State of the SFMC March 2012
Greetings to all marines!
Without wishing to appear as if there is some sort of "fixation" to our membership, I just wish to note in my opening that the database shows an increase over that as reported last month, of an additional 20 marines - bringing current membership of the Corps to 1128.
This would certainly appear to be in line with the flurry of membership increase reported throughout STARFLEET in the last month and it is great to see that the SFMC is able to continue to attract people. Long may that continue - but it only will provided we are able to offer personal satisfaction in one form or another, to our members. This GS will continue to work to that end I assure you.
MARINE OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY CERTIFICATION (MOSC) & MARINE UNIT READINESS PROGRAM (MURP)
And speaking on behalf of the MURP and MOSC Coordinator - a marine I know personally very well - this is then also an opportune time to raise the profile once again of these programs.
Recently, the SFMC Recruiting & Retention Officer published an incentive program under title of "Who's the BOS", which is geared to publish a series of articles highlighting and focusing on the fictional and fun elements associated with MOS certifications used in our role plays. It is suggested that for those of you - both Units and individual marines - who wish to know more of these programs, that they contact either the Recruiting & Retention Officer (RRO) email@example.com or the MURP/MOSC Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. We already have a large pool of marines with documented MOS certifications and many of our MSG's and MEU's are working through their MURP accreditation - with a handful having completed their General Combined Readiness (GCR) programs.
Might be worth a look - after all, you can never have too many certificates or streamers....
MARINE FORCES MANUAL
As reported earlier, we planned to have the 2012 edition of the MFM published early this calendar year. Due to some new graphic inclusions, this has been delayed a little as we finalize a couple of important projected inserts. However it is expected that the updated MFM will be ready for publishing within the next eight weeks or so.
While the responsibility for the management and reporting of detailing pertaining to our website is that of InfoCom, I just wanted to make a few comments in regard to recent activities that caused some concern.
As many of you will be aware, our website fell victim to some disruption as PHP sites throughout Dreamhost's customer base were "attacked" and both the STARFLEET International and SFMC sites were affected. This "attack" was not unique to us as literally hundreds of other sites using Dreamhost were impacted in identical fashion.
With both CompOps and InfoCom working together, the situation was quickly resolved and we were able to return our normal services fairly smartly. Nevertheless, this has given cause for concern and InfoCom is working on assessments and reviews of alternative measures that we can take to minimize any future repeat - something that I am sure we are all well aware cannot be completely guarded against.
If anyone has any questions or queries or suggestions in regards to our websites, please discuss these with COInfoCom, BDR Michael Timko at email@example.com
Speaking myself as a member of one of the International Brigades (the "Off Worlders" perhaps???) the problems sometimes associated with the purchasing of uniform items can be something of a real mission. Not only is there usually a huge shipping cost attached - sometimes the cost of shipping is far greater than the cost of the goods being shipped - there are also instances where goods can simply not be acquired as a US vendor may have a policy of "no sales outside the US".
The GS has reviewed and discussed this and the only conclusion that has been made so far, is that the SFMC QM has to first identify key components and then look to which and how many of these items can be carried by the QM - working under assumption that in doing so, we could then provide a single source point for International marines (and others of course).
The problems with this are quite varied however, most especially that of choosing just what is to be carried and then answering the question of how much volume.
Obviously, the QM could find itself in a position where an overly wide range of material was being held in stock to simply satisfy small demand, to say nothing of the huge variety of items in question (which enlisted marine rank pins should we hold for instance?) and the financial investment this would incur.
One alternative suggested was to support the establishment of "local" (International) QM stores, who could then hold such stocks of these items for their marines. The problems with this aspect however are those associated with the financial responsibility involved (who owns the stock? who pays for the goods? who takes fiscal responsibility? etc) and thus tend to direct us more to the former suggestion, whereby the SFMC QM obtains and stocks these items.
We will advise the International BDE OIC's of our findings shortly, with the clear intention of providing a solid service. But in the interim, if any of the "Off World" marines wish to throw in some queries, comments or ideas, we would be happy to hear them. Drop a line to either myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the CO FinCom, MGN Patrick McAndrew at email@example.com
ARE WE HAVING ANY FUN YET?
If nothing else, this has to be a question we all ask ourselves as members of the SFMC from time to time. We all likely came here for a wide variety of reasons, but nothing as important as that of our intention to "have some fun".
We often hear that the SFMC is an "overly rigid organization" - but that is really more simply a case of misinterpretation of our need to have some solid policies and codes of practice, which is absolutely necessary for an organization our size. But at the end of the day, this IS supposed to be all about fun and the over-exposed SFMC Dress Policy aside, we would love to hear of your ideas and comments that could best reflect a "fun element" that could be introduced.
It may be that your Unit or Battalion or Brigade, are running some 'fun programs' that could be expanded upon and we would sure like to know of these. Drop us a line and let us know what it is that your marines enjoy doing, and we may be able to offer up a Corps-wide program of similar fashion.
Anything like this needs to be directed to Forces Command and a simple email to the CO and DCO over at ForceCom will be well received . firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
I have had the pleasure of receiving a couple of comments and suggestions from one or two brigades already and there are certainly some aspects that we could publicize that may be of benefit. So feel free to jump in and pass on your thoughts.
A REMINDER ON DRESS CODES
The STARFLEET Marine Corps has a wide variety of uniforms authorized in the MFM, suitable for any 'Trek era, as well as designs whose primary value is that they are relatively inexpensive and consist of components widely available through a variety of commercial sources.
Remember that at no time is any uniform required, but if a STARFLEET Marine Corps uniform is worn, it should be one of the designs authorized in the MFM and the uniform should be worn "correctly".
The MFM contains a caution that bears repeating often:
"Uniforms should not be worn to functions where the majority of attendees would not recognize it as some type of fan uniform. The Mess White and Class C uniforms are not readily recognizable as a non-military uniform. Marines should avoid wearing the uniform in any context where is may appear paramilitary or intimidating to the public."
Brigadier General, SFMC
Commandant, STARFLEET Marine Corps