Rogue Chapter

Desk of the Chairman

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October 2020 Update

September was National Suicide Prevention Month and it hit close to home for one of our International Board members who as an active duty first sergeant had to deal first hand because a member of his unit took their own life.  In this fast-paced world that is so disrupted on so many levels, it is difficult to see this coming.  As a nation, we need to take a step back and each of us focus on our families, units, and those in close proximity.  Each life is precious and too often, we don’t realize just how precious it is until it is gone.

My fellow Non Commissioned Officer Association (NCOA) members, if I was a betting man, most of us would ask for a do-over for 2020.  We started off the year with an attempt to remove the Commander in Chief, followed almost immediately with COVID-19 which brought about a collapse of our economy and a significant change to personal freedom as well as the implementation of social distancing.  Businesses shut down, travel plans were wiped out and a sense of cultural division unlike I have seen in my lifetime.  That was followed by a string of disasters such as fires, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes to name a few.

Chairman Haines presented Russ Schweikert, Lauren Trantham & Melanie Madden, the Veterun committee, with awards from NCOA for their hard work.

There is a silver lining to all of this doom and gloom.  NCOA has been making forward strides as an organization.  We are doing a revamp of our Strategic Communication plan.  We are revising our Awards manual to ensure that hard-working members are properly recognized.  We have affiliated with USCCA which allows members to get a 15% discount on programs when the average person would only qualify at best for a 10% discount.  Our recruiting is on track to meet a target of 1,000 new members.  We have established a new member’s only Facebook page and are reaching out with new layers with which to communicate with all of our membership.  We have begun reaching out to our members at large by establishing geographic regions with several new regional coordinators already in place.

Your NCOA has not been sitting still and has not allowed a worldwide crisis to push us into a corner.  Our new President has established a new “Commander’s Call” where he interviews significant figures that bring insight into issues relevant to NCOA and our armed forces.  We have held several all member meetings over the past couple of months via Zoom in order to keep our membership up to date and your Board of Directors has been meeting via Zoom every one to two months to stay on top of opportunities that will benefit each of you.  Your leadership has never been more engaged since I have been a member.  I am excited by things that I see happening within your NCOA in spite of what is going on in the world.  We are evolving and finding the right mix of recognizing and stabilizing our past legacy with the tools and programs that will attract the next generation so that NCOA will live on.  We need your input on both targets.  We do not want to leave anyone behind as we move forward and that is an all hand process just like on the battlefield where we learned to leave no one behind.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at chairman@ncoausa.org and I can assure you that your leadership will take note.

Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example,

MCPO (SCW) Terry M. Haines
Chairman, International Board of Directors

September 2020 Update

At a fund raiser was for the upcoming VeteRun.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and with the veteran suicide rate on or near an all-time high, it has never been more important for each of you to reach out to your buddies and do buddy checks to make sure that your buddy will be there tomorrow.

My fellow Non Commissioned Officer Association (NCOA) members, I recently watched an NCOA Zoom call that resonated with me in a personal way.  One of the participants was Marine veteran; SSGT Tim Jenson that I discovered served in Iraq at the same time I was there.  He is a generation younger than I but he triggered some factors that I think we often dismiss because they may be too obvious, or because we have become so focused on COVID-19 that we have just forgotten.

A common denominator with the vast majority of men and women who have and are serving in the armed forces is patriotism.  World events like 9/11 brought out a huge surge in joining the military because the very fiber of our nation was violently attacked.  The heroism and sacrifice of those first responders rushing into the twin towers and the Pentagon knowing that they were putting themselves in danger to save total strangers no matter what their political, racial, sexual or religious affiliation made us all proud to be Americans.  Those actions also resonate with those of us who serve in the military.  For a period of time, our nation was in shock.  Differences no longer mattered.  Our entire nation mobilized to send help through agencies like the American Red Cross.  Americans of all ages, races, sexes, and socio-economic and political backgrounds came together.

Today we find ourselves in another kind of crisis, one that is invisible, but just as deadly as that attack on the twin towers and the Pentagon.  As a nation, we have eliminated slavery, elevated women to an equal status with the right to vote, and have worked to address and eliminate many other social injustices.  This work is not done as there is still a lot to do.  One point that SSGT Jensen mentioned about his tour in Iraq that is one that demonstrates the concepts of freedom and patriotism the best of all was watching the Iraqi people were willing to risk their very lives to have an opportunity to vote.  They stood in lines longer than anything you could imagine in this country to vote and have their finger imprinted with the purple ink showing that they had cast a ballot.  What makes that impressive is that there were forces trying to stop the voting and they openly attacked and killed Iraqi citizens standing in line and yet the Iraqi’s were not going to give up their opportunity to vote, no matter what.

NCOA members, no matter where you live, you have the opportunity to lead within your community and show that patriotism and civic responsibility are not dead in this country.  While we are not a perfect nation, we are by far the best option on the entire planet and if we can come together like a nation after 9/11 and sit down and address our problems, we can work together and make America even better.  Take the leadership that you were exposed to and used while in the military to make a difference in your community. If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at chairman@ncoausa.org and I can assure you that your leadership will take note.

Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example,

MCPO (SCW) Terry M. Haines
Chairman, International Board of Directors

August 2020 Update

Chairman Haines swears in our newest trustee, Army Sgt. Rachael Watters.

Several years ago I made telephone calls to several members at large in the Midwest and New England areas as part of a project to clean up our database.  At that time I was encouraged by many of you regarding your support for NCOA.  Several of you even indicated that you might be interested in getting chapters going if enough people could be located to form the core of chapter leadership.

