State of FORCECOM September 2015

State of FORCECOM September 2015

Good Evening, Marines.

This will be a very short and sweet missive.  I’m in the middle of taking two separate classes from my local medical Reserve Corps unit along with learning all that I need to do to winterize a house in SW Idaho and playing ‘Medication de Jour’ with two of my VA docs. Nothing serious, but between that and the vanishing daylight I’m got a bad case of the sleepies a good portion of the time which isn’t helping my time management skills one bit.

For those who did not get the original posts, individuals have been

chosen to fill the duty slots   open in Forces Command.  I want to

welcome BDR David Sladky to the position of 7th Brigade Officer in Charge.  He takes over immediately so if you have any questions about activities in 7th Brigade, his contact information is on the SFMC website under Forces Command.  Also COL Brian Allen joins the FORCECOM team as it’s new E-Certificates Officer.  He’s in the process of designing our new certificates and will be catching up with our backlog first before taking on any other projects.  Please give him a bit of time to get his office up and running.

As some of you have already heard via the water cooler grapevine, we have had a few logos come into conflict with the United States Marine Corps.  Right now all those issues have been addressed. We pulled the Marine Force Manual off the website until we can get any graphics that were in conflict changed.  When we’re sure that it’s squeaky clean it will go back up and we’ll make that announcement.

If ‘any’ unit or Battalion has concerns about their logo, motto or slogan please notify your Brigade OIC about it.  They will contact FORCECOM and we’ll take things from there.  Keep in the Chain of Command, folks.  It’s just easier to track things that way.

That’s all for now. Keep it safe out there and be nice to each other.

Stand Easy, Marines.

BGN Jari “Gato” James

COFORCECOM

State of FINCOM September 2015

State of FINCOM September 2015

Sorry this is late but sometimes real life stuff get in the way.

 

Opening balance for the month of July was $6235.93

Credit – $44.99 PayPal transfer

Debits total – $39.15

Closing balance for the account was $6241.77

Opening balance for the month of August was $6241.77

Credit -$256.81 PayPal transfer
Debits total – $123.50
Closing balance for the account was $6375.08

 

Other News:

  • The Quartermaster website has been moved from Dreamhost to Site5 by SFI Computer Ops. This should provide better service and security.  Quartermaster site is working OK on the new host.
  • Branch of service (BOS) badges and other items are being replaced with the new SFMC logo as quantities of the old items are being depleted. The SFMC patch, aerospace wings, collar brass and challenge coins have already been replaced.

MGEN Barry Jackson

COFINCOM

State of the NCO Corps September 2015

State of the NCO Corps September 2015

Greetings Marines!

As usual, I’m in the booth in the back in the corner in the dark of my local NCO Club, where we could really use a big shovel or maybe even a Combat Engineering Vehicle to clean up the “fertilizer” that stacks up during some of the late night “discussions“, and the mandated weekly meeting of Senior NCOs is still opened the same way: “Jacks or better, nothing Wild but Top.”

By now, you should be aware that the latest revision to the MFM is available for download at the Library section of the SFMC Website. That would be a STRONG Hint, folks. I won’t spoil it for you, but I will say that the most extensive changes were made in Section 7 (Uniforms), including a new TNG era Class B uniform, and a new, “off the rack” Class A uniform, as well as organizing all the little “bits and bobs” authorized for wear on our uniforms.

And, with the publication of a new edition of the MFM, it’s once again time I reminded you all (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 …

Since this is the “State of the NCO Corps”, it’s perhaps time to look briefly at a couple of numbers from a recent data dump from the STARFLEET database. The following information may be assumed to be B.A.D. (Best Available Data). Of the roughly one quarter of STARFLEET’s total membership  identified in the database  as Marines (Active or Reserve) holding any sort of adult rank (which would exclude Cadets and those with no rank assigned), 20.1 percent hold enlisted ranks. When we add those excluded into the total, 23.7 percent of the SFMC does NOT hold an “officer’s” rank. In other words, about one Marine in five is enlisted, and only about three out of four Marines are officers.

