State of TRACOM November 2017

State of TRACOM November 2017

Hello everyone,
SFMC TRACOM has been very busy this month. We have had some new directors come on board. I appreciate everyone’s efforts and also their continued studies from SFMC TRACOM this month. I know that there has been a lot of issues and questions this month. I want to answer them within the context of the State of TRACOM Report below. As always please feel free to request clarification or if you have questions related to SFMC TRACOM anytime. I have an Open Door/open email policy. I am always open to concerns, thoughts and feedback.

Hail and Farewells
First, I want to thank COL Faith Steinberg for her service as ADC Director.
I have always respected and appreciated her selfless service for her MSG, Chapter, and SFMC TRACOM. Thanks you Col. – You stand relieved.

Gen Barbara Paul is Assuming SFMC TRACOM ADC Director duties effective immediately. She has a lot of experience and insight for Training Serving in many Different rolls with the Starfleet Academy. We are still working on some issues with her being able to e-mail everyone. But, I am very thankful and appreciate her stepping up fulfilling the ADC Director Duties. Welcome Aboard and thank you.

The OD School will be on Modified duty this month Larry French will be out of pocket From November 8th -22.

I want to thank my Fellow Veterans this Month. As we are thankful for their Service, we celebrate their lives keeping Freedom’s frontier free.

Hot Topics

I have also been made aware of various issues that have been unfortunate to student’s not getting requests or course completion notices. I first wants to thank the Students that came to us.
**Course Request and Grading issues**
I apologize for the issues with students not getting their requests. We are looking at this internally and hope to have this resolved. I believe part of it may be due to an error in the routing of the requests to various director emails. We are looking at this. In the meantime if you have sent a request and it does not get sent to you, please reach out to the instructor and if needed to CC myself or one of my DCO’s to the e-mail. We will follow up and work to resolve this. I understand that this has been a bit frustrating, but we are internally working on the issue. We want to work and resolve these and all issues immediately and appropriately.

**Course Grading and Request for actual Answers. ** Many of the Directors are working on revising various tests and manuals. I know that there has been comments made about Directors giving able to give out Answers once a Marine has passed course. If anyone has been informed that Directors can give out answers to questions Missed, this is incorrect.
We have to be fair and not give anyone else an unfair advantage. At the same token, if anyone has taken a course and not received a grade, please reach out to the individual director. If no response, please contact the specific director or myself or DCO-Admin, we will follow up. At the same token, I have charged SGM John Radle to be available when needed also.

**Issues with Test wording or topics within the tests** Anyone is always open to constructive criticism, however, we should all remember that this is for fun and understanding. Many of us may not be experts in speech or written English. My College professor always told me to do your best and continue to get better. Please keep this in mind, many of the directors periodically are working and revising the tests. Please ensure that your reviewing the material presented in the Manuals and other course materials that you’re given. I want to always be sure that we have marines that are completing course to the best of their abilities.

TRACOM Awards, Devices vs. Other awards
When requesting awards or Devices, please ensure that you requesting it to the correct Department. If you or unsure or unclear you can always research the Award in the MFM. In the MFM there is a portion if it that is specific to the Respective Awarding authority. I want to make sure your request is handled correctly and in a timely Manner. COFORCECOM,I, and your BDE OIC’s are always happy to follow up and make sure you get your award.

Reporting Stats for the month of October 2017 Departments Reporting: 100% Total Requests Sent: 125 Total tests Graded and sent: 93 Overall request average: 12.17 Days Overall Return Average: 2.76 Days Certificates sent out to students: 93 Ribbons/ devices sent out: 14

See you all on the Bounce!

Shane Russell
BGN, SFMC
COTRACOM, SFMC
OIC, 229th MSG
CO, USS Orion Region 12
E-mail: senseirussell@gmail.com

State of FINCOM October 2017

State of FINCOM October 2017

SFMC CFO Report October 2017

As we approach Veterans Day, I would like to thank all veterans for their Service. They have earned the honor of those to stand up and salute them for protecting your freedoms.

Now on to the main CFO report.

 

STARFLEET Marines Account

Opened the month of October with a balance of $8,738.85
Credits equaled -$853.30
Debits equaled – $43.03
Closed the month of October with a balance of $9,549.12

Breakdown of Credits
Paypal transfer – September amount – $250.66, October amount – $137.13
Quartermaster sales – $35.41 (Boggs)
Quartermaster sales from IC – $430.10

Breakdown of Debits
USPS – $29.54 quartermaster postage
Walmart – $7.34 envelopes for mailing quartermaster orders.
Transfer to scholarship account – $6.15 overpayment from B. Paul on Quartermaster order. She requested it go to the scholarships.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________
SFMC Scholarship Account

Opened the month of October with a balance of $2,730.81
Credits equaled $.6.20
Debits – $0
Closed the month of October with a balance of $2,737.01

$6.15 is the donation from B. Paul listed on the report last month
Interest .05

Orders
Merchandise – 342.20
Shipping Charged – 76.90
paypal fee – 15.57
Actual Shipping – 58.44
NC Tax – 2.07
AL Tax – 1.35

We received the new embossed Padfolios with the new SFMC logo. Unfortunately, the charge was included in the one for the Fleet side of the house and therefore the QM has transferred the $834.15 from the SFMC account to the Main STARFLEET account and it will appear on next months statement and report.

