2009 State of the Force
The 2009 State of the Force Address
24 January 2009
FORCE ADMIRAL SAMUEL CUMMINGS:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Tonight, I have the honor of presenting to you the 2009 State of the Force Address.
I address you this evening in a year of troubling times worldwide, but at the same time, our resolve in the world remains steadfast. As with many things in the world, even our activity has slowed... but we're still here and our membership is as large as it has ever been, and continues to grow, as it has every year in my Administration.
My proudest achievement in the past year has been Operation: WATSON. WATSON, I will agree, while controversial, inspired a major amount of change and streamlining in our organization on nearly every level. This long term look into ourselves allowed us to see where our entire governance stood, how we could improve, what we needed to eliminate as slack and where we needed to expand in areas of difficulty. It was my honor to receive the final reports on this several months ago by Vice Admiral Steven Lackey, General Christina Doane and my Chief of Staff, Force Admiral Gary Davis.
2008 also brought us a new branch that the Maquis had never seen – the Romulan Legion. This has expanded to a regular branch, and I would like to thank the two people instrumental in bringing it into fruition – Force Colonel David Stayduhar and Force Colonel Frank Parker. Their involvement, as well as their respective staffs have contributed to making the Romulan Legion a regular part of the daily life of the Force.
Also conducted this past year was the first full retrofit and upgrade to the MFI Academy in quite awhile. Conducted as a joint venture between Force Admiral Rob Johnson as Commandant, Vice Admiral Will Robertson and Vice Admiral Logan Andrews, the upgrade to the Academy, time consuming to both officers, have continued to make the Academy work better and better – and the Force, I'm sure is appreciative of their efforts and continued dedication to their respective departments.
The Guardian Project, which includes the Hall of Remembrance and the Libraries of the International Coordinators began and took flight during 2008. Amazing efforts on behalf of Vice Admiral Steve Lackey and many others have continued to expand The Guardian Project. In honor of the recent loss of the First Lady of Star Trek, Majel Barret-Roddenberry, I would like to request at this time that the Hall of Remembrance be renamed “The Roddenberry Hall of Remembrance” to remember the “First Family” of Star Trek – of course, with the blessing and permission of its creator.
The Charity Task Force has also continued to expand – thanks to the time-and-again proven dedication to our members and their families. Pulling out of their pockets and donating what they can to the causes they deem worthy, I'm continually amazed by their generosity and kindness. One program I am kept constantly updated on in my capacity as International Coordinator and Commander-in-Chief, this program has expanded to include the first Charity out of the United States; “Help For Heroes,” a program instituted by citizens in the United Kingdom to help provide citizens a way to communicate and help soldiers wounded in conflicts on behalf and in service to Her Majesty's armed services.
Holiday for Heroes was a joint venture between the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes, a successful second-year program in which Holiday cards and greetings were collected and distributed to American service members, Veterans and their families by a group of amazing volunteers that, I am proud to say, included several members of the Force. From a military family, I can't express the pride and gratitude I feel when a Service or Armed Forces Task Force kicks in with the Maquis. I wholeheartedly thank all of those who take part in military task forces, and indeed, all Charity Task Force projects, charities and task forces. Bravo Zulu.
The Maquis Honor Guard was a project that had spent a great deal of time in development, spearheaded by its tireless and indeed, fiercely devoted leader, General Christina Doane. Its strict guidelines of membership and requirements make it one of the most elite departments of service to the Force, one of its many duties is to provide protection and support to current and retired International Coordinators. Its service to MFI has been duly noted and I salute all members of this elite squad.
One of the most visible, and indeed most difficult changes made in 2008 was an upgrade to MFIWiki to the new “LCARS Theme,” which was accomplished with the tireless work of Vice Admiral Logan Andrews, Force Admiral Robert Johnson and several others in the design, research and development of the project. My hats off to you to on indeed, another GREAT expansion on our communications medium and making us, arguably the most dynamic organization in the business.
Another aspect of the site was the public unveiling of the Membership Database... a project that has gone on in the inside ring of MFI for over six years. I would like to take a moment to specially recognize Vice Admiral J. William Robertson, Commodore Taylor Goodwill, Vice Admiral Logan Andrews and I'm sure MANY others who have contributed over the several year-long project that has finally come to the final goal – public membership availability. Your dedication, spirit of cooperation and devotion over the past six years has not gone unnoticed. I think of it every time I use the Database. Congratulations and WELL DONE on a job done so. This will be a tool no doubt used and expanded upon for the life of the Maquis.
It is often said that if the Commander-in-Chief of an organization is its brain, its Diplomacy is its hands and mouth. Our Diplomatic Corps, in conjunction with membership, have launched a massive recruiting campaign due to the recent major dissatisfaction in the larger organizations in fandom recently, which has proven successful in getting the word out about MFI. Force Captain Barbara Adams, Vice Admiral Logan Andrews and Force Captain William Haines and the people that worked with them have been instrumental in seeing this particular project through; and I'm sure the Force joins with me in saying “WELL DONE” on taking the initiative and having the drive to send countless emails of introduction and invitations to join us.
Late in 2007, I followed through with my major campaign promise of an “open and accountable” administration. I instituted the “Authorization Order System,” which has been used to exercise the duties of International Coordinator and Commander-in-Chief of the Force in formal arrangements and in permanent record. Each of these will be permanently archived in the Cummings International Coordinator's Library; as well as continue to be a way for myself and future International Coordinators to exercise policy and administration in a way that can be re-read and used for reference down the road, not only by the membership, by by the office-holder as well.
2008 also saw the breaking of another important milestone in the History of the Force – The “Maquis Forces International Team” at SETI@Home, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence at Berkeley reported our 800,000th credit. That number puts us at nearly the 95th percentile of ALL groups in SETI@home AND the software “BOINC,” used to process SETI@home. I would like to thank every single person who has contributed their idle PC time; and particularly thank those who continue to do so. It is contributors like you, who help continue and advance the goals of Science while helping save funds and continue the expansion of the modern man into the 21st Century. Thank you.
The end of 2008 also brought a new exciting aspect to our Quartermaster department - the first OFFICIAL Maquis Polo Shirts. Branded with the "MFI Shell" which was immortalized by the Force's own Commander Ben Kokochak in 2003, Force Admiral Gary Davis worked very hard on research and development of this particular item - furthering his string of accomplishments in his new home in the Quartermaster department. Well done on a very well thought-out and well-finished campaign.
2008 and the beginning of 2009 have been a VERY busy time... for not only myself and my Administration, but by us all... let's continue to move forward in celebration of our fourteenth year in the world and a continuation of our founders' dream...
Thank you for your attention; and from my home at Empok Nor to yours, wherever you happen to be tonight, from those in the Heartland of the United States, to the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Seas of the World, Good night.
//-- END --//