As I promised last month, I’m going to briefly touch on the report I gave the Commandant for IC. In addition to my duties assigned by the MFM and Policy Manual, I continued to oversee and promote the March for the Disabled campaign. This component of the Commandant’s campaign has now been expanded to run all during the calendar year. And, I “put my money where my mouth is” by logging and reporting up the Chain of Command 20+ hours on this campaign since IC 2014, despite my personal disability and remote location. I also had to note that I quietly celebrated the milestone of serving over seven years in this post, spanning three administrations, and concluded with “Did NOT shove anybody, living or otherwise,  headfirst into the trash disposal system, despite possibly justified provocation.”

That last bit is keeping with the last of my stated goals for the coming year, which included continuing to do the jobs assigned me by the MFM, Policy Manual, and Commandant, explore the possibility of collecting all the “History Lesson” segments into one document and making it available to the SFMC Library ( a few folks have asked me to do this – feel free to add your voice if you’d like to see it happen), and finished up with “Take my position seriously, but not TOO seriously to avoid burnout.”

As I’ve said many times before: SFMC does not stand for “STARFLEET Martyrs Collective.” We are supposed to be doing what we do because it’s fun, and keeping that firmly in mind is one of the reasons why I’ve lasted over seven years as SGM SFMC. Having said that, here’s my usual reminder that community service is a big part of what we do, but it doesn’t have to involve any sort of organized charity or cause at all. Just giving of your time and energy to someone who needs a hand is the spirit of community service. And remember: “If you don’t report it, we can’t reward it.”

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.   For the most part, the military career of Sergeant Soichi Yokoi of the Imperial Japanese Army can be summed up with one word: undistinguished. Born in Nagoya in 1915, he was an apprentice tailor when he got drafted in 1941. Initially he was posted to the 29th Infantry Division in Manchuria, and then was transferred to the 38th Regiment, and sent to Guam in February of 1943. There, he was assigned to the supply depot, working mainly with the Japanese naval garrison on Guam.

Then came the US invasion and recapture of Guam in 1944, and I know what you’re thinking: Sergeant Yokoi must have done something dashing and heroic in that fight. Maybe he did, but nobody ever knew about it. What he mainly did, along with a lot of other Japanese soldiers on Guam, was to head for the hills when the battle was lost and the Japanese command structure was in shambles. They were told to “prefer death to the disgrace of getting captured alive.”

In the next few months, thousands were killed in mopping up actions, and by the end of the war in 1945, about 130 remained, hiding up in the hills and presenting no real threat. All they were concerned about was simply surviving and evading capture. Over the years, 114 of them either finally surrendered or were otherwise persuaded to come on in, and the rest died, often from malnutrition. But one of them was still out there- Soichi Yokoi.

Initially part of a group of ten soldiers, his group soon broke apart, and eventually he and three others settled in small, hand dug caves in the same general area. The others died in 1964, probably of starvation, since despite their efforts to live off the land, food was often in short supply, leaving him alone until January of 1972 when two local hunters checking their shrimp traps at night were attacked by a strange, emaciated figure in home-made clothing. Yokoi had assumed they were hunting HIM, and figured they were going to kill him. He made a desperate, weak grab for one of their rifles, but the two younger men easily subdued him, and brought him out of the hills at last.

For 28 years (over a quarter of that completely alone), Soichi Yokoi lived in a tiny cave, eating whatever he could catch or find growing wild, making clothing from bark and whatever he could scrounge on his forays under the cover of darkness. He had learned of the end of the war in 1952, but felt that to surrender even then would be dishonorable, and he continued his life of hiding.

To his surprise, when he returned to Japan, he was greeted with cheers, and considered a hero for his devotion to the “old ways”. He is quoted as saying upon his return simply “It is with much embarrassment, but I have returned.”

