State of FINCOM May 2012

State of FINCOM May 2012

State of FINCOM – May 2012

Greeting Marines!! I am pleased to announce that many of our ribbons in the QM inventory will be replenished soon, and we will be shipping (if you haven’t already received) your orders soon!! Linda and I thank you all for your patience as we got the QM replenished.

I am submitting my report a little earlier than normal this month as I have been able to get access to the accounts again (thank you Tammy!!). Below is how we stand as of May 22, 2012:

Bank of America SFMC Checking Account
Opening Balance 5/1/2012 $4,724.37
Credits
5/21/12 – Counter Credit $267.00
5/21/12 – Counter Credit $194.00
5/21/12 – Counter Credit $50.00
Debits
5/3/12 – PinPros ($793.00)
5/4/12 – USPS ($1.95)
5/8/12 – USPS ($3.90)
5/10/12 – Walmart – Shipping Supplies ($8.50)
5/11/12 – USPS ($1.95)
5/14/12 – USPS ($7.97)
5/15/12 – USPS ($18.40)
5/16/12 – USPS ($5.73)
5/17/12 – Stadri Emblems Inc. ($163.50)
5/18/12 – USPS ($1.95)

Net Change in Checking Account ($495.85)
Ending Balance 5/22/2012 $4,228.52
Bank of America SFMC Scholarship Account
Opening Balance 5/1/2012 $2,726.31

Credits
None
Debits
None
Net Change in Scholarship Account $0.00
Ending Balance 5/22/2012 $2,726.31

Respectfully submitted,

MGN Patrick McAndrew, SFMCR

Commanding Officer, FINCOM

State of FORCECOM May 2012

State of FORCECOM May 2012

Greetings Marines,
Well this past weekend I had to privilege of fellowshipping with the marines of my home brigade, The Fighting First, as we gathered for the 1st Brigade Muster in Pigeon Forge Tennessee.

A good time was had by all, the Marines of the 1st Brigade sponsored a Pizza party on the Friday night. I would like to congratulate the Marines that won the Valor awards from both the 1st and 15th Brigades
The following are the winners from both of the Brigades:

1st Brigade
Cross of Valor (Marine of the Year):
MGSGT John Kiwi Kane, 101st MEU,
Sword of Valor (Leader of the Year):
LTC Jimmy Nelson, 100th MSG,
Shield of Valor (Volunteer of the Year):
BGN Susan Mahaffey, 161st MSG,
Star of Valor (NCO of the Year)
SGM Mark Polanis, 173rd MSG,
Legion of Valor
100th Marine Strike Group,

The First Brigade also presented the following Cadet Valor Awards

Cadet Cross of Valor 4th Grade
Tori Gahrmann, 173rd MSG
Cadet Cross of Valor 2nd Grade
Anya Walker, 173rd MSG,
Cadet Star of Valor
Caleb Nelson, 100th MSG

15th Brigade

Cross of Valor (Marine of the Year):
LGN Douglas W. Mayo, 980th MSG
Sword of Valor (Leader of the Year):
BGN Matthew Ingles, 955th MSG,
Shield of Valor (Volunteer of the Year):
CPT Paul Scalabroni, 95th MSG,
Legion of Valor (Unit of the Year):
95th MSG,

I would like to welcome 4 new units to the Corps, they are the following:
26th MSG The Rouges from the 4th Brigade
235th MSG The Searchers from the 12th Brigade
269th MSG The Black Bettys from the 12th Brigade
617th MSG The Guard Dogs from the 2nd Brigade

Welcome to the Corps and I hope you enjoy yourselves.

I would like to commend the marines that are participating in the SFMC Reading Challenge

the totals for 2010 – 2011 Reading challenge was 765,217 pages

Whereas for the 2011-2012 reading challenge so far to date are 753,109 pages

And there is still 1 reporting period to go for this year’s challenge.

Last year we had 7 Brigades participating in the Reading challenge,
whereas this year we have 9 Brigades participating

Last year one brigade read 50,089 pages for the total challenge so far to date that same brigade has read 151,145 pages
Way to go marines.

Well until next time

Be safe out there

John Kiwi Kane
Master Gunnery Sergeant, SFMC
Commanding Officer, Forces Command
STARFLEET Marine Corps
forcecom@sfi-sfmc.org

State of TRACOM May 2012

State of TRACOM May 2012

Marines,
I have to apologize for the tardiness of this report. In my defense, I needed to wait until some issues were resolved so that they could be reported upon correctly and completely.

