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Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Academy/Becoming a coordinator

Like some larger projects, the Military history Project has adopted a system whereby multiple coordinators are elected to serve the project. Our coordinators are generally responsible for maintaining all of the procedural and administrative aspects of the project, and serve as the designated points-of-contact for procedural issues. They are not, however, endowed with any special executive powers, nor with any authority over article content or editor conduct.

As is the case with all projects on Wikipedia, our coordinators' main role is performing the maintenance and housekeeping tasks required to keep the project and its internal processes running smoothly. This includes keeping the announcement and open task lists updated, overseeing the assessment and review processes, managing the proposal and creation of task forces, and so forth. There is little that couldn't theoretically be done by any other editor, of course—the coordinators are only explicitly written into a few processes—but, since experience suggests that people tend to assume that someone else is doing whatever needs to be done, the most efficient route has proven to be to delegate formal responsibility for this administrative work to a specified group.

Military history WikiProject coordinators also have several other roles. They serve as the project's designated points of contact, and are explicitly listed as people to whom questions can be directed in a variety of places around the project. In addition, they have highly informal roles in leading the drafting of project guidelines, overseeing the implementation of project decisions on issues like category schemes and template use, and helping to informally resolve disputes and keep discussions from becoming heated and unproductive. The coordinators are not, however, a body for formal dispute resolution; serious disputes should be addressed through the normal dispute resolution process.

Role of coordinatorsEdit

Traditionally, Milhist coordinators:

  1. Look after the routine administrative jobs, listed in the coordinators' handbook, preferably on a daily basis.
  2. Contribute promptly to project discussions so consensus can be quickly reached:
    (i) on the coordinators' talk page; and
    (ii) on the main talk page.
  3. Help administer, and provide back-up support for any special projects (drives, etc.).
  4. Try to informally resolve conflicts (especially long-running ones or disputes affecting many articles).

Although some coordinators are also administrators, coordinators:

(i) do not require sysop tools for any of their responsibilities; and
(ii) do not become involved in article protection and the like as a formal part of their co-ord duties.

These tasks can be time-consuming and sometimes stressful, especially when other coordinators are busy in real-life. Coordinators should be prepared to prioritize coordination over other wiki-activities. A helpful toolbox can be found here.

