State of INFOCOM October 2013

State of INFOCOM October 2013

Greeting Marines,
Sorry for the delay in my report for October. I have just recovered from my Halloween candy coma.
Just kidding, but it was a close call. With the holiday season fast approaching, INFOCOM will be delay starting any new projects until after the New Year. Normal maintenance and troubleshooting issues will continue during this time. I will address this in more detail with a list of future projects planned in the November report.

In the last reports I have mentioned a few IT related items about backing up files and passwords. This month I would like to talk about properly destroying your files. I’m not sure if anyone else has heard this saying before, “You only lock your car to keep the honest people out”. Basically this means those who are planning on breaking in will do it anyway, the locked door doesn’t matter to them.
Over the years I have had to recover files deleted by mistake and assisted friends trying to recover files that were lost when their computer hard drive crashed. Yes that is correct, they had no backup. Years ago, I purchased a software suite that can recover files that have been deleted or files from a failing hard drive. The first time I used this software I was very surprised how well it worked. I could read the last 6 writes to the hard drive. You might ask, what does that mean? Let’s say you have a computer hard drive and you format it and reload the operating system 6 different times in a row. This software could see the files in all six of those installs. Has anyone sold an old laptop or given an old computer away? I’m sure before you did that you deleted your files, formatted the hard drive and reloaded the operating system. Unless you did that 7 or more times this software and others like it could recover your files from that computer. Today in my case, I have another program that does a DOD (Department of Defense) level format of a hard drive, it writes to the hard drive more than 10 times making the possibility of recovering the files with this software impossible. If I really don’t want to take a chance the old hammer and hard drive on the side walk trick works as well. The bottom line is, if the person that got your old computer is honest, you should still lock your car door. (Sorry, that might still be the candy talking)

It looks like we have a lot of the email forwarding problems worked out. We are continuing to look into other issues and make corrections when needed. If you encounter problems with the website or email forwarding issues please let me know off list and I’ll try and resolve it.

In closing here are the pingdom stats for October.

Uptime: 99.56%
Outages: 7
Downtime: 3hr 25 min
Response time: 523 ms

Thank you,

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

State of the NCO Corps October 2013

State of the NCO Corps October 2013

Greetings Marines!

Time to head on over to the booth in the back in the corner in the dark of my local NCO Club, where a thorough investigation reveals that, against all odds and expectations, Prigal had absolutely nothing to do with the all too recent storm that dumped about 20 centimeters of snow on us here (but a certain Fleet ensign in Weather Control is advised against visiting the surface any time in the near future – tar and feathers are now a standard item in the big replicator here), and the bartender has had to put up a big sign requesting “Absolutely NO discussion of Politics or your Fantasy Sports Team due to the cost of replacing the fixtures in the aftermath.”

That all too real early winter blast comes as a reminder that we’re being told to expect harsh weather in the next few months (at least here in North America), so I’d like to remind you about a community service idea that I’ve been endorsing for a few years now. With the coming of cold weather, there are going to be many people in need of warmer clothing that they can’t afford. I’d take it as a personal favor if you could turn some of your creativity and energy towards seeing what you can do about that in your own community. A key word to remember is HUGS: Hats, Underwear, Gloves, Socks. These are often in short supply, and sorely needed. And, I’ll take the time right now to give a tip of Top’s eight-point to the 577th MSG who are already working on ideas for a “Coats and Blankets” drive. Bravo Zulu (Well done), Marines!

Community service doesn’t have to be any part of any organized charity effort. Just giving of your time and energy to someone who needs a hand is the spirit of community service. Whatever you do, make sure that whoever is filing the report for your unit knows the details, and sends it up the Chain of Command in their official report so you can be given the recognition your efforts deserve. (And remember, it’s not too early to start finalizing your plans for the annual Toys for Tots campaign.)

The motto of the NCO Corps is “Service before Self”, but I want to take a moment to remind my fellow SFMC NCOs that it isn’t “Service instead of Self” – you can’t do anybody any good if you’re sick and tired, either literally or figuratively. That would be a Hint. Take care of yourselves, and you can better take care of your Marines. (Remember that flu shot that COFORCECOM advised getting? Yeah …that might be a start. I kind of wish she had reminded me about it a little sooner.)

The slogan of the NCO Corps is “Excellence in Everything We Do.” That doesn’t just mean striving to be the best when it comes to things like Community Service, taking courses, or racking up awards. That means getting in there, having FUN with your fellow STARFLEET members, and striving to be a walking, talking example of why we joined this organization.

