There is something of a tradition of Commanding Officers addressing their commands upon first reporting for duty or assuming command. It is in that vein that I prepare this statement.
I am excited to serve 8th Fleet, this is a great opportunity for me and I look forward to getting busy helping the fleet and the RMN grow. To this end, I have several areas of focus that I ask you all to consider the ideas and to pitch in to work on these areas.
In order to be successful, every organization needs to do a couple of things. It needs to RECOGNIZE its current members as part of a strategy to RETAIN them, and then it needs to EXPAND and GROW. These are the areas that I intend to focus on.
First RECOGNIZE current members. This is an area that I think we have missed the ball in over the last several years. While 8th Fleet has done an extraordinary job promoting its ships, with two on the List of Honor, we’ve not done a really good job of recognizing our individual members. As a fleet we have one of the lowest percentages in the RMN of Command Crews with Post-nominal decorations, and most of those that we do have were awarded by BuComm, BuTrain, or another Bureau or department, and not for line service in the Fleet. While serving as your acting commander over the last month, I took some steps to correct these issues; but the job is not done yet, and I ask for your help in this regard going forward.
Second, RETAIN our members, in the last couple of months, we’ve had a couple of major drama explosions that have cost us members, and we have members just hanging on due to being on the outside edges of these kerfuffles. While drama is an inherent part of fandom, there are steps we all can take to reduce or eliminate the impact of this drama on otherwise uninvolved members. Additionally, we need to make membership fun. Captains, Execs and Bosuns, this falls in large part on you, let’s make being in TRMN a fun experience. If something that we’re doing isn’t fun, let’s change it. If there is something that I or my staff can do to make things more fun; tell us. Third, as I talked about above, we need to recognize and reward achievement and success.
Third, EXPAND. 8th Fleet spans 6 states, but has a presence in only four of them; and then only in a small market in the state. We need to figure out how to expand our club into Wyoming and Montana. We need to expand into other markets in each state. There are all kinds of tools for this kind of expansion – LACs, Pinnaces, Assault Shuttles, etc. Let’s use them. One of the tasks that I will be assigning my staff is to locate Conventions and events in those markets that we don’t have members, and working with BuPlan, we’ll try to figure out how to take TRMN to them.
Fourth, GROW. This is an area where we seem to be doing an acceptable job, but we can always do better. Let’s get recruiting tables up everywhere, even in places that don’t seem obvious. Libraries are about to kick of Summer reading programs (locally they have a big kick-off party) See what you can do about getting a representative there… or at any other sci-fi event that the local library might be having. Get to the local Cons, even if they aren’t the best fit… the Prime Minister has lots of cross-over fans, a Fantasy Con may have access to people we miss at an event like StarFest.
If you have thoughts or ideas, my email box, messenger program, and office door is always open. The Marine Sentries have instruction to allow disturbances; and I want to hear from you, and especially before a problem becomes drama. I want to hear your great ideas and I want to hear what TRMN can do to make your experience better.
I look forward to Serving You and Serving with you. As you can see, we have a lot of work to do; so as Admiral Duchess Harrington would say, Let’s be about it.
In the Service of the Queen!
J. Eddy Roberts
Rear Admiral of the Red, RMN
Commanding Officer 8th Fleet