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2018 – Our State of Affairs (including some personal notes)

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Dear GOL,

2018 has been a rough ride for the group as a whole and many of the people contributing to running the whole thing.

We're playing an old game. Arma 3 has been around for almost six years. The great majority of us here are seasoned veterans. Myself, I've played Arma almost exclusively with all of you, the GOL. Most of you I've known for many years. Guys like Guzzen and R4IDER have been around ever since I got here. Comrads like Parker, Pilgrim and unionjak I've been going into battle (and mums) with for years. Thanks to our new reserve system, which was rather readily accepted I'd like to note, we see a lot more of old friends like Neko, Thecmaster, MacGregor, and even Oksman.

The downside to this is that, in an already tiny community, there is hardly any influx of new players. Thus it's surprising to see many new faces in the crowd. At times, Parker and myself (currently our only recruiters) had more applications to handle than our spare time allowed us to. 2018 saw the arrival of our Dutch connection, who continue to shake things up a lot. Young members only starting out have begun contributing to the group in a big way. In spite of some issues with discipline and some conflicts, we've seen many promotions and a lot of good conduct.

Regardless of all the problems the group may have on so many levels, it still has an incredible amount of fight in it after all these years. Working with such eager friends and colleagues is a lot of fun. Makes me stick around.

Recent past has seen numerous changes to our command structure. Many players have had to take a step back from leadership for a variety of reasons. All of these are deserved breaks, and I thank all of you (you know who you are) for your efforts, regardless of their duration. However, as a group we've struggled with a continuous shift in the command structure. It's a pleasure to see that there's still motivated, competent members around willing to lead by example. I look forward to working with you in the coming year. Challenging times lie ahead.

Since a new generation of leaders took over in 2017, paradigms in the GOL have shifted. In the past, the group was very dictatorial. It was owned by individuals. Decisions were made by individuals in a top down manner. The decision making process was plagued by double standards. We lost a significant portion of our member base because of this.

In 2018 things are very different. The group is owned by all of you, its members. Our decision making process may be slightly slower than in the past. However, everything we do these days is carefully decided by a group of people, taking the opinions, feedback, and best interest of the GOL as a whole into account. Our hierarchy these days is based on “merit and inclusion” (Quote Pilgrim) instead of ownership. As a result, the group is now more an expression of the will of its members, rather than a result of the ideas of its owners. This has sunken in with many of you. For instance, our code of conduct has seen a comprehensive revision which council recently approved. Further, conflict within the group is carried out in a more open, yet more civilised manner. Everyone willing to give their opinions is heard. Where opinions are opposed, compromise is found. Overall we see a much greater willingness to contribute to the group than we did in previous years.

In my personal opinion this is our greatest achievement of the year. One that we can not take for granted. One that we may have to defend in the near future.

It's uncertain whether the group will continue to thrive in 2019. Our existence is somewhat precarious. Very few mission makers struggle to keep up with our weekly demand. Our financial affairs are by no means sorted. Even my own continued participation and that of many other leading figures is uncertain. We're looking at some personal conflicts and disciplinary issues demanding a solution in the coming year, too. Another main issue is the cooperation with AAC, which has recently been plagued by a lack of joint training, organisational and technical problems. The addition of many new air frames is a first step but not a comprehensive solution to a much bigger problem.

You know me as a pessimist, so I can't help but have a bad feeling about the challenges we face in 2019. But it's always good to remember that we GOL are a unique bunch. You'll have a hard time finding an Arma group that is more aggressive, more creative, better trained than us. Our ability to develop complex tactics, and practice them in cooperation with various support elements, makes us stand out. Our desire to stay fresh, getting better and better at what we do is unmatched from what I've seen in the milsim/tactical coop scene. The best example for this would be the development and improvement of a mechanised concept. No other group I know of has done this successfully, usually saying that “it can't be done”. Certainly can, with the GOL.

I hope we can keep this up, and I hope to see all of you still playing in 2019.



SSgt. Filth

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We enjoy playing ArmA3 in a tactical and professional way and ensuring at the same time a high level of fun is kept within the game. We use tactics and procedures from various armies and modify them to suit our own needs. This allows us to operate in the ArmA 3 platform effectively.

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