State of INFOCOM July 2013

State of INFOCOM July 2013

Sorry for the lateness of this report. I got caught up in the preparations for International Muster and IC 2013.
I had a great time at IC, it was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I enjoyed announcing the awards at the International Muster. It is always great when I get to recognize Marines for the hard work they do. Please join me in congratulating the award recipients.
Now that I’m back from my trip I have posted the latest academy course renumbering I received from TRACOM. We are continuing to make progress with this project but it will take some time to complete all the remaining courses.
We are continuing our search to fill key staff positions, the G-3 Publications Officer. And some Web Team staff. If you have any questions in regards to any INFOCOM staff positions please let me know.
I will be adding the new Special Operations parachute qualification wings to the QM site in the near future, be sure to stop by and pick up a pair.

And in closing here are the pingdom stats for July.

July
Uptime: 99.97%
Outages: 1
Response time: 520 ms

Thank you,

BGEN Mark “Slayer” Anderson
Commanding Officer, Information Command (COINFOCOM)
STARFLEET Marine Corps

State of FINCOM – July 2013

State of FINCOM – July 2013

Bank of America SFMC Checking Account

Opening Balance 7/1/2013 $5,247.71

Credits
7/1/13 – Deposit from PayPal $287.45
7/29/13 – Deposit from PayPal $277.35

Debits
7/2/13 – USPS ($2.41)
7/3/13 – USPS ($22.30)
7/5/13 – USPS ($10.15)
7/15/13 – PinPros ($-450.00)
7/15/13 – USPS ($19.30)
7/15/13 – Walmart ($5.32)
7/18/13 – USPS ($12.75)
7/18/13 – USPS ($2.07)
7/22/13 – PinPros ($-60.00)
7/29/13 – USPS ($-4.65)

Net Change in Checking Account ($-311.60)

Ending Balance 7/31/2013 $4,936.11

Bank of America SFMC Scholarship Account

Opening Balance 7/1/2013 $2,728.11

Credits
None
Debits
None

Net Change in Scholarship Account $0.00

Ending Balance 7/31/2013 $2,728.11

State of TRACOM – July 2013

State of TRACOM – July 2013

Good news everyone!

As of last night, the penultimate school at the SFMCA has been renumbered. The only one left is the Cadet Academy, which will soon be getting the 2-number treatment.

We are also hard at work on getting the MOS manual updated with the new numbers, and will be releasing it soon.

Today is the last day that I will be accepting applications for the position of DCO-Administration, so if you have had any thoughts about applying, now is the time to do it. I will be reviewing all of the applications and will announce who the new poor soul is over the coming weekend. (I am just joking about the poor soul part. I’m not that hard to work for.)

The annual TRACOM awards will be announced at the International Muster this weekend in Dallas, Texas, and I have been given very explicit instructions that I cannot spill the beans before then, so I won’t.

Let’s move on shall we?

I have noticed that some students have gone to the SFI helpdesk for issues they have had with TRACOM. Please don’t do this, as it will only delay you in getting the answers you seek. If you need help, please contact myself, or one of the DCOs, or the specific branch director, and we will do what we can to help you out.

One more word of caution that I need to discuss, and that is a bit of an issue we are having with the vanity email redirects for the various members of the TRACOM staff. Some of the redirects are not going to the proper location, and it causes a delay in the processing of requests and questions while the request is sent to the correct person. Please bear with us during this time. The appropriate people have been notified of the issue, and are working to resolve it.

In July, the SFMCA had 110 students complete exams. 28 of those exams were scored Distinction, 32 Honors, and 50 Pass.

That is what I have for you this month. See you next month!

TJL

State of the NCO Corps July 2013

State of the NCO Corps July 2013

Greetings Marines!

Please join me in the booth in the back in the corner in the dark of my local NCO club, where a guy can relax after having to deal with Marines of various ranks who apparently need be told to not to put their shoes and socks on in THAT order and the new cook‘s very popular “Semper Fi Chili” requires a signed medical release before digging into it and maybe a crash truck from the nearest airfield standing by to foam down your mouth. (I think we have a “keeper” here, folks.)

Since the official title of this report is the “State of the NCO Corps”, let’s take a minute to discuss just that. You may recall that I have been tracking a sample consisting of several brigade rosters and used that sample to support an estimate that approximately 25 percent of the SFMC held enlisted rank. On the very last day of June, the DepDant sent me a little present: a data dump that listed every current STARFLEET Marine in the database by rank. A quick pass through the data showed that in this mostly complete sample (I’ll get to the “mostly” part), the actual number of enlisted Marines amounted to (drum roll please) …. 23.5 percent of the total!

