State of FINCOM October 2012

State of FINCOM October 2012

Not much to
report here, a relatively slow month. I
do want to give a shout out there to all you marines that are thinking about
SFMC gift ideas for the upcoming holidays.
Please visit the QM site to see what available for that Marine on your
gift list!!

Financials
for October-

Bank of America SFMC Checking Account

Opening
Balance 9/29/2012

$4,111.09

Credits

10/1/12 – Transfer from PayPal

$172.30

10/3/12 – Funds transferred from SFI

$50.00

10/29/12 – Transfer from PayPal

$116.94

Debits

10/9/12 – USPS

($3.90)

10/18/12 – USPS

($4.24)

10/25/12 – Vanguard

($278.00)

10/26/12 – USPS

($3.90)

Net Change
in Checking Account

$49.20

Ending
Balance 10/29/2012

$4,160.29

Bank of America SFMC Scholarship
Account

Opening
Balance 9/29/2012

$2,727.17

Credits

9/29/12 – Interest Earned (posted
9/28)

$0.11

Debits

None

Net Change
in Scholarship Account

$0.11

Ending
Balance 10/29/2012

$2,727.28

Respectfully
submitted,

LGN Patrick
McAndrew

Commanding
Officer, Finance Command

State of FORCECOM October 2012

State of FORCECOM October 2012

Greetings Marines,
I would like to start off this report by thanking LGEN Joseph C
Dorffner Jr and his marines in the 7th Brigade for the great time of
fun and fellowship at the Region 7 conference in Cherry Hill, NJ, I
really enjoyed getting to meet some of his marines and catching up
with some friends.
It is a good thing the General Bob Vosseller, is the CO of the USS
Challenger and not the navigator otherwise who knows where the
challenger would end up. Since he gets lost in his own neighborhood
and took 45 mins to get to the restaurant we went to for dinner on the
Friday which was only 5 mins down the road from the hotel.
One question I get all the time is oh I forgot to apply for the good
conduct award, can I get it back dated 3 times (that is9 years) the
answer to that is NO. The reason is you have to be responsible for
applying for your awards, although the Good conduct might be given
when you have been a marine for 3 years you have to apply for it
within the 6 months window when it is due.
People ask me about the dates of the SFMC reading challenge, the
Reading challenge runs from the report due after the International
Conference until the June report which is normally the report which is
due before the International Conference which is normally held in
August and that gives the office of Forcecom time to finish tabulating
the numbers from the June report and getting the final results for the
years totals and then get certificates created.
One way to encourage your marines to participate in the reading
challenge is to do like the Marines in the 1st Brigade do it, they
have a brigade reading challenge and they give the marine that reads
the most pages in the year a Brigade Achievement and they give the
unit and the battalion a Meritorious Unit award from the Brigade OIC,
this is one way to encourage some friendly competition between units
and if your brigade has Battalions between battalions as well.
I would like to ask all marines out there if you have copies of your
unit logo to please send them to me at forcecom at sfi-sfmc.org
If your ship used to have a marine unit and it does not have one any
more, please send me the details of the Unit like the unit number and
the unit name and the unit OIC’s name as I would like to create a
website to honour the units that made the sfmc what it is today, one
saying I once read said “Those who forget the past are doomed to
repeat it” so we need to honour those that have gone before us
Well until next time,
I hope all those in the path of the hurricane keep safe

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

State of INFOCOM October 2012

State of INFOCOM October 2012

This has been a crazy two months… between being appointed the
permanent COINFOCOM by our Commandant, hiring on a new DCO, and
finishing off the final touches of the SFMC Beta website before it goes
“live”… I have hardly had time to deal with the SOR on top of my real
life duties!!It certainly is one of the crazier times of my life.. all
this came during a 3-4 week period where everything just comes crashing
down at the wrong times.But that’s life!

INFOCOM Staffing –

DCOINFOCOM
I want to take this opportunity to welcome Colonel Mike Tolleson to the
INFOCOM Staff as my Deputy Commanding Officer.He’s the go-to guy for
anything related to INFOCOM other than myself.He’ll be in charge of the
WebTeam, as well as the G-3 and will serve as a sounding board for
myself.In addition to all this, his job is to smack me upside the head
when I screw up, or worse yet, make a mockery out of my own sorry
self.(Inside joke in case you guys missed it..)