We are sold out of Belt Buckles and extremely low on a few other items. QM will get the list together as soon as she finishes the remaining CFO reports for October and send it to Jari, Mike and you.

TJ Allen

State of INFOCOM October 2017

State of INFOCOM October 2017

Greetings Marines,

We had problems once again during the last reporting cycle with reports getting delivered.  The website was generating the reports and sending them.  The issue was the receiver rejected the email because it came from a Dream host email server and it thought it was spam.  Not all email recipients rejected the email, it was the usual suspects like yahoo and AOL.com.  My solution is to try and route the email so it doesn’t look like it is coming from Dream host.  I hope this will improve the delivery results of the reports.  I’m looking into solutions and I’m testing as I can to see which one has the best results.  Moving to the new site5 host may not give us any better results than Dream host so I’m hoping the solution I’m working on is the permanent solution.

I’m going to hold the deployment for the new SFMCA website until I get the email delivery solution working for the reports and awards on the main site before going forward.  No need to replicate our problem on the new SFMCA site.

As always if you have any questions, please let me know.  I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

In closing, here’s the pingdom stats for September 2017.

Uptime: 100%
Outages: 0
Downtime:  0
Response time: 735 ms

Mark “Slayer” Anderson
Lieutenant General, SFMC
COINFOCOM
Team Delta

infocom@sfi-sfmc.org

State of Forces Command October 2017

Fellow Marines!

A little late filing this report, but the SFMC train has been rolling, without brakes, since muster, and mess!  Thanks for your patience on individual, and unit issues, requests, and awards.  As this *is* a late report, and there’s been so much going on in the months since August, I’d like to keep it short and sweet – at least relatively so.

Unit Status…

The Corps is continually expanding, and contracting as we activate, and deactivate units across every brigade.  One trend I’ve seen when investigating the situation surrounding the possible deactivation of a unit is a communications vacuum between the unit, and the brigade.  In many instances, when I’ve contacted a Unit Officer in Charge, I’ve found the unit still in an active status, but not reporting due to personal issues being dealt with, loss of several members, or embarrassment from becoming dormant over time.

This is not the time to stop communicating with your brigade leadership, on the contrary, it is a time you should be communicating the most.  Your leadership is here to assist you as a Unit OIC, be it in recruiting, retention or planning events, or you by giving you time to deal with personal issues by recognizing you need to step away from your responsibilities for a while.  They’ll be there for you, and your unit, but it doesn’t mean they won’t hold you to a standard.  Communication, in the form of reports, or less formal check-ins, will still be asked of you.

If you find yourself, and your unit falling into one of the situations above contact your Brigade OIC as soon as possible.  There’s a fix for everything, and there are legions of folks inside, and outside, of the Corps who are willing to help.

History…

Recently, I put out a call to all units to start considering their histories – real, and Trek based.  There is a two-fold reason I am asking.

First being that a Heraldry Officer will be appointed at the end of this month.  His, or her job will be to build a heraldry archive of all unit numbers, logos, mottos, and histories for future generations of the SFMC to reference.

Second reason is that I found out not long ago the Corps doesn’t have a recorded history (that I know of, or can find).  There are still a number of ‘Old Timers’ in the ranks that can tell a story or two about the Corps, but we need to put forth a concerted effort to record this history.  The first step lies with you at the unit level.  If you’re an OIC, contact your next higher, and submit your unit history for inclusion in the archive.  If you’re a member, have a talk with the others, and develop your unit’s story, so that it may be shared in times to come.

Personnel Records…

It’s coming ‘round that time of year again!  Yes, we’re moving toward the holidays, and times of gathering, celebrating and mirth.  But what is the quickest way to kill that joyous buzz?  A database crashing, and pulling all your personal records down with it.  Question:  do you have a copy of your database ‘Member Eligibility’ page?

I ask that each one of you log into the database, go to your eligibility page, scroll to the bottom of the page to the ‘Printable Version’ link, and save the page to your PC, or other safe location.  In the event of a database crash, this downloaded page may be the only way we can reconstruct your record!

So – don’t procrastinate.  Download your record now!!!