One thing that I can’t stress enough, though, is that there are plenty of outstanding officers in the SFMC that also embrace “Service before Self” and “Excellence in Everything We Do”. The NCO Corps may take those as their motto and slogan, but, really, we’re just speaking for the entire STARFLEET Marine Corps when it comes to those ideals.

One aspect of the STARFLEET Marines that can be confusing to newcomers is the concept that “billet trumps rank held”. In other words, the highest ranking individual in a group may not necessarily be the person “in charge” of that unit. Things get even stranger when a Corporal is placed as a Brigade “Officer in Charge”, as happened recently in the 20th Brigade, when CPL Jamie Spracklen was chose by FORCECOM to be the new OIC. But, remember, in the STARFLEET Marines, such positions are not positions of “command” so much as they are positions of responsibility and leadership, and something tells me the Marines of the 20th remain in very capable hands.

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. It’s a sad fact that not all NCOs are heroic or worth emulating. Such was the case of a certain First Sergeant in the US Army during the Korean War. The man (who shall remain nameless in shame) was a rabid anti-Semite, and he found the perfect target for his hatred in one of his troops – a young Hungarian immigrant named Tibor “Ted” Rubin. Tibor Rubin had come to the United States in 1948, with a debt of gratitude burning in his heart for the US troops who had liberated him from the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. His parents and his sisters had perished in the Holocast, but he had managed to survive for two years, and vowed to repay his liberators with his own service.

In 1950, he finally managed to squeak past the English language tests, and PFC Rubin was sent to Korea with the First Cavalry Division. Since he wasn’t yet a US citizen, he didn’t have to be assigned to a combat zone, but he steadfastly refused that option, and instead began a strange road to heroism. His First Sergeant, according to testimony from many individuals, consistently “volunteered” Rubin for the most dangerous patrols and missions. The results were not quite what said sergeant was hoping for.

For instance, ordered to cover his unit’s retreat in one action, he single handedly held a hill against “overwhelming numbers” of North Korean troops for 24 hours, inflicting “ a staggering number of casualties” on the enemy. In another action, he helped capture hundreds of enemy troops in one sweep. His officers recognized that they had a hero in their midst, and he was recommended FOUR times for the Medal of Honor by two different commanding officers before those officers themselves were killed. So, who was told to file the paperwork by those officers before their deaths? Why, the First Sergeant, of course … and those nominations went nowhere.

The end of October 1950 announced the entry of the Chinese into the war, and Corporal Rubin found himself in another desperate fight. Most of his regiment were killed or captured during a massive nighttime assault, but Rubin’s hard fought defense let many of them slip away safely. He was wounded and captured by the Chinese, and spent the next 30 months in a POW camp.

Since he was still officially a Hungarian citizen, the Chinese repeatedly offered to repatriate him safely to Hungary, but Rubin refused. Instead, he risked death or torture by sneaking out at night, and breaking into Chinese and Korean storehouses for the food and medical supplies the starving and sick American prisoners desperately needed. He fed them, tended their wounds, even carried them to the latrine when needed, and used every trick he had learned in surviving the concentration camps to help keep his fellow prisoners’ spirits up, and keep hope alive. It is estimate that his selfless actions saved the lives of at least 40 American POWs in the camp.

Finally, he and the other survivors were returned to the US. He was honorably discharged from the Army, got married, and settled down in California, and there the matter seemed ended. He had survived the worst that Nazi Germany, the Chinese, and, sadly, his fellow soldiers could throw at him. But, the story doesn’t end there.

Spurred on by a 2001 act of Congress, the US military began looking into possible cases of deserving soldiers denied the recognition they had earned due to bigotry and anti-Semitism, and “Ted” Rubin’s story came to light. In September of 2005, the President of the United States, before presenting him with his long overdue Medal of Honor, said “ Many heroes are remembered in monuments of stone. The monuments to Corporal Rubin are a legacy of life. We see his legacy in the many American families whose husbands, fathers, and sons returned home safely because of his efforts.”

And as for that nameless NCO whose hatred kept putting Rubin in harm’s way? Perhaps it’s best to simply let him sink into obscurity. After all, when asked whether he bore any animosity over it taking 50 some years to get the recognition he so richly deserved, Rubin simply said “ I don’t hate nobody because life is so short. If you feel hate for your fellow man … you’ll only hurt yourself..”

Semper Fi!

