THE ZETA OF YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW
A unit home to well over three hundred active duty personnel, the 501st offers a variety of ways for players to participate in platoon-sized operations where both a serious mindset and a fun attitude can coexist, resulting in a professional, fun experience. For the growing masses that lack the time to be a part of these activities, there is another opportunity: Zeta. Not only does Zeta offer members who can’t make Avalanche Company events a chance to participate in our unit, Zeta also serves as an opportunity to train members and prepare them for slotted positions throughout the unit. This hands-on field experience promotes the 501st’s high conduct standard standard across the ORBAT among both slotted troops and active reserves.
Did you know?
In order to obtain a Zeus Qualification - You must become RTO Qualified. Soon-to-be or already qualified Zeus Permits without an RTO Qualification should seek out an RTO Instructor and leave an inquiry about getting yourself qualified.
THE ZETA OF YESTERDAY
A company created with the goal of deploying the unit’s growing number of reservists, Zeta first made its introduction in November of 2018. Zeta opened a door for upcoming members of the 501st that found themselves without any certain place in the unit after graduating from CTC and later UTC. The company of both active and inactive personnel offers positions found throughout the unit. This exposure significantly raised the bar for entry throughout the unit, as the troopers that were a part of Zeta would later find themselves in the many detachments composing the 501st Legion. Many that would not have had time to participate, real life obligations, etc. found Zeta “To be the ideal balance between participating in the unit while being able to both distribute and mitigate my own workload.” (CT Wolf).
The first hurdle Zeta hopefuls faced was the Operational “Check-Ins” that were conducted among the Sections. For CR-C’s, the set amount of Check-Ins required was kept at only one. How about more? At times, “there have been ideas drafted where members would be required to get two Check-In’s instead” to get members more involved coming out of Zeta Company and entering the unit, instead of only putting up a single screening process to prevent inactive members taking up slots better suited to community members (CP Grandpa).
Did you know?
CM Tom was defeated in hand-to-hand combat after picking a fight with the wrong deer.
“It laid on me.” (CM Tom)
THE ZETA OF TODAY
The sections that compose Zeta function similarly to the platoons in Avalanche Company; however, apart from Avalanche, “Zeta’s sections are platoons catered to people that cannot make current platoon times. The operations are tailored to the personnel in our platoon slots.” (CP Grandpa).
As a company, Zeta offers everything that slotted troopers would typically have available while in a position in Avalanche. Although due to size and time constraints the company operates on a smaller scale - typically in squad-sized exercises as opposed to the run-of-the-mill Platoon-sized exercises. Furthermore, Zeta troopers are offered the same qualifications and choices of MOS in the Legion that can be pursued in other detachments. All of the Company’s members are capable of interacting with the community’s C-Shops and becoming active members within the 501st.
At the moment, Zeta doesn't have any regularly scheduled Operations, instead offering monthly section operation, one per section. The reason Zeta focuses on trainings is to provide challenging conditioning which will ensure that reservists are up to date with the galaxy of threats facing the 501st.
”Currently we have two main purposes: One, is to make sure that troops moving into Avalanche or other parts of the unit are prepared to do that - So that we have a standard of troopers. Two, so that people who have time constraints still have a place in our unit and can participate in operations. Zeta is fulfilling its purpose extraordinarily well at the moment and has made it easier for squad leaders to find above average troopers from Zeta.” ( CT Wolf). In short, the Company makes sure that new and returning Troopers know what they are doing all while helping out Avalanche in the process.
Zeta Company offers a chance for people to learn more on how the Unit works, but its leadership wants its subordinates to find a place in the Legion that they feel is the best fit for them as individuals:
“Zeta offers positions already available in Avalanche - the Company itself can act as both as a community and a stepping stone for members. “Our first goal is getting members out; We prioritize getting members out of our ranks and into the places that they want to be in.” (CT Wolf).
INTERLUDE: QUOTES FROM 501st MEMBERS
Zeta is a helping hand for finding one’s place in the unit, so the 501st has asked Zeta veterans as well as unit members across the board to reflect on the Company, both good and bad. Following are some excerpts from the News Team’s interviews.
“I really enjoyed my time with Zeta with my odd squad, Zeta 2-1. I had a really good time and I feel like it really benefited me - it's contributed to how am today. I feel like it did prepare me, but also, at the same time, I was reserving a lot, so I was already getting a lot of experience both in and out of Zeta. I feel like it could have benefited me more, but it benefited me in the way I was hoping - in cohesion with my reserving. The way I believe it could be improved is being more like Avalanche.”( CT Swanny)
“Zeta, to me, is just like Avalanche, but the differences are they do fewer ops and they have people changing out more because it's not supposed to be a long term thing unless you don't have the time.” (CT Facade)
“I feel like it is sort of a pit-stop, a place for people to take a minute before they get into Avalanche, Acklay, Mynock or wherever they are going. There are some positives in that, but it’s a place you go to check off a list. I've seen a zeta squad training and a Zeta function, and it's just a fun op for the most part if I'm being honest, just a big fun op.” (CC Point)
“My view on Zeta? It's a much needed thing in the unit. It’s for people who can’t attend other times. I think it's needed in the unit, but at the same time it's going to hurt a lot of people.”(CT Chan)
Although many troops see the value in Zeta, there are clearly some mixed opinions about the Company. As a special report agreed upon in advance to receive and respond to feedback, we brought the criticism we gathered to Zeta Company Commander CP Fancy and his Company Executive Officer, CP Delta, to hear their replies.
“I think the reason for this feedback is that up to now Zeta hasn't really had a straight direction. We’ve been trying way too many things at once. Right now, where we’re at is we’re building a better direction for the group so it doesn't look like that reservists just have to check in for Zeta once in a blue moon, and then they will just get slotted in Avalanche. We are focusing on training here at the current moment so people can do more than just wait around for something to happen or to move into avalanche.” (CP Delta)
Did you know?
If you’d like to better prepare yourself for saving lives in the field and treating your own injuries, a basic medical qualification is the best choice. Medics host trainings and tests for troopers looking to become better life savers and those interested in pursuing an MOS in the 501st as a medic. The trainings run on a weekly schedule of A Days and B Days - Drop by on an A Day to become better acclimated to saving lives, and take a test on a B Day if you’re looking to become a medic among the Legion's finest.
THE ZETA OF TOMORROW
Now, taking into consideration all the information the News Team has gathered, we can move forward knowing wholeheartedly that Zeta is headed in the right direction, and that the members of the 501st Legion should rest easy knowing that the Company is in the hands of leadership that is passionate about its improvement. So, considering all we’ve discussed - and the upcoming changes - we in the News Team have compiled a quick and dirty survival guide - a path to success in Zeta.
-Work with what you have.
-Just because you won’t be exposed to the scale of Avalanche’s operations doesn’t mean you can’t prepare.
-It’s not about the size - it’s about how you use it.It’s never too early to become a part of the Community - you’re already a part of it.
-Zeta is only one of the many steps in ferrying you along to other positions in the 501st.
-Another one of those steps is finding that position.
-Never post cringe.
-Not even once.
And, of course, find out how to join! Says Delta:
“It’s really easy okay. Once you finish UTC, all you gotta do is fill out the Zeta application form and join the Zeta discord, and then request Zeta tags in there. Links are in my channel, they are also in the main discord as well. Then, search for the squad leader that best matches your times. As around or find it in each section’s room in TeamSpeak. Once you get your squad you’re good to go!”(CP Delta)
Senior Trooper Ruse, Ensign Shnuffles, Senior Trooper Tom, Sergeant Jupiter, Senior Trooper Rayne