Rogue Chapter

Desk of the Chairman

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December 2019 Update

December is upon us once again.  We start off remembering Pearl Harbor Day.  December 7th, the Day that will live in infamy and transition to Christmas to end the month with a big family day that usually means that most of us mortgage the year trying to keep up with the Jones’ and give our kids more than we should.

Things are nice, but they soon break or are stuffed in a drawer because we lose interest in them when the next “big thing” hits the market.  The one thing that I have learned as I grow older is that things come and go, but memories are forever.

Many of you have served in some type of combat and probably have some memories that you would rather forget.  Try as you may, it is difficult to purge those memories that haunt you and as long as you chose to recycle those memories, they will haunt you for the rest of your life.  Here is an idea.  During this Christmas season that truly represents the birth of our Savior, try paying it forward.  Help someone in need and perhaps make a difference for that person.  On the battlefield, we live by the premise that we leave no one behind, yet there are veterans out there in almost every community that are struggling because they feel left behind by a society that doesn’t understand what we have been through.  We have gotten to a point where people will say “Thank you for your service” out of habit when they see a hat, but they don’t really understand what that means.  They can’t because they have never been there, but you have!

This year, help a brother or sister in need and you might just make their day and give them a memory that is fresh and perhaps will replace the nightmare of their daily existence.  Who knows, you may even save a life by befriending someone who is close to giving up.

There are people out there that during this family time don’t have a family close by.  They are lonely, frustrated and perhaps even depressed.  Look out for them as they may even be someone you served with.  Give a person you don’t know the most precious gift that you have, your time and attention!

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

November 2019 Update

November is the month that we in America celebrate three significant events.  Veterans Day, November 11th is a day that was originally called Armistice Day commemorating the end of World War 1, the “war to end all wars”.  It has evolved into a day when all veterans from all wars are now honored and many businesses give free meals to veterans, many communities host Veteran’s Day parades to honor those who have worn the uniform defending this country against all enemies.  It is a day when we who have served receive some level of appreciation back.

Additionally, November is the month that we celebrate Thanksgiving.  This holiday is steeped in tradition surrounding family, a traditional meal together and a remembrance of the difficulties that the early pilgrims endured upon arrival in this country seeking freedom from religious persecution.

Finally, November 10th is the Birthdate for the United States Marine Corps.  Semper Fi to all of you who served.

Bud Cordes and Terry Haines at Texas Roadhouse on Veterans Day raising fund.

I wish all of you an exceptionally proud Veteran’s Day where you can accept the appreciation of a grateful nation and move around within your community because we are free because each of you wore that uniform.  Thank you!  I also hope that you have a warm family type Thanksgiving celebration either with your family or dear friends.  No matter how dysfunctional it seems like at times, we still have an ample supply of things to be grateful for in this country.  Even on our worst day, we are still better off than much of the world.

The Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) is our mechanism for affecting positive change for those who have served and those currently serving and their families.  One voice by itself can quickly be drowned out and ultimately have no effect.  By gathering input from our membership, NCOA can act as a conduit to join multiple inputs and then join together as part of the Military Coalition to have your concerns addressed by the powers that be.

Some future issues that need to be addressed are ensuring that when our troops return from combat that they are properly decompressed, evaluated and trained on how to cope with Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries.  The suicide rate for veterans is significantly higher than non-veterans and that is unacceptable.  Divorce rates for combat veterans are extremely high (80-85%).  If a service person goes into combat and when they come home can’t communicate with their families that is a problem which needs to be addressed.

Another area of concern is that transitioning from the military requires more that being taught how to fill out a resume.  A better job needs to be done in the area of certifications and credentialing and making those certifications and credentials universally acceptable.  Employers want employees with skills and one of the measuring factors that they look for are certifications and credentials.  We need to find a way to make these tools for seeking employment acceptable in all 50 states.

Let me know what you think and if this is something that you feel NCOA should take on.

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

October 2019 Update

One of the jobs of a leader is to lead.  Being a leader does not necessarily mean that you will be everyone’s friend.  From time to time we all need to take a step back, evaluate where we are going and more specifically how we are going to get there.  That may mean that a leader goes out of their way to say or do things that raise the hair on the back of your neck, and it may also mean that from time to time we must calibrate what we are doing against what we are trying to do.

Terry Haines swearing in our newest Trustee, Dan Reno.

A nautical phrase many of you may have heard before is that you cannot change the direction of a ship if you are tied up to the pier.  One must set sail in order to change direction.  Years ago when NCOA was a good sized organization and we had an affiliation with Academy Life, no one paid much attention to how we were doing things and how we communicated.  No one cared much about fiscal responsibility because we had a fat cat covering all of the bills.  A few bad apples did things that they shouldn’t have and brought some bad publicity to this organization.  Using some of the liberal mentality of today, we remove any semblance of memory to those times.  The problem is some of our members were hurt.  Some of our members did not, or perhaps even today, do not have the capacity to forgive.  Removing the memory doesn’t solve the problem, but learning from it does.  NCOA needs the good members who were hurt back then to return as a contributing part of the organization.  We need to recapture the good things that NCOA had done.   History happened and removing it like many in our culture today would have us do removes teaching moments and is like “throwing out the baby with the bath water.”

If you are one that still bears the hurt from our past, I humbly apologize and ask you to give the current leadership team an opportunity to make things right with you.  NCOA has made some significant improvements over just the last five years.  Our Board of Directors is smaller and not just a conference board, but we meet via conference calls every month or so to deal with issues that impact you and your family.  The level of communication from the Board out to you has improved significantly where you can now hear what is going on monthly from myself, the President of the Association, our Executive Director and most recently from our Grand Knight.