As many if not all of you already know, in April it became evident that the SFMCA site wasn’t properly reporting course requests to the various SFMCA Branch Directors. This caused some marines to not receive the courses they had requested in a timely manner, or at all. The intermittent nature of the problem made it difficult to pin down and resolve.
Once the issue was understood it was corrected thanks in no small part to the efforts of BGN Joe Brouhard, DCOINFOCOM. I’ll leave it to INFOCOM to go into whatever detail might be required. All I really wanted to say is, “Thanks Joe.”

The next item to report is that the Maritime Operations (MO) post has been filled. BDR Marc Easterly will be adding the MO School to his list of duties. He brings to the job both experience as an SFMCA Director (OD) but a wealth of enthusiasm as well. I wish him good sailing in this new post. Mark may be reached at: mo@sfmca.sfi-sfmc.org .

This brings me to the final item of this, somewhat abbreviated report. The deadline to apply for the SFMC Scholarship for 2012 is 01JUN2012. Thus far, there have been no applicants. Here are the details:

Who? and What for?

Any and all active STARFLEET Marine Corps members are eligible to apply for the SFMC scholarship to help you continue or begin your studies in any junior/community college, four-year college/university, graduate school, or most technical school programs leading to a degree or certificate, while enrolled in an ROTC program for one of the Armed Forces*.

* Proof of at least 4 years of prior military service in their country’s armed forces or current service with the equivalent of National Guard or Reserves). This is required ONLY if you are not going to be enrolled in an ROTC program or its equivalent.

How much?

The SFMC Scholarship is currently valued at $250 and will be paid directly to your schools finance office or equivalent.

When?

The application period is open through June 1st for awards to be announced July 1st and recognized at the International Conference and used for the upcoming school year. That means your application must be received by June 1st! Don’t be late!

How do I apply?

Easy! Simply submit your completed application packet (the application form, your essay, references, and transcripts) to your friendly neighborhood Scholarship Coordinator. Instructions and addresses to submit an application are outlined in the application form. To download the application visit:

http://www.sfi-sfmc.org/portal/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=76&func=startdown&id=123

What if I have questions?

If you have any questions regarding the SFMC Scholarship email them to scholarship@sfi-sfmc.org.

What if I want to donate?

Donations are always accepted! To donate just click on the button below. We use PayPal to handle all donations. So you can be rest assured that your financial information remains safe and secure. Please note that your donations to the SFMC Scholarship fund ARE NOT tax deductible.

Have a great month, Marines!

Mike

Michael McGowan
LGN, SFMC
OIC, 225th MSG
papabear@ussbortas.net
listmail@ussbortas.net

State of INFOCOM May 2012

State of INFOCOM May 2012

Greetings all,

They say April showers bring May flowers, so I need to keep an extra close eye on my staff to make sure they are working and not frolicking in the fields outside the Datawarfare Center. I wonder if I should tell them I just approved the Infantry Branches request to use those fields as a new mine field… nah, they’ll see the signs I meant to put up.

Let’s talk about what going on shall we.

PINGDOM:
The Pingdom report for April reported 1 outage. February is still our best month with no outages. The single outage gave us an uptime of 99.97%. This is impressive, but we want to strive for no outages and 100% uptime every month.

RECENT ISSUES:
As many of you know, the sfi-sfmc.org and sfmca.sfi-sfmc.org domains were hacked by external forces, using code injection to redirect our webpages to some other random website. This same situation happened to sfi.org so we are not alone at this problem. The problem was only reported after the fact and we worked with SFI CompOps to rectify this situation. Many thanks goes out to Lauren on the CompOps Team for helping with various problems we have had since then.

QM Store:
Recently USPS changed their shipping rate software, and the version we were using on ZenCart that the QM store uses ended up being out of date. Once we discovered this oversight, we updated the module and everything was working after that point. This mistake got overlooked while we were focusing on several other issues, and will be corrected in the future.

SFMCA Course Request:
Since the hack, the SFMCA Course request system had been acting quite wonky. Sometimes it’d work, most times it wouldn’t. We were unable to track the exact nature of the problem, but after Sean Neimeyer, it was believed the situation was just a case of a bad backup/restore. Which one it was, we likely will never know. Due to our relunctance to test the theory of a bad backup/restore on a live working system (it’s bad practice to do that anyway) our DCO, BGEN Joe Brouhard, coded a brand new system. Thanks go to both Joe and Sean for their help in resolving this situation as fast as possible.

