State of FORCECOM December 2015

State of FORCECOM December 2015

Good evening, Marines.

With the start of the New Year just around the corner this will be fairly short and sweet.  The two topics I want to touch on are my usual December fair: personal records and awards.  Questions about awards and individual records tend to make up the biggest percentage of questions and problems that come across my desk. Especially this time of year.

So lets get to it.

Personal records:  You nee to ask yourself ‘When was the last time I logged on and reviewed my records?’ Consider the start of the New Year a good time to go take a look. While the various Brigade OICs will work hard to make sure FORCECOM is kept up to date with information changes and awards issued to their Command, it is ultimately your personal responsibility to make sure things are accurate and ship shape.  It may be something simple as making sure an email address change is reflected on your records or something a bit larger as finding that an award that is missing in your records.

No one’s going to know something is missing but you.  Rather then trying to catch things up at the last minute when you’re doing the final review of your Class A’s for an upcoming event, get in the habit of reviewing your personal records every couple of months or so.  It is the responsibility of the individual to keep a copy of all his personal records, awards received, courses completed, etc. If you find an error, it’s certainly acceptable to point it out and request the data be added, updated or changed.  Just know that you may be asked to provide documentation so that the appropriate correction to the database can be made.  Documentation can be a scanned copy of the certificate, an email from the issuing authority, a copy of a Unit or Brigade report noting the award, etc.

I can’t emphasis this point enough: if it can’t be documented, it can’t be changed, corrected or added.

Note: As a reminder as to who does what:

FORCECOM is in charge of entering Achievement and Service awards as well as making sure you’re in the right unit, etc.  If you have any questions about these two classifications of 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] or you feel you are due a Training Award, contact the Dean of the specific Branch/School or go up the Chain to TRACOM.

Concerns or questions regarding either of the specialized Medical Award go directly to the SFMCA Medical Director who is the issuing authority for them.

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

Awards:  I ask that all Marines who have taken on volunteer and community service projects that are targeted as part of the Commandant’s Campaign Award please contact your BDE OICs with a tally of hours donated over the last year.  The Commandant/SFMC has designated the Special Olympics, Toys for Tots and MGSGT Stoddard’s ‘March for the Disabled’ that took place last March.  Please tally all activities done over the year and make sure your Unit, Battalion and Brigade OICs are informed.  This information has to be to COFORCECOM by the February 2016 reporting cycle to be considered for the 2015 award cycle.  Please don’t skip up your Chain of Command and send it directly to me as I will simply send it right back down the Chain.

The BDE OIC will need the following: Rank, Name, SCC#, unit, what you did, the date you did it, where you did it and how many hours were spent in the activity.  A minimum of 4 hours of hands on work is required for consideration for this award.

In fact, it’s never a bad idea to keep your Chain of Command informed of the good deeds you and your fellow Marines have done. There will be various Brigade Musters coming up over the next few months, along with the 2016 Marine Muster later in 2016.  It is always rewarding to see good deeds recognized.

Keep it safe out there and be nice to each other.

Stand Easy, Marines.

 

With Regards,

 

BGN Jari “Gato” James

COFORCECOM

State of INFOCOM November-December 2015

State of INFOCOM November-December 2015

Greetings Marines,

Because I missed last month’s report this month is a double report.

We have just a few days left this year and this will be my final report for this year.  Once again it seems this year has flown by.  Feels like I was just at IC in Niagara Falls a couple of weeks ago and now it almost New Year’s day.  Where does the time go?

I was just reminded about my Region summit coming up in March of 2016 and that means awards season.  I was contacted and issued a few Communications service Awards last year.  So if you have or know of a Marine that you think is deserving of this award please submit them for this award.  I will review their work and issue the award if they have meet the criteria.  Here are the requirements for the award.  Just a remember, you can’t win if you don’t enter.

Communications Service Award

Issuing Authority: COINFOCOM

Frequency: As Needed

SFMC Ribbon Name: Dyar Ribbon

This award is given at the discretion of the COINFOCOM to those Marines who have demonstrated their communications skills in service to the Corps in general, or INFOCOM in particular. Such skills may be demonstrated through contributing to SFMC, BDE, or unit publications; creation of superior quality SFMC-oriented websites; or other similar activities.

I hope everyone has had a great holiday season so far and I wish you all a happy New Year.

In closing here’s the pingdom stats for October and November 2015.

 

October

Uptime: 99.97%

Outages: 1

Downtime: 15 minutes

Response time: 290 ms

 

November

Uptime: 100%

Outages: 0

Downtime: 0

Response time: 338 ms

 

Mark “Slayer” Anderson

Major General, SFMC

COINFOCOM

Team Delta

infocom@sfi-sfmc.org

State of the NCO Corps December 2015

State of the NCO Corps December 2015

Greetings Marines!

 

Stamp the snow off your boots and come on over to the booth in the back in the corner in the dark of my local NCO club, where the coffee may occasionally taste like burnt hydraulic fluid, but at least it’s always hot, and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care in hopes that they’ll dry out before we have to return to our duty stations.

 

It’s been noted that I often answer questions by simply citing “chapter and verse” from the MFM, SFMC Policy Manual, or, occasionally, simply quoting appropriate official SFMC communications, such as posts from the Dant. It’s not that I don’t have opinions of my own, but one of those strongly held opinions is the best way to answer a question is to take the time to check and see if it’s something already officially addressed. If it has been, then there’s really not much more that needs to be said.