Frequently asked questionsEdit

How are coordinators appointed? 
Coordinators are appointed via an annual election held every September/October. The project uses a simple approval voting system. The first candidates to reach a target level of support (currently 12 nominees and 20 votes) become coordinators. This can change though, for each election. Voters may support as many candidates as they wish, but we do not make use of "Oppose" and "Neutral" selections.
Who gets to be the lead coordinator? 
The lead role requires considerable experience and familiarity with the internal workings of Milhist. First refusal is generally offered to the candidate who gets the most votes. They are however, free to decline and ask that the role be offered to another.
Do I need to be nominated for coordinatorship? 
No! Coordinators nominate themselves, so don't wait for someone to nominate you. In the run-up to the elections, standing coordinators may leave a message on your talk page encouraging you to stand if they feel you would be a good candidate, but they cannot formally add your name to the nominations list. Only you can do that. This ensures that those who do not wish to be coordinators are not added to the election page. It also serves as a check, to make sure that those who really do want to run are fully aware of the process and the expectations that go with the position.
If I become a coordinator, will I have time to do something other than project work? 
Absolutely! Coordinators, both past and present, have found the time to browse through articles, fix mistakes, and build content while serving as coordinators. Although we need to monitor the day-to-day operations of the project, the amount of actual work depends largely on the overall activity of the project and sharing the work-load this creates.
Do I need to be an administrator to be a coordinator? 
No! Coordinators are everyday users that agree to take on an increased role in the daily tasks for the project. There is almost no work a coordinator does on a day-to-day basis that would require access to admin tools. On the other-hand, users who have shown great skill in handling coordinatorship often end up nominated for adminship by other project members or coordinators. This is not to say that every user that is elected a coordinator will also become an administrator, but coordinatorship can give editors an opportunity to demonstrate many of the skills that are looked for in potential admins at RfA.
Is it okay for me to leave on vacation while serving as a coordinator? 
Yes! There are several coordinators elected during each tranche, which helps to compensate for temporary absences. There are also several semi-standard vacation periods (December holidays, summer break) during which MilHist activity is typically low. Some coordinators may be absent in these times while others are more available. There is little to no negative effect. This is the virtue of having a team of coordinators.
Can I be a coordinator if am currently a student? 
Of course! In the past we have had students that have served successfully as coordinators, and we do understand that school, college or university must come first.
Is there an age requirement to be a coordinator? 
No! Age is not a major factor with regards to being a coordinator, so teens can serve just as ably as senior citizens. You will, however, be expected and called upon to demonstrate a degree of maturity.
My typing skills are poor. Will this count against me? 
Not really. Although coordinators should be able to communicate clearly and effectively, everyone makes spelling and grammatical mistakes. As long as your main points are clear you may be able to get away with less-than-admirable typing.
Can I resign my coordinatorship? 
Yes. In the event that you are unable or unwilling to continue serving, you may resign. Depending on the needs of the project at the time, others may take up the slack or, if necessary, one or more users in good standing will be co-opted to fill in.
Do I have to disclose the reason for my resignation? 
No, under no circumstances. Previous coordinators that have resigned often provide a reason for their decision, but your resignation can be as public or as private as you want it to be.
I'm fairly new to Wikipedia and/or the project. Can I run? 
Yes! You are welcome to run for coordinator regardless of how long you have been on Wikipedia or how long you have been a member of the project. All we ask is that you be familiar with the project's policies and procedures. However, remember that the project's members are responsible for voting coordinators into office and that each member evaluates candidates by different criteria, so some will inevitably withhold support for lack of experience.
Is there a term limit for coordinators? 
No! You are welcome to run for coordinatorship as many times as you want. Do note though, that your actions during your time in office will affect the support you may receive during an election.
What is co-option? 
Co-option is method of voluntary drafting used to artificially increase the size of the current coordinator tranche. On occasion, if the needs of the project are determined to be greater than the current coordinator tranche can reasonably handle, the coordinators will consider co-opting a limited number of additional members to serve as coordinators until the next election (at which point co-opted coordinators are free to put themselves forward for election in the usual way).
Can I turn co-option down? 
Of course—the key word is "voluntary"! If you decide you do not want to be co-opted you may decline the offer; this will not count against you should you later decide you wish to stand for election.
What happens if I accept co-option? 
If you accept you will receive an official welcome to the coordination group, a coordinator's insignia, and your name will be added to the list of current coordinators on the main coordinator page and the main project page. Your term will last until the next round of coordinator elections (September/October), at which time your co-option will end.
Do I have to display the coordinator insignia or userbox in my user space if I become a coordinator? 
No. Your user name will be listed on the main page and on the coordinator page to show that you are a coordinator, and added to the coordinator category to allow you to close A-class Reviews, but you are under no obligation to use or display the paraphernalia in your user space.
Who gets to vote in the election? 
Traditionally, only editors who are also members of the project are allowed to vote. We occasionally have input from non-members too, many of whom have contributed greatly to Milhist and/or our articles without ever joining up. The views of non-members in good standing are welcomed, but this courtesy is not extended where there is evidence of external canvassing. If candidates intentionally engage in campaigning for the purpose of becoming a coordinator or lead coordinator, they should expect to receive a sanction from the project.
If there are fewer than X candidates for coordinatorship do we still need to have an election? 
Yes. By tradition and consensus, we do not simply endorse the candidates as coordinators if there are fewer than X running. Additionally, as the election is the process by which we determine who will be the Lead Coordinator for the coming tranche, simply endorsing the candidates would leave us in a position whereby the community would be unable to determine who among the candidates running should receive the top spot.
What is a Military history WikiProject Coordinator Emeritus? 
Coordinator Emeritus is an honorary title bestowed upon an extraordinarily limited number of former coordinators who over the years have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the project and its workings. In order to ensure that the community may continue to benefit from their help and experience, a motion was put forward to confer upon the coordinator in question the title of Coordinator Emeritus of the Military history WikiProject. The title itself confers no special honors, and once bestowed is held by the nominated coordinator or former coordinator for as long as he or she wishes. Although considered an honorary title, a Coordinator Emeritus of the Military history WikiProject has the full authority of a regular project coordinator and is therefore permitted to issue project awards traditionally handed out by the project coordinators and close the project's A-Class reviews.
What are the requirements to become a Coordinator Emeritus? 
By consensus of our project, there are two criteria that must be met for a coordinator to be eligible for the honorary title Coordinator Emeritus. The first is that the coordinator in question needs to have served at least one term as the Military history WikiProject's Lead Coordinator. Due to the experience required to effectively act as the project's Lead Coordinator, it can take a few years to be elected to the position. The other requirement is that coordinator in question continue to offer help and experience to the project. Because of the open ended nature of this requirement there are no specific examples that can be given; of the three currently serving Coordinators Emeriti, each had worked on numerous tasks within the project and consistently demonstrated creative thinking with regards to problem solving and troubleshooting within the project over the course of many years prior to becoming Coordinators Emeriti. Although not a formal requirement, each of the three Coordinators Emeriti were also awarded the WikiChevrons with Oak Leaves prior to becoming Coordinators Emeriti.
Who may nominate a current or former coordinator for Coordinator Emeritus consideration? 
Traditionally, the nomination is made by a fellow Military history WikiProject coordinator who will place the motion for consideration on the ballot for the yearly coordinator elections. There is presently no requirement to obtain consensus from the other coordinators in a given tranche before making such a nomination, nor is there a requirement to list justifications for the awarding of the title Coordinator Emeritus. However, in each case in which a motion was made to elevate a former coordinator to the position of Coordinator Emeritus, some achievements obtained by the coordinator in question were given in the nomination statement to provide context for nomination to the project's members.


