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State of TRACOM, May 2010
Tuesday, 11 May 2010 15:00

Greetings to all Marines and students of the SFMCA

We all hear that phrase "I just don't know where the time went.." so often that is generally becomes commonplace.  But it is such a true statement for myself and very likely most of the staff here in the Academy.  I don't know if it is the changing seasons, the looming IC/IM, the manuals revisions we are all busy with - or simply that we are poor time managers, but it certainly has proved true since the date of my last report. Those days and weeks have just whistled by like so many small clouds on a windy day.


But we progress.  I have just viewed some of the EXCELLENT work being prepared by our great team in the R&D section and I am sure that once published, their efforts will be of value and interest to many. The programs they have been working through are novel, unique and specifically SFMC - something that we will be able to pin our badge onto and say "that's our stuff."  Sadly, we will not have time in this first revision cycle to have completed or released some of the other projects we had in mind, either due to having re-start work or through sheer time constraints due to the volume of detail we are looking to develop. But I am assured that we will be able to keep development going and with the support of INFOCOM and the office of the G3, we should be able to even organize further new material releases, post the IM.

Housekeeping
It is timely to remind all students, that when accessing and requesting courses from our new website, that they take care to read what they are doing.  We still get from time to time, wrong requests being made from the wrong schools and this is simply down to the student not paying attention to the school they have selected. Please be careful when making an exam request. And while on that note, it is also timely to remind students that SFMCA policy is that we generally only allow the request of a single exam, per school, at each request. This is because SFMCA exams are not always as straightforward as those from their SFA counterpart and may require more effort and detailing. Students need to make sure they have given themselves time to complete each exam in the best manner possible. Mass requests from the one school will simply be disregarded as a matter of course.
 
Also (while I am on a roll here) please also make sure that you use the correct procedures for making queries to TRACOM.  If you have a query relating to a school, write to the Branch/School Director concerned in the first instance. Addresses for all our Directors are available here http://bit.ly/aP0OiX. If you do not receive a timely response - or have a more serious or urgent matter, please do not hesitate to contact either CO or DCOTRACOM and we can provide you with any necessary support.  But I am sure that in 99% of all cases, any queries can and will be easily settled by the Director concerned.

E-Certs
A quick mention mention on Ecerts.  We regularly receive queries regarding Ecerts (copies required; missing certs; etc etc) and while we are naturally only ever too keen to assist, please, be reminded that Ecerts distribution is not a function of TRACOM, but from an office of the Dep 'Dant named appropriately enough - Ecerts. Please forward any of your requests or queries to this officer who can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We are certain that BGEN Dorffner will respond as promptly as he is able to.

Exam Queries
As Directors, we sometimes get queries from students over a particular exam question or a reference used in an SFMC resource. I would simply like to point out here, that we genuinely welcome any question or query on the structure or content of our exams - so students should never feel "unsure" if they wish to raise a point or query with their Director.  This way, we are kept appraised of just how well our exams are being received and it does actually help us to keep good focus on what we are doing.  This doesn't mean of course that we will react and make changes or adjustments every time a query is made but we will genuinely take your comments into consideration on a case by case basis. Exam feed back is very important to us we truly value the uniqueness of our Academy and we certainly would hope that this is reflected in our curriculum. 

MURP Certification
We have enjoyed a solid flurry of recent Unit certifications. Congratulations to those have MURP qualified in a range of BOS, it is great to see so many Units participating in the program. Any Unit OIC who wishes to know more on the MURP program, should drop me a line.

MOSC Certification
And on note of MURP, we will very shortly (in the next few days) release the individual Marine MOS certification program - to be known as MOSC (Marine Occupational Specialty Certification). This program is designed to give certification to any Marine who has qualified for any MOS, so  keep an eye on the list for notification.

1,000 PD-10's
I have been doing some historical study on my own 11th Brigade and in doing so, had occasion to read through all the copies of AoD held in the SFMCA library. In researching, I came across an article in the April/May 2003 edition by the then COTRACOM, (our very own MGEN John Roberts, current Commandant) where he made mention of the fact that the 600th marine had just completed the PD-10 exam. Feeling guilty at this revelation, I did a quick check to see where we were at, especially as MGEN Roberts had also then queried "how long will before we hit 1,000?". Unfortunately, we have missed the significance of an announcement at the date, as we now have 1,052 graduates of PD-10 - but that doesn't stop me from passing on a huge retrospective congratulations to Marine David Giles of the USS Charleston, who on the 1st November last year (2009) became our 1,000th student to graduate the PD-10 exam.  Well done David!  Now we move on to 2,000....

And that's it from me this time round. In closing I wish to thank all those who have made offers of support and assistance with the new programs and ideas we have been working through. TRACOM always values the input we receive and it is truly encouraging to get your feed back. We are here to provide our members with a service and I am sure that our students are benefitting from our efforts
See you all on campus.

--
Brigadier Bruce O'Brien
COTRACOM, SFMC
It is timely to remind all students, that when accessing and requesting courses from our new website, that they take care to read what they are doing.  We still get from time to time, wrong requests being made from the wrong schools and this is simply down to the student not paying attention to the school they have selected. Please be careful when making an exam request. And while on that note, it is also timely to remind students that SFMCA policy is that we generally only allow the request of a single exam, per school, at each request. This is because SFMCA exams are not always as straightforward as those from their SFA counterpart and may require more effort and detailing. Students need to make sure they have given themselves time to complete each exam in the best manner possible. Mass requests from the one school will simply be disregarded as a matter of course.
 
Also(while I am on a roll here) please also make sure that you use the correct procedures for making queries to TRACOM.  If you have a query relating to a school, write to the Branch/School Director concerned in the first instance. Addresses for all our Directors are available here http://bit.ly/aP0OiX. If you do not receive a timely response - or have a more serious or urgent matter, please do not hesitate to contact either CO or DCOTRACOM and we can provide you with any necessary support.  But I am sure that in 99% of all cases, any queries can and will be easily settled by the Director concerned.