WebTeam

WebTeam will be spearheaded by myself and Mark Anderson.Mr. Anderson has
shown a great amount of initiative and knowledge on web technology
(especially HTML5/CSS3) through the websites he manages and I have asked
him to remain onboard as a member of the WebTeam.That said, we could
certainly use more knowledgeable folk to help us bring the SFMC into the
future of web services.If you feel that you have something to
contribute, and have knowledge of HTML5/CSS3/PHP5 please by all means
send me an email to infocom at sfi-sfmc.orgso I can get in touch with you.

WEBSITE Information –
As many of you have been aware, the last SOR posted on the current SFMC
website was dated back in July 2012.I implemented a website “freeze”
during August to try to roll out the new SFMC website towards the end of
the month.Several issues have arisen since then and the roll-out date
kept getting pushed back.Among those issues:

1) Links at the top of the website “hacked” – This was in most cases a
client-side malware issue.Very few members were affected, and a vast
majority did not experience the problem.Nonetheless with the help of
Laura Victor, the sfi-sfmc.org site was backed up to a known working
version.

2) SFIDB roll-out delayed – Due to the fact the FORCECOM Reporting forms
were being integrated to the SFIDB, we had not planned our own
versions.Due to this and the fact October is a reporting month, we held
off on this.

Finally 3) Updating all relevant information.We’ve tried to simplify the
browsing experience as much as possible.Any information that is
considered “general information” has been moved to the library site at
http://library.sfi-sfmc.org.This includes (but is not limited to):
Awards, Ranks, Uniforms, Callsigns and manuals.There is *ONE* Manual
that can be viewed on-line from any browser (other than Internet
Explorer) and that is the Marine Force Manual.I have, as well as several
others, tested this to work on various tablets as well.

PINGDOM
We have had 100% uptime for the month of October.On a related note, I
checked our 6-month running uptime.It comes out to 99.93% with only 7
instances of downtime, totaling 3 hours 15 minutes.

FINAL REMARKS
I have to admit the last 2 months have been hell on me.Bruce announced
me as COINFOCOM, then the following week I end up picking up the extra
slack at the Taekwondo School I teach at cause the Chief Instructor was
working 12-hour days at work for *TWO* weeks straight, then rank
testing, and following on to that one of our instructors had to back out
of teaching one day a week until further notice.I’ve been having to
juggle all that and try to find a balance between all this, on top of my
existing commitments to both INFOCOM and to some private contracts I had
accepted prior to the beginning of the month.For this, I apologize for
missing the August and September SOR’s.That was entirely my fault, and I
accept that.I will endeavor to do much better in the future, or you’ll
see one of the SOR’s from my DCO.

With the winter setting in a little early in some places (in fact, the
weather out here in midwest USA has been extremely whacky… ) I hope
everyone’s bundling up and getting prepared for the
Holidays.Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but not before all the
ghouls and goblins come out for candy!!!
Until next time folks!Keep those Isolinear Chips running!

BGEN Joe “Wolfpack” Brouhard
Commanding Officer, Information Command (COINFOCOM)
STARFLEET Marine Corps
infocom at sfi-sfmc.org

State of the NCO Corps October 2012

State of the NCO Corps October 2012

State of the NCO Corps October 17, 2012

Greetings Marines!

I apologize for my report being greatly delayed this month. I contracted a severe case of that scourge of the STARFLEET Marines: Real Life. Computer problems, health problems, weather problems … this has been a couple of weeks that makes me long for the simple joys of dealing with Prigal’s latest Cunning Plan. But, things are getting as back to as normal as they tend to get around here, so let’s head to the booth in the back in the corner in the dark of my local NCO club, where the latest weird aroma is either an experiment by the new cook or just the stench of Top’s fantasy sports teams and the bartender just had to set a personal best on field-stripping a blender (Don’t ask- really- you don’t want to know …it involved yogurt and apricot brandy is all I can say)

“Excellence in Everything We Do” … what does that mean? Well, to me, it means always giving your best effort, or at the very least, making an effort. Your boots may not always be shiny enough to reflect a laser into orbit, but they should be black and scuff-free when you pull them on. You may not always score ‘Distinction’ on an exam, but a mere ‘Pass’ usually means you could have taken a little more time, maybe read things a little more carefully, and asked for clarification on things you weren’t absolutely sure of. You may not be able to do much in the way of community service due to Real Life, but with a little thinking outside the box, you might make a difference in a few small ways.

