Mindscanner Issue #74
Summer 2008

Previous Next

KAG's Beginnings
As remembered by DaHar Master Kragtowl

KragtowlI founded the IKV Devastator in Hampton Roads, Virginia in 1989. When I moved to Missouri in 1990 my crew promoted me to Admiral. I first heard of the Klingon Assault Group after the move.

In Missouri I was a member of the Klingon Strike Force but they were not into dressing up and being Klingons, they were role-playing via snail mail. Another member of KSF was “Kishin” (Sue Frank) who was also the commander of KAG’s Force Recon. She became a long time friend.

StarBase Indy 1Then one day I received a letter from some guy by the name of John Halvorson (Kris) asking me if I wanted to join the Klingon Assault Group and that I could keep my rank from my former group. Kris told me that I had to recruit and create my own niche.

Since Navy, Marines and Force Recon were already taken, I created the Imperial Guard, to be the personal guard of the emperor that maintained the security of the empire while our Navy conquered the universe. A distinguishing feature on our uniforms was a black battle sash denoting that we already served the Black Fleet. Taken from FASA and John M. Ford’s writings, the Black Fleet was like the Viking Valhalla.

I made my first appearance in full Klingon uniform at a convention in St. Louis and had recruitment flyers on the freebie table. Being 6’ 4” inches tall, I made an imposing figure, which had most of the security staff for the convention paranoid. I was stopped numerous times to have my photo taken, and by day's end not one flyer was left on the table.

After that Kris wanted to meet me and we got together at the convention Starbase Indy in Indianapolis, the local Federation organization’s main meeting place. Kris and I discussed many things there and got to know one another. He was dressed as a Human-Fusion Klingon and I as an Imperial Klingon. The two of us and a young female Klingon by the name of K’Tala (Jessica West) were the only Klingons there among many Feddies. Kris and I sat in the back of the room at their meeting and heckled. We weren't rude, but every time they cheered we stood up and 'Booed', which brought laughter to everyone.

Later at a con in Kansas city I got together with another KAG Admiral, Lyle van Sciver, known as Blackie. He was head of KAG's Imperial Intelligence Division. Melinda Snodgrass, former executive script writer for the Next Generation, was a guest. As I walked across the lobby a very attractive lady stopped me, complimented my costume and said that I could walk on the set and they would not know the difference. I thanked her and went on with the convention. Later I went to Melinda’s panel and to my surprise, the lady from before was her. Blackie and I competed in the masquerade and took the Science Fiction category.

A few weeks later at a con in St. Louis, Blackie and I were joined by Kathan (Steve Roberts) the KAG Admiral for the Navy. I had been busy helping the locals refine their uniforms. By convention time we had sixteen fully dressed Klingons ready to take the masquerade by force!

I had created a song 'I'm a Klingon and I'm OK' to the tune of the Monty Python song 'I’m a Lumberjack'. At the masquerade sixteen Klingons, all singing the song, escorted one Federation prisoner on stage. Our youngest Klingon had the Federation prisoner put his back to the crowd and bend down to be executed. She had an axe and brought it down just as we finished the song and it looked as if we had killed the prisoner.

Archon - St Louis

Well the crowd and the judges loved it, we took Best in Show and the term 'Klingons are the Ninjas of the 90’s' was born. When I got back home there was a letter from Kris and he was very pleased at the numerous applications to KAG that he had recently received. During this time in KAG’s history, Kris experimented with unique rank titles and he gave me the rank of “Imperial Admiral” for my efforts.

Blood FeudI attended the World Science Fiction convention (ChiCon) in Chicago in September of '91, and continued to recruit for KAG at cons throughout the midwest. Our numbers increased. I also assisted in the coordination of one of KAG’s biggest wars with Starfleet International. It was called the Blood Feud and it was developed for supporting the American Red Cross in increasing their blood supply. The catch phrase for this war was “Klingons are out for blood!” and it was a big success as well as one of the best recruiting concepts we ever used.

During KAG’s history there have been those who thought they could do better. Former members of KAG splintered off to create these groups. Kris’s philosophy at the time was if they were not happy let them do their own thing. I have seen so many self-appointed Thought Admirals which many no longer even participate in Klingon fandom. KAG has always remained strong due to simply following rule number one: Have Fun!

In the following months Kris continued getting more applications to KAG, most of them for the 'Imperial Guard'. The Guard grew so large that I took the concept of quadrants from FASA role-playing system and developed quadrant commanders for the areas, which began the ground work for the present fleet system that is standard in KAG today.

KAG continued to grow but the Imperial Guard at one time had more ships than Fleet and there was an uneasy rivalry between Fleet and Guard individuals, with each side thinking they were better than the other. So Kris made a decision and the Imperial Guard was absorbed by the fleet. Not one of our better moments as this did not go over well, but it was done. Again playing with the rank titles, Kris bestowed on me the title of 'Grand Admiral' and made me second-in-command of all of KAG. Not too long after this, I was having financial difficulties and took a leave of absence from KAG to get my real life back on track.

KAG continued to grow and many of the present leaders of KAG began their rise in glory to become the guiding leadership of today.