 

Or, to put it another way, and at a one hundred percent risk of repeating myself … 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 …

 

As the year winds down, I’d like to remind you all to be sure that your unit OIC passes information on your participation in the Commandant’s Campaign up the line. “If you don’t report it, we can’t reward it” comes to mind. And, as a note touching a bit closer to my own office, remember that the March for the Disabled was extended to cover the entire year by action of the Dant. If you’re not sure if something you’ve done qualifies for recognition under that campaign, get in touch with me ASAP and ask..

 

At least in this neck of the woods, winter weather has officially reported for duty, and that brings up two points as far as community service is concerned. The first is something I’ve been endorsing for years now, namely seeing what you can do in your own community about helping out those who may need warmer clothing to deal with the cold. It’s often not just a matter of being more comfortable, it could literally help someone survive. Remember HUGS: Hats, Underwear, Gloves, Socks. These are often in short supply, and sorely needed.

 

The second is a little less obvious, and concerns the “community” that we are all a part of: STARFLEET in general and the STARFLEET Marines in particular. Bitterly cold weather can affect all of us, and there’s often not a lot we can do about it. One thing we CAN do is check up on each other, or simply let folks know we’re doing ok. It may not earn you another star on your Community Service ribbon, but it may just set some of your fellow STARFLEET Marines’ minds at ease. If we can’t help each other, I’m not sure how much real help we are to others.

 

Remember, 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. Again … “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. I’ve told this one before, and odds are I’ll tell it again. To me, it is not only one of the bright spots in history, but it’s a little beacon of hope for the future. And, I guess it’s become sort of a tradition for me for my December report, and tradition is important to Marines of any country or era.

 

By November of 1914, trenches stretched from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier, As December came around, heads of state on both sides of World War One, and even the power of the Vatican had proven unable to negotiate some sort of cease fire for Christmas. But, on Christmas Eve 1914, for a time , the guns fell silent in many areas along the Western Front in a spontaneous mass act of human decency by roughly a hundred thousand soldiers on both sides of the trenches that has become known as the Christmas Truce. The generals and leaders on both sides had no part in it- it was driven by the actions of common soldiers in the front lines- who gave their enemies leave to search for and bury their dead without fear, and even shared precious small luxuries from home.

 

They discovered that they knew many of the same Christmas songs – just with different words, and they sang them together. They shared pictures of their families, and despite the language barrier, they managed to get along. In at least one spot along the lines, they even improvised a soccer field and played a spirited game.

 

In the middle of a terrible war, they found time for “Peace on Earth – Good Will to Men” … and perhaps saw the soldiers on the other side as people not much different from themselves.

 

It wasn’t universal, of course, and the “Good Will” was sometimes just restricted to recovering their dead without being shot at by the other side. But , even then, it was a bit of a respite from a bad situation that would come to grow even worse as the war went on.

 

Needless to say, the high commands of both sides were a bit concerned about all this “fraternizing with the enemy”, and stern orders were passed down the Chain of Command. Soon, everybody was back in their own trenches, and the “War to End All Wars” resumed. To give credit where credit is due, the politicians and generals tried to arrange a similar truce in 1915, but the war had gotten even uglier and nothing came of it. The unlikely series of events that led to the Christmas Truce never happened again.

 

If the Christmas Truce of 1914 teaches us anything, it’s perhaps that the person best able to treat those around us well is staring back at us every time we look in the mirror.

Please accept my best wishes for the season, and my hopes for a good 2016.

 

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 December 2015

State of FINCOM December 2015

Opening balance for the month of November

$7353.69

 

Credit – $180.23

breakdown of credits

PayPal transfer – $180.23

 

Debits total – $50.49

breakdown of debits

USPS -$50.49 QM postage

Closing balance for the account was $7483.43

 

There were 6 orders in the month of November

 

SFMC Savings Account (scholarship payments)

 

Opened with $2,729.76

Credits – Interest earned $0.04

Debits – 0

Current balance on account -$2,729.80

State of the SFMC December 2015

State of the SFMC December 2015

Hello Marines,

As I write this, I’m sitting at a table ready to wrap gifts as part of the 225th MSG’s charity wrapping project. This being the case, I am mindful that the kickoff of the Holiday Season is also start of a great many community service projects around the Corps. It gives me great pride that so many members of the SFMC give so freely of their time and talents to benefit those less fortunate than themselves. Keep up the great work and be sure that these activities are reported both in your SFMC unit reports as well as your CO’s STARFLEET MSR. Both are vital.

I also note that this time of year, particularly in regions with increasingly steely skies and precipitously dropping temperatures, can be really difficult for many of us, both physically and mentally. Please keep a close eye on your fellows and do what you can to help them through what difficulties they encounter.

This further reminds me that this time of year, for a great many of us, presents us with added hazards to travel as well as increased need to make such travel. While I look on all the service work done by our marines with great pride, marines are reminded to avoid putting life and limb at risk. We want you alll just as healthy and happy come the Spring as you are right now. Please be careful out there.

Finally, I note with great sadness the passing of Marian Murphy. Marian was one of the first people I met at my first region summit and she made quite an impression on me. To say that she added color to the STARFLEET experience is an understatement. Marian was a STARFLEET Ranger through and through, but I carry with me a smile for the memory of one happy weekend in May when Marian Murphy was a STARFLEET Marine.

Via con Dios, Marian. We are richer for having known you and poorer for your passing.

Mike

Michael McGowan

GEN, SFMC

OIC, 225th MSG

papabear@ussbortas.net

dant@sfi-sfmc.org

listmail@ussbortas.net