ATTENTION ON DECK: EXTRA (AODE)
Tom has alerted me that a new issue of AODE is coming together for the week of May 27th. As soon as it hits the DropBox, then I can put it on the SFMC website..

NOW HIRING:
Infocom is seeking a CGI/PHP Programmer role. We need a member with this knowledge to update the code for the Ribbon Rack Builder and Guidon Builder. If you can help in this area, then please send an email to michaelj.timko@gmail.com.

COMMUNICATION ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
The COINFOCOM awards the Communications Achievement Award.

Have you done or do you know somebody who has done something worthy of this award? Submissions can be made for designing a website or newsletter, writing a story or song, composing music, making a video. The sky is really the limit.

Some might say my work wasn’t good enough or significant enough. To that, I say, you won’t know until it gets submited.

Even though this award has a nominator & nominee section on the awards form, this award can be a self nomination. Who better to know what you did, than yourself. If you feel you have accomplished a worthy, don’t hesitate to nominate yourself.

Well, thats all I got for this month.

Semper Fi.

BDR Michael Timko
COINFOCOM, SFMC
michaelj.timko@gmail.com

State of the NCO Corps May 2012

State of the NCO Corps May 2012

State of the NCO Corps May 6, 2012

Greetings Marines!

Once again, it is time for me to take a break from my various duties and spend some time with you from (you guessed it) the booth in the back in the corner in the dark of my local NCO club, where we are thinking about getting a pet rabbit to help eat all the new healthy veggie snacks the kitchen seems to think we need and coin checks are rare because almost everyone figures we never go anywhere without a challenge coin.(and yes, that includes the …err… facilities)

One of the single most important things any STARFLEET Marine can do is simply have fun with their fellow members. File that under Recruiting and Retention or Other Duties as Required if you like. It need not be Star Trek or science fiction related. For that matter, it need not be military related (such as war games, paintball, etc). For Corry chapters/units, this can be a bit more difficult, as you probably will not see each other face to face very often (if at all) but there are still ways for Marines to get together over the Internet and have fun together. As I often tell you: think outside the box.

Remember to share your ideas with your fellow Marines as well. What works for your unit/chapter may not work for another one, but you never know …

With that in mind, please drop me a line if you have an interesting idea some of your fellow Marines might like to try, and I will do my best to help get the word out. And, if you are ever going to be in my neck of the woods, let me know. My detachment is always ready to share what we do for fun. Bring a healthy appetite and some good earplugs.

At this point, I want to remind you all again that “community service” need not be about participating in some major international or national campaign. Whenever you give freely of your own time and effort to help others in need you are performing community service. Odds are no matter how small the town you live in (if you even live in a town), you can find a way every once in a while to lend a hand. Please, take the time.

And, remember to pass the word on up your chain of command as to what you are doing. In my experience, most unit and BDE OICs like to recognize the Marines under them that make efforts in community service, but until Corps R&D gets all the bugs in the Omniscience Module worked out, the only way they may know is if you tell them.

I have sent my report off to the Dant on my year long tracking of a large sample of the SFMC and the number of enlisted members therein. The next phase of the project involves trying to see if there is any sort of correlation between the number of senior NCOs in a BDE and the overall percentage of enlisted members. I suspect that the very high percentage of enlisted members in some of the BDEs in the sample may be due to some fairly high profile enlisted Marines setting a good example, but there is really no way to prove this from simple data. Another phase of the project will be trying to do a complete census of enlisted members of the SFMC across a single data snapshot. This is on tap for this fall due to the amount of labor involved.

I would like to give a quick tip of Top’s eight point to a couple of fellow Master Gunnery Sergeants who have recently taken on some big jobs: MGSGT James Maarsingh, who is now running the IN school for TRACOM, and MGSGT Carl Christianson, who recently stepped up as 1st BDE SGM.

Which brings me to a quick reminder to E-7s looking a promotion in the face: be sure and let your chapter CO or other responsible party know which track you prefer to go down: that of 1SGT to SGM or MSGT to MGSGT. The grades are the same, but there is a slight difference in the rank insignia, and fictionally, a big difference in assigned duties. You may, of course, with the cooperation of your chapter CO, switch ranks or tracks if you wish.

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.

As yet another reminder, there is a special group on Facebook for all STARFLEET senior NCOs (E-7 and above, including WOs). Contact SGM Mark Polanis (SGM TRACOM) or myself if you would like an invite. If there is sufficient interest expressed, I am open to getting a more general group set up there for all STARFLEET enlisted members and guests.