Now, there are a couple of caveats here. The first is to remember that not everybody listed in the unit, battalion, and brigade reports is shown in the database as a Marine, either active or reserve. Despite what some people think, it’s NOT a requirement for STARFLEET members that are part of SFMC units to be listed as a Marine in the database. So, the data dump probably missed some folks that could conceivably had a measurable impact on the totals. The other caveat is that this is a “moving target” – the numbers could shift a bit on a daily basis. And, in spite of some Herculean efforts by CompOps (STARFLEET Computer Operations, for those who don‘t bother to read things like the STARFLEET Membership Handbook), there are some wrinkles in the current database that still need ironing out. But, thanks to this comprehensive data, as a general, round number to use in planning purposes and discussion, it’s fairly safe to assume right now that, Corps wide, about one STARFLEET Marine in four holds an enlisted rank. (and with the SFMC making up around a quarter of STARFLEET membership, that means about one STARFLEET member in sixteen is an enlisted Marine.)

While going over the Honor Award nominees, I was very pleased to note that enlisted Marines weren’t just showing up in the Star nominations. It’s a measure of the strong enlisted presence in the SFMC these days that their presence reaches beyond our highest “enlisted only” award. My somewhat battered old eight point is off to all enlisted members of the SFMC for inspiring me every day, and to the fine officers giving you a chance to succeed. Bravo Zulu (Well Done)!

As I seldom fail to remind you: community service need not be something big or labor intensive. You don’t have to support a major cause or a relief effort. Just giving someone who needs it a hand now and then meets the spirit of the SFMC’s involvement in community service.

Lately, I’ve also been reminding you that we should be having fun doing this. So, with my tongue mostly in cheek … Marines … every time you ask a question whose answer is clearly in The Book, or answer a question without looking in The Book to be sure you’re right, some reasonably omnipotent being somewhere in the universe takes a completely innocent little adorable puppy, fluffy bunny, or playful kitten, or their alien equivalent, and cruelly promotes them to “butter bar“. Please, Marines … think of the puppies, bunnies, and kittens (and alien equivalents)! Check the current Marine Force Manual (MFM) FIRST …

On a disappointed note, the “recruiting video” that SGM Polanis and I have been working on is not going to be ready for a few months yet, due to the fact that we’re still twisting arms to get enough suitable images to use in it. (Yep, a HINT) We’ll try to have it done before the end of the year.

As always, the SFMC General Staff needs your input and ideas in order to properly do our jobs. Don’t hesitate to contact the appropriate GS member with your questions, comments and ideas. You can find all the email addresses at the SFMC website, and, of course, we monitor the Corps-l list, and the SFMC Facebook group.

Now it’s time for Top’s History Lesson. If you go by all the fictional accounts out there, from comic books to novels to movies and TV series, NCOs, and particularly Marine NCOs of any nation are supposed to pretty much define “Tough” and “Professional”. I’ve told the stories of many real world NCOs who lived up to that billing in this space over the past few years, but, I could make a pretty good case for one US Marine Technical Sergeant – Harold Edward Wilson – being placed somewhere around the top of that list.

Wilson had enlisted in the USMC Reserve in 1942, and had served 27 months in the Pacific during World War 2, without anything of note happening. Discharged from active service in 1945 as a sergeant, he re-entered the Reserves in 1947, and he got recalled to active duty after the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, serving as a Platoon Sergeant in the First Marine Division.

At Chosin Reservoir, he was wounded, and received the first of an eventual FIVE awards of the Purple Heart. Not long afterward, for “fearless and untiring leadership” of his platoon in several engagements in March of 1951, during a United Nations counteroffensive, he was awarded the Bronze Star. But it was on the night of April 23-24 1951 that he showed just how tough and professional he truly was.

During a furious night attack, his company outpost was overrun by an enemy force supported from high ground with heavy weapons. Wilson braved that storm of fire to rally his troops, get them back into the line of hastily dug foxholes to return fire, and make sure the wounded were seen to. He was hit twice, but refused treatment, continuing to encourage his Marines and direct the defense. He was hit two more times, and his arms were pretty much useless. But, unable to fight himself, he dragged ammunition and spare rifles from other wounded Marines to members of his platoon that COULD still fight. He managed to get to his CO, and got some help for his platoon, and then still stayed with them, directing what became a murderously effective defense.

A mortar shell blew him right off his feet, but, dazed, bleeding, and concussed, he refused treatment again, and moved from foxhole to foxhole, dragging ammunition, directing fire, offering first aid, and encouraging his men. When the attack finally broke in the morning, he personally accounted for each and every member of his platoon before WALKING, unassisted, half a mile to an aid station to finally receive submit to medical treatment.

The citation for the Medal of Honor awarded to him in April of 1952 notes that his courage and example “in the face of almost certain death” were “ contributing factors in the success of his company’s mission.” Wilson was promoted to Master Sergeant in 1951 , and then became a Warrant Officer in August of 1952. He stayed in the Corps, serving in various roles, including Adjutant at the Marine Corps Engineer Schools in 1962, and served with Marine Aircraft Group 13 during the Vietnam War before being assuming the post of 6th Marine Corps District Personnel Officer in November of 1968. He finally retired from the Marine Corps in February of 1972.

