Klingon Assault Group
|Name:||Klingon Assault Group|
|Leadership:||T/Adm qurgh epetai-lungqIj (Chris Lipscombe)|
|Country based in:||Worldwide|
|Focus:||Klingon, and other Aliens, costuming club|
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Klingon Assault Group is a Star Trek fan club that has members around the world, with ships (chapters) in the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Japan, Australia and a number of other countries. It has been active from 1989 until the present day. KAG is currently broken up into several "Fleets" (collections of chapters) that cover different parts of the world.
It was originally founded in the summer of 1989 by John Halvorson, the founder of the Klingon Strike Force. After starting the KSF, John's personal life changed and he decided to move on from the KSF. A number of years later he was asked to come back to the club and become it's leader again. By that time the KSF had changed from John's original vision and had become a role-playing (mostly play-by-mail) group instead of a costuming group. Because of this John decided to found a new club, the Klingon Assault Group, that focused once again on public Klingon cosplay.
After creating KAG in his kitchen, Halvorson, along with some fellow Klingons, "invaded" the main stage of the Starbase Indy convention in the fall of 1989 and announced the creation of KAG. Klingons from around the world quickly flocked to his banner, and KAG rapidly grew into the world's largest Klingon fan club. KAG continued to grow and expand.
Over the years a number of other Klingon clubs have been created by former members of KAG, such as the Imperial Klingon Forces.
KAG has been run by a number of "Thought-Admirals" over the years:
1989 – 1999: T/Adm. Kris epetai-Kurkura (John Halvorson)
1999 – 2003: T/Adm. Kuuriis epetai-Qaluuhr (Jack Borkowski)
2003 – 2004: T/Adm Khatal epetai-H’aaWK (Chico Santiago)
2004 – 2009: T/Adm Kerla epetai-MaHcha’ (Carol Nye)
2009 – 2015: T/Adm Krikor epetai-jechwI’ (Krikor Ajemian)
2015 – 2019: T/Adm Qob epetai-hurric (Bill Hedrick)
2019 – Current: T/Adm qurgh epetai-lungqIj (Chris Lipscombe)
A UK branch was headed in 1990 by Anne Mitchell.
From a 1991 flyer:
Klingon Assault Group is a not-for-profit Star Trek Fan Organization with headquarters in Michigan. It's [sic] members are highly motivated, aggressive, the BEST the Empire has ever produced. KAG was formed in the summer of 1989, and already has become an influential tool of the Klingon Empire. KAG has no dues and tries to keep rules, regulations, and bureaucracy to a minimum. KAG continues to grow based on cooperation and communication between it's [sic] members. KAG Members can look forward to immediate responses, and something New all the time from KAG HQ. Uniforms are not required, but are desired. Promotions can be earned in many ways: level of personal involvement/correspondence/recruiting/con action-participation/construction of one's own uniform and weapons/etc.
The Zine "Mindscanner"
For most of its life, KAG has published a newsletter/fanzine called Mindscanner. Originally produced by T/Adm. Kris as a paper magazine to share information about the goings on within the club, it eventually became an electronic newsletter. Its publication has slowed due to the rise of social media and the ease at which information can be shared over the internet with news now being published as it happens on the main KAG website. There is an archive of nearly all issues of this zine at Mindscanner.
Some Thoughts on Public Image and Behavior
From the second issue of Mindscanner (1990):
KNIVES. In recent weeks, I've noticed several Klingons at cons — not from KAG — wearing actual combat and hunting knives. Don't even try this in OUR outfit. I don't care about how good you say you cure with blades, weapons, or what kind of training you have — at cons and events you CANNOT predict what people will do. Leave the real stuff at home. Some of you, especially on the west coast, know what weapons policies are in effect there. TOTAL BAN. All because some jerk took a sword or knife, and did something dumb. Most of the USA is quite fortunate, and I would hate it if the Klingons, especially the KLINGON ASSAULT GROUP, were to louse things up for everyone.STAY REAL. Keep in mind that underneath all the makeup, uniform, and latex, we are HUMANS. In this fandom, especially Klingon, you are bound to meet people that you don't like; situations where you want to rip their face off. Try this — walk away. There is one basic rule to KAG, and it's quite simple: Don't do anything that will embarrass the club. We all count on YOU.
The Rules of KAG
From the KAG Handbook:
#Have Fun! #No Live Steel. #Do Not Embarrass KAG. #Make no Treaties or Alliances.#The Supreme Commander Makes the Rules.
Code Of Conduct
From the KAG Handbook:
KAG’s Code of Conduct describes how members should act toward each other, and the public, while performing their duties or acting as a representative of the club. Breaches of this code will lead to a member being warned, with the possibility of expulsion from the group if the behavior continues or worsens. Upholding this code should be considered a priority for all members, but is especially true for senior and commanding officers.
