Academy Cold War

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Academy Cold War (ACW)

”Quality not quantity”




What is Academy Cold War?

Academy Cold War is an Amtgard fighting company that champions professionalism and teamwork. We focus on team fighting and place the good of the company over an individual’s performance or glory in combat. We do not always compete, however when we do we take it seriously and always have a plan. Within the game of Amtgard we place loyalty to our company members first, and then to our home park and kingdom.

ACW has a philosophy of quality not quantity. We do not have a recruitment quota. We have a training methodology that pairs a student with a mentor and focuses on the growth of that individual over a period of years. ACW specifically looks to recruit those who have a mentality that will complement the ethos of the company.

Though ACW’s motto is 'Quality not quantity' almost as applicable are the tenets of 'Pariah Caste'. Education: Seek and be open to knowledge or else only know mediocrity. Dedication: Accept all failings, never accept defeat. Perfection: The unattainable principle that must always be your goal.

History of ACW

The name itself is derived from the alliance between ‘Port of Winter's Night’ and ‘The Frostlands’ during Discord VI in 2004. Most of the founding members where previously part of the ‘Company of the Mask’. A unit dubbed 'Cold War' containing ACW's founding members was assigned a certain strategic objective in a large battlegame and succeeded in impressing their commanders with tactical prowess and teamwork, as well as willingness to follow orders. ACW was formed to teach Amtgarders on a one-on-one basis how to improve themselves in all aspects of the game. Chpek and Julian Greystoke were the founding mentors with Magnus and Hawkana being the first students. Our colors: white (perfection, safety, and successful beginnings) Imperial green (growth, harmony, and energy) and black (formality, authority, and the unknown) where chosen.

The company's heraldic symbol (worn only by mentors) is Thor's Lighting Bolt. One of Thor’s primary domains is war and befitting a fighting company. However, in Norse mythology, Thor was also the primary advocate and protector of humankind among the gods; being the bringer of fire in some myths. Thor's lightning bolt also stands as a symbol of intellectual inspiration.

In brief, it has connections with honesty, truth, and morality and stands for inspiration, enlightenment and clarity. It is based upon the rune sig witch stands for victory. Though we have reversed to avoid certain connections.

Philosophy and Structure of ACW

ACW generally has three different terms for members Spar, Student, and Mentor.

Spar are not full-fledged members. They are individuals who have some interest in joining the company and have been identified by at least three mentors as someone who has the potential to foster the ethos ACW looks for. All members of ACW shall work with spars to encourage that ethos and train them. However if the spar does not foster that ethos or is discovered not to be an ideal match for the company their spar status may be removed. While a unanimous vote to take on a new spar is not required, the company places great emphasis on all members having a say regarding new membership.

Students are individuals who have proven themselves ideal candidates for the company, displaying both the appropriate ethos and a willingness to learn. They are paired with a single mentor who will focus on their training and advancement. There is no absolute standard that a student shall be held to, however, they will be required to achieve fighting competence and be able to hold multiple positions within a company formation. These may be simple martial position like flanker or pole arm, or class positions such as healer or wizard. A mentor is also required to lead and teach. So the basics of these skills will be taught to students as well. It is important to note that a student will be required to have these skills before promotion. However they are not expected to have mastered these skills.

Mentors are promoted students. It is desirable to have a unanimous vote of all mentors to promote a student to mentor status. However all that is required is a majority. Mentors are expected to search for potential students and train them to be ready to become a future mentor. To this end a student will be required to demonstrate an ability to teach and to lead before being promoted. A mentor (especially a newly promoted one) is not expected to be a master at either of these. First, because a core tenant of ACW is that you can always improve; there is always more to master. Second, you cannot be said to have mastered a task until you have practiced it multiple times. Each student a mentor takes will hone their skills as an instructor. Acts of leadership are not restricted to chapter office positions or even Amtgard. Class battle, quest, company or even non-Larp activities can all count. Thor's lighting bolt is a symbol reserved for mentors.

Outside of the three positions the structure of ACW is flexible and fluid depending upon the situation. When focused on training we may put the least experienced spar in charge and expect even the most experienced mentor to follow their orders with alacrity. When focused on competition we shall tend to place the most skilled or experienced individual in command.

In every situation we expect there to be a chain of command and for it to be followed. In general spars can report to any student or mentor and students will report to their mentor. Mentors will tentatively follow general time in grade. However for an official competitive situation the time should be taken to assign specific roles and a precise chain of command. Everyone needs to know their job so that when a link in the chain of command is removed everyone will know where the responsibility of command lies.

The importance of this philosophy is not to absolve lower ranks of responsibility or the need to take initiative and to communicate, it is to provide order in chaos.



Notable Accomplishments

Company photos





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