State of FORCECOM September 2017

State of FORCECOM September 2017

Fellow Marines!

First – we all here at Forces Command are keeping the members, and families of the Marines who have been directly effected by Hurricanes Harvey, and Irma. Know that all units of the Corps are standing by to assist in the relief efforts put forward by STARFLEET Region Three, and the STARFLEET Office of Emergency Preparedness.

As you know, last month I forewent submitting my ‘State of’ report due to the reporting period being smack dab at the start of the STARFLEET International Conference, and the Marine International Muster. Let me just say it was a blast! We had an awesome turnout of over 50 Marines, spouses and families attend mess and muster this year! If you couldn’t join us, I’m hoping you were able to follow along via the live streaming provided by the IC Committee, and STARFLEET. Believe me, even if you couldn’t attend, or missed the live streaming, all Marines were with us in thought and in esprit for our Corps.

Many wonderful things came out of this year’s IC/IM. We were able to gather the Commanders of FORCECOM from across four administrations to talk about where the Corps has been, and the direction the Corps is heading in. Everything from the ‘old school’ to the latest ways of thinking, and doing was discussed. From all indications, I think there may be many momentous changes over the horizon for our Corps.

Some folks have said a new bar has been raised for the conduct of Marine Mess. We had almost every Marine attending IC seated in our mess, and, boy, did we put on a dinner! I want to say thank you to the IC Committee for all their support (and mostly for their understanding <grin>) in helping us present our mess. I would also like to thank those who directly participated in the evening’s entertainment – you all have now passed into legend, and your stories will be told for quite some time!

Muster was okay, and I say that because I talked way too much! But, there were so many things I wanted to get out to the attending members so they could carry the word back to their brigades and units. I know the Corps lines of communication are not the best at times, and the flow of information from the ‘Dant down to the unit is interrupted, and there are Marines left uniformed. This is an issue I am diligently attempting to fix. I would like to thank the COINFOCOM, LGN Mark Anderson, and COFINCOM LGN Barry Jackson for traveling great distance to be at muster. Many members commented on how nice it was to see so many members of the GS in one place. And the response to the new SFMC polo shirts was outstanding!! Stand-by for more information on how to get yours!

Enough about IC/IM.. let’s move forward…So, what has happened since IC/IM? Remarkable things! In the time since returning to the office, the Forces Command has activated ten (that’s 10!) new Strike Groups and Expeditionary Units, as well as two Marine Training Units! My inbox has been inundated with members changing their affiliations to become Marines, or adding the SFMC to their list of affiliations to serve as Reservists! Not just new members either, there are a number of the ‘old hats’ coming back to the Corps after a break in service. The Corps is most definitely on the grow! Welcome!

Soon you will see applications announcements for staff positions within the Forces Command. If you’ve wanted to volunteer time to serve at a higher level within our beloved Corps keep your eyes and ears open on social media, and the listservs as the announcements will be forthcoming. I am looking to fill the following staff positions:

Recruiting and Retention Officer
Heraldry Officer
Awards Officer
Ecerts Officer

I am also looking to fill a few ‘unofficial’ staff positions (Unofficial means the position is not currently authorized under the SFMC Table of Organization)

Forces Command, Command Sergeant Major
Operations Officers

And, as the year is slowly winding down, and we all settle into a glidepath to the holidays, I would like to remind you to conduct a bit of housekeeping on your individual records in the SFI database. Take a look to see if there’s anything missing – awards, or academy courses – that we can fix. Also, either download, or copy and paste a copy of your individual record for safekeeping in the event the database suffers a glitch, or shutdown. Protect your records! It’s the one of the only ways to prove your involvement in the Corps!

Unit OICs!! I believe the online unit, battalion, and brigade reporting forms have been fixed (thank you Mark!) so you should be receiving your return emails during the October reporting period. If not, you need to inform your chain of command immediately! We need precise details for INFOCOM to investigate the problem, and apply a fix.

