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 ( 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