The FSP Guide
otherwise known as:
Everything you ever wanted to know about the FSP Life

Living Facilites at Alpha Base (Alpha Hold)? What are they like, what can I expect?
For the FSP personnel staffed there it's much the same as it would be aboard ship; Though here it's not space being the premium but the resources and the need to husband what we have to last as long as possible. Sr Enlisted, Enlisted with Families (when that eventuality arises), Field grade and above Officers are afforded private housing in small units that feature 2 small, 1 medium bedrooms, a living room and space for cooking and washing. Jr Enlisted and Below Field Grade (Lt and below) share quarters with another member of like rank (Co-Ed quarters not available at this time). Suites share hygiene and cooking facilities (2 shared rooms with a galley/'fresher between). Each member is afforded email and computer privileges, with 2 terminals per shared room. 1 Terminal in each 'Family' housing unit. For those who prefer it, there are common dining facilities in both the Officers and Enlisted Quarters.
 How do I leave Alpha?
FSP Personnel are restricted to the Cibola region of the Southern Continent of Pern. At this time the Northern Continent is Off Limits to FSP Personnel.
Right, so how do I leave Alpha to visit the lodge?
Request for permission to leave the base must be tendered to your immediate supervisor. Standard leave policy is in place; any trip off the compound that will result in being away for more than 24 planetary hours must be approved.
What is the difference between Enlisted and Commissioned/Officers?
Enlisted members enter into a contract and are generally perceived to do the more manual tasks that are needed. There are means of advancement; though generally the initial ranking is crewman, they can move up to Staff Sergeant. Pay and perks commensurate with service and rank. The term of Enlistment for the FSP Space Services is generally between 6-8 years; with reenlistments offered as a matter of course unless there are disciplinary issues or the member decides to voluntarily separate at the end of their term. Officers go through specialized training, Academy or Officers Candidacy and generally hold a degree. Theirs is a supervisory/managerial position and generally they do not do the actual hands-on work unless, in rare cases, where it's essential that they do so. Officers are generally held to higher expectations of behavior than Enlisted members and can (and usually are) held accountable to a degree for the behavior of those under their command. It becomes for the enlisted members, a matter of pride to give a good showing for their unit, and their commanding officers. Friendships between Officer & Enlisted are not unusual, and so long as they don't go beyond the bounds of proper military deportment are not frowned on.
So I've been at the same rank forever, how do I advance from Crewman to Crewman 1st?
As ever promotions are based on qualifications and your ability to shine. Your time in the service and the length of time in paygrade will have something to do with that too; as will the recommendations of your supervisors. Needless to say, someone with a spotless record will advance more and quicker than someone with disciplinary actions.
What is fraternization? Can we at least shake hands?
Handshakes are fine, but liplocks aren't in your best interest between Officer and Enlisted.
So I can leave any time I want just so long as I'm back for my next duty shift?
No. If you plan on leaving the base proper you need to make sure that your supervisor is aware of your location and that you are back in time for your next duty shift. Any absence longer than 12 hours requires a Leave Form that has been properly filled out and approved by supervisor.
Can I go North to the other continent?
No. At this point in time no FSP personnel are authorized to go to the Northern Continent.
I've decided I'm just not cut out for military life, can I quit?
No; there is no quitting. For Enlisted Members the term of Enlistment must be served out as agreed to unless there are valid reasons for Discharge from Service (those being: Medical necessity, Failure to Adapt, Hardship, in line of Disciplinary Action, Part of the terms of a General or Specific Court Martial). Officers are Commissioned and may resign their commission. There is NO set term for a Commissioned Officer's term of service. Officers can Resign their Commission or be Dismissed from Service (the latter is usually the result of disciplinary action).
What can we expect in the way of benefits?
Basic Medical care, housing and food as well as uniforms are provided to each FSP member; no one goes without; though waste is discouraged and selling, bartering or giving away FSP property is considered Black Market activity.
How much fraternization is too much? where is the line drawn?
If you find yourself in bed with the noncom who put your call through to Omega, you've gone too far. Between personnel of like rank there are few limitations on social interaction; though intimate relationships between members who are within the same chain of command is frowned on.
Great, so how am I paid? A guy (or gal) can't live on good looks alone.
The FSP like so many technologically advanced socieities has done away with the visual concept of 'money', dealing mostly with numbers on a computer screen. What's this mean? It means that for FSP members their 'pay' is in the form of credits earned toward purchasing power. The credits exist in the computer (which is why the payroll programmes are so jealously guarded, firewalled and held safe by the Quartermaster). Those members of the FSP on Pern do indeed still rack up pay (pay table to follow), though the credits earned are 'spendable' only at Alpha. Command staff are at this time trying to figure a way to turn at least some of those credits into marks. Stay tuned! For the most part PERN practices a barter technology, though some exchange of currency is used (see Marks
What's a commissioned officer and what ranks do they encompass?
  • Ensign
  • Lieutenant
  • 1st Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant Commander
  • Commander
  •  Captain
  • Commodore
  • Admiral
  • Vice Admiral
  • Rear Admiral 
  • Fleet Admiral
What are the Enlisted Ranks?
  • Crewman
  • Crewman 1st Class
  • Crewman 2nd Class
  • Crewman 3rd Class
  • Sergeant
  • Staff Sergeant
How do I know who's in charge and who works where?

Violations that are deemed severe enough to require disciplinary action beyond confinement to quarters or Letters of Reprimand result in the standard Court Martial. The base Commander can convene a General or Special Court Martial and will then Supervise/Oversee the effort with advocates appointed for the accused if it is deemed necessary. A jury comprising of 13 members of the base staff (officer and enlisted) will be duly appointed and charged to hear evidence and make judgment. Punishment can include Imprisonment for a set term in the Brig; Loss of Rank/Pay, either temporary or permanent; Expulsion from FSP service and loss of all benefits.

Offenses that can result in the convening of a general court martial:
  • Murder
  • Assault
  • AWOL/Desertion
  • Fraternization
  • Grand Theft
  • Assualt with Intent to Harm
  • Rape
  • Unlawful Imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Drunk and Disorderly
  • Impersonation of an Officer (not that we expect issues with this)
  • Breaking and Entering
  • Dereliction of Duty
  • Failure to Follow Orders
  • Black Market Activity

Content & Design © Dawnsisters Weyr, 1999-2015.
For questions or problems please email the Webmaster
All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2000
All rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.
The Dragonriders of Pern® is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission.
Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.