SOR FORCECOM May 2014
At Ease, Marines,
First off I wish to thank members of my direct Command [both up and down] as well as the Promotion Board [EC] for have the trust in me to advance me to the rank of Brigadier General. And like anything else in life, just when you think you've got things settled, changes occur. Or, in my case, getting my four diamond pins to update my Class A uniform just in time to get to change them out for stars.
No, that doesn't mean it was a meteoric promotion. It means I haven't worn the thing for a couple of years. I really need to get out more. ;}
Now on to business.
** Please Read the Manuals: I can't stress this enough. Most of the questions I'm asked are already covered in either the Marine Force Manual [general topics] or the Policy Manual [for Unit, Battalion and Brigade OICs]. It's not that any of us on the General Staff are adverse to answering questions, but you've got then entire working policies of the SFMC available to you in those two manuals. Please take the time to look through them and consult them if you have a question. If you can't find what you're looking for, then certainly contact me.
** Personal Records:
Up here in the northern hemisphere the Summer Season is coming and Fall's bite is in the air 'Down Under'. You all know what that means: IC is coming. With this in mind I want to remind everyone this is a good time for a records review.
I'm sure everyone out there wants to look their best, with their uniforms in tip top condition and all ribbons, badges and such in their proper places. But it's amazing how fast the time will fly by. It's never a good thing to wait until the last moment to review your database records to make sure everything is there that should be on there.
There are policies in place to enter awards that you have already been issued but, for some reason, were not entered at that time. But it needs to be made clear that the responsibility of proof rests on the individual themselves. If you request an award to be entered, you will need to produce a copy of the award certificate, an email statement from the original issuing individual, a notation pointing to where it was announced in a newsletter, something that shows it was issued.
I am always willing to discuss things and will do everything I can to assist the individual, but one of my personal guidelines has always been 'Trust, but Verify'.
Suffice it to say that disasters seem to be occurring just about everywhere. If you find yourself in a place where you can lend a hand, please do so. And keep your Command informed as to what you and those around you are doing. Please step up and 'Pay it Forward' because no one knows when it may be their neighborhood next.
** Personal Communications: For those out there who ask me from time to time 'Why don't you encourage phone calls' there are reasons why I don't conduct day to day FORCECOM business via phone or Skype. this is my personal preference. I prefer a paper trail do help me remember the various discussions and decisions. Also, I have a fairly odd wake/sleep schedule. In my 'Verse there is only one 7 O'clock and it's when the sun's going down. Sometime around 1900 MDT.
Those specific individuals who are on my 'Approved to Call' list know who they are.
Other members of the General Staff have their own policies but it's only polite to email the individual and ask if they want a phone call about something and when would be a good time. People have work schedules and may not be able to take calls at work. People may work weird hours and may not appreciate a phone call in the middle of the day when that may be their only sleep time
To close I want to leave you with some fast statistics. As I wrote the rough draft of this the first of May the SFMC Strength was listed on the database as 1432 individuals [856 Active and 576 Reserve] spread out through 153 units or on unassigned status.
We just keep on growing and growing. ;}
As you were, Marines.
BGN Jari James