Chief Warrant Officer Harold E Wilson passed away in March of 1998 at the age of 76. He rests in Lexington, South Carolina in Woodbridge Memorial Park. If you’re ever in the area, please stop by and pay my respects to one of the toughest and most professional NCOs I have ever heard of.

Semper Fi!

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

State of the SFMC – July 2013

State of the SFMC – July 2013

Greetings to all marines

With IC/IM looming and being in the midst of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, I am sure many marines will be real busy planning their trip to Dallas or maybe a family vacation somewhere away from home.

Either way, it is hoped that everyone plans carefully and wisely to ensure their travels are both safe and rewarding.

With IC comes the announcements of various SFMC Awards – most prominent and important of course being the Honor awards for 2013 The GS has only just completed their review and decision-making process from the good number of nominations to Honor awards we have received.
It is always a task that is taken to with significant importance and pride by GS members and this year certainly has been no different. It has not been easy I assure you with the voting of recipients bringing some very, very close results indeed. In fact for some of these Honor awards, this appears to have been the toughest decision-making process I can recall since I have been fortunate enough to be involved.

The number and caliber of nominations always makes this a difficult task in many ways – most especially as we are reviewing the efforts and accomplishments of many really deserving marines. We cannot mass award to all but sometimes wish we could as choosing the one recipient for these awards can be very, very difficult when there are so many who have simply stood out so well

As has been said so often before – simply being nominated to some of our most senior awards is a huge compliment and achievement in itself and every marine so-nominated should take great personal pride in this.

And we should also look to thank those that placed the nominations – more than just a duty, this too is an action worthy of recognition. So well done and thank you to the nominators!

We look forward to announcing the winners at this year’s IC

And in speaking of SFMC annual awards, it is timely to also again remind every marine of the importance of making sure that the marines you see, know or believe are worthy of recognition – no matter the award – that you be certain to bring this to the attention of those in the food chain who need to know As so often has been said, assuming that because another marine is doing a good job, or has done a good job so well that “they must get recognized by someone” is the worst possible thing that can happen. By placing a nomination or helping to personally draw attention to a deserving marines efforts yourself, then ensures that the marine stands best chance of being recognized by the Corps, Brigade, Battalion or unit for their actions.

So – don’t hold back, nominate

There have been a few changes to the GS lately and even with a few months left for us to look to achieve the goals and objectives we set out to do in January 2011, we can assure you that the GS we have in place will be doing their best to complete. Timing and other natural events will preclude ultimate success, but both ForceCom and TraCom (in particular) are looking to round off this year with some good assembly of achievement.
To do this, both important elements of the Corps require staff for the various positions being advertised and I would like to urge all interested and/or qualified marines to apply.
The SFMC always needs good volunteers and while we are working on programs that will help open up opportunities for all, we still need to get some key positions filled.

Don’t be shy – volunteer your services. Even if you are unsuccessful in being appointed to any position you may apply for, your simple act of stepping forward does not go unnoticed and means we then have some decent indicators as to just who among us is looking to offer their time and service to the Corps, which we may well be able to use elsewhere

There have quite a few cases of posts appearing here and there with ideas and suggestions for additional uniform ideas or accouterments that could be added to our dress code. I wish to remind everyone that suggestions will go nowhere unless made to the right channel If you have ideas for anything you may wish to be considered for adding to our dress code, remember that your very first point of contact should be the DepDant (depdant@sfi-sfmc.org) The process from there is quite simple. Once the DepDant receives your query, he will evaluate practicality and worthiness of the items (in some cases, there may be good reason why your suggestion needs go no further, and this will be explained to you).
Then , if the idea, suggestion or proposal has good merit, it will likely be passed to the rest of the GS for discussion and input.
If the proposal reaches fruition, it then only requires it to be adopted into dress code policy, and the machine takes over from there

The point to all this is quite simple . We want to progress. We want to look at new. But we can’t do so if we don’t get your ideas first. If you have a proposal you would like see considered, then by all means forward it on

Lastly, with the staff shortages at TraCom, I have been assisting where I can as a temporary director. It has been some years since I have so directly involved with the SFMCA and I had quite forgotten what an excellent, fun place our Academy is.
There are lots of new exams it seems and a growing variety of topics to study, with I believe, more on the way. I would hasten to suggest a quick review of the SFMC Academy for anyone interested in taking some solid training, may well lead to getting you that extra bit of attention you might be looking for to further your SFMC career

Bruce O’Brien
Brigadier General, SFMC
Commandant, STARFLEET Marine Corps
dant@sfi-sfmc.org