Get my drift? Nobody expects perfection, but SFMC NCOs should at least always be striving to do their best at any task they undertake. Remember, since we are a minority of STARFLEET membership, the actions of any one of us can reflect on all of us.

Every month I take the time to remind you that community service is something the SFMC encourages (and rewards), but I also want to remind you that the biggest encouragement and reward one can get from community service is the simple knowledge that you have made a difference for someone, however small. With that in mind, please remember that almost everyone can do a simple act of community service by looking out for your friends and neighbors in times of severe weather or natural disaster. Charity, as they say, begins at home.

And, although it may seem odd in the light of the heat and drought so many of us had to deal with over the past several months, there’s still a very real chance for another cold winter. If you can, please try to find a way to lend a hand to those who may need warmer clothing to make it through. Remember HUGS (Hats, Underwear, Gloves, Socks).

In addition to community service, SFMC NCOs are expected to take the lead in recruiting and retention activities at all levels of the Corps. Recruiting can be the easy part. The real work comes in making sure that people stay around, and, frankly, that usually comes down to their experience at the chapter/unit level. Please do your best to be active, positive, and professional, and you might be surprised how easy it is to get folks to stick around.

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.

Recently on that Facebook group, people started a round of posting their ribbon racks. I was personally glad to see so many Marines willing and able to take pride in their accomplishments, and in addition to applauding them for their achievements, I’d like to offer a wide ranging tip of my eight point to every Marine who works to see that efforts of their fellows get recognized.

Now, it’s time for Top’s History Lesson. If you ever get a chance to visit my real world home, you’ll see the beat up old desk that I conduct all my business from. It’s not very big, and one of the drawers is missing, and although it’s rugged and solid, to be honest, it’s not all that well made and the design is dead simple (and cedar was certainly an odd choice for its skin). It sort of looks like the kind of thing an ambitious student would put together in wood shop. That’s because it is …

As I recall, it earned the person who built it a B plus or an A minus. Over the years since then, it’s been hauled around and banged about more than a bit. In one place, it’s got a notch cut in one of the boards where it was converted for a while into a reloading bench.

When I moved into this house, it was as a reloading bench that it sat in the back bedroom. I had other options for a desk out here There was an old metal desk I could have hauled in that’s a LOT bigger. There’s a glorious old antique roll top that could have been mine for the asking. But when I saw that beat up old pile of boards and drawers, I immediately recognized it, and dragged it to where I wanted to set up my office. It’s one of my treasures here, and literally priceless to me. I could find a substitute, but there’s no way I could replace it.

The kid who built it was a few years older, but we were very close. In some ways, he was the older brother I never had, and I was the kid brother he always wanted. Like so many young men of the time, he got drafted and sent off to Vietnam. Like so many of those young men, he came back with problems that he struggled for the rest of his life to overcome. He once said that he sometimes thought the guys who came back in a box were the lucky ones, because it was over for them.

In later years, he went back to school, got a degree in counseling, and went to work for the VA, working hard to help those in the same boat he found himself in. He said he owed it to them.

The health problems caused by Agent Orange and the drug and alcohol issues he struggled with for decades eventually caught up with him. He was trying to fix up this old place to try and live out his remaining days in the peace that he found here but he died in late 2005 with the job unfinished. But, he left behind the old desk he’d made in shop, and it was waiting for me when I moved in.

He was the first real world NCO I ever knew, and I think he’d be happy to know that his old desk soldiers on, even for a “pretend” NCO. For one thing, he was a big Star Trek fan, and the SFMC would have been right up his alley. I hope he’d be proud of some of the things that leave this desk and travel the internet to reach so many. For my part, every time I sit down at this old desk, I remember the man who built it back in 1965 when his life was a whole lot simpler: my uncle, SGT Theodore Wayne Stoddard, United States Army.