Awards!! There’s a bit of backlog in awards currently. Please be patient and know that we are working to get our backlogs cleared! So, to understand, and as an example, to date Forces Command Ecerts had created and sent out 1143 certificates to Corps members – that’s 143 certificates a month on average! We’re about a month behind, but catching up quickly.

Ideas!!! If you have ideas on what you would like to see within the Corps, ingeniousicle recruiting techniques, or questions concerning the Corps, or the SFMC in general, push them up the chain of command! I enjoy hearing from the folks on the line, and will make every attempt to get a reply to you, thru the chain, as soon as possible.

To close, it’s been a wonderful eight months serving you as the CO of Forces Command, and I am looking forward to what is just beyond the horizon for the Corps. But, the Corps will only move forward, and capitalize on this new synergy with your help. This is your Corps – our Corps – let’s all work together to move forward, and upward, into 2018, and beyond!!!!

To the Corps!!

BDR Brian “Tusker’ Allen
Forces Command

State of Forces Command July 2017

State of Forces Command July 2017

Fellow Marines!

We are one month from International Muster, and Mess! As many of you know, I was directed by our commandant, Major General Jari James, to plan and coordinate our events, and I think we are going to have a bit of fun! With a month to go, there is still time to make plans to attend – head on over to the IC2017 Facebook page, or to the committee’s website and register. While you are there, have a look at some of the swag that’s available for sale… that pint glass sounds pretty sweet!

If you are unable to attend, all functions will be available to the general membership via live streaming. Details on the ‘how’ will be released as we get closer to the start of conference. For those already registered, you should have received a Dress Mess read-ahead that details what happens from the first rap of the gavel, to the last. If you haven’t received your read-ahead, or you would just like a copy, please contact me directly at COFORCECOM, and I will send one out immediately.

There was a bit of discussion about uniform guidance that was put out earlier, and I would like to clarify. The Class C, black Battle Dress Uniform, is a field uniform to be worn when on official SFMC events, away teams, landing parties and exercises. The International Muster is a formalized event, and the wear of the Class C BDU is strongly discouraged, but that doesn’t mean you cannot wear it. If all you have is your BDUs… wear them Marine, and be proud.

The Class A uniform, or formal civilian attire are to be worn while attending the Dress Mess. I know there are some who do not have a fancy Class A uniform, so what does formal civilian attire mean? Well, it means anything from a suit and tie, to a nice collared shirt, and trousers to a summer dress. Even a black polo and nice pants counts as formal! Bottom line up front is we don’t want anyone to think they cannot attend mess or muster because they do not have a uniform!

Last word on Mess and Muster – I hope to see you there!

What’s been going on around our offices?

SFMC Physical Challenge – due to a very lukewarm response, I will be delaying my SFMC PC proposal to the ‘Dant. But, that doesn’t mean the challenge is dead and adrift. You may see an incarnation of the program pop up in the near future, as we work to define and refine the proposal… stay tuned!

Ecerts Officer – the application window is open until the end of the month! Look for the requirements posted on the Corps list, the SFMC Facebook page, or email me!

Heraldry Office – We’ve begun to collect all MSG/MEU logos and are building an image repository! We’ve also begun to collect all unit information such as nicknames, and mottos so that we may save it for our future posterity. WE WILL NEED A HERALDRY OFFICER come post-IC timeframe! If you have an interest in graphic arts, design, and can work with trademark, copyright and fair use law we will be needing you!!!

My next ‘State of’ will be posted later in August, as I will be a busy having a great time at IC. I’ll be sure to post pics, give a blow by blow commentary on the foolishness. In closing, I would like to impress upon you there are great things just over the horizon for the Corps, and I want to see every Marine, boots on ground, moving forward as we strive to complete our mission!!

Charlie Mike, Marines!

 

COL Brian “Tusker’ Allen

COFORCECOM

 

BRIAN K. ALLEN

COL, SFMC

COFORCECOM

State of FORCECOM June 2017

State of FORCECOM June 2017

Fellow Marines!

