State of FORCECOM September 2014

State of FORCECOM September 2014

Good day, Marines.

First off, just a brief comment. September is disaster preparedness month here in the US and even though we’re coming up on the tail end of the month, this is a topic that really knows no specific date.

Throughout the world seasons are changing and each region will have it’s own climactic events to be on the look out for. Please take a moment and make sure you’re ready. Simply search ‘disaster planning’ on the internet and you’ll find a lot of guidelines and free checklists to down load.

One aspect of readiness is making sure all your important data on your computer is backed up. By ‘important’, I mean bank records, scans of the front and back of your credit cards, scans of your important papers [wills, mortgage,car loan, insurance papers, pep information] and such.

I know there are more and more folks using cloud back up systems, but also consider the lowly flash drive that you can shove in your pocket, have in your evac bag, etc. Always go big. Just when you think a 16 GB drive will do, you’ll find another 3 GB of stuff to store. And if you’re like me, a regular bit hoarder, you might consider a portable hard drive and case.

Now, on to FORCECOM work.

One question that comes across my desk quite a bit right after the International Muster is ‘I just checked my awards on the database and I don’t see my muster award from IC.’

Short answer: you do not receive the ‘Brigade Muster Award’ for attendance at IC, you receive the International Service Award. I know it can seem a bit confusing. Especially if you’re one of the lucky ones and the International Conference is being held in your home Region and Brigade. But the names really do define the awards.

The Brigade Muster Award [gold/red ribbon — no more then one a year] is issued to any member of the SFMC who attends his/her Brigade’s annual Muster if that Brigade has one. Not all Brigades do so I understand that this may not be something available to everyone. If you have a specific question regarding this, please contact me privately and we’ll discuss it.

The International Service Award [gold/black — no more then one a year] is issued to any member of the SFMC who attends the International Muster held at IC.

Based on the above, over a period of one year you could see a Brigade Muster, an International Service or both of these listed on the database, depending on what events you were able to be at in any given year. But you will never see more then one of each in a calendar year.

As a quick reminder as to who does what:

FORCECOM is in charge of Achievement and Service award entries as well as making sure you’re in the right unit, etc. If you have any questions about these awards, your Unit assignments or other personnel questions, please send them up the Chain to FORCECOM.

TRACOM manages all entries to do with SFMCA courses and Training Awards.

If you’ve completed a course and you don’t see it on the database after a reasonable amount of time has past [please give them a few weeks], contact the Director of the specific Branch/School or go up the Chain to TRACOM.

Concerns or questions regarding either Medical Awards go directly to the SFMCA Medical Director who is the issuing authority.

Email addresses for all of the above can be found on the SFMC website.

Let me finish with some rough numbers from the database. Please remember that the database is a ‘fluid system’. That means that a variety of people are making changes to it on an ongoing basis so the phrase ‘Your mileage my vary’ is fairly accurate.

1387 Marines total as listed on the database 27 Sept, 2014.

 

