DSA, which was determined by the Commanding Officer, is determined by participation and contribution to the chapter. The name was changed to the USS Black Hawk Ship's Awards in 1999. In 2000 the DSA has been renamed the USS Shiloh Distinguished Service Award, in honor of the former name of the chapter.
On November 13, 1996, the USS Providence, NCC-71796, Gemini Class Starship, out of Jackson, Tennessee, staged her commissioning ceremonies at the Community Center in Cedar Grove, Tennessee. Members of the USS Shiloh and the USS Sehkmet, out of Millington, Tennessee, participated in the event. Captain John McGill (Sehkmet) and Captain Jeffery Higdon (Shiloh) 'christen' the newly minted Captain - - Warren Price by pouring a glass of water over his head.
At the end of 1996, Region One awarded the USS Shiloh the Unit Distinguished Service Award. This was the second straight year the Shiloh crew was awarded a Region One DSA.
During the weekend of January 31-February 2, 1997, officers and crew of the USS Shiloh boarded the USS Mark Twain, the University of Memphis, in order to help stage TigerCon I. On February 1, 1997, during TigerCon I, it was announce that Five Starships: USS Alacrity, Commodore Deborah Leafey, Commanding; USS Mark Twain, Captain Karen Cushing, Commanding; USS Providence, Captain Warren Price, Commanding; USS Sehkmet, Captain John McGill, Commanding; USS Shiloh, Captain Jeffery Higdon, Commanding. Formed a new ensemble of starships to be called the MidSouth Squadron. The USS Sehkmet was later decommissioned by STARFLEET. The USS Alacrity changed it's name to the USS Aeon in 1998 The USS Shiloh withdrew from the Squadron in the summer of 1997 because of its move to Illinois. The Squadron was re-established by the members of the USS Aeon, USS Mark Twain, USS Providence and Nikola Tesla Station in 1999. The USS Black Hawk is considered an honorary member of the squadron.
On March 22, 1997, the USS Shiloh with the assistance of the Commander and the First Officer of the USS Mark Twain, celebrated its' Second Anniversary as a Fan Club and its First Anniversary as a Full Fledged Starship.
The day begins with a trip to Shiloh National Military Park. A brief prayer service to honor the dead of Shiloh is held at the Cemetery Commemoration Monument. Then the participants clean the monuments and gravestones surrounding the monument, including the gravestone of the Shiloh Drummer Boy.
After the cleaning a tour of the park via van was taken. Lieutenant Robert Baker, Engineering Officer, USS Shiloh joined the tour. The entourage returned to Henderson for rest and readiness for the party.
The party was attended by all above as well as others from the USS Providence.
The USS Shiloh was one of three chapters that were nominated for Best Shakedown Cruise for Region One. During the Region One Conference in Gatlinburg the USS Tycho was given the award. The other nominee was the USS Rutledge.
On Stardate 9708.14 the USS Shiloh officially left the confines of Region One to enter a new Region - Region 12, and a new Port - Rockford/Loves Park/Machesney Park, Illinois. This was done after Commanding Officer, Captain Jeffery Higdon and First Officer, Commander Karen Higdon announced to the crew that their family was moving in order for the captain to accept a job opportunity, and because no other crewmember was qualified, according to STARFLEET regulations, that the USS Shiloh would have to be disbanded. It was when STARFLEET Chief of Operations, Tom Monaghan, stepped in and suggested that his office would likely allow a move of the city of charter provided certain criteria was made. Thereafter a vote of the crew was taken with a unanimous vote in the affirmative to allow the move to take place. Both Region One Coordinator, Linda Smith, and Region Twelve Coordinator, Mike Malotte also approved the move, citing that neither coordinator wished to loose a valued chapter. It was then STARFLEET Operations approved the move from Henderson, Tennessee to the new City of Charter to Rockford, Illinois.
The USS Shiloh held it's first official meeting in the Rockford Area on 20 September 1997 at Tomorrow is Yesterday, a Science Fiction/Fantasy Ship located in Loves Park. The meeting was announced in the Rockford Register-Star under its new name, The Rock River Area Star Trek Space Science Association, which replaced the name STARFLEET of Henderson.
The USS Shiloh held its Third Annual Christmas Party at the new home of the Captain on 17 December 1997. It was announced at the party that newly-appointed Chief Communications Officer, LTjg Janie Wilson-Cook, would endeavor to obtain a domain name for future use for the USS Shiloh Website.
In December, 1997, Captain Higdon was elected Vice Chairman of the Star Trek: International Fandom Council and served in that position for one full year. The IFC was created to give a united voice to fandom in issues concerning Trekdom.
political in fighting and inappropriate actions because of the
change in administration in January, 1999, the Officers and
Crew of the USS Shiloh voted to leave VACANT the
Representative's position on the IFC Security Council until
further notice. Later in the year, Captain Higdon resumed the
duties of the Representative until the IFC Constitution was
changed to eliminate that position. The Shiloh, and
later the Black Hawk, would no longer participates as
a member of the IFC. The IFC is considered defunct
and no longer exists.
On Stardate 9802.28, the USS Shiloh celebrated its Third Anniversary Party at Tomorrow is Yesterday. Members from the USS Bradbury, out of St. Charles, Illinois, also attended.
After the party, the two crews visited Commander Karen Higdon, Executive Officer of the USS Shiloh, recovering from complication to surgery, at Rockford Memorial Hospital. Then both crews went out for dinner at the Illinois Machine Shed near the Tollway on East State Street.