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State of FORCECOM, February 2011
Kia ora, Ladies and Gentleman and cadets of the Corps,

This past month has certainly being busy, this month I have awarded Legion of Arms to a couple of well deserving Marines to thank them for their service to their countries Armed Forces.  They are Colonel  Brian Allen of the 234 MSG on the USS Oklahoma and LT Charles Robinson of the 212th MSG on the USS Jaresh-Inyo. One of the things we have been working on was getting the rules for the reading challenge clarified and so here are the rules for the SFMC Reading Challenge.

The STARFLEET Marine Corps Reading Challenge is a friendly contest conducted by  FORCECOM of the STARFLEET Marine Corps to encourage reading at all ages. Members of the SFMC read as many books as they can in a certain set period of time and compete in categories such as most pages read by a single marine (Adult/Cadet), Marine Strike Group (Adult/Cadet), and Brigade (Adult/Cadet). To participate all a marine has to do is read books and report them to their MSG OIC for inclusion in their by-monthly reports. This information is then passed up the chain of command to COFORCECOM. For more details including eligibility and submission requirements please see the section below.

The Details
Who runs this contest?: FORCECOM of the STARFLEET Marine Corps runs this contest with the consent of the STARFLEET Marine Corps General Staff.

Contest period: COFORCECOM determines the start and end dates for the contest. Normally the contest runs from STARFLEET International Conference to STARFLEET International Conference. However this can change. Any changes in the contest period must be published at least six (6) months in advance in the Attention on Deck! Extra, Attention on Deck!, and the Corps email list. Please note that this contest may be discontinued at any time by COFORCECOM or the SFMC Commandant.

Contest Eligibility:
Any and all marines of all ages in good standing in STARFLEET: The International Star Trek Fan Association Inc., andSTARFLEET Marine Corps may participate. Cadets (as outlined in the SFMC Cadet Manual) may participate in this challenge; however they compete against other Cadets and not adults. All submissions must be made through the chain-of-command; direct submissions to FORCECOM will automatically be discarded. To be considered an eligible submission all the following information must appear on a Brigade’s report to FORCECOM for each marine:

  1. Marine's full name
  2. Marine's SCC number
  3. Marine's age (for Cadets)
  4. Title of Book
  5. Author of Book
  6. Page count
  7. ISBN number or publishers information

Failure to include all the above information will result in that submission being discarded. COFORCECOM is not responsible for any lost or incomplete submissions.

Contest Eligible Material: Books in the genres of fiction, non-fiction, mystery, sci-fi, thriller, romance, etc... are eligible and can be either in printed or electronic form (Kindle, Nook, PDF, etc..).  Books and materials such as newspapers, magazines, comic books, cook books, and other such books are not eligible. Audio Books can only be used if the participant has a physical impairment or condition (blindness, dyslexia, etc…) which prevents them from reading a printed book. Marines using audio books must include the same information as a printed book. Page counts for audio books are determined by using the page count from the latest printed edition of the audio book in question.

Contest Winners:
Adult and Cadet winners are chosen in categories for;
  1. Most pages read by a single marine: Winners are determined by adding up all of an individual’s reported number of pages read.
  2. Most pages read by a Marine Strike Group (MSG): Winners are determined by taking the total number of reported pages read by a MSG and dividing that number by the total number of marines on that MSG’s roster on the contest end date. This averaged number is then compared to other MSG’s numbers and the winner is the MSG with the highest average number of pages read.
  3. Most pages read by a Brigade (BDE): Winners are determined by taking the total number of reported pages read by a BDE and dividing that number by the total number of marines on that BDE’s roster that participated in the contest. This averaged number is then compared to other BDE’s numbers and the winner is the BDE with the highest average number of pages read.


Note: There is no category for Battalions since many Brigades choose not to use them.

Contest Awards and Prizes:
Any contest awards and prizes awarded to winners are determined by the STARFLEET Marine Corps General Staff.

Current Prizes:

Individuals: It has been decided that since it is a Challenge that the Individual winner of the SFMC Reading Challenge will win a SFMC Challenge coin.
MSGs and BDEs: For the Unit and the Brigade Level Winners they will receive a Reading Challenge streamer.

I would encourage all Marines out there to participate in the Reading challenge. Something suggested to me once that it could be used to by a unit to challenge another unit, or you could have a battalion in one Brigade challenge another battalion in that brigade Just remember it is all for fun and reading improves your mind and your general fund of knowledge.

If you ever have any questions about starting a marine unit or about marine awards or unit reporting or the reading challenge please email me

Yours in service to the corps,

--
MSGT John Kiwi Kane, SFMC
COFORCECOM