State of FORCECOM September 2016
Good evening, Marines.
First off, just a brief comment. It may be the end of September but it’s still disaster preparedness month here in the US and this is a topic that really knows no specific date. Throughout the world seasons are changing and each region will have it’s own climactic events to be on the look out for. Please take a moment and make sure you’re ready.
Simply search ‘disaster planning’ on the internet and you’ll find a lot of guidelines and free checklists to down load.
And once you’ve got an idea what to do, it’s not enough just to think, you have to ‘do’ as well. Make a plan for each month. Maybe January will be check your stock of batteries and lighting devices [flashlights and such]. February may be water storage and rotation. If you break it down into small amounts it’s not so overwhelming.
Another aspect of readiness is making sure all the important data on your computer is backed up. By ‘important’, I mean bank records, scans of the front and back of your credit cards, scans of your important papers [wills, mortgage,car loan, insurance papers, prescriptions, contact information] and such. I know there are more and more folks using cloud back up systems, but also consider the lowly flash drive that you can shove in your pocket, have in your evac bag, etc. Always go big. Just when you think a 16 GB drive will do, you’ll find another 3 GB of stuff to store. And if you’re like me, a regular bit hoarder, you might consider a portable hard drive and case.
Now, on to FORCECOM.
One question that always seems to come across my desk quite a bit right after the International Muster is ‘I just checked my awards on the database and I don’t see my muster award from IC.’
Short answer: you do not receive the ‘Brigade Muster Award’ for attendance at IC, you receive the International Service Award. I know it can seem a bit confusing. Especially if you’re one of the lucky ones and the International Conference is being held in your home Region and Brigade. But the names really do define the awards.
The Brigade Muster Award [gold/red ribbon – no more then one a year] is issued to any member of the SFMC who attends his/her Brigade’s annual Muster if that Brigade has one. Not all Brigades do, so I understand that this may not be something available to everyone. If you have a specific question regarding this, please contact me privately and we’ll discuss it.
The International Service Award [gold/black – no more then one a year] is issued to any member of the SFMC who attends the International Muster held at IC.
Based on the above, over a period of one year you could see a Brigade Muster, an International Service or both of these listed on the database, depending on what events you were able to be at in any given year. But you will never see more then one of each in a calendar year.
As a quick reminder as to who does what:
FORCECOM is in charge of Achievement and Service award entries as well as making sure you’re in the right unit, etc. If you have any questions about these awards, your Unit assignments or other personnel questions, please send them up the Chain to FORCECOM.
TRACOM manages all entries to do with SFMCA courses and Training Awards.
If you’ve completed a course and you don’t see it on the database after a reasonable amount of time has past [please give them a few weeks], contact the Director of the specific Branch/School or go up the Chain to TRACOM.
Concerns or questions regarding either Medical Awards go directly to the SFMCA Medical Director who is the issuing authority.
Email addresses for all of the above can be found on the SFMC website.
And remember to keep things in the Chain of Command, folks. It’s just easier to track things that way.
That’s all for now. Keep it safe out there and be nice to each other.
Stand Easy, Marines.
BGN Jari “Gato” James