Brigade Muster season is drawing to a close.  With only one or two musters left on the schedule, all eyes are now turning to the International Conference, and Marine Muster.  With the Awards Office issuing out over 700 awards, and streamers since the beginning of the year, it might behoove every Marine with a swagger to log into the SFI Database, and check to ensure your record is up to date!  If there is something missing, or incorrectly documented, contact your Brigade OIC at the soonest.  We all want to make sure we’re looking our best at mess this year!!

Of course, I’m talking primarily about awards, and while on that topic, let’s talk about nominations.  There are reports about occasional problems using the online award nomination forms found on the SFMC Website.  Occasionally the nominations are not being processed properly by the website’s addon program.  If you are submitting a recommendation for an award, you will receive a copy of your recommendation via the email you provided with the recommendation.  If you do not receive this email, your recommendation was not processed.  If the award was a brigade level award, contact your OIC immediately so the problem can be forwarded to the appropriate personnel.

If you experience this issue, and after reporting it to your chain of command, you can always fill out a manual awards recommendation form, and email it to your Brigade OIC.  The forms are available from your OIC, or you may contact me directly at forcecom@sfi-sfmc.org, and I will forward you the proper forms.

Let it be known, Marines, time is running out to get those nominations in.  Your OICs have been given a directive to have STARFLEET Cross nominations to the Dant, and all Honor awards to the DepDant by June 26.  All lesser awards need to be forwarded to me not later than 30 June.  Remember, anyone can recommend another Marine for an award.  If you feel there is a Marine deserving, refer to the Marine Forces Manual for the proper award, and get a recommendation turned in!!

There are a number of projects on the table here at Forces Command.  I would like to make mention of just a couple.  Our 50-meter target project is the annual SFMC Dress Mess and Muster, that is to take place during the International Conference.  I, along with a few Project Officers, have been tapped to bring to you a high-quality mess dinner, and equally entertaining muster brief.  We’re busy thinking outside the box, bringing into play what will be a memorable, and enjoyable weekend for our Marines.

Another pocket project that we’ve been keeping close to our armored vests is the upcoming Physical Challenge.  I know there are many questions, but we are still working diligently to work out the fine details in a proposal to the Dant, which we hope will be the keystone of our presentation at Marine Muster.  The late-night oil is being requisitioned thru the Quartermaster, and will be burned until the proposal is complete and sitting front and center on the Dant’s desk.

I know there’s a bunch more projects written 3×5 cards, and strung together on a grenade ring around here somewhere, but I will leave you with these two ‘cause, honestly, they’re the big ones right now.  I would really like to see as many Marines as we can, well.. muster at IC this year.  Perhaps talk a bunch of bull stuffing, toss down a challenge coin or two, and make IC17 an event every Marine, and particularly every Fleeter, will remember. Oorah!?

 

Rock Steady, Marines!

 

COL Brian “Tusker’ Allen
COFORCECOM

State of FORCECOM March 2017

State of FORCECOM March 2017

Fellow Marines!

It’s March – time for madness, ides, St. Paddy’s, and snow from Stella. As I glance over the situation board, I see our Nor’western Marines are mired in up to five feet of the white stuff, and from the look of it might see more this weekend. Brigade and unit Leaders, let’s make sure we are checking on our Marines’ welfare to ensure they’re okay.

As for me, as I sit in my field office in the desert southwest, I’m basking in sunny 80° weather. Thought I’d rub that in. <grin>

Muster Season – Regardless of what it’s doing outside, it’s muster time across the Corps. MSG/MEU Leaders, if your brigade is currently planning muster, get off your tuft and submit your awards ASAP. If you’re behind the 8-ball, and muster is a week away, then you’ve let your Marines down. Nothing squashes motivation and feeds apathy quicker than busting your butt for what seems nothing. Get those awards in!

Commandant’s Campaign Award – Leaders, I’ve received and forwarded not less than ten (10) recommendations for the CCA to the ‘Dant for approval. I know, deep down in my SFMC issue blood pumping mechanism, there are a boot-full more eligible folks out there in our brigades! Where are those recommendations?