Awards…

I am currently constructing an online archive of all SFMC certificates that have been produced since 2015, and will be making it available to the Brigade OICs as a venue to recover lost certificates.  While this will take care of missing certs, it will not solve the problem of awards missing from your personal record.  So, what do you do?

First, look through all your ‘stuff’ for a certificate.  If you do not have one, look for an old report, issue of the ‘Communique’, photos of you receiving the award at the brigade pool party – any evidence that you received the award – and forward the documents to your Brigade OIC for action.  He, or she will contact me, and we’ll examine the evidence, and enter the award into your record if the situation warrants.

I can’t go by word of mouth, or statements from other members.  I need the docs mentioned above to determine your receiving the award before I can enter it into the database.  So, while you’re there downloading a copy of your record – check out your awards, see if anything is missing, and jump into action to rectify the error.

To the Corps!!

B. ‘Tusker’ Allen

BRIAN K. ALLEN

BDR, SFMC

COFORCECOM

State of INFOCOM September 2017

State of INFOCOM September 2017

Greetings Marines,

I have almost completely recovered from the hurricane.  The last thing to get repaired in my washer. I guess it took a power surge and the main board needs to be replaced.  The good news is it is still under warranty the bad news is, it took over a week to get the replacement part.  I hope to have this resolved by the end of the week.  Fingers crossed.

It never fails, the best laid plans.  I was hoping I would have a decision on the Attention on Deck! /Attention on Deck Extra editor position by now but the storm has push that out for a couple more weeks.  I will be making a decision as soon as I can.

The deployment for the new SFMCA website was also delayed.  My testing isn’t completed but once it is, I’ll let everyone know when the new deployment date will be.

As always if you have any questions, please let me know.  I’ll get back to
you as soon as I can.

In closing, here’s the pingdom stats for August 2017.

Uptime: 99.70%
Outages: 3
Downtime:  2h 15m 33s
Response time: 762 ms

Mark “Slayer” Anderson
Lieutenant General, SFMC
COINFOCOM
Team Delta

infocom@sfi-sfmc.org

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 TRACOM September 2017

State of TRACOM September 2017

Hello Everyone, I want to first send my thought and prayers for Everyone in the areas of Hurricane Harvey and also in Hurricane Irma’s Path

All Directors have been working hard and continuing to service students completing courses and requests. I would like to point out that there were a few issues that have been coming up lately. First, all directors want to ensure that every course is completed and you receive courses in a timely manner.

All Marines are expected to complete PD-100 first. Upon a passing grade, Marines can request and complete other courses. I understand that the PD director has had some real world and e-mail issues recently. I was given an update and she should be up and ready to fully perform her duties at this time.

Second, I have been informed that there were some issues recently with getting courses sent out to the marines in a timely manner. Additionally, that some marines reported that they did not get a receipt from the academy routing system. I informed these issues should be resolved now. IF there is any concerns please follow the following process: Attempt to contact the specific course director, if no answer inform command leadership. Any one of us take this seriously and will work to complete and fix the issue as soon as possible. Command team consists of Myself, MG Brian Landry (DCO-ADMIN), Sergeant Major John Radle(TRACOM SGM),MG Julie McGowan (DCO Training-Doctrine). Lastly, TRACOM and INFOCOM are discussing possible changes to the SFMC TRACOM Website.

I am looking into changing some courses that were previously closed I am looking into material to bring them back. I also looking into the other directors and engaging in updates to the courses. If there is courses of topics that you think that might be good for the corps Please send them out.

Tips and tools. Please routinely take a look at your Database record. It is your record for you SFI Career. It is always hard to send your certificates to you if e-mail is correct. Additionally, If you’re missing a ribbon or badge that you feel your qualified for, please send in your request to us for review.

August 2017 Statistics are:
All College directors reported 100%
We had 113 course test requests sent.
We had 78 Tests Graded
Test requests completed in an average of 572 Hours
Tests were graded in an average of 614 hours
ADC Director reported for August there were 76 certificates. 7 IET ribbons and 7 AEA awards.

Well, that about wraps it up.

Until next month…

Shane Russell
BGN,SFMC
COTRACOM,SFMC
CO,USS Orion
OIC, 229th MSG
Senseirussell@gmail.com
tracom@sfi-sfmc.org

State of INFOCOM August 2017

State of INFOCOM August 2017

Greetings Marines,

I had a great time at IC this year, it was great seeing old friends and meeting some new ones.  My thanks to the organizers and staff of the IC, thanks for your efforts.

Now that the IC is behind us I will be making a decision on the Attention on Deck! /Attention on Deck Extra editor position soon.

As I mentioned at the International Muster, the new SFMC WordPress site it is up and running.  All the data from the old site is on the new site and all functions have been transferred.  We will be making improvements and adding new content to the site as we go along.