Between 75 and 80% of our association membership is what we call members at large.  Recently with the development of new technology, anyone with internet access can connect with other members anywhere in the world.  We have been toying with the idea of bringing members together virtually to at least communicate with other members.  Some ideas have surfaced where members looking for work can come together and exchange information, develop and share leads and assist with all facets of job search.  Another option might be members that like to ride motorcycles and want to plan group rides.  The options are only limited by one’s imagination.  For those still on active duty or in the Reserves, there are members available to assist with the development of your career options and guide your advancement.

The Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) is here to be what you need us to be.  We are here to champion issues in Washington and be the voice that the wearing of the uniform prevents you from directly exercising.  NCOA has the potential to be whatever you need it to be.  We have a new Facebook page titled “NCOA-The Voice of the Enlisted”.  It is a great forum to find out what other members have going and to share issues or concerns that you may need help with, but it is a member-only group.  It is also a great platform to make suggestions for new programs or benefits that you would like to see.

Let’s use the extra time that we have due to restrictions from COVID-19 to engage our collective creativity and make NCOA the leading Military Service Organization out there.  We all want to be on a winning team and your leadership will work day and night to make that happen.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at chairman@ncoausa.org and I can assure you that your leadership will take note.

Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example,

MCPO (SCW) Terry M. Haines
Chairman, International Board of Directors

July 2020 Update

July is normally a month when we celebrate our Nation’s birthday with parades, fireworks, picnics, and an assortment of sporting events.  This year will be different.  Parades celebrating our history, our birthday, and patriotism are banned for fear of spreading COVID-19.  Fireworks are also banned because they might draw large crowds and God forbid we do something that could cause further passing on of that pesky COVID-19 virus.

Fellow NCOA members, those who have served as well as family members of those who served or are still serving; our service was for a purpose.  Some may have served only to qualify for a very good educational benefit that NCOA helped to obtain many years ago.  Others may have served after the attack of terrorists on 9/11 out of a sense of patriotism.  Whatever your reason for service, we sacrificed a piece of our life and in some cases a piece of ourselves to defend our freedoms for ourselves, our families, and future generations.

With all of the news coverage focusing on change and in some cases even pushing the elimination of our founding history, something that your Board has been looking into came back to the front of my mind.  We were exploring an organization called Step up America and one of their pet projects is called the Franklin Project.  Their website https://stepupamericaprogram.org lists their mission as follows:  “The mission of Step Up America: A Call to Good Citizenship is to educate our youth on the importance of becoming responsible, engaged U.S. Citizens in order to preserve the freedom and security of our great nation.”  They were scheduled to come to our conference in San Antonio to speak to us about this project and then COVID-19 changed everything.

I suggest that rather than focusing on the current disruption, we focus on a solution that has been overlooked for far too long.  Step up America teaches our youth why the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were written and the long agonizing process that our founding fathers went through to create these documents.  We can’t fix everything at once, but if some/all of you believe that the Bill of Rights and why this country was so exceptional for over 200 years, perhaps you can look into this as a chapter or an individual and help start the healing of our nation.  Your nation needs you and I humbly request that you step up one more time.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at chairman@ncoausa.org and I can assure you that your leadership will take note.

Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example,

MCPO (SCW) Terry M. Haines
Chairman, International Board of Directors

June 2020 Update

June is the traditional month when schools get out, summer begins, PCS moves take place and many of us begin to think about things like vacations, baseball, and NASCAR.  This year, other than summer starting on June 20th and Father’s Day, nothing will be the same.  School was closed months ago, PCS moves have been delayed, sports have been canceled or seriously pushed back and vacations either delayed or canceled.  The level of fear present in the United States is at or nearing an all-time high.

Chairman of the Board Terry M, Haines presenting the award for the 2019 Western Region Large Chapter of the Year award to Trustee & Treasurer Ron Kohl

Those of us who have served in the military have been trained or at least exposed to leadership.  If you have ever been in a combat zone, you know what fear is and the fear that Americans are exposed to today is real.  It is unfortunate that the media and some of those in positions of leadership are choosing to push fear rather than calm.  True leaders guide those under their direction on how to get through stressful times.  Right now, it is not just you that are being impacted by COVID-19, but it is also your family and others that you love.  That makes it worse because we care for those we love.

When in combat, you and your fellow members of the armed forces are there.  Your family is secure back home.  This COVID-19 is an invisible enemy and it is hitting us right where we and our families are at.  What can you do to get through this situation?  My fellow NCOA members use the experience of having served in the military to guide your families through these difficult times.  Try to keep emotions out of the mix.

Leadership is something that has nothing to do with gender or age.  Leaders remain calm and provide guidance to accomplish the mission.  Right now, our mission is to get through this crisis.  Check up on your families, friends, neighbors, and fellow veterans.  Make sure they are alright and offer to assist if they need help.  Mow a lawn, shop for groceries if they need help, take out their garbage, and just offer a calming demeanor in these stressful times.  Don’t let people isolate as that only breeds more fear.

We won’t be able to meet this year, but we will be doing online opportunities to share information.  We will still be recognizing our Vanguard heroes and sharing the inspiring feats that earned them the recognition.  While NCOA isn’t the largest or best-known organization, we are a powerful and focused group looking out for our enlisted forces and their families.  I invite you today to use your training and patriotism to help your community and this nation get through this crisis.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at chairman@ncoausa.org and I can assure you that your leadership will take note.

Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example,

MCPO (SCW) Terry M. Haines
Chairman, International Board of Directors

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3rd Annual Rogue Valley VeteRUN
                  October 12, 2019
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