Post electionEdit

   
 

When the election concludes there will be two immediate things that will happen that will concern the newly elected coordinators and the lead coordinator. These are a matter of internal interest, and have little effect on the rest of the project members outside the coordinator family.

First, as a matter of tradition, those who are elected to the position of coordinator receive a 5-star insignia while the lead coordinator receives a 6-star insignia. These are handed out just as soon as the election concludes, so look for your official star delivery to occur within the first hours of the official conclusion of the election. As noted above, you do not have to display the stars on your userspace, they are intended to represent the trust the community holds in you to manage the project effectively, efficiently, and honorably.

The second concerns a technical update to two of the project's coordinator specific systems. The first is the template based ping system. Coordinators can alert their fellow tranche members of important discussions, needed closures, and other matters of internal interest by making use of the ping code {{@MILHIST}}, which will generate a notice on a given page in the relevant section style as @WP:MILHIST coordinators. In order to ensure that the current coordinators get that ping, the list needs to be update and a live fire exercise needs to be carried out, so look for a ping shortly after the election concludes that requests you reply to make sure that we have the system calibrated correctly.

The other technical matter concerns the use of MilHistBot, the project's designated bot for closing A-Class reviews and handling other internal matters that are either very tedious, very time consuming, or both tedious and time consuming. The bot is intended for use by the current MILHIST coordinators, so it'll be updated to reflect your status so as to allow you to make use of the bot account to handle coordinator specific tasks as needed. It determines who is a coordinator by looking at the list in Template:@MILHIST.

Once these immediate tasks are completed you will be free to go about your coordinator roles any way you see fit. Remember that your actions in office will be monitored by project members and the coordinators, so behave yourself.

As a new coordinator, a word of advice. Take a pause to observe how things are done and what the coordinators do. Ask the lead coordinator how you might best contribute. Their response might be "general" but there might also be a particular "duty" that they might like you to "keep an eye on". Coordinators are a "collegiate" body. Remember, a new broom does not always sweep as well as an old one. Don't be afraid to ask questions. These are opportunities to identify improvements and to document our corporate knowledge. Different eyes may see things in a different light from what has previously been taken for granted.