1 BDE: 293 Marines total: 121 Marines in 27 units [77 active/44 reserve], 172 Marines unassigned

2 BDE: 126 Marines total: 107 Marines in 16 units [83 active/24 reserve], 19 Marines unassigned

3 BDE: 181 Marines total: 131 Marines in 23 units [75 active/56 reserve], 50 Marines unassigned

4 BDE: 99 Marines total: 53 Marines in 7 units [43 active/10 reserve],

46 Marines unassigned

5 BDE: 71 Marines total: 63 Marines in 12 units [29 active/34 reserve],

19 Marines unassigned

6 BDE: 33 Marines total: 19 Marines in 5 units [14 active/5 reserve], 14 Marines unassigned

7 BDE: 168 Marines total: 97 Marines in 24 units [59 active/38 reserve],

71 Marines unassigned

8 BDE: 3 Marines total: 0 Marines in 0 units [0 active/0 reserve], 3 Marines unassigned

9 BDE: 11 Marines total: 0 Marines in 0 units [0 active/0 reserve], 11 Marines unassigned

10 BDE: 22 Marines total: 11 Marines in 2 units [6 active/5 reserve], 11 Marines unassigned

11 BDE: 64 Marines total: 43 Marines in 5 units [36 active/7 reserve],

21 Marines unassigned

12 BDE: 113 Marines total: 82 Marines in 12 units [49 active/33 reserve], 31 Marines unassigned

13 BDE: 22 Marines total: 11 Marines in 4 units [8 active/3 reserve], 11 Marines unassigned

14 BDE: 0 Marines total: 0 Marines in 0 units [0 active/0 reserve], 0 Marines unassigned

15 BDE: 59 Marines total: 44 Marines in 7 units [14 active/30 reserve],

15 Marines unassigned

16 BDE: 0 Marines total: 0 Marines in 0 units [0 active/0 reserve], 0 Marines unassigned

17 BDE: 50 Marines: 0 Marines in 0 units [0 active/0 reserve], 50 Marines unassigned

18 BDE: 0 Marines total: 0 Marines in 0 units [0 active/0 reserve], 0 Marines unassigned

19 BDE: 0 Marines total: 0 Marines in 0 units [0 active/0 reserve], 0 Marines unassigned

20 BDE: 72 Marines total: 46 Marines in 5 units [24 active/22 reserve],

26 Marines unassigned

 

13 Active Brigades

7 Inactive Brigades

149 Active Units

517 Active Marines

311 Reserve Marines

570 Unassigned Marines

 

Not bad, Marines. Not bad at all.

 

Stand easy, Marines.

 

BGN Jari “Gato” James

COFORCECOM

State of FINCOM September 2014

State of FINCOM September 2014

The numbers for the month are as follows:
SFMC checking account opened the month of September with a balance of $4425.94

Credit – $586.42  PayPal transfer 8-25-14
Credit – $507.19  PayPal transfer 9-29-14

Debits – $219.97
USPS – postage on old Flags $85.09
USPS – postage on Honor Coins $32.62
USPS – QM postage – $84.12
Walmart – $18.14 – envelopes for shipping quartermaster items.

SFMC checking account closing balance for the account was $5299.58
The Quartermaster had approximately 12 orders this past month.
The Challenge Coins have been added to the website and are selling.

Scholarship interest – $0.04 .  The current balance $2729.16

MGEN Barry Jackson

COFINCOM

State of INFOCOM September 2014

State of INFOCOM September 2014

Greetings Marines,

I’m just getting my report in just under the wire.  I spent last weekend in Daytona Beach at the yearly Klingon Feast.  This was my 4th year attending.  I always have a great time at the feast, I usually see folks there I only see once a year.  I may have mentioned this before but I’ll say it again, if you have never attended the Klingon Feast you should try and make it to one.  I think you will have a great time and the hotel is right on the beach.  Everyone will be glad to hear that the SFMC was well represented at the feast again this year.  Several Marines won awards including first and second place in female arm wrestling contest and first place in the synthahol contest.  Several other awards were claimed by STARFLEET members.  Several STARFLEET Fleet chapters were in attendance this year.  The USS Victorious, USS Haven, USS Trident, Space Station Robert de Bruce and the USS Haven to mention a few.  There were also a few independent Star Trek and SCIFI groups in attendance.  It was a great weekend and I look forward to next year.

And now on to the business of INFOCOM.  With the assistance of COL Young CO of the USS Asteria we have made some progress on updating the SFMC manuals with the new logos and graphics.  We have ran into a small sang but I hope I can get that resolved soon so we can continue with the updates.  We are continuing to resolve problems and post updates to the SFMC websites on a regular basis.  If you run into any issues please send me an email with as much detail as possible about the problem you have encountered and I’ll try and get the issue resolved as soon as I can.

