Rogue Chapter

Desk of the Chairman

July 2019 Update

July brings upon us the celebration of our Nation’s birth.  Many of us will be involved in patriotic parades either as participants or attendee.  There will be a massive amount of attention to fireworks, parades and patriotic music.

As men and women who served our country to support and defend the constitution, July 4th has a special place in our hearts.  Most if not all of those who signed the constitution gave up everything throughout the remainder of their lives as a result of signing that sacred document.  We should spend some time and reflect on the true cost of the freedom we all take for granted.  We should share with our children and grandchildren what that cost really means.  Service in the military is not easy and it surely isn’t convenient.

To see so many in this country right now trying to tear down our constitution is disturbing.  Perhaps we are suffering through this disassembly of our constitution because we have gotten soft or just assumed that our schools would teach the truth about the formation of our country.  My friends and fellow patriots, it is time for us to stand for the very thing that we were willing to potentially give our lives for.  However, since we survived, we may feel that we have given enough.  My question to each of you right now is do you acknowledge that while not perfect, this country is the best option in the world?

This 4th of July, were you proud of your service and what this country was formed around?  Do you feel that you have grown complacent about the reason the 4th of July is so important?  To those who have never served in the military, the 4th of July has evolved into a day off work with fireworks and parades.  The birthdate of our country used to represent thoughts about the sacrifice of our founding fathers.  Far too little is taught in our schools about the ideas of what freedom truly represents.  The core thoughts represented by the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution have faded with time.  I fear that the 4th of July for many has become just another day off of work and a reason to blow up fireworks.

I and a bunch of honored veterans just returned from an Honor Flight where our first visit was to the National Archives where we visited and got to see the actual Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  The next day we visited Arlington National Cemetery to see the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Driving through hundreds of acres of graves of lost Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard as well as historical leaders of our country, places an appropriate reference on the cost of freedom that came about as a result of the efforts of our founding fathers.

When is the last time that you read the Declaration of Independence and/or the Constitution?  As veterans who have served and sacrificed to defend this nation, I pray that you place more importance on the 4th of July than just another holiday with fireworks.  It represents the core values that every noncommissioned officer or petty officer swore to uphold when they/you put on that uniform.  Teach that to your children and maybe we can begin to turn things around in this country!

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 2019 Update

Rogue Chapter members on a recent Honor Flight.

As we approach the 75th anniversary of D-Day, another milestone in modern military history will be remembered.  Thousands and thousands of terrified young men stormed numerous beaches in France in what ultimately proved to be a turning point in the war in Europe.  It was the beginning of the end of the Nazi threat that had swallowed Europe, encompassed a plot to destroy an entire race of people and changed the course of history as we know it.

Some of you may have faced your own D-Day type of experience in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia or the Middle East.  While they may not have been on the same scale as D-Day 75 years ago, they still played a significant role in impacting your life going forward.  Some of you served during peace time and were not faