State of FINCOM April 2012

State of FINCOM April 2012

STATE OF FINCOM – April 2012

OK Marines, I’m going to keep my “talking” to a minimum this month so that I can get you all up to speed on the finances. I apologize for not posting our finances for a few months, but as you have all been aware, the latest data streams coming from the bank have been getting diverted to the Ferengi!!

So, here are the last three months financial reports to get you all current:

February 2012 Financial Data:

Bank of America SFMC Checking Account
Opening Balance 2/1/2012: $4,819.29
2/7/2012 – USPS: ($2.80)
2/17/2012 – USPS: ($11.79)
2/29/2012- Transfer from PayPal: $357.16

Net Change in Checking Account: $342.57
Ending Balance 2/29/2012: $5,161.86

Bank of America SFMC Scholarship Account
Opening Balance 2/1/2012: $2,725.96

2/29/2012- Interest Earned: $0.17
Net Change in Scholarship Account: $0.17
Ending Balance 2/29/2012: $2,726.13

March 2012 Financial Data:

Bank of America SFMC Checking Account
Opening Balance 3/1/2012: $5,161.86
3/26/12 – Transfer from PayPal: $167.84
3/1/12 – USPS: ($36.55)
3/27/12 – Walmart: ($5.32)
3/28/2012 – USPS: ($25.96)

Net Change in Checking Account: $100.01
Ending Balance 3/30/2012: $5,261.87

Bank of America SFMC Scholarship Account
Opening Balance 3/1/2012: $2,726.13

3/30/2012 – Interest Earned: $0.18
Net Change in Scholarship Account: $0.18
Ending Balance 3/30/2012: $2,726.31

April 2012 Financial Data:

Bank of America SFMC Checking Account
Opening Balance 4/1/2012: $5,261.87

4/19/12 – Counter Credit: $4.50
4/4/12 – PinPros: ($359.00)
4/10/12 – USPS: ($7.60)
4/12/12 – Glendale Parade Store: ($135.00)
4/17/12 – USPS: ($32.95)
4/25/12 – USPS: ($5.50)
4/27/12 – USPS: ($1.95)

Net Change in Checking Account: ($537.50)
Ending Balance 4/30/2012: $4,724.37

Bank of America SFMC Scholarship Account
Opening Balance 4/1/2012: $2,726.31

4/30/2012 – Interest Earned: $0.18
Net Change in Scholarship Account: $0.18
Ending Balance 3/30/2012: $2,726.49

State of FORCECOM April 2012

State of FORCECOM April 2012

Greetings Marines,

This month I would like to talk about the Cadets. How many of you that are Unit OIC’s or above that have Cadets in your units have read the Cadets manual that is available on the Corps website?

Admit it…you like to get recognized for your hard work and dedication.
When you do something nice, you want the recognition that goes with it. Kids are the same way. It is important to note that the Corps is using the same ribbons for the Cadet Achievement Awards, as the rest of the SFMC. The only difference is that the cadets’ ribbons will also have a good conduct knot ribbon device to denote a cadet award. It is possible to earn the same award more than once, just add another knot.

There is a special award for cadets called the Cadet Service
Completion Award it is an award that is given when a cadet ages out of the SFMC cadet program, whether the cadet is age 15 or 17, they are no longer authorized to wear any SFMC Cadet Achievement Awards. They may however continue to wear any SFMC Service and Training awards that they had been awarded during their time as a cadet Just like with the adults there is a…

(a.k.a. Brigade Marine Cadet of the Year)
Issuing Authority: Brigade OIC
Frequency: Annual (one award issued to one cadet per age group per year)
SFMC Ribbon Name: Deidre Rickard Ribbon with Good Conduct Knot This award replaces the SFMC Youth Cross of Valor. This award is given to the Marine Cadet that most exemplifies the spirit, image and attitude of the SFMC within a particular brigade—the one who sets the standard for personal conduct, appearance, motivation, dedicated service and esprit de corps for which all STARFLEET Marine Cadets in that brigade strive.

(a.k.a. Brigade Marine Cadet Leader of the Year)
Issuing Authority: Brigade OIC
Frequency: Annual (one award issued to one Grade 4 Cadet per year)
SFMC Ribbon Name: Bisig Ribbon with Good Conduct Ribbon
This award replaces the SFMC Youth Sword of Honor. This award is given to the Marine Cadet who most exemplifies the personal and professional standards of leadership valued by the Brigade. This individual, through their actions and words, has provided the highest standard of guidance and leadership to their fellow Cadets, setting a standard of excellence for other leaders to follow.

(a.k.a. Brigade Marine Cadet Volunteer of the Year)
Issuing Authority: Brigade OIC
Frequency: Annual (one award issued to one cadet per age group per year)
Ribbon description: Kelley Ribbon with Good Conduct Knot
This award replaces the SFMC Youth Shield of Valor. This award is given to the Marine Cadet who has made the most significant personal impact in community service efforts within the Brigade. This effort does not necessarily have to be on behalf of a SFMC campaign effort, but financial donations are specifically excluded as the basis for eligibility. Volunteering your time and hard work counts; simply writing a check doesn’t. Candidates for this award should be chosen from Cadets in a particular brigade who has received the Community Service Citation within the past year.

(a.k.a. Brigade Marine Cadet NCO of the Year)
Issuing Authority: Brigade SGM
Frequency: Annual (one award issued to one cadet per age group per year)
Ribbon description: Red with Good Conduct Knot
This award is given to the Marine Cadet NCO who most exemplifies the personal and professional standards of leadership valued by the NCO Corps of a Brigade. This Marine Cadet NCO has made a significant personal impact in community service efforts throughout their area, and through their actions and words, have provided the highest standard of guidance and leadership to their fellow Marines, setting a standard of excellence for other NCOs to follow.

(a.k.a. Brigade Training Detachment of the Year)
Issuing Authority: Brigade OIC
Frequency: Annual (one award issued to one cadet per age group per year)
Ribbon Description: Matt Copple Ribbon with Good Conduct Knot
This award replaces the SFMC Youth Legion of Valor. This award is given to the Marine Cadet Training Detachment that most exemplifies the spirit, image and attitude of the STARFLEET Marine Corps within that Brigade. This detachment should set the standard for conduct, appearance, motivation and activity for which all Marine Cadet units in the Brigade strive

I would like to congratulate the First Brigade for recognizing their Cadets at the Brigade Level and forwarding their Cadet Valor award winner’s up to the General Staff for consideration for the Corps Honor awards.

I would like to encourage all the other Brigades to send in nominations for the Cadet Valor awards as the Cadets deserve to be ecognized for all their hard work, Just remember that today’s Cadets are tomorrow’s Unit and Battalion and Brigade and General Staff Officers so let’s give them the recognition they deserve Do you have cadets that have Marine Cadets who have rendered exceptional service to a your brigade by performing a particular task or service to a high standard of excellence?

Well just like the Adult awards there is a SFMC CADET BRIGADE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. For those Cadets that have aged out of the Cadet program there is a
special award called the CADET SERVICE COMPLETION AWARD. This award is presented to members of the SFMC who have aged out/graduated of the Cadet Corps and continue to serve the SFMC as adults to thank them for their dedication and service to the SFMC as a Cadet. Marines who have aged out/graduated from the Cadet Corps at the age of fifteen (15) or eighteen (18) are eligible for the award. However those individuals who have stayed in the Cadet Corps until the age of eighteen (18) are authorized to wear a gold oak leaf affixed to the ribbon signifying that they completed the entire Cadet Corps program.

So come on people get out there and recognize your Marine Cadets

Talk to you next month

John Kiwi Kane
Master Gunnery Sergeant, SFMC
Commanding Officer, Forces Command
STARFLEET Marine Corps

State of TRACOM April 2012

State of TRACOM April 2012

Greetings Marines!


In March, 2012, the SFMCA posted a total of 168 grades for 54 unique students. Numbers are a bit down, but there were some site issues that interfered with people taking courses. I’m pretty sure the numbers will return.


I am still accepting applications for the Maritime Operations Director and will continue to do so until the 30APR12.

To recap; requirements for are listed below.

1. All TRACOM Staff members must have completed PD-10 (Marine Basic Training), PD-20 and OTS;

2. Must be a member in good standing of STARFLEET;
3. Be at least 18 years of age;
4. Branch Directors must have completed every course offered by their Branch up to and including the –30 level coursework (Bachelor’s of Military Science);
5. If a staff member is appointed to a position within TRACOM, and that person has not completed the requirements for the position, he/she shall have 60 days to complete the requirements or be asked to resign the position;
6. All candidates should review the TRACOM Policies and Procedures
Manual paying close attention to the duties outlined in sections 3.01, 3.02, 3.04 Doctrine Section sub-section Branch Directors, and section 3.05 IN FULL.

Please send your ‘Fleet resume, a letter of intent, and why you feel you would make a valuable addition to the Training and Doctrine Command Staff to me at

Good luck to all candidates and I look forward to having to making a
difficult decision in May.

TRACOM’s HQ Staff with help from the various SFMCA Directors, have completed creation of an exam we call CO-10 SFMCA Sampler. The is currently being tested by Region 20. If successful, this will be made available Corps wide as a recruiting tool.
The concept of the SFMCA Sampler Exam is to provide prospective recruits with a sampling of what the SFMCA offers which doesn’t require our manuals to successfully complete. It offers no credit but is there just to provide people with an idea of what we offer.

That’s about what I have for you at the moment. See you next month.


Michael McGowan
OIC, 225th MSG

State of the NCO Corps April 2012

State of the NCO Corps April 2012

State of the NCO Corps April 8, 2012

Greetings Marines!

I will start off by confessing a certain temptation to file my monthly report on April 1, and have it consist in its entirety of: “YEP, we have a bunch of ‘em and they are doing lots of stuff. “ But I shook that impulse off, and headed for in the booth in the back in the corner in the dark of my local NCO club, where no matter what season it is, we can be fairly sure that somewhere, somehow, Prigal is fouling something up, and new members bribing the bartender for a wee taste of my Private Reserve Stock behind the bar are always disappointed when they find out what ir really is. (Feel free to speculate.)

As you may know, for the past year, I have been tracking the percentage of enlisted members in a sizable sample of 5 brigades. Over that time, the total percentage of enlisted Marines in the sample has grown from 26.95 to 31.82 percent, an overall increase of roughly 5 percentage points. As a caution, this may simply reflect the growth in the SFMC over the past year, since the overall sample also increased by roughly 5 percent in that time. Still, the data continues to support a working estimate of one Marine in four holding an enlisted rank

In the month of March, I encouraged all members of the SFMC to join in a special campaign called March for the Disabled, and find a way somehow to help those who suffer from physical, mental, or emotional disabilities, or raise awareness of their needs. This campaign hit very close to home for many of our members who are disabled in some way themselves, or who have someone close to them suffering from a disability. I put my money where my mouth is on this one, and in spite of my remote location and my own disability, managed to put in a few hours last month.

I will be going over the next batch of BDE reports, and hope to get you some more information on what your fellow Marines did down the line, but , for the record, I am now declaring this campaign a rousing success in terms of meetings its goals based on one email I received on March 31.2012.

In that email, I learned that a very small unit (one Marine) in a very small BDE (less than 20 members) had spent time helping a someone with disabilities with some simple chores around the place that were difficult for that disabled person to do., and made a difference in their life. In fact, that person is seriously considering joining STARFLEET as a member of that Marine’s chapter. In the grand scheme of things, that may not seem like all that much, but when I proposed this campaign to the Dant, my goal was very simple: if just one person out there had their life improved by this project, any effort I put into it would have been time well spent

Remember, community service need not be some large scale effort. At its simplest, it is all about one person helping another. No matter how small the community you live in, there is ample opportunity for Marines to make a difference. No effort is too small. Even a few hours here and there will help. Think outside the box, and encourage and help your fellow Marines to do the same.

To that end, I would like to extend my thanks to LTC John Balzen of the 440th MSG for sharing the story of his efforts with me. Bravo Zulu (Well Done), SIR!

As always, remember that the SFMC General Staff is here to serve you. The email addresses are ALL on the SFMC web page, and their doors are always open. Your questions and input are always welcome and needed. And, remember that some of us tend to read and follow the SFMC group on Facebook, so feel free to comment and share with your fellow Marines there.

Speaking of Facebook, thanks to the efforts of some hard working Marines, there is now a private Facebook group for senior NCOs (E-7 and above). If you qualify, contact SGM Mark Polanis (or me) on Facebook to be added to the group. This past month, a question arose as to whether we would be taking in SFMC Warrant Officers as well. The MFM is very clear that WOs are enlisted personnel, but the question remained as to whether they were classed as senior NCOs. Although I am the senior (in more ways than one) member of that group, I didn’t want it to be simply my call, and so I called for a vote of the current members. I am happy to announce that, by an overwhelming majority, the senior NCOs present decided that WOs belonged with them, and that as far as they were concerned, WOs are senior NCOs.

To me, this was an excellent example of the NCO Chain of Support (CoS) in action to help make a decision. But when I thought about it more, I am not so sure that “Chain” really describes the system used by SFMC NCOs. Rather than a linear relationship, the CoS consists of the individual NCO linked to several other NCOs, forming a solid and unified whole, It that respect, it is more like a suit of chainmail armor than a simple chain. Like that armor, the whole is much stronger than any individual link, but every link is important to keep the whole thing from unraveling. Please, do what you can to establish and maintain contact with other SFMC NCOs.

Now, it’s time for Top’s History Lesson. When Marines hit the range, there is often a lot of friendly competition going on as to who can make the best shot in terms of speed, accuracy, and degree of difficulty. But ask any knowledgeable Marine out there what shot they haven’t got a prayer of matching, and odds are they will point to one famous round fired by a legendary Marine NCO: GSGT Carlos Hathcock.

You could write a book about the man the enemy called “Long Trang” (White Feather) after the trademark he kept tucked in the band of his boonie hat, and many people have. (And I urge you to find them and read them) He set a record for a long distance combat shot that stood until 2002 (2.286 yards), and at one time the enemy placed a staggering bounty on him of $30,000, which led to many Marines in his area donning their own white feathers to confuse the whole platoon of snipers sent after him, But, let us focus on what is sometimes simply known as The Shot.

Hathcock and his spotter were stalking an enemy sniper when he saw a flash of light- a reflection off the enemy’s scope – and fired at it. The round went straight down the scope and killed the enemy sniper. The only way that would have happened is if he had been aiming at Hathcock. It was, in Hathcock’s own words, “a one in a million shot”, Both men could have easily killed each other, but Hathcock’s split second decision and ability to quickly line up and fire one shot that was, due to a combination of luck and his own incredible marksmanship, right on target left him standing, and left future Marines with a legend.

Over the years, many people (notably the program Mythbusters) have attempted to duplicate that famous shot, using carefully aligned period rifles and scopes clamped securely to bench rests. After many failures, they finally succeeded in doing what Hatchcock did in seconds that day near Hill 55 under combat conditions, which makes The Shot all the more remarkable.

It must be noted that Hathcock earned a Silver Star not by virtue of his unquestioned abilities in combat, but rather from his selfless act of rescuing several fellow Marines from a burning vehicle that had struck an enemy mine despite being badly burned himself in the explosion.

The way I see it, “Service before Self”, “Excellence in everything we do”, and “Gunny Hathcock” are words that belong together.

Semper Fi!

MGSGT Jerome A. “Hawk” Stoddard
Sergeant Major of the Starfleet Marines

State of the SFMC April 2012

State of the SFMC April 2012

Greetings to all marines
This last period has again been one of good activity for most of the Corps seemingly at all levels. Various brigades have been either conducting or planning Annual Musters and in my own office I have been responding to a wide and vibrant range of queries and suggestions posed that have come from all over the Corps. Please keep this coming as I value your input and ideas.
In my last report I touched on the ‘ogre’ of apathy, and in the ensuing weeks I have had positive, personal contact with enough marines to give me good evidence marines that we are certainly very alive; well; and definitely screaming and kicking. This is really great for us all, most especially for us on the GS, as this gives encouragement and stimulus to ensure we are moving on and ahead as an organization. Long may this continue!

Over the last several months, we have been working through the issues associated with replacement /renewal of the various devices we use. This has seen us investigate many differing channels associated with overall design and material concepts with practicality of cost, wear, finish etc. including working with some talented marines who have offered either design concepts, or their skills in resin casting.
As a consequence to this, I can advise that we have completed our first series of objectives which will shortly see availability of some new, metal pins exclusively from the SFMC Quartermaster. This does not mean that we would not continue to investigate the use of resin as a material (and in many cases, this will be the only practical way we can proceed) but it has to be pretty universally agreed that metal gives us a much more ‘permanent’ finish and style.
First of the new pins will be the IN-20 (silver) pin which has been slightly re-designed and at time of writing, just ordered. Once these have been receipted into stock, announcements to purcahse from SFMC Qm will be made. This design will be shortly followed by a few others which will also be announced accordingly.
Be advised that any changed existing device design will be grandfathered in which ensures that any ‘old’ design will remain perfectly acceptable for wear.

Co-incident with some new device designs, has been the development of an SFMC beret flash. This flash will be added to SFMC dress code for those marines wishing to add something to their humble beret other than just the use of an SFMC collar pin.

These flashes will remain as an “optional only” addition to uniform and will not replace any existing policy applicable to berets, nor will there be any enforced requirement to wear. Flashes have yet to be ordered by QM and again, once stock has been received, these will be available for purchase. Full detailing on the flash, including the optional ‘extra’ element of adding Brigade designates, will be advised in due course. At this same time, the color and style of the flash will be presented.

As a quick update on the revised MFM – this project is now held up slightly as wait for some finalized new artwork on uniform designs and resolve some finalising to SFMC awards. Once this work has been completed, the manual will be immediately published. It is anticipated that this will now be before end of next month, under presumption that our volunteer artist can complete the work he is doing in that time!

Sitting in my ‘Dant’s chair, I cannot help but be mightily impressed from what I see, hear and read of our dedicated and enthusiastic NCO’s out there. And believe me – thankfully – there are quite a few of them!
What organization can survive without the dedication of a few good men and women – and the energy being currently expressed by our “career NCOs” certainly deserves our attention in this regard.
It is noted that there is a solid commitment to the encouragement and support of all their fellow marines by either specific incentive programs being developed; enhanced and purposeful communication lines being established; and a range of other initiatives that are being explored that are all geared to enhancing the aspect that not every marine needs to be an officer. Now isn’t that just so true!

Where would we be without our NonComs putting us straight and really, doing all that ‘hard work’ that many of us with the egg on the brims don’t want to look at? I salute all of our enlisted personnel and most especially those who have taken the pride, motivation, enthusiasm and passion to make the very best out of their rank by looking to put that extra bit of polish and shine to whatever it is that they do.
Excellent examples of fine marines!

I am sure that by now, notices are being posted highlighting the various Annual Awards programs – be that from Brigade or Corps awards. I simply wish to be another to remind every marine that it is up to you to make sure the people whom you regard to be worthy, are recognized for their efforts. Put that award nomination in – because if you don’t, it is highly likely that no-one else will.

And on that subject – can I take this time to remind you all of the need to ensure that any award nomination you put forward, is supported by as much corroborative information as you can provide. And the more significantly ranked the award, then the more this is absolutely true.

For those awards issued by myself or the General Staff, be assured that we certainly WANT to be able to pass due recognition where it is deserved but that we cannot make any issuance decision if we do not have the necessary support material. The more we can get, the simpler our task. Please make sure that your nominations are processed in the ‘best’ manner you can and that they are forwarded under the governing principles and policies as outlined in our various documentations.

The STARFLEET Marine Corps has a wide variety of uniforms authorized in the MFM, suitable for any ‘Trek era, as well as designs whose primary value is that they are relatively inexpensive and consist of components widely available through a variety of commercial sources.

Remember that at no time is any uniform required, but if a STARFLEET Marine Corps uniform is worn, it should be one of the designs authorized in the MFM and the uniform should be worn “correctly”.

The MFM contains a caution that bears repeating often : Uniforms should not be worn to functions where the majority of attendees would not recognize it as some type of fan uniform. The Mess White and Class C uniforms are not readily recognizable as a non-military uniform. Marines should avoid wearing the uniform in any context where is may appear paramilitary or intimidating to the public.
Bruce O’Brien
Brigadier General, SFMC
Commandant, STARFLEET Marine Corps