State of the SFMC – December 2019
READ TO THE END!
Late report as usual but as some of you may know I’m off on an adventure across the 9th and 20th Brigades and not resting comfortably back at HQ SFMC. I want to be sure to file this report as it will be my last while serving as interim Commandant, with MGN Rey Cordero coming on to take over in January. If you haven’t already, head over to the Facebook page or drop an email on the Corps-l listserv congratulating him.
During my time as interim ‘Dant my marching orders were concise – set conditions for the incoming ‘Dant post-election, whomever that may be.
Carrying forward from GEN Les Rickard’s orders, the GS has remained focused on two missions – revise and update our operations manuals and move the academy. All other suggestions and projects have been noted and tabled until after the new year.
As I’ve already stated the retooled Marine Force Manual, the Command Policy and General Staff Manual as well as the Uniform Guidelines and Policies Manual are all slated for release on January 1st. Until then, all current manuals remain in effect. A more updated MFM v.1908 can be found in the files section of the Facebook page but please only share it with other members of the SFMC for now. It is not the new MFM, just a more updated version of the old manual.
With the new manuals will come changes – it’s inevitable and necessary for the Corps to grow. I strongly urge everyone to read the new manuals, front to back, several times over to familiarize yourself with policies, procedures and practices that will become the new standard. As always, our manuals are guidelines to make the Marine experience more realistic and enjoyable, but they are guidelines. Some must be followed strictly, as in the case of operational policies, but others such as costume and uniform guidelines leave a little leeway for individuality.
The academy transfer has gone more slowly than anticipated and I take full responsibility for possibly not making the January 1st transfer deadline.
It’s difficult when two entities like Fleet and Corps begin to work together for the first time on such a project and many times with new players in position. But our plan here at HQ SFMC didn’t mesh as well as hoped with the directives and plans coming from the office of the Chief of Ed Services. In light of this, I have re-directed TRACOM to focus on accomplishing the transfer of all academy materials (exams and updates manuals) to the CES for addition to the SFMC Academy framework already built in Moodle.
This transfer will be complete by January 1st, and from there we will continue to refine the academy in coordination with the CES. But I will guarantee you one thing and that is we are working to make the academy a shining centerpiece for the Corps and you will see great and new things made available to the membership.
The academy in its current form is still operational and can be found online at https://sfmca.sfi.org/ <https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fsfmca.sfi.org%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR2QkfNbw8oW8VIfT6viwjnFZC8r0eqR7vHxMfNImr7EHQbxP4UWmDWvp7M&h=AT2Q9DbBohbJvGE3JQpPbuFIyMFWM9mrCyqlTQ_LoP61IyqcBBvHFr0BIhox2hH3w2a6dT2k3XTdXZFgqQ8Yl7GvT4i2lfx-m9tY_eKXOsk8I3PGHnlaRE1PuMRyf9EBt6eishVwR5_dpo0289JUZs4iM5Fy7kmMOQ>.
The academy works just like before with students requesting courses from directors, emailing completed exams and then receiving results and certificates. Please note, grades from completed courses will not show on your SFMC service record until after the database changeover! Up to that point directors will record your grades on approved CES documents, which will then be loaded into the new database. We ask for patience and understanding.
We’ve also experienced issues with the current database and our own Quartermaster website. The recent outages of both were caused by a vendor’s unannounced update. Both STARFLEET Computer Operations and our Information Command have been working ‘round the clock to fix the issue. There are still functions that are not available on the database (rosters, member lookup in particular) and we hope this is resolved soon.
The Quartermaster Store was unavailable for a short period but I have been briefed that it is back up and operational at https://www.qm.sfi-sfmc.org/ <https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.qm.sfi-sfmc.org%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR0c7usmWl3D4pIy7hZwVsz-pP3dMzgLHeG6TWBB0Kw8yWuWq5-3msgjpa4&h=AT13dpcax2ogD7U7QS2SkYhg5ENsWTIIEHg3i5gFlMpR3hCSdi4EA0umJ9DMjXAI9uCAL3QF7YGIijqxITG3w2I3W4QMg2d99qZ6U4TjyeawmskRWQORguw1K4oCTO_I7R8G5pBElL-WkgfVtEI4KRfe7R6ASrERrQ>.
Went to the site this morning myself. I would ask that if you find one of our systems nonfunctional that you report the issue directly to the chain of command. The faster we find out – the faster we can fix the problem.
Reporting has been an issue as well. Problems with plugin applications on the website has been causing non-delivery of the unit and brigade bimonthly reports. Earlier, I directed that units no longer use the report forms located on the SFMC website at https://sfmc.sfi.org/sfmc-reporting-forms/in
order to give INFOCOM time to work with CompOps to fix the issue.
While some units and brigades have experienced success with the current plugin that may not be the case after changes are made and the bugs worked out.
Understand, even though your reports have gone through using the website reporting form, units are directed to use the manual forms from this point until INFOCOM tells me the system is fixed. Give INFOCOM the time needed to fix the issue. What works this month might not work once Mark has a new plugin installed and the settings are worked out.
I was going to drop a motivational paragraph here as I’ve noticed a significant change in the attitude of the Corps. Instead what I will say is that the SFMC is dependent upon each and every member for its synergy and drive. There are literally seven folks here on the GS that are pulling for the Corps with all we have but we need you, the member, to get out and help by pushing. We draw our moto and inspiration from you and what you bring to the Corps. So, let’s all lend a hand and bring the Corps into a new command and new year.
It has been my privilege and honor to serve as your Commandant over the past few months. I can’t think of a better way to serve the membership.
Thank you all for the opportunity.
BRIAN K. ALLEN
*’Old School Solutions to Modern World Problems’*