Now, it’s time for Top’s History Lesson. They say a hero is often just an ordinary person who finds themselves in extraordinary circumstances and rises to the occasion. Such was the case of a young Welshman born John Fielding in May of 1857. In 1877, he enlisted in the Monmouth Militia under the name John Williams. History is not sure why he joined up under an assumed name, but it is thought that he had run away from home to be a soldier, and did not wish anyone to come looking for him. He was about average height, and surviving images of him indicate nothing special about him, but in January of 1879, the 21 year old Private in the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot (later known as the South Wales Borderers) rose above the ordinary and entered the company of heroes.

The place was a little spot in Natal, South Africa known as Rorke’s Drift. Students of history will know that a small British force conducted a famous stand against overwhelming odds there (about 150 against thousands of Zulu warriors). Part of the defensive perimeter they improvised was anchored by the small hospital (still containing some 30 patients) where Williams was one of three privates assigned to defend a distant room. The three fought for over an hour until, out of ammunition, the enemy broke in, killing one soldier and two patients. But, while the enemy was cutting them down, Williams managed to break through an inner wall, and drag the two surviving patients to safety with him.

There he was joined by Private Alfred Henry Hook (who was also out of ammunition). The two enlisted men took turns holding off the enemy with their bayonets and breaking through more inner walls to drag more patients back to safer ground. After three walls, they came to a small window and managed to get eight of the hospital patients through it, and to the relative safety of the inner defensive perimeter. For their actions that day, Williams and Hook were both honored with the Victoria Cross (In all, 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders of Rorke’s Drift. There would have been more, but at the time there was no provision for issuing the award posthumously.)

Williams remained in the Royal Army, rising to the rank of Sergeant in the 3rd Volunteers, South Wales Borders. In 1914, he volunteered for service again with the regiment and served as a recruiting agent for them through World War One. By this time, he was married, and in a small twist of fate, one of his sons was killed during the Mons Retreat while serving with the South Wales Borders.

At the time of his death from heart failure in 1932, he was the last surviving holder of the Victoria Crosses awarded at Rorke’s Drift, It is perhaps fitting that after his death, a nursing home directly across from his burial place in Cwmbran, Wales was named in his honor. What better monument could there be for an ordinary man who displayed extraordinary courage and devotion to defend the patients in the hospital of Rorke’s Drift than a place where people in need are cared for?

Semper Fi!

MGSGT Jerome A. “Hawk” Stoddard
Sergeant Major of the Starfleet Marines
sgm_sfmc@sfi-sfmc.org

State of the SFMC May 2012

State of the SFMC May 2012

Greetings to all Marines

I have to open with an apology for the lateness of this report, which had been held back purposefully pending settlement of a few issues that I had wished to include specifically in this report, relating specifically to QM store items.

WEBSITE CONCERNS
Although this an area managed by InfoCom and reported by that Command, I have a duty to briefly outline some of the recent concerns that have been expressed in respect to some of the problems and issues that arose during April
Primarily, these ‘issues’ affected the processing of exam requests and some of the associated correspondence with TraCom,causing some break-down in the important movement of communications.

This problem came about seemingly as a direct result of the hacking to the Dreamhost server that had caused some significant problems for us during March – and although initial errors were intermittent to start with (and thus difficult to trace back) they became more wide spread as time went on, ultimately causing serious disruption to traffic-flow through the SFMCA site.

I can now report however, that with serious effort by InfoCom, and supported by the CompOps team and specifically with the assistance of MGN Sean Neimeyer, that the problems have been resolved and we can move forward with a further strengthening of our systems to ensure continuance of the services that we need to provide are assured.

COInfoCom will provide more of a detailed report in his own SoR – but in the interim, if there are any questions or concerns that need to be expressed or addressed, please direct them to COInfoCom or to myself, accordingly.

I would take this opportunity however, to once again suggest to all marines that in the event of ANY break-down in any of the communication links with any of the SFMC Commands, the the advice and recommendations as listed in the various SFMC manuals in this regard – especially that within the Marine Forces Manual (MFM) – be adhered to.

This would then ensure the appropriate personnel are immediately informed of any issues/problems and thus greatly reduce stress and any unnecessary tensions being created.

METAL DEVICES

As I outlined in an earlier report, the GS has been working to the creation of some new devices, primarily driven by the need to replace material offered by New Moon Props (NMP) – but also to assist with the creation of SFMC-specific material that does not necessarily rely upon the use of any real-world military items.