Our new Executive Director has held almost every possible position within the chapter and board hierarchy before assuming the operational day to day running of the association.   He truly cares about each and every one of you because he has been where you are and has felt your pain.

While we are not as young as we used to be and our energy levels have declined, we still have one asset that is not to be underestimated.  Experience!  I and your current leadership love this association and have taken an oath to do everything in our power to “Make NCOA Great Again”.  We can’t do it by ourselves.  Equally important is that we realize that we can’t force how we used to do it down the throat of today’s generation or we truly will cease to exist.  If you are a parent or grandparent or maybe even a great grandparent, we must be patient and teach today’s generation the truly important accomplishments of our past and guide these young members through the maze of confusion that is today’s culture.  You would do it with your kids or grandkids, so why not our new young members?  Be flexible and patient for the alternative is death!

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 2019 Update

Here is a picture from Afghanistan showing the troops with the care packages that we are sending.

Thank those of you who responded with encouraging remarks to my last as well as all of my previous articles.  Even when we disagree on a point, I appreciate it when you take the time to share your thoughts.  Communication of different points of view ultimately leads to a better end product.

Summer is winding down and soon our youth will be heading back to school, so slow down around those school zones.  I just recently completed a cruise on something other that wasn’t haze grey!  I got a chance to meet up with veterans from Florida, Texas, Georgia, California, Washington and Missouri.  They were all actively involved in veteran groups and we had a very good discussion about service to others.

The Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) has members of all ages and demographic groups.  This month I want to focus on a topic that either has directly or indirectly impacted many of our members.  September is National Suicide Prevention Month.  Our Grand Knight wrote a very good article that can be located on the NCOA website under leadership messages.  Please read it as there are a lot of startling facts and information that you should know in it.  I only want to focus on a couple of factors that are often overlooked by our culture.  The population percentage of those who have served or are currently serving in the military is approximately 6%.  The suicide rate of that 6% is just about doubled that of the remaining 94% of our population. 

Here is a picture from Afghanistan showing the troops with the care packages that we are sending.

22 veterans of all ages commit suicide every single day and the biggest reason it remains at such an alarming level is that it is a very difficult subject to think about.  It is hard to understand and requires courage to confront.  It is odd that there are traditions within our military about leaving no man behind and that is a phrase or tradition that should resonate with all of you.  With the issue of suicide, there isn’t an enemy shooting at you, but there really is.  The enemy is affecting a family member, friend, co-worker or someone that should be just as important to you as the person next to you on patrol in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam or some other battlefield around the world.  The enemy isn’t shooting AK-47 rounds.  The enemy is the mind of the one contemplating suicide.  The thoughts plaguing this veteran are invisible to you but cause behaviors that are visible to those around them if you know what to look for and truly believe in not leaving someone behind on the battlefield.

This month I am asking all of you who read this article to spend some time researching what to look for and encouraging your chapter or post to take some kind of action that will raise public awareness in your area.  If you are a member at large, you can draft a letter to the editor for your local newspaper or get involved in a local suicide awareness walk.  Do something!  Last month the Air Force took a whole day off to focus on this issue.  Let’s keep the momentum going.  If we want the 94% of the population to care, we need to show them that our 6% cares first.

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 2019 Update

August for most of us is the traditional last month of summer.  Many are still traveling on vacation and kids are preparing for the inevitable return to school.  Baseball is still going strong and college and NFL football are beginning to stir in preparation for a new season.  Things are kind of routine if you are not still on active duty and deployed somewhere in the world, especially if you are in a war zone.  For them one day seems like the next.  It is just another patrol or perhaps another day at sea if in the Navy or the Coast Guard.  Life for those still serving isn’t the same as those of us who no longer serve.  We need to keep that in mind and do what we can to ease the strains on those still serving.

I just returned from our 2019 annual business meeting.  Our staff did a remarkable job pulling this year’s event off since the venue that we were booked at was sold and closed just a few short weeks prior to us getting together.  The crowd that showed up was treated to an exceptional event.  The senior enlisted panel was reported by many in attendance as the most informative and relevant one in years.  The business meeting, although compressed for time, produced some positive changes for our association that will allow us to grow and remain competitive with our competitors going forward.  The Vanguard awards banquet produced another crop of young heroes that we can all be proud of.  I hope to see all of you in San Antonio, Texas for the 2020 conference!

On my way home from the conference, I had a layover in Denver and as I was standing in line to grab a bite to eat I noticed a clean-cut young man right in front of me.  We spoke and he informed me that he was headed for Marine Corps boot camp. I treated him to dinner and discovered he was the youngest of three brothers and his older brothers were in the Navy.  He was excited about his future.  I gave him my card and asked that he stay in touch after he graduates from boot camp.  Many of us have fallen into the trap of hasty generalization assuming that all young people are not as good as we were based on casual observations.  There are plenty of quality good young men and women in this country who are ready to assume the watch.  It is up to us to mentor the youth coming behind us and encourage them.  That old saying “how do you eat an elephant? The answer is one bite at a time.”  This analogy can be applied to our young people. Mentor one young person at a time and you will have done something to make this country and that young person proud.

I challenge you to each take that one bite and mentor a young man or woman.  I challenge each of you to bring one new member into this great association.  I am encouraged by what I see and there are a lot of good things happening within the NCOA.  Send pictures and a brief report of what you are doing to headquarters.  There are a lot of you who are not attached to a chapter but are still doing things to make our organization and our country better.  Please share them.  That will help others realize that they are not alone.  There is a saying from another group that I belong to that fits NCOA.  “No man fights alone!”   We are just bad about sharing what we do so at times it feels like we are alone.  Together we will overcome fear, complacency and a feeling that nothing we do makes a difference.

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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