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State of TRACOM, November 2010
Saturday, 13 November 2010 20:00
Greetings to all Marines and Students of the SFMCA - and to my fellow staffers at TRACOM

With the announcement of the new CS not too far away, with it will come the establishment of a new GS for the SFMC and with that, changes to some of the responsibilities of the people who have served the Corps so well as staff of TRACOM and the Academy. So I would like to take the time with this report to apply a little reflection and comment that will make this different to my usual report. Obviously, should I end up with the appointment as 'Dant, I will need to step away from the wonderful role I have held so dearly for the last three years and take up a wholly different area and function of service to the Corps.

Of course, should my hugely capable mess-mate - LGEN Mike McGowan - be the one to have to step into LGEN Robert's shoes, I am told that I shall be fortunate enough to be able to carry on with my role as COTRACOM and you will all be stuck with me for another go round. Be not concerned or alarmed if that should happen - TRACOM has my heart and soul and I would so honestly welcome the opportunity to serve the Corps from this office again. I still have a TON of objectives to achieve and a head and hard-drive full of ideas - my own and many, many others from other Marines and fellow TRACOM members. No matter which office I sit in, it is highly possible that many of those ideas will still come to fruition. And as others have done recently before me, it is probably a great time for me to also do a small review of the accomplishments of TRACOM in the three years of my tenure as Commanding Officer.

We have of course been most fortunate to be able to carry on the traditions and huge achievements of those who went before us, most of which firmly set a solid foundation that those of us who came later would build upon. And build we have. Supported by a great team of highly dedicated, enthusiastic, passionate and ever-willing Marines - TRACOM has seen growth that has come in leaps and bounds as we have put our best efforts into adding even more value to our Academy and to the culture that makes our organization so great. We have seen exam numbers multiply; many new manuals with much additional resource material added; new weapons, equipment and technologies; new fun ideas; and a myriad of many other smaller, but equally important ideas and applications that have added to the fun element that is of value to us all as members. We have seen student numbers balloon by 200% over those of just a few years ago and the number of students who are taking initial exams and then returning to take more, have also more than doubled in size.

We may even have finally killed the ogre of that notion that "exams at the SFMCA are just too hard.." -  I can honestly provide no better recommendation of our work than the comments passed by many students who are rating the SFMC exams as being so great because "they are real", "have true meaning", "have provided real life education examples" - or simply because so many of our students value the fact that they actually do need to read our manuals and not simply slap a cut and paste to get a grade. For us at TRACOM, this is what is has all been about - to provide a service that is valued to our members and to get some recognition of the work we do as volunteers.

So where to from here?  Well with the end of the year fast approaching and the probability of some changes here and there post-election, we have been working as quickly as possible to get those last batches of new exams released and to look to tidy our existing courses and manuals as much as possible before we launch into a new year with possibility of different hands at the wheel. Whatever happens as a result of the election, TRACOM will 'rule', that much is certain - for simply no other reason that the next 'Dant is going to be either current CO or DCOTRACOM - and I can assure you that either Mike or myself will bring that same passion, enthusiasm and motivation to the office of Commandant, as we have in our time working in TRACOM and at the SFMCA. So in closing this off, just in case I DO change offices, I would like to offer up my heartfelt congratulations and thanks to all of those who have helped, guided, counseled and assisted both myself and all the guys and girls who have worked in TRACOM - those appointed to roles now and those who have gone before us.
Without our peers, we would possibly have made many more mistakes than we did. Without the support and enthusiasm of all the staff in the Academy or in the roles within TRACOM, we would not have been able to even further lift the performance and achievements of our Academy as much as we have managed to do so. And without the many, many students who have graced our halls and corridors, we would not have received the personal satisfaction of having provided a genuine and very real service to our members. I thank you all and offer up a personal salute to all those that either report to my office now, or have done so in the last three years. You all did extremely well - and I certainly expect that there will be plenty more to come. Thanks - and cheers...

Semper Fi!
Brigadier Bruce O'Brien
Greetings to all Marines and students of the SFMCA

Unlike INFOCOM, we have no gremlins at TRACOM that I can lay any excuse to for a late report - but I will blame everyone else that I can starting with the DCOTRACOM for keeping me from my administrative duties with other distractions of late! But it is all to the good and the past few weeks have been spent working through as many issues, plans and projects we have been able to in precipitation of the outcomes of the election and possibility of a new GS.