The SFMC Quartermaster website PayPal checkout got wiped out again a few weeks.  I was able to correct that quickly this time because I have had the information from the last time I had to fix it.  Apparently when a system update is applied it sets all the checkout information back to default, which is credit card and wipes out the PayPal account information and disables the checkout with PayPal module.  I’m not sure how the updates are getting applied.  I tried to find out last time this happened but didn’t find out anything.  I’m not doing them myself and I have checked the site and it’s not set to auto update anywhere I can find.  I will be starting the process to convert or replace the current QM site with something that is easier to update and maintain.  More details on this when we start that process.

In closing here are the pingdom stats for August 2014.

Uptime: 99.97%
Outages: 1

Downtime: 15 minutes
Response time: 304 ms

Mark “Slayer” Anderson
Major General, SFMC
COINFOCOM
Team Delta

State of the NCO Corps September 2014

State of the NCO Corps September 2014

Greetings Marines!

I had this ready to go several days ago, but just before I posted it, I received the news of the untimely passing of LGN Gary “Tiny” Hollifield, and I decided to do what amounted to a substantial rewrite. So, with a bit of further ado, let’s head on over to the booth in the back in the corner in the dark of my local NCO club, where there’s a prominent sign that says “Check your weapons at the door”(let’s see … locked, loaded, safety on … I’m good) and a snowstorm early this month resulted in a few choice words re the Meteorology gang and an uptick in computer queries about “Tar and Feathers”.

When we lose one of our own, the usual sympathy messages in STARFLEET and the SFMC often refer to dimming fictional running lights on vessels, or the “Missing Man” formation being done by fictional aerospace craft, or even the lowering of usually fictional flags to half mast, and, don’t get me wrong … it’s a genuinely touching and heartfelt gesture. But, something about that has always bothered me – it’s ONLY a gesture. I’ve been known to take it a step further out here in the back side of nowhere, taking out a venerable old rifle that actually saw combat in WW2 and firing the ceremonial three volleys on the day of a funeral for a fellow STARFLEET member (please, unless you live out in the boonies like I do, do NOT try this at home), but, at the end of the day, it’s still only a gesture.

But, Tiny’s untimely death had me sitting here at my old desk, filling the air with smoke from my favorite briar pipe, trying to find some way to DO something that wouldn’t be just a gesture – to find a way to bring some meaning to what I was feeling and to somehow making my personal sense of loss into something positive. And then, my personal musings were interrupted by a voice inside my head that reminded me that I had a JOB to do in the SFMC, and I had a “light bulb“ moment.

As I have often reminded you, one of the assigned responsibilities of my office is “promoting and assisting in the organization of community service activities at all levels within the SFMC,”  and THAT was the answer I’d been looking for. Perhaps instead of a gesture, no matter how special or sincere it was, a better way to mark the passing of one of our own might be to find some form of community service related to a cause they supported and do the work they could no longer do.

So, I’m going on the record right now as pledging to find some way to help or raise funds for an organization dedicated to helping fight against diabetes – that disease was a large factor in Tiny‘s health problems. It’s not going to be easy, considering the fact that I only get into town once or twice a month usually, but somehow, I’ll find a way. And if I don’t, I’ll at least have tried.

Returning to my regularly scheduled report, one of the “perks” of being an enlisted member of the STARFLEET Marine Corps is the ability to earn and wear the NCO Development Ribbon (aka the NCO Academic Ribbon). This is currently one of the highest ranking “Training Awards” in the SFMC, consisting of the usual white ribbon with a silver “1”,”2”, or “3” added to it to designate the level of training at the SFMC NCO Academy passed. But, in the years since this ribbon was added to the awards a Marine can earn, commercial sources for the attached numerals in SILVER have completely dried up. It is still possible to find the numeral ribbon attachments in a bronze or gold tone, but, at this time, the silver attachments required seem to be “unobtainium”.

Now, it is POSSIBLE, but not very practical to paint one of the bronze or gold numerals that are still available from the usual sources and make them silver. That would entail first roughing up, then priming, and finally painting a very small piece of metal, and if your hands are steadier than mine, you’re certainly welcome to do so. But, after bringing the problem to the attention of the General Staff, I am duly authorized to inform you that, unless and until the silver numerals become commercially available again, using a bronze or gold attachment “as is” will be considered perfectly acceptable, and the next edition of the MFM will reflect this.