I’m currently going back thru February’s reports to identify those folks that might be eligible but were not formally recommended. This take a lot of time. Please, look at what your folks have done and submit your recommendations thru your Brigade OIC not later than the end of March. Here are the criteria:

– Minimum four (4) hours supporting USMC/(R) Toys for Tots, the Special Olympics, the March for the Disabled, and newly added for the 2017 nomination year, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Recruiting and Retention – I’m not sure if anyone noticed but we have started a campaign for R&R called ‘To the Corps!’. This is a push to bring to the forefront the stories and histories of our MSGs/MEU for all in STARFLEET to see, read and hear. To bridge the distance between the Fleet and the Corps, and foster an understanding of who and what the members of the Corps are and represent. These histories and stories will be posted on all our Facebook pages for the entire Fleet to see.

There’s also a call out to all those graphic artists I know you’re hiding in your units to create SFMC recruiting posters to post online in the several Facebook pages we all maintain. There’s even a competition, in which the best posters will be printed and displayed at IC2017 in Louisiana.

So, support the Corps and forward your works thru your Brigade OIC, and get the word out to all of Fleet about the great things you and the Corps has been doing!

In closing – I’m coming to the end of my first 90-days in position as the CO of Forces Command. In that time, I have noticed a lot of great folks, great units and great Leaders in our ranks. The level of activity of some of our units is amazing, and noteworthy. Keep up the momentum, keep moving forward, and press the fight!!

I’ve also found a few areas in which we can do better, and in working with the brigades, will fix. One such area is communications up and down the chain of command. Information should flow freely from the ‘Dant down to the individual Marine in our smallest unit, and back up the chain just as easily. This happens when we all get involved, and ensure communication happens. For my part, I will make sure at a minimum all brigade Leaders are kept up to date on the latest information, and I’m assured they’ll do the same for you – the small unit Leader. It is then up to you to ensure our Marines are consistently communicated with and never left uniformed. And, lastly, my door is always open, to everyone and every member. Have a question, please ask.

In Service to the Corps!

COL Brian “Tusker’ Allen

COFORCECOM

 

—  BRIAN K. ALLENCOL, SFMCCOFORCECOM “Old School Solutions to Modern World Problems”

State of Forces Command January 2017

State of Forces Command January 2017

Fellow Marines!

Welcome to 2017!It’s a brand-new year and a brand-new command group.Congratulations to BG James and my General Staff teammates on your selection to comprise the ‘13^th Team’.Great year, great team, awesome Corps!

Stepping out sharply on the left foot…

* _Brigade staffing changes_:We’ve had two changes in the staffing with the turn of the year.After very successful stints, Brigadier Generals TJ Allen and Dan Toole have relinquished command of the 1^st and 13^th Brigades, respectively.My thanks and gratitude go out to these fine officers and I wish them continued success in their new ventures and positions.I would like to thank General Wade Larkin for stepping up from his deputy position to lead the 1^st Brigade until a new Skipper is selected.

On 3 January, I posted the vacancies on all available communications media and have received a number of able, and qualified applications, making the decision that much more difficult.As per policy, I will be seeking the advice and recommendations of the General Staff and, as such, I have left the application window open until the 28 February.This is to allow time for any delays in communication.

If you’re interested, please contact me privately and provide your resume noting both SFI/SFMC and real life skills and experiences that would be beneficial to this position. Also, a brief but reasonable detailed Letter of Intent of what you believe would make you the best candidate and what you would bring to this position.

*_Commandant’s Campaign Award CY16_:The data collection cycle for calendar year (CY) 16 CCA closed on 31 December, so it is an opportune time to start collecting your information and submitting it to your Brigade OIC for the February 2017 report.Remember, tho, the activities authorized for the CY 16 CCA are the USMC Toys for Tots, the Special Olympics and the Corps Sergeant Major’s March for the Disabled.You must have volunteered at least four hours of *time* to one of these activities to be considered.Submit the following information:name and rank; SCC#; the activity you were involved in; where the activity took place; what you did for the activity and how much time you spent doing it.Don’t procrastinate!Get your information in now!