I have the new WordPress STARFLEET Marine Corps Academy site ready to deploy.  I plan to launch this new site in September sometime between the 16th-23rd.  I have some final testing to complete before then.  It has been suggested that the SFMCA go with a Moodle site like the SFI Academy has.  As I have the WordPress site ready, this will be the new platform for now.  If at some point TRACOM would like to start developing a new Moodle site I will give them all the assistance I can. The decision will be theirs to make.

After the SFMCA site has been deployed, I will start looking at a new Quarter Master site.  I’m not sure what platform I will use yet.  I will have to do some research and testing before making that decision.

As always if you have any questions, please let me know.  I’ll get back to
you as soon as I can.

In closing, here’s the pingdom stats for July 2017.

Uptime: 99.60%
Outages: 1
Downtime:  3h
Response time: 634 ms

Mark “Slayer” Anderson
Lieutenant General, SFMC
COINFOCOM
Team Delta

infocom@sfi-sfmc.org

State of INFOCOM July 2017

State of INFOCOM July 2017

Greetings Marines,

Sorry for the delay in announcing the new Attention on Deck! /Attention on Deck Extra editor position.  I’ve been tie up with getting the new SFMC website up and running.  I hope I can get the announcement made after IC.

Speaking of the new SFMC WordPress site it is up and running.  All the basics are there, we wanted to get the new site up to resolve some issues I had previous mentioned.  We not finished yet, will be making improvements as we go along.

I have been working on a new WordPress STARFLEET Marine Corps Academy site.  I plan to launch this new site sometime in September.  I don’t have an exact date yet because it will take some time to get everything tested.

The timer is counting down and I’m looking forward to IC this year.  It looks like a great place to hold an IC and there’s no shortage of things to do in New Orleans.

As always if you have any questions, please let me know.  I’ll get back to
you as soon as I can.

In closing, here’s the pingdom stats for June 2017.

Uptime: 100%
Outages: 0
Downtime: 0m
Response time: 362 ms

Mark “Slayer” Anderson
Lieutenant General, SFMC
COINFOCOM
Team Delta

infocom@sfi-sfmc.org

State of FINCOM July 2017

State of FINCOM July 2017

FINCOM Report

May 2017

The SFMC checking account opened the month of May with a balance of $8570.22 Credit – $76.50 Debits total -$13.30 Closing balance for the account was $8633.42

There were 2 orders

SFMC Savings Account (scholarship payments)

Opened with $2,730.58

Credits – Interest earned $0 .05

Debits – 0

Current balance on account -$2,730.63

 

June 2017

 

Opened the month of June with a balance of $8,633.42 Credits equaled -$61.70 paypal transfer of funds from quartermaster sales Debits equaled – $234.02 Closed the month of June with a balance of $8,461.10

There were 5 orders

SFMC Scholarship Account

Opened the month of June with a balance of $2,730.63 Credits equaled $0.04 Debits – $0 Closed the month of June with a balance of $2,730.67

There have been no scholarships awarded from this account in several years.

 

There has been some Ransomware attacks over the last few months.  The following articles was taken from Wikipedia and the AARP sites.

 

Ransomware is a type of hateful software from cryptovirology that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransom ware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion, in which it encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. In a properly implemented cryptoviral extortion attack, recovering the files without the decryption key is an intractable problem – and difficult to trace digital currencies such as Ukash and Bitcoin are used for the ransoms, making tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators difficult.

 

Ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan that is disguised as a legitimate file that the user is tricked into downloading or opening when it arrives as an email attachment. However, one high-profile example, the “WannaCry worm”, traveled automatically between computers without user interaction.

 

Starting from around 2012 the use of ransomware scams has grown internationally.  In June 2013, security software vendor McAfee released data showing that it had collected more than double the number of samples of ransomware that quarter than it had in the same quarter of the previous year.[8] CryptoLocker was particularly successful, procuring an estimated US $3 million before it was taken down by authorities, and CryptoWall was estimated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to have accrued over US $18m by June 2015.[

 

To prevent Ransom ware from infecting your computer:

 

  1. Update Windows XP or any other older Microsoft operating systems in order to limit your vulnerability. In fact, you should always update all your software. In general, always download the latest version of a software once it becomes available.
  1. Back up your files remotely every day, but only on a hard drive that is not connected to the internet. So long as you back up files on an external hard drive, you won’t lose any information if hit by a ransomware attack.
  1. Never open a suspicious email attachment. And never download an app that you haven’t verified with an actual store. Read reviews before installing programs.
  1. Finally, antivirus programs have the ability to scan files to see if they might contain ransom ware. Make use of them before downloading.

 

LTGEN Barry Jackson

COFINCOM