Speaking of the next edition of the MFM – a reminder that the Commandant has informed everyone that any suggestions, questions, comments, etc that you may wish to see addressed in the next edition of the Marine Force Manual should be sent in to him …well …NOW would be a good time. Please take a moment to go through the current MFM (perhaps for the first time) and jot down whatever notes you feel need addressing, and email them to the Dant.

Always remember that 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. In 1944, near Littoria (now Latina) in central Italy, despite an artillery duel going on between Allied and German forces, a peasant farmer apparently out weeding his fields stopped to tie his shoes, then shook his fist at the German soldiers about 600 meters away, then at the distant Allied forces, apparently in anger for the interruption and noise, before returning to a nearby farmhouse. That “peasant” was actually Reconnaissance Sergeant Tommie Prince, a Canadian member of the infamous First Special Service Force – better known as “the Devil’s Brigade” – and he had used the action of tying his shoes to cover up what he was REALLY doing, namely fixing a break in the nearly a mile of carefully concealed telephone line he was using to report on the nearby enemy troops and call in fire corrections that eventually resulted in the destruction of four enemy batteries during the three days he spent behind enemy lines. For this, the young member of Canada’s Ojibwa tribe was awarded the Military Medal, the citation reading in part “Sergeant Prince’s courage and utter disregard for personal safety were an inspiration to his fellows and a marked credit to his unit.”

Not long after that, the 1st SSF was moved to southern France, and once again the marksmanship, and skill at  tracking and moving stealthily through the countryside that Prince had learned as a youngster in and around the reservation in Canada came into play, as he and a private went on a long scouting mission behind enemy lines near the border between France and Italy. He came across an enemy battalion’s encampment, and started back to report on its location when he and his single companion came across a French partisan group engaged in battle with an enemy unit. They stopped to lend a hand, and their accurate fire coming from concealment and an unexpected direction drove the enemy off. When the French commander, glad of the unexpected reinforcements, asked where Prince’s “company” was, the Canadian Sergeant pointed at the private and said “Here”, leading the Frenchman to exclaim that he was sure that Prince must have had at least fifty men with him. That commander nominated Prince for the Croix de Guerre, but the courier carrying the nomination was killed en route and the medal was never awarded, However,  after a grueling 72 hours with little rest behind enemy lines, Prince made it back to his unit, reported on the location of the enemy battalion, led his unit back to them, and participated in the attack that resulted in most of the enemy surrendering. For his part in locating and wiping out this substantial force, he was eventually awarded a Silver Star by the Allied command.

After World War Two, he returned to Canada, and tried to make a go at civilian life. I’ll spare you the details, but, after some initial success, it didn’t go that well, and when the fighting began in Korea, Tommie Prince re-enlisted in the Canadian Army, at his previous rank of Sergeant. He was later to say “As soon as I put on my uniform I felt a better man.” Sergeant Prince earned further honors and served with distinction during the Korean War, despite increasingly painful arthritic knees that removed him from action for long periods during the war.

After the war, those knees made civilian life even more difficult for him, and his personal life went downhill again. Fighting against the prejudices against “First Nations” people that was rampant at the time, and unable to cope with life outside the service, he became estranged from his family and alcoholism claimed him. Despite a brief period of public acknowledgement in 1955, when he saved a man from drowning, he withdrew to a lonely life, eventually passing away in a Salvation Army facility in 1977.

But, Tommie Prince has not been entirely forgotten in Canada. There are streets, schools, barracks, and even scholarships bearing his name now, and in 2010 it was announced that there was a movie in development about one of the most decorated “First Nations” soldiers in history. Perhaps somewhere, the spirit of Tommie Prince is resting a bit easier now, even though that recognition came a bit too late to help him directly.