* _Database Issues_:Just as in the past, please continue to email me with any issues you may find in the SFMC database.Currently our database is humming right along, but I do suggest to all Marines that you go into your personal file and take either a screenshot of your ‘Member Eligibility’ page, or downloading a printable version for your own files.This is a failsafe in the event the database should crash and become unrecoverable.

As per guidance in the past, DO NOT USE THE ONLINE DATABASE REPORTING FORM!It’s not authorized for reporting purposes, but we’ll notify you when it is.Submitting your report via this form is a ‘no-go’ and doing so will not relieve you of responsibility in the event of a late report.So, please, don’t risk receiving a Failure to Report (FTR) by not following guidance.

Currently, I am not able to adjust a member’s affiliation status, that is, changing them to active or reserve.Yep, another quirk of the database.Please let your members know where and how to change their status in the database themselves.This is particularly important when it comes to issuing awards and decorations.Let’s stay on top of this.

* _Special Projects_:I have been given the ‘green light – go’ by the ‘Dant for our first special project for the new calendar year, and it is called ‘To the Corps!’.This project is designed to bring special attention to the Corps and its members, while promoting esprit and motivation throughout the Fleet (perhaps some good old competition as well).‘To the Corps!’ will be executed in two phases.

The first phase is a call out to all the graphic artists in the Corps to design, and produce, original Trek-style ‘recruiting posters’, much like the one I’ve posted with my report on the SFMC Facebook page.The staff will collect these posters here at Forces Command, and the best will be printed and displayed during the Corps Muster at IC 2017.Additionally, all posters will be posted on the SFMC and SFI Facebook pages for all to see.These posters can highlight the Corps as a whole, or your MSG/MEU and Brigade.Entries must be submitted thru your MSG OIC, to Brigade, and on to Forces Command for consideration.Entries must pass the ‘reasonable person’ standard, and follow these rules:

  • is not sexually explicit or suggestive, violent, or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group, profane or pornographic, and does not contain nudity;
  • does not promote alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, (or the use of any of the foregoing), any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous, or any political agenda or message;
  • is not obscene or offensive and does not endorse any form of hate or hate group;
  • does not defame, misrepresent, or contain disparaging remarks about STARFLEET, the STARFLEET Marines or its members, or other people or groups;
  • does not contain trademarks, logos or trade dress owned by others, or advertise or promote any brand or product of any kind, without written permission;
  • does not contain copyrighted materials owned by others (including photographs, sculptures, paintings and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media or musical material) without written permission;
  • does not contain materials embodying the names, likenesses, photographs, or other indicia identifying any person, living or dead, other than the entrant, without written permission;
  • does not depict, and is not itself in, violation of any law or regulation.

Phase two consists of Brigade and unit ‘Shout Outs’.These are reports from the field about the accomplishments and feats performed by our members and units.These reports can include pictures, videos, and sound bites for dramatization.Just like the posters, ‘Shout Outs’ will be posted on the SFMC and SFI Facebook pages, and any videos will be included in a presentation shown during the Corps Muster at IC 2017.

We would like to present a new unit or poster every month, or even several units or posters every month, but the only way this project will succeed is if you, the membership, makes it happen!Let’s show our pride in our Corps, in our Marines, and share it with every member of our great Fleet!

In closing, and as always, if you have questions, please, push them up your chain of command.All of us from your MSG/MEU OIC, to your Brigade OIC, to the members of the General Staff are here to help.We can’t answer questions or lend assistance if we don’t know!

 

In Service to the Corps!

 

COL Brian “Tusker’ Allen

COFORCECOM

State of FORCECOM December 2016

State of FORCECOM December 2016

Marines.

With the start of the New Year and the beginning of the new Command cycle just around the corner this will be my last Status report as CO FORCECOM. I have handed over my office records to COL Brian Allen who will be taking over the position as Commanding Officer Forces Command.

