The Squirrel Academy, formerly known as Virgin Plc and Virgin Et milites, was formed in 2004 by Branson, but was closed to public membership for almost a decade as its founder went about learning the business of internet spaceships.
In 2014, ‘The Council’, a corporation with which Branson had become great friends, were seeking a means to increase their membership and under Branson’s command, Virgin Plc became ‘The Council’s highsec feeder corp.
Initially setting up in the Merolles, it moved next door to Alentene where its headquarters remained for several months during which time it based itself in … where it deployed it’s first POS and …. where it deployed and lost it’s second POS to a mercenary coprporation, one of many war-deccing corporations which persisted in harrassing our fledgling corp. Lessons learned we re-deployed our POS, and took the fight to the war-deccers by establishing a low sec base in Gallente FW space. This lowsec base forced the highsec war-deccers to fight us on a more level playing field, one which they mostly chose not to do. It also allowed us to learn the basics of the directional scanner and to cut our teeth in PvP with small gang skirmishes. In the autumn of 2015, with a membership of around 70, the corporation released itself from its feeder commitments to The Council, seized its independence and joined the Evictus alliance within the greater Provibloc coalition under CVA’s command.
Initially setting up home in 7MD-SI, Virgin Plc moved to G-AOTH in the Spring of 2016 following the acquisition of new alliance space. The Virgin Megastore, a fortizar class citadel was deployed in the Summer of 2016, followed by Virgin Industries, an Azbel class fortizar in the Spring of 2017.
In the Autumn of 2017, the Evictus alliance opted to leave the Provibloc coalition for The Legacy coalition under the control of TEST alliance. We, however, decided to stay loyal to the Provibloc coalition and joined CVA alliance in November 2018. After 2 months with our new alliance, consistently in 3rd place on the killboard and boasting top participation figure in alliance fleet CTA and Stratetic Ops, we were rewarded with custody of PI5-39 in the QBL pocket. We redeployed the Virgin Megastore, the Azbel and 3 Athanors. We also took custody of a Raitaru, 3 other citadels and the local outpost.
For 12 months we had resisted the mighty was machine of the PanFam coalition, and in March 2018 we were finally forced to evacuate PI5-39 for lowsec space in the region of Domain. Our citadels in PI5-39 still stand, but for now our focus is upon rebuilding our player base through the focused goal of providing new players with the ideal environment in which to have fun and learn the game. Our departure from nullsec was too disappointing for some, and our membership dropped significantly, but we learned much from it. It became clear that in order to retain good corp numbers, we had to build trust and commitment from new players by investing in them at an early stage. This approach would in turn reward us with their loyalty in the long term.
In January 2018, we received a very unusual notification from CCP. Apparently, we had drawn the attention of a real-life corporation with a similar name to ours and they had raised a formal complaint with CCP, claiming a potential copyright infringement. We were given no option but to oblige and took the rare opportunity to update our corporation name to reflect the gregarious nature of the corp members and the future aspirations of the new CEO and his leadership team. After being temporarily named Virgin Et milites (The Virgin Soldiers). the corporation was formally renamed ‘The Squirrel Academy’ in April 2018, Branson retired and Chimaera became CEO.
We are a nullsec corp and we plan to return to 0.0 space before the year is out, if not to Providence to some other area of nullsec sovereignty. In the meantime we have much work to do in preparation, and much fun to be had by investing time with our new members and fleeting up several times a day to shoot the bad guys with our coalition allies.
In June of 2018, Branson was wheeled out of retirement and the corp accepted an invitation to join the newly formed Red Noise alliance. The corporation had returned to nullsec, and was now part of something brand new. The risks of failure can not be denied, but the opportunity to be part of something new, with ambitious alliance and coalition leadership was just too good to pass up.
The Red Noise ‘Deployment’
” We hadn’t really experienced much outside of Providence, we were beaten up, tired and needed a change. We caught wind of plans to create a new coalition where people could have the security of the blue donut, whilst being free to manage their own affairs and ‘play their own way’. We knew it was risky, and it was hard to leave Provi but it sounded like an adventure and the break we needed .
Things started ok, but the deals with Goons and Test never got over the line, the promised land never arrived, and when reddit posted its articles on the dubious roots and financial backing of the new coalition, our innovative leader found his position untenible and was forced to resign.
Red Noise, the alliance we had joined was to close, and we were invited to apply to the new lead alliance BS-IT. We had good talks, but we disagreed on our approaches to newbro training and so picked up the phone to CVA to take us back into the fold.
Our chats with CVA were encouraging but we didn’t feel 100% confident we were going to be accepted back (our fault… we should have talked rather than messaged), so when another of the alliances within 7th Estate offered us an almost unconditional offer to join them, we felt we should accept, if only for the security of our members in the short term. We have a very similar attitude to SLOW – Children at Play, and get along well with their leaders. They are happy for us to stay as long as we want… if we want to stay that’s fine, if we want to move on that’s ok too. So we thought that was what we would do…. join SLOW and see how things work out. However… on hearing our plan, BS-IT are warning us that they plan to roll their policies out across the entire coalition and so our disagreements remain.
With 7th Estates charasmatic and popular leader gone, the whole ethos seems to have changed now… rather than something new, its just more of the same power-block stuff, and it remains to be seen whether the new leadership of 7th Estate has the leadership qualities to pull it off.
Anyway, we correctly informed CVA of our intent to join SLOW, and in response received a much clearer message from their leadership. It was now apparent, that there had been a misunderstanding, our application had membership support and we just needed to apply! 🙂
Of course we couldn’t apply until we had left Red Noise because of the game mechanics, and we wanted to allow as long as possible for our guys to get their belongings safe.
SO… what now!!??
Return home to Provi now, or follow this crazy adventure a little further until 7th Estate leadership kick us out for non-compliance with their training policy?”
Football’s Coming Home
With the theme tune of the England world cup football team still fresh in some of our minds, on 17th August 2018 we returned to Providence. We had come home.