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State of TRACOM, January 2010
Sunday, 17 January 2010 22:18

Firstly, let me start off by thanking all the staff here at TRACOM, for their commitment, enthusiasm and support that they have given unreservedly throughout 2009, on all of our behalf.  The SFMCA would simply not function without the time taken by these great people and the volunteering of their time - and I am sure we can look forward to more of the same in 2010. And it is impossible to begin a New Year without some aspect of looking forward - and for TRACOM and the SFMCA, we expect this year to be a big year indeed.


The efforts of all the TRACOM staff over the last seven or eight months in particular, has bought us now to a stage where we are ready to launch some comprehensive programs aimed at improving and adding to your enjoyment as a student of the SFMCA. One of the most important aspects of this development, has seen the recognition that to be able to accumulate; incorporate; create and establish such a wide variety of new and extended programs such as we have been looking to put into place, cannot be achieved without "man"power.

So - what does this mean? As mentioned in the last report, TRACOM has established  a new  section - Research &  Development (R&D).  Headed by MGEN Mike McGowan, this new section will not only absorb the New Course Development area, but also incorporate a wide-ranging team of people who's jobs it will be to not only gather as much resource material as is possible, but to also design and create 'new' - and this may be new equipment; new technologies; new ideas and directional attributes etc - all geared to adding to the doctrine of the SFMC

It is our intention also, to focus much more on the fictional aspect our organization and to minimize the amount of real-life military hardware (in particular) and present-day equipment, that is to be or could be added to our manuals and subsequent courses. Put another way - it will be our goal this year to add much more "Starfleet" to our Marine Corps, and therefore greatly enhance the science fiction aspects of the SFMC.  This will lead us to many exciting opportunities as we explore new technologies; design and create new craft and vessels; weapons; equipment; and even tactics, histories and personnel.

We are a fictional organization and as such, we have a wonderful opportunity to enhance, expand and to explore those exciting aspects of being a STARFLEET Marine of the future. We hope that each of you will also find some pleasure in the journey.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
As already mentioned, the R&D Section will be headed by MGEN Mike McGowan, and to support him in this role, we have assembled a team of  people, each selected for a particular skill or ability to expand the programs as we develop them. These people are as follows:

BGEN Gary Hollifield steps up from his previous role as Asst NCD Director, and will take over as the NCD Director, responsible for assisting SFMCA Directors in the development of new courses BDR Jeff Davis is our Design Engineer and Jeff is working through  the design and development of quite a lot of new material including a wide range of spacecraft and support vessels; new armored vehicles and even some personal equipment for specialist Marine use To put all this new equipment, designed by us or developed by others, into artistic concepts we have our own Illustrator - 2LT James Jones II - who will no doubt be head down for some time attempting to create some "glamor" from the many line drawings he will receive (good luck James!). And to provide the important and detailed text that will be required to give technological description of any new equipment, we have two Staff Writers - COL  Barry Jackson & MAJ William Hof - who will no doubt spend much time in discussion with the designers on  aspects of anything presented. To round this team off, we are fortunate to have on call, MGEN Sean Niemeyer, who has offered to provide his skilled support as our Technical Advisor - so all in all,  TRACOM has the tools to do the job, now all we need is time and commitment.

Lastly, we come to the aspect of ongoing research.  With the number of Star Trek-related websites fast disappearing, so to does our ability to easily find an enormous range of information as we research certain aspects of the ST universe we play in.  To offset this, we feel it is important that we gather up as much pertinent detail as possible - especially that which may not be covered by the main ST sites even though these will likely be with us for quite some time. Thus, we are also looking to add some 'part-time' staff to assist us with this researching and the detail on this follows.

STAFF VACANCIES
The TRACOM Research & Development Department is in need of a person to fill the post of Staff Researcher. This person needs to be capable of working well without direct supervisions. They must also be willing to follow an information trail to its end and hitting both the obvious and not-so-obvious data sources. This person should be familiar with finding such information as is required by the R&D Department using sources such as the Internet or from other published material. The successful candidate must be a member of STARFLEET but membership in the SFMC - though preferred - is not required.  Interested applicants should apply to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

NEW STAFF
We were pleased to announce the appointment of MAJ William Hof to the position of Director, SpecOps branch, earlier this month. Major Hof brings with him a huge program of proposed development for the Branch and we are keenly anticipating a period of continued expansion for SO Branch during the period of his deployment. All queries on SO can be sent direct to Major Hof at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

STUDENT OF THE MONTH
As already advised by the DCOTRACOM, the Student of the Month for December, was Marcus Easterly of the 7th Brigade.  Marcus will automatically now be included as a nominee for the "Student of the Year " award to be announced at IM next July. We congratulate all students for their efforts in December !

NEW COURSES
Already announced, is the release of the new CE-11 MOS Familiarization Course. This exam is now ready for immediate application and is the first of a  few new courses that will be released in the weeks ahead.

And on that note, we would like to remind you that we are always interested in talking to members about their new course idea. We have had a few submitted of late that have indeed been of great interest - so if you do happen to have some ideas that you would like to discuss with us, please drop a line to the Director of the Branch/School concerned, or simply get in touch with COTRACOM with your suggestions.

SFMC SCHOLARSHIP
A reminder that the Scholarship Program is still very active and growing all the time.  It would be great to see someone take advantage of the funds so far accumulated, so if you, or someone you know is a suitable applicant - why not consider making application right now?  These funds have been collected for use and someone should take advantage of this great opportunity.

Catch you all on campus!
Cheers

--
Brigadier Bruce O'Brien
COTRACOM,SFMC