I would therefore like to announce the immediate availability of the new IN-20 (silver) device, that can be now ordered from the SFMC Quartermaster (QM) store.

This metal pin is a very slightly altered design from the original IN-20 and like all devices being designed and created at present, will only be available though the SFMC QM.
Cost will be $7.50 per pin and images of the pin (in artwork form at this stage) can be found on the QM website at http://www.qm.sfi-sfmc.org/
I take pleasure in assuring you that this pin is indeed an exellent and high quality item to be added to your uniforms and you will be most pleased with your purchase.
At this time, I would also like to “pre-announce” the pending arrival of the new IN-30 (gold) pin – another altered design and now different to the IN-20 ; as well as the new AE wings, also in gold.
Prices have yet to be confirmed for these two items but are not likely to be too far off the IN-20 price, if not the same.

Again, once these devices have been receipted into QM stock, an announcement will be made by the QM enabling purchase – and this is expected to occur before end of this month.
As to the ‘old’ devices – these will of course remain perfectly acceptable for wear and all and any newer devices will be grandfathered into dress code.

SFMC BERET FLASH

I can also announce the creation and immediate availability of the officially designed/created SFMC beret flash. At this stage, this flash design is unique to the SFMC
The flash can be ordered ONLY from the SFMC QM store and comes at cost of $5.50. Again, an image of the flash design can be viewed on the QM web-page

This flash is an optional addition to dress code but is the only flash officially authorized for wear with the beret. 3/4″ tall brass number pins may be purchased from http://www.pinmart.com/number-one-lapel-pin.aspx, and worn centered on the flash as a designator of brigade – i.e. 1Bde would use a “1”; 2Bde would use a “2” etc etc
Alternatively, Marines may instead wear their standard SFMC pin centered on the flash, or without the flash at all

If there are any questions or comments on the new flash, please contact either myself, the DepDant or SFMC QM

IC/IM

At time of writing, we have been able to (best) confirm the GS attendance at the upcoming IC/IM. Unfortunately, at this stage there is likely to be only two representatives from the GS attending – being COFinCOm (MGN Patrick McAndrew) and COForceCom (MGSGT John ‘Kiwi’ Kane)

Both of these GS representatives will perform the necessary tasks as is the norm and I would ask that if anyone attending has specific material or programs that they would like to see presented by the GS at the times allocated to us, that they contact my office at earliest opportunity.
Any offers of support to these two Marines at the IC/IM will be greatly appreciated.

30th ANNIVERSARY

As we all know this year marks the 30th year of the SFMC, with the information I have stating that the SFMC was conceived on November 10th 1982 and then launched at the December 1982 meeting of the USS Pontiac. On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary, the Corps issued the ’20th Anniversary Ribbon” which was specifically designed to that purpose.

Rather than create yet another ribbon, it has been decided that we should adopt and to use this existing design as the award to celebrate each ten-year anniversary of the Corps.
This will then mean that the existing award will go through a slight name change (SFMC Anniversary Ribbon) and a change to criteria.
This will be cited thus:
This ribbon is awarded to anyone who served the Corps during the ten-year anniversaries beginning at the start of IC 2002 on August 3,2002, and ending at the completion of IC 2003 on August 3, 2003; or at the start of of IC 2012 on August 3, 2012 and ending at the completion of IC 2013 on (likely) August 2, 2013. Each ten-year celebration date criteria to the future , will be added accordingly.

As per usual SFMC formula, Marines who are eligible for any multiple accreditation based on the criteria outlined, are to add a silver star for each ten year so accredited.

We have also been reviewing and considering a wide-ranging selection of other elements to add to the celebrations including dress pins; key-chains/rings; cups and clothing. As soon as we settle on just what we can have made available, we will advise

SFMC SCHOLARSHIP FUND

I have been recently reminded (and rightly reprimanded I might add!) at the fact that we are not regularly promoting this worthy Fund.

Currently we hold around $2,700 in the Scholarship Fund and although there has been little efforts to add to this recently, conversely there has only ever been one application in the last four years
With this year’s application period fast coming to a close, I urge and eligible Marines to look into applying for funding.

Details can be found by either reviewing the SFMCA website at http://sfmca.sfi-sfmc.org or by directly contacting the COTraCom at tracom@sfi-sfmc.org

A REMINDER ON DRESS CODES

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
dant@sfi-sfmc.org