As Veteran’s Day approaches, please take time to remember that not all heroes win a medal and not all casualties of war are from the battlefield.

Semper Fi!

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

sgm_sfmc at sfi-sfmc.org

State of TRACOM October 2012

State of TRACOM October 2012

State of TRACOM – October 2012

Hello everyone!

Our illustrious leader is taking some time off, and I have been chosen
to update everyone on the happenings in TRACOM this month.

The past month has seen the arrival of several new faces here at TRACOM,
as we welcomed the following people into the following positions:

Ed Wandall of 7BDE is the new Aerospace Director
Aaron Clark of 6BDE is the new Infantry Director
Eric Schulman of 7BDE is the new Strategy and Tactics Director
Daniel Walker of 1BDE is the new Mecha Director
Philip Muller of 1BDE is the new Leadership Development Director
Mike McGowan of 12BDE has returned to helm the MOSC and MURP Programs
and
Julie Rickard of 12BDE is the new Professional Development Director, as
well as the Dean of the Marine Development College.

Please welcome all of these new faces, and help them feel at home.

Now, I have a quick word in regards to exam requests. The system that we
have in place for requesting exams is pretty darn good, and has gotten
better recently to an update on the school selection side of things, but
as everyone knows technology can be a pain in the tuchus sometimes. The
way things are supposed to work is that once you have clicked the button
to submit your request, an email is generated by the website that will
be sent to the director, and to you as the student. When things go
right, that email shows up in the appropriate inboxes within seconds,
but sometimes things go awry and that email may get delayed for several
hours.
If you submit a course request and don’t get that email right away,
please be patient and give it a while to show up. If it hasn’t shown up
in 12 hours or so, please contact the director directly at their SFMCA
address to see if they have received the request. Chances are they have
not received it either.
If you submit a course request, and get the email shortly after you make
the request, rest assured that everything has gone according to plan,
and the director has received your request and will be fulfilling it
within the guidelines set forth in the Policy and Procedures manual.

With that said, just let me remind you that all of the schools are open
for business, and are here to serve you.

We here at TRACOM have some exciting new stuff coming up in the next
several months, including new exams, updated manuals and more, so keep
your eyes peeled for what we have in store for you.

Until next time,

BGEN Travis Littou
DCOTRACOM-Administration

*Brigadier General Travis Littou*
DCOTRACOM-Administration
Armor Director
SFMCA Team Delta
tjlittou at cox.net
dcotracom.admin at sfi-sfmc.org
ar at sfmca.sfi-sfmc.org

State of the SFMC October 2012

State of the SFMC October 2012

Greetings to all Marines

Again I must apologize for the lateness of this report – in future I will endeavor to ensure I can keep these reports to the strict timetable that has been in place over the last eighteen months..

NEW UNITS

As reported by ForceCom, it is really great to see us welcoming new Units to the Corps. This last month saw the activation of four new MSG’s. and like every other Marine, I would like to congratulate these Units on their deployment and wish them every best success with their endeavors.
New recruits and new Units are the lifeblood to our existence and help maintain the long-term security and growth of the SFMC. Wherever we can, we should be assisting and supporting new Marines and newly established Units (or those Units in process of being established that we are aware of) to the very best of our ability.
The GS is here to help in any way we can and we will always welcome your questions and queries, no matter what they are

On that note, a quick reflection of the state of the Corps in terms of numbers, shows we currently record a total of 1,158 Marines (580- Active; 577 Reserve) over 160 activated Units, and now representing just over 25% of total STARFLEET membership. I have no knowledge of long-term history but would suggest that this must possibly be the highest percentage of membership that Corps has ever held? Either way, as a component of STARFLEET International, the SFMC is certainly in a most healthy position in this regard we must all work hard to ensure this remains the case.
It continues to be up to each and everyone of us to participate; inter-act; communicate; enthuse; motivate and to continue building on the fun aspects associated with being a member of the SFMC

MANUAL REVISIONS
Work on manual revisions has been completed for the Marine Forces Manual (MFM) and the SFMC Policy Manuals. However, due to some formatting issues, they are not quite ready for publication. This is expected to be done very shortly and both these manuals will be published as usual, on the SFMC website.
While the manuals have been kept to same design, there have a been a few tweaks here and there (you will note the cover design which – in keeping with SFMC security coding – now registers the
security classification of each manual) and some several additions/edits to existing material
There have been a few changes to uniform dress coding in the MFM, especially in conjunction with some device wear but in the main, this manual has really simply undergone a “tidy up”.