The former sergeant soon married, and settled down to a simple, rural life … mostly. He had become something of a celebrity, and often spoke and taught about survival skills and the benefits of austere living. He appeared on television, and even ran unsuccessfully for the upper house of the Japanese parliament in 1974. One small ambition of his, to meet with Emperor Hirohito was never achieved, but, in 1991, he had an audience with Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace, where he said “Your Majesties, I have returned home … I deeply regret that I could not serve you well. The world has certainly changed, but my determination to serve you will never change.”

Soichi Yokoi died of a heart attack on September 22, 1997, and was buried in his native Nagoya under a tombstone commissioned by his mother in 1955 when he had been officially declared dead on Guam.  He was simply a soldier who did what soldiers have done through the ages: obeyed his orders to the best of his ability, and do his best to survive when doing so.

In his case, he didn’t just survive all those long, hard years hiding in the jungle on Guam. He faced the greater challenge of surviving a change to his country’s entire way of life and I’m thinking that must have been a profound shock to him at first, and something that he was never completely comfortable with. Sometimes, change is harder to survive than any jungle or enemy attack.

In Service and in Friendship,

 

MGSGT Jerome A. “Gunny Hawk” Stoddard

Sergeant Major of the STARFLEET  Marines

sgm_sfmc@sfi-sfmc.org

State of the SFMC September 2015

State of the SFMC September 2015

Greetings Marines,

This is going to be pretty brief this time around.

I enjoyed International Conference 2015 a great deal. Dave and his team should be commended for throwing a great bash.

SFMC awards issued at IC 2015 have already been posted. What follows is a list of SFMC awards issued as a result of activities at IC 2015.

International Service Ribbon

David Anderson                71553

Mark Anderson                61429

Tim Barrington                  60369

William Devine                 62361

Cynthia Duran                   71607

Michael Garcia                  64621

Thomas Guertin                54904

Barry Jackson                     52343

Paula Kesler                       54252

Michael McGowan                          32888

Matthew Miller                 69225

DJ O’Brien                           45325

Paul Reid                             13374

Hayden Segel                     22906

Robert Stronach                               61812

Russell Witte-Dycus        70230

 

Great Barrier Expedition

David Anderson                71553

Mark Anderson                61429

Tim Barrington                  60369

Michael Garcia                  64621

Barry Jackson                     52343

Paula Kesler                       54252

Michael McGowan                          32888

Matthew Miller                 69225

DJ O’Brien                           45325

Paul Reid                             13374

Russell Witte-Dycus        70230

 

Embassy Duty

David Anderson                71553

Mark Anderson                61429

William Devine                 62361

Cynthia Duran                   71607

Michael Garcia                  64621

Thomas Guertin                54904

Barry Jackson                     52343

Michael McGowan                          32888

DJ O’Brien                           45325

Hayden Segel                     22906

Russell Witte-Dycus        70230

 

Marine Honor Guard

Anbinder, Mark                14560

O’Brien, DJ                          45325

Guertin, Tom                     54904

Killough, Wayne                               47215

Olson, Linda                        30869

Olson, Wade                      31632

Segel, Hayden                   22906

Ueffing, Joost                    53298

The new edition of the Marine Force Manual has been released. It may be found at: http://www.library.sfi-sfmc.org/downloads/mfm1508.pdf . There are two new uniforms included as well as enough other items of change that I would encourage marines to read the new manual thoroughly.

Next year’s IC is to be in Louisville, KY. I would encourage all of you to seriously consider attending that event. The weekend should be jam-packed with things to do, and the area is positively stuffed with things to do and see. I sincerely hope to see you all there.

With that, I’ll send you back to your previously scheduled programming, already in progress.

Mike

Michael McGowan

GEN, SFMC

OIC, 225th MSG

papabear@ussbortas.net

dant@sfi-sfmc.org

listmail@ussbortas.net