But, if you take anything away from his story, perhaps you’ll ask yourself the next time you pass by a ragged, homeless veteran “Was this another Tommie Prince … another genuine hero fallen on hard times?” and perhaps whatever you say or do may not be too late for them.

In service and in friendship,

MGSGT Jerome A. “Gunny Hawk” Stoddard

Sergeant Major of the STARFLEET  Marines

sgm_sfmc@sfi-sfmc.org

State of FINCOM September 2014

State of FINCOM September 2014

Approximately Thursday of last week, the SFMC Quartermaster site lost it’s ability to use PayPal for payments due to some kind of update either from computer ops or DreamHost.   Infocom was on top of this and has now fixed the site to include using PayPal for merchandise payments.
The numbers for the month are as follows:

Checking account opening balance of $4321.59
Credits – $281.50 counter credit from IC sales
Credit – $586.42  PayPal transfer done today.

Debits
IC Video Equipment donation – $122.00
USPS – QM postage – $30.73
Walmart – $24.42 – envelopes for shipping quartermaster items.

Closing closing checking balance for the account was $4,425.94

Sales for month
There were 6 orders for this reporting period.
merchandise total – $173.10
Postage collected – $48.74
PayPal fees  – $8.25
Actual postage –$18.86
Florida tax – 0
NC tax – 0

Scholarship interest – unknown until the end of the month .  The current
balance $2729.02.

My next big adventure is the Klingon Feast in Daytona Beach, FL the weekend of Sept.  26 – 28, 2014.  TJ Allen, the DCOFINCOM is also going.  We will fly into Daytona Beach and COINFOCOM, Mark Anderson will pick us up.  The General Staff of the SFMC will be well represented at this feast.  Mark and I won the Synthahol contest two years ago and plan on winning this year.  If you have never been to a Klingon Feast, you need to go to at least one in your lifetime.  You will certainly enjoy it.  I will be posting on Facebook during the weekend.

 

MGEN Barry Jackson

COFINCOM

State of the SFMC September 2014

State of the SFMC September 2014

Greetings Marines,

Let’s get straight to it.

Revised IC Awards List

 

This has been a long time in coming, but it has been checked several times to ensure accuracy and completeness.

 

Distinguished Service Cross

Dorffner, Joseph

Olson, Linda

 

Cross of Honor

Smiddy, Josiah

 

Sword of Honor

Dean, Bobby

 

Shield of Honor

Kolb, Shirley

 

Star of Honor

Chappell, Brian

 

Legion of Honor

287th Marine Strike Group

 

Cadet Cross of Honor

Wilson, Sam (G4)

Mabbitt, Benjamin (G2)

 

Cadet Sword of Honor

Wilson, Charlotte (G3)

 

Cadet Shield of Honor

Murphy, Amanda (G3)

Smith, Sean (G2)

 

Cadet Star of Honor

Tunis, Edward IV (G2)

 

STARFLEET Cross

Adams, Daniel

Allen, TJ

Anderson, Mark

Augustson, Wayne

Black, Sam

Cameron, Duncan

Carsten, Jeremy

Chappell, Brian

DeRoux, Norman

Dorffner, Joseph

Dysast´ar, Fleona

Eaton, Jack

French, Larry

Fuller, Joseph

Higdon, Jeffery

Hof, William

Ingles, Matthew

Jackson, Barry

James, Jari

Johannson, Eric

Jones, Bryan

Knopes, William

Littou, Travis

Lutz, Peter

McGowan, Michael

Monroe, James

Murphy, Aaron

O’Brien, Bruce

O’Brien, DJ

Olson, Linda

Parmley, Steven E

Reid, Paul

Rickard, Julie

Savander, Oliver

Segel, Hayden

Selkirk, Russell

Sigmundsson, Gudjon

Smiddy, Josiah

Smith, Liam

Spracklen, Jamie

Stimpson, Bran

Stoddard, Jerry

Swart, Owen

Toole, Daniel

Tunis, Edward

Victor, Jeffrey

Victor, Laura

Yohe, Peter

Zecca, Anne

 

