State of FORCECOM January 2018

State of FORCECOM January 2018

Fellow Marines!

Late report.  Apologies.

Welcome to 2108!  Things have been super busy here at Forces Command as we try to wrap up all the yearend Corps membership, and awards program audits along with proposals to the General Staff, the establishment of the Corps Office of Heraldry, and (our favorite) manual revisions!

So, in keeping with the battle rhythm of the past two months – let’s not beat about, and dive straight into the good stuff…

On a personal note –

This is going to a high OPTEMPO year for me personally, as my wife and I are moving to Europe, specifically Germany, at the end of this year.  Think of all that goes into a move across town, or to another state, and multiply the complexity.  Your Brigade OICs have already received the warning order, and are prepared for adjustments in timelines, and response times from the offices here at Forces Command.  I do not foresee our move causing any delays in turn-arounds in awards, or administrative actions, but I ask you to plan well ahead in both areas.  Please, understand, and have patience as we progress thru the year, and the move.

Reporting –

This past month, the GS approved the Forces Command proposal for changes in the reporting format.  Our focus was to make reporting easier, more concise, and mirror more closely information as it is presented in the SFMC database.  Your Brigade OICs have been informed of the changes, provided with not only a text version of the changes, but an example manual report form as well.  If you are an OIC, unit or battalion, make sure to contact your brigade higher for all the details and guidance.  If you have been on the SFMC website, and looked at the online report forms you will find our battle buddies at INFOCOM have adjusted the forms to reflect the change. (

Remember, the first reports of 2018 are due on the first day of February so touch base with your higher headquarters immediately!!

Heraldry –

Join me in welcoming to the Forces Command staff, Colonel Derek Allen, who was selected to fill the billet of Corps Heraldry Officer last November.

In the time since, Colonel Allen has been extremely busy collating all unit information (unit, battalion, brigade) into the Corps archive…  but he needs your help!

From brigade down to unit, the Office of Heraldry needs your unit information, and history.  Specifically need are any logs, and unit histories – fiction, and nonfiction!  We’ve been reaching out over the past few months and requesting this information, but we really want to make 2018 the year we ‘get ‘er done’.

Sit down with your unit if you’re an OIC, or pester your OIC if you’re a

member Marine, and develop your unit histories.   Nonfiction histories

should include important dates, names of OICs/DOICs, old member rosters, notable Marines, any special awards issued (Gold/Silver Nebula, any Honor awards, Legions of Merit, Meritorious Unit Commendations), and anything else you would like to add.  Fictional histories are limited only by your imagination, and a little Trek canon (wink, wink).

What are we going to do with all this information?  Once the archive is built, I’ve given guidance to develop plans to publish the data to the web via a couple platforms – as an interactive page on the SFMC website, or as part of a larger SFI/SFMC Wiki.

So, gather up your unit information, and forward it to COL Allen as soon as possible at  .


Commandant’s Campaign Award –

It’s that time of year again!! Every Marine who donates at least 4 hours of their time and energy in support of any of the qualifying charities (or international equivalent) is eligible to receive the Commandant’s Campaign Ribbon.

Unit OICs must ensure member total volunteer hours are reported on the Unit’s bi-monthly report.  We would like to present the full list of names to the Commandant by end of month February, so if you haven’t tallied your members’ hours make sure to do so, and report them in February’s report.

Qualifying charities include the USMC Toys for Tots, the Special Olympics, the Sergeant Major’s March for the Disabled, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

If there’s a question on the validity of the international equivalent, please email me at


More on awards –

Over the next few months, as we move from Spring to early Summer, we also move into the Brigade Muster season.  If your brigade is planning to muster in the next 180 days I urge you to consolidate your unit awards and forward them to your OIC as soon as possible.  It’s better to have them sitting on your OICs desk, and not being asked to submit them at the last moment.


Forward into ’18 –

What else is on the horizon?

The Corps is currently working on manual revisions and will be doing so for at least the first part of the new year.  What can you as a member do to help?  There are times when we in the GS don’t know there are issues in the manual.  If you find an issue with spelling, syntax, or clarity of a portion of any manual, please forward those portions thru your brigade HQ so they may be addressed.

We’ve received a few messages from the field, but I urge you to keep them coming.  These are your manuals, take a bit of ownership, and ensure they express guidelines, and standards in a way that is easily understood, and easier to follow.  Dig in, and as we sometimes say…  READ THE MANUAL!!

One Corps program that’s been on the uptake is the Wilderness Challenge and the results have been great!  I’ve been privy to at least three challenges that are either in the planning phases or moving quickly into the bidding phase for approval.  If you haven’t heard of the Wilderness Challenge have a look at the manual ( and see if it might be something you may want to see happen within your brigade!

Better yet, spearhead the effort to jumpstart the challenge in your brigade.  The Wilderness Challenge is a wonderful opportunity to share not only fellowship, but to spur physical and mental activity.  It is a terrific way to meet other members, and to share in a little ‘hardship’ to strengthen friendship bonds.  In doing so, you can only make your brigade, and unit stronger!


To close –

Now that the end of the year mania has passed, folks are returning from vacations and holidays, and even with the uptick of activity personally, look for more awesome things to happen in the Corps.  Remember, tho, no matter how many projects are in the air, how many programs are initiated, the success or failure of our club begins and starts with you.  Only the membership can make a group great so lace up your boots, and let’s get Trekkin’!

To the Corps!!

BDR B. ‘Tusker’ Allen

Forces Command