As there are additions and pending changes to some SFMC uniforms, it is proposed that a separate, more detailed SFMC Uniform Manual will get published in the months ahead. The intention with this manual will be to better enable us to lay-out specifics to uniforms and any additional accouterments proposed, and to then enable a more detailed overview of SFMC uniforms and dress codes

Manual revision cycles have had to be changed from the traditional formula as timing and staffing skill levels has meant that we will publish revisions on a regular, defined, rolling basis, rather than the once a year publication cycle as previous. This will be evident by the numbering sequence
used to identify each specific publication, so as to ensure Marines are able to easily identify the most current manual issue.

RIBBONS
As reported previously, it has been our intention to improve the services to Marines though the QM store, by stocking as many uniform items as we can. This has certainly been the case with SFMC ribbons and we have now included a range of the “standard” ribbon designs that are generally available elsewhere (Vanguard etc). This will mean that you can confidently visit the QM store and access your award needs without the need to have purchase other similar items elsewhere, this saving time and shipping cost

We are still in midst of updating the stocks of some of our “SFMC-Specific” designs, but these too will be stock-updated as necessary on a rolling basis.
Once this objective has been fulfilled, we will have the security of our SFMC- designed material not likely to need to ever be replaced

And on note of the QM store – have you checked out the new collar brass? Not as gilded as the *older* style, but certainly a very classy and better detailed item. An excellent addition to any dress uniform to be certain.

SFMC SCHOLARSHIP FUND

The Scholarship Fund has been suffered from a seeming lack of focus and attention – but I can advise that this is actually not the case. Working with the VCS, we have been passing a serious review to the Scholarship Fund ; it’s reason for being; the legal, ethical and moral responsibilities we have to the Funds donors; and to consider and to investigate ways by which we can improve this great incentive
To date -since Fund establishment – there has been only one application/distribution and this is of course nothing like that which would have been originally intended. We want the monies to be used to assist our Marines in their education process and it seems simply nonsensical to continue as we have been if the value of the Fund and its intent cannot be more easily applied
But as I have said,, we have had some excellent recent input and solid suggestions made as to how the Fund could perhaps be adapted to better suit needs of members without causing or creating any major issues

Announcement to any changes to the Fund charter will be made through the office of COTraCom as soon as final commitment of any possible alteration to policy or criteria has been made

COMMUNICATIONS
Our two majors channels of communication by way of any publication, are either CQ or AoD!E, and for our on-line inter-action, we use Corps-list or FaceBook.
Each of these channels of media are fraught with problems of their own nature. CQ has lately suffered from significant delay meaning anything published of a “time sensitive nature” ends up being woefully out of date. AoD!E is only really published via Corps-list and to our website – in both cases, dependent upon the number of subscribers or visitors for any decent coverage (Corps-list records 223 subscribers or some 19% total membership).

AoD!E is a very important communication tool for us and it is important that we keep this publication up to date and regularly published.
We can – and do – of course include copies of each of the various CGS Commands “State of..” (SoR) reports but it would be great to be able to publish other material that may be of interest to Marines.
If you or any of your fellow Marines you may know of, have articles, columns or content that they think would be of interest to us all, then please, by all means have them drop us a line
SoRarticles are important and necessary – but boy these can be brief and/or boring (mine own included). We need more than that

So – any ideas? Let’s hear from you..

ANNIVERSARY RIBBON
Another quick reminder on behalf of the team over at ForceCom – you or members of your Unit will likely qualify for the Anniversary Ribbon. Have you made application ? We would much prefer to see all appropriate applications processed in this next year of criteria and not have a repeat of the 20th Anniversary Award where we received applications 10 years later…
Check out the detailing as published by ForceCom or drop ForceCom a line if you are unsure of how to proceed

A REMINDER ON DRESS CODES
With the planned additions and any proposed adjustments to our uniforms, it is important that keep reminding of our Dress Code Policy.
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 BDU 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 at sfi-sfmc.org