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

State of SFMC – October 2013

State of SFMC – October 2013

Greetings to all marines

Over the last several weeks, I have been very fortunately involved in working with the marines in my own Brigade which has seen quite a lot of inter-activity.
My reasons for raising this here is that I have been again reminded of the rewards that are gained from the camaraderie that is developed almost immediately one signs on as a member of the Corps and suggest that if you haven’t been personally involved with your own unit, battalion or brigade lately for whatever reason, that you perhaps look for opportunity to do so.

While there is nothing uniquely different about the 11Bde that sets it apart from any other Bde in the SFMC (other perhaps than the massive distances between us all as we are spread over two different countries and in other places around the world), it is simply that with my seemingly unending busy life in the real-world, I had forgotten the rewards to be gained by just taking the time to shoot the breeze with my marine buddies I personally recommend such communication to any marine – unit attached or not. Find some other marines to communicate with and you will likely find the same sense of ‘belonging’ that I have just recently been reminded of.

One of the key elements of discussion going on within the 11Bde, is the assembly of a proposal to organize a Wilderness Challenge (WC) – something that will prove quite difficult given the fact that as a brigade, we are so widely scattered. And as a consequence of my involvement in assisting the Brigade teams to go about assembly of such a proposal, it brings to light the fact that the WC may be languishing somewhat as an almost ‘forgotten element’.
Of course as the Northern Hemisphere summer ends and you head towards the winter months, the ideas of creating a WC probably isn’t to the fore.
But this should certainly not stop any marine, unit or group, from putting some investigation into just what could be created – no matter when such an event might be planned for.
That simple element of getting together as a group to plan and to discuss a proposal, especially one such as a WC (but of course in fact any SFMC event you want to do) once again serves as a fulcrum to draw marines together in common bond and common objective.

If ANY marine has any questions about organizing a possible WC, or simply wants to know more of this excellent program, I recommend that they contact the WC committee chairman – GEN Wade Olsen ( – who would be most pleased to hear from you and to provide whatever assistance he and his team can.

A note here once again on SFMC award nominations , with particular reference to those for our highest awards, the Gold or Silver Nebula .
Over the last three years of the term of this GS, we have been fortunate to receive several nominations that have reflected the bravery or solid deeds performed on behalf of others put at risk of death or serious injury. We are always most honored to review and to bestow an appropriate award to any deserving marine.

But for us to be able to do this, we first must have received a nomination that not only compiles with the award criteria that is well stated in the MFM and elsewhere, but (most especially in the case of the Nebula awards) is well supported by as much material pertaining and outlining the event and consequences as can possibly gathered.
Without this, the GS is hard pressed to then evaluate each nomination and differing scenario of the vents involved and cannot easily or readily, make a positive decision.

We again remind all marines, that if you ever find yourselves in a position to witness or to physically become involved in any situation that could see yourself or your fellow marine be put forward for a Nebula award, that you make sure you have as assembled as much supportive documentation as you can. We do want to pass these awards out as true recognition of the personal achievements and possible risk and sacrifice of our marines, but cannot possibly be expected to do so if we cannot justify the nomination, or to verify the facts associated with each nomination.

Also in this past month, there had been announcements of the release of some revised manuals that have been published to the website, primarily the SFMC Policy manual and the SFMC MOS manual.
Unfortunately, we have been somewhat remiss in not broadcasting these publication releases perhaps as singularly and as widely as we perhaps could have (although they have been included in various “State of…” reports) – and now with the appointment (at last after nearly 3 years!) of a G-3 officer within InfoCom, we will certainly ensure that all future publications of any SFMC manuals, will be announced in a simple and straightforward fashion. It certainly is not intended that marines should ‘discover’ any replaced or newly published manuals by accident

While on subject of manuals, I
understand that there are plans within TraCom to try to finalize the revision work being done to some SFMCA manuals, as these will hopefully be released shortly.
So too there will be another revision to the MFM with our intention to have this published before this year ends. These will of course be announced once completed to ensure you are all advised of the changes or availability etc

The SFMC Quartermaster has recently made announcement of the addition of new metal devices to add to our selection of uniform items. As we have previously announced , new designs have been created and finalized for all SFMC BOS devices, but unfortunately, with changes advised by our bank to the facility provided us, we are not in position to be able to order the manufacture of these new designs all at once.
Instead, it has been decided to have these made in pairs, with new order cycles working in tandem with the need for us to ensure we funds available in the SFMC bank account, to cover off the bank’s requirements placed upon us (put simply, if we allow our account to fall below a certain level, we will incur bank fees that are considered prohibitive) It is suggested that you watch for announcements of any new releases as these come to hand.

Bruce O’Brien
Major General, SFMC
Commandant, STARFLEET Marine Corps