State of The SGM SFMC January 2018
Let’s dust off the booth in the back in the corner in the dark of my local NCO club where the remains of the cup of coffee and cinnamon roll I left after our last visit have apparently developed a civilization all their own that’s just short of applying for Federation membership, and the staff’s excuse for not cleaning it up revolves around the Prime Directive, which may result in a General Order 24 situation developing.
Since some of you may have noticed a subtle but important difference in the header of this report, let’s cut straight to the chase: my current STARFLEET membership expires on March 22, 2018, and I will not be renewing it. This is not a “rage quit” … this is simply me deciding after a great deal of thought and consideration regarding my own physical and mental health that it’s time to retire both as SGM SFMC and from SFI. I informed the Dant and Depdant a few months ago that this was probably coming, but that I would hold off on making any formal announcement to give me time to be absolutely sure, and then make that announcement far enough in advance to allow for a stable transition for the office.
Now as to the “why?”, in a nutshell … I’m done … burned out … used up … hammered down. I’ve been on the GS for just shy of 10 years, and right now, my health and personal situation require all of what little strength I have left. Without going into details that are on a Need to Know basis, starting a couple of years ago, things got rough and have gotten even rougher around here in my little corner of the Middle of Nowhere. Something has to give, and in this case, it’s a hobby that has all too often been a source of stress that can literally kill me.
In the past, I have mentioned publicly a few times that SFMC doesn’t stand for “STARFLEET Martyr’s Collective”. I have urged others to make sure their Life, Personal-One Each comes first and foremost. It’s time I did the same. And, in my case, I need to walk away completely. Half measures won’t cut it.
This decision was not made easily or lightly, and I gave myself plenty of chances to find some compelling reason to change my mind. In the end, though, the only thing I could come up with was some of the truly wonderful people and friendships that have come into my life through my time in STARFLEET, and they’ll still be there even if we don’t belong to the same fan club any more. This decision is what’s best not only for me, but for the SFMC – it’s time for someone who still has that fierce dedication that I have lost along the way to step up and step into the job.
Now, I’m sure some of you that are eligible are going to be hesitant to apply for the opening – I’m told I’ll be leaving some pretty big boots to fill (size 13 W, if you must know) – and there’s a good chance I’ll be doing a little private arm twisting on some folks that should give it a shot. But, please remember that 10 years ago, I was just an obscure E-9 from the middle of nowhere, and the first of the four Commandants I have been privileged to serve under gave me a chance to prove myself- not just to the SFMC but to that guy in the mirror as well. You could surprise everybody … especially yourself. Please give it some thought.
There are far too many people for me to thank from the past ten years in the space I have allotted myself for this message (pretty much ALL of you reading this, officers and enlisted alike), so consider this a blanket shout out and maybe even a respectful salute. If I have been in any way exceptional over the years, it’s because I had the examples of a lot of exceptional individuals to guide me. Bravo Zulu to you all! And, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the past decade.
In Service and in Friendship,
MGSGT Jerome A. “Gunny Hawk” Stoddard
Sergeant Major of the STARFLEET Marines firstname.lastname@example.org