** For those who may have missed the previous announcement, here is the upcoming General Staff of the USMC.

Commandant – BGN Jari James Deputy Commandant – GEN Mike McGowan CO Finances Command – MGN Barry Jackson CO Forces Command – COL Brian Allen CO Information Command – MGN Mark Anderson CO Training Command – BGN Shane Russell Sargent Major/SFMC – MGSGT Jerry Stoddard

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

Please allow each Command a minimum of 48-72 hours to reply to your emails. We all have ‘additional duties as assigned’ [Real Life] that sometimes gets in the way of things.

** The current ongoing activities that will be accepted for the Commandant’s Campaign Award starting on 1 Jan 2017 running through 31 Dec 2017 are:

USMC-R Toys for Tots

Special Olympics

March for the Disabled

There will be a new addition to the list of charities eligible for the Commandant’s Campaign Award award for the 2017 cycle. That is the SPCA [Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – aka: Humane Society]. It is a charity with international organizations under it’s umbrella and will give our ‘out of the US members’ another volunteer outlet as well as Gunny’s ‘March for the Disabled’. And I’ve always had a soft spot for those who can’t speak for themselves.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humane_society

As with any of the charities the CCA supports, a minimum of 4 documented volunteer hours are required to qualify. Simple purchases and donations are not accepted. There will be more information on this later.

** There will be various Brigade Musters coming up over the next few months, along with the 2017 Marine Muster in August. Make sure your Unit OICs know what you’ve accomplished so it can be reported up the chain.

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 – outgoing

Commandant/SFMC – incoming

State of FORCECOM November 2016

State of FORCECOM November 2016

Good day, Marines.

Just a few little things before we slide into the December holiday season.

* Commandant’s Campaign Award: The data collection cycle for the latest CCA is 1 Jan 2016 – 31 Dec 2016 so this is a good time to start collecting your information to submit to your BDE OIC for the Feb 2017 report. Remember, the activities per-authorized for the CCA are the USMC Toys for Tots, the Special Olympics and the Sar’ Major’s March for the Disabled. You must have volunteered at least 4 hours of your time to one of these activities to be considered. We need the following information:

your name and rank, your SCC#, the activity you were involved in, where that activity took place, what you did for that activity and how much time you spent doing it. Don’t wait until the last minute. Start on this now.

* Brigade Staffing: There have also been some changes in the Brigade Command structure since last we’ve talked.

I want to thank both BGN Douglas Reagan [2 Brigade] and BGN Thomas Sigmundsson [9 Brigade] for stepping up into their respective Brigade’s Officer in Charge positions. I have worked with the both of them and know that the Marines under their leadership will have the support they deserve.

* Again, I can not stress enough: DO NOT USE THE DATABASE REPORTING FORM.

It’s not cleared for use and we’ll let you know when it is. Submitting your report using the wrong form is not a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card in regards to a late report. We haven’t used the form and have made this fact widely known. Do not risk getting a ‘Failure to Report’ by not following orders.

* Database Issues: There are still a few ongoing problems showing up as to the numbers the database is

The latter is something I can ‘usually’ fix at my level so if you find someone being listed in two places at once, please email me and I’ll see what I can get done.

And if you notice anything else, make sure you let the gurus in CompOps and DBOps know. No one can fix it if they don’t know it’s broke.http://sfi.org/staff-computer-operations/

* And as always, if you’ve got questions, remember to use your chain of command. Everyone from your Unit OIC up to the members of the General Staff are here to help you. Just run your thoughts and concerns up the chain and we’ll help you out.

As we head into the rest of the Holiday Season, the Forces Command wishes all of you the best of the Season. And be on the look out for the new ‘ham’ MRE’s that are just arriving in the system. They’ve gotten a bit better over time, but smoked haunch of Targ is still a bit of an aqquired taste. [But as I understand it, they are significantly better then the Cardassian ‘turkey’ ones from last year.]

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 FORCECOM October 2016

State of FORCECOM October 2016

Good day, Marines.

Short, sweet and to the point because I’ve still got two online FEMA courses to knock out before my hands on class tomorrow and Wednesday.

I’m going to address a topic I had hoped I’d never need to address. And that is bullying.