Communicate – Talk or write to your fellow members. Guide new members along as you once may have been guided yourself by others in the club. The glory of activities takes on new life when recounted to others.
Participate – You are encouraged to take an active role in club activities whenever possible. Conventions, charity events, parties, etc. are all great ways to have fun and gain recognition within KAG.
Use Common Sense – People who are not in fandom often don’t understand the ways in which we carry on in our pursuit of fun. Don’t assault, insult, or point weapons (even toy ones) at them. Don’t expect them to be knowledgeable participants in the game.
Practice Tolerance – In fandom you will meet a great variety of personality types. Try to extend the tolerance you would wish extended to yourself. It’s not expected that you will get along perfectly with every person you meet, but civility should be extended to all.
Live Honorably – The dictionary defines honor as “honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions”. Accept personal responsibility for your actions. Be bound by your word.
Embrace Duty – The glory of KAG is members working together towards common goals and sharing the tasks necessary to achieve them. When you accept a task, see it through. If you can’t for any reason, let the appropriate people know in plenty of time so that arrangements can be made for someone else to complete it. Be someone your crew-mates can depend on.Seek Glory – The dictionary defines glory as “high public esteem”. Honor, service and communication are the best keys to achieving the greatest glory in KAG.
Recruitment and Membership
From Mindscanner #2 (1990):
KAG is a product, and is actually an easy one to sell, to the right buyer. It's a free sample — it has no dues. There's not a lot of paperwork involved, unless you WANT a lot of paperwork. Few rules, and you go as fast and as far as you want to go, OR you go at your own rate.
KAG is also a tough sell, as it means work, dedication, and motivation. As you've found out already, nobody's going to do everything for you, although there are people along the way that'll help you along. You've made your own uniforms, written letters, filled out a form or two. Some people can't hack it, and slip away.
How to recruit depends largely on WHERE you're doing the recruiting. And WHO. Friends know you, what a Trek-nut, definite Klingon personality-type you are.
They'll also pick up pretty quickly if you're having a good time or not. Like most people, they are eager to be a part of something fun, and if they are STAR TREK fans, this gives them an outlet. Friends are also good people to try your hand at recruiting with. They usually forgive pretty quickly as well...like I said, they know you.
Conventions. Rephrase that, madhouse. Some clubs are content to leave flyers and paperwork on one of the various tables that the cons have for that stuff. This can work, although most fans at cons are packrats, or operate like it's an information smorgasbord — taking one of each piece of paper, shoving it into their junk bag. When they get home, what gets kept, what gets tossed, and what are the chances of something getting filled out, sent in with a SASE?
I prefer to carry a number of forms, magazines, the KLINGON DICTIONARY, the book THE FINAL REFLECTION, and a couple of FASA manuals... plus some secret weapons. My ears. The basic key to good recruiting is to listen to what the target is saying, what they want, what their hopes and fears about joining a new club are. Don't give them putoffs — if you don't know the answer, say so. Tell them that you'll ask, and get an answer back to them. That gives you an additional shot.
If you're in uniform at a convention, that's half the battle right there. It can blow them away, fry their mind, so they don't even remember signing on the dotted line. At cons, I prefer to let those interested come to me, rather than me chase down likely candidates. Let THEM take the first step, and let THEM talk themselves into joining.
Make sure they understand the noncom system, so they don't have the delusion that they're going to start out as a captain or something. They will want some kind of "instant belonging" so be their... gulp... Klingon buddy. Offer to take them into your Klingon family line. That gives them a tie that they've never had before. You'd also better come right out that it doesn't make you their Klingon daddy, and no, they don't come to you for their Klingon allowance...
The toughest part of the sales pitch, especially to those wearing the maroon monkey suits of Starfleet, is the part where they are told they would be noncoms. These people are proud of their high collars and striped pants! If they are truly interested, they'll join anyway. If they can't get past the part where they don't get to keep their rank from the Federation inside the Klingon Empire, thank them for their time, and switch to talking about the weather, those dang Seattle Mariners, whatever. If they'd be griping about the ranking system that early on, chances are good that they'd be griping about other elements a bit later on — and they'd be on your ship, or your unit. Under your command. Do you really need that? So, don't try to convert them if they've started to strain under the leash of being a non-commissioned officer for a while.
Tell the recruitee that KAG is international, and growing rather well. The moment of truth comes when you say the words "Well, would you like to join us?"
If you've done your Klingon homework, make your pitch in a pleasant kind of way, appear comfortable in your Klingon makeup or basic composure, you might just get a "Yes!" to that question. Try it out you mom is waiting to hear from you.
-- KRIS epetai-KURKURA Thought-AdmiralOh yeah don't resort to bribes, unless you have to. Don't make promises that your superior officers cannot keep...We have enough problems with our own!
- Hope Con (1999?)