Commandant’s Meritorious Service Award

Rickard, Julie

 

SFMC Service Commendation

Cameron, Duncan

Dorffner, Joseph

Dreesbach, Daniel

French, Larry

Monroe, James

Niemeyer, Lauren

O’Brien, Bruce

Rayburn, Jill

Rickard, Julie

Spracklen, Jamie

Stoddard, Jerry

Wandall, Ed

 

SFMC Achievement Award

Allen, TJ

Eheart, Faith

Parmley, Steven E

Russell, Shane

Savander, Oliver

Smith, Liam

Tunis, Edward

Yohe, Peter

 

Meritorious Unit Citation

342 MSG – The Royal Dragoons

377 MSG – The Thunder from Downunder

380 MSG – Twentieth Victoious Valerian Legion

503 MSG – The Spartans

601 MSG – The Blue Snakes

 

Leader’s Commendation

Fielder, Jared

Parmley, Steven E

Radle, John

Russell, Shane

Smith, Marie

Smith, Sean

Smiddy, Josiah

Welenc, Sherri

 

Marine Honor Guard

Anderson, Mark

French, Larry

Hof, William

Jackson, Barry

Planthold, Sunnie

Reid, Paul

Schmidt, Lee

 

Great Barrier Expedition

Anderson, Mark

DeRoux, Norman

French, Debbie

French, Larry

Glenn, Dal

Jackson, Barry

Miller, David

Killough, Wayne

Parmley, Steven E

Peter, Scott

Stephenson, Glenda

Urvand, Michael

 

Communications Service Award

Kolb, Shirley

 

International Service Award

Anderson, Mark

DeRoux, Norman

French, Debbie

French, Larry

Glenn, Dal

Glenn, Robbie

Higdon, Jeffery

Jackson, Barry

Killough, Wayne

McGowan, Michael

Miller, David

Moore, Thomas

O’Brien, DJ

Parmley, Steven E

Peter, Scott

Russell, Shane

Stephenson, Glenda

Urvand, Michael

Victor, Jeffrey

Victor, Laura

 

Embassy Duty

Anderson, Mark

Killough, Wayne

Jackson, Barry

McGowan, Michael

French, Larry

French, Debbie

 

TRACOM Commander’s Award

Polanis, Mark

 

Naval Achievement Citation

Halliday, John

Conner, Jerry

 

SFMCA Team Delta

Dyl, Paul

Rowley, Steven

Eheart, Faith

 

Congratulations to one and all.

 

Accounts

 

As of last report, the SFMC general account has a balance of $4425.94.

The scholarship account has a balance of $2729.02.

 

Suggestions

The General Staff is beginning the process of updating the Marine Force Manual, SFMC Policy Manual, and TRACOM Policies and Procedures Manual.

Marines having suggestions for such updates may send those to me privately at: dant@sfi-sfmc.org. I can’t promise that all will be adopted, but I can tell you that all will be given serious consideration.

 

Email Addresses

It is important to remember that Email Addresses no longer appear on the STARFLEET Database. This being the case, it is of vital importance that marines check and double check the email address entered on any form being sent to the SFMC for any reason. If your email address is entered incorrectly, servicing whatever request you are making, SFMCA Course, Award Certificate request, etc., will be *significantly* delayed.

 

I know that I said this last time, but it bears repeating. Unit OICs are reminded to make sure you report not only what your unit is doing, but who among your marines is doing it, how long they each are spending on the project, and who such projects are benefiting. Making sure your reports are complete and thorough is the responsibility of each OIC.

Failing to do so  ensures that deserving marines will not get the recognition they deserve. These are your friends, take care of them.

Finally, I have been having some issues getting properly logged on to Facebook lately. If you have been awaiting a response from me on Facebook, please drop me an email at: dant@sfi-sfmc.org.

Thanks for your time, see you next month.

Mike

Michael McGowan

OIC, 225th MSG

Commandant, SFMC

papabear@ussbortas.net