Definition: “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among individuals or groups of individuals that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is often repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. “

I have have been hearing of this happening among members of STARFLEET and Marine Units more and more over this past year. This can be gender specific, based on different theologies, different political viewpoints; just about any difference two people can have.  I’ve even had it come across my desk based on a Ship’s CO preference of one specific Trek series and the Marine Unit’s OIC preferring a different one – one wanting me to ‘order’ the other to do chose the series he wanted so everyone would look the same.

Really?  I mean…. really, folks?  This is a game. A hobby. Our positions are for fun [except for the few that are for admin purposes only] and rank means not much other then an acknowledgement of services rendered the organization or simple longevity.

If you feel you are on the receiving end of bullying, for Bog’s Sake, please talk to someone about it.  Your OIC or CO if you can.  If you can’t, your BDE OIC or RC.  You can write me if needs be.  No matter who you talk to, be prepared to make a written statement so we can develop a paper trail about the situation.  Simply saying ‘He called me a doo-doo head and I want you to fix it!’ will not work.  Like any other counseling statement, we need some sort of facts on the incident to we can dig into it.

SFI and the SFMC are meant to be fun.  If someone is stealing your fun, we want to fix that.  Don’t stay out in the cold and be miserable.  Let us know.

 

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 FORCECOM September 2016

State of FORCECOM September 2016

Good evening, Marines.

First off, just a brief comment. It may be the end of September but it’s still disaster preparedness month here in the US and 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.

And once you’ve got an idea what to do, it’s not enough just to think, you have to ‘do’ as well. Make a plan for each month. Maybe January will be check your stock of batteries and lighting devices [flashlights and such]. February may be water storage and rotation. If you break it down into small amounts it’s not so overwhelming.

Another aspect of readiness is making sure all the 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, prescriptions, contact 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.

One question that always seems to come 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.

And remember to keep things 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 FORCECOM August 2016

State of FORCECOM August 2016

Good Day, Marines,

** September in the US is Disaster Preparedness Month. The West coast has droughts and fires. The central part is flooding and the East coast is getting hit by hurricanes. And our International members have more then their fair share of wind, weather and such.

Never ‘assume’ that something can’t or won’t happen in your area. We all know how ‘that’ will end up. Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [ http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/prep.html ] and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention [ http://www.cdc.gov/features/beready/ ] offer handy guides on how to prepare.  It doesn’t even need to be a big, local disaster.  Right now there are several small local towns without power due to a forest fire.

The fire is no where near them, but has taken out parts of the power grid headed into their area.

If you want to take this into a larger venue [your work place, school, your local church, etc] Ready.gov has an entire month’s worth of plans.

https://www.ready.gov/september

** Now with another International Marine Muster come and gone and with the major awards season over, now is a good time to check out your personnel records on the database.  No one’s going to know something is missing but you so it’s a good to get in the habit of reviewing your personal records every couple of months or so.

And besides, you may discover an award or two you didn’t know you received.  That’s always a nice surprise.

It’s a fact of life in electronic record keeping that sometimes things go missing. An email may get eaten by a spam folder.  Records can be lost on a hard drive. 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’ll need to provide documentation so that the appropriate correction to the database. 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.  If this all sounds familiar, it’s something I try to stress every few months or so.  It’s never a good idea to wait until the last moment to discover something’s missing, especially if you’re getting ready for a formal dress event like your Unit Holiday formal dinner or an upcoming Brigade Muster.

Just think of it as ‘preventative maintenance’.

** Certificates from the awards issued will be going out to the BDE OICs for distribution; some electronically [email] and some by snail mail.

Give us a bit of time to make every gets to it’s end destination.  If you don’t see/hear/receive your certs by the end of September, please contact me and I’ll track down where things went astray.

To close I want to welcome the new Marines who have joined the Corps over the last couple of months and the new units that have joined our ranks.  I’m looking forward to working with each and every one of you.

 

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

 

Stand Easy, Marines

 

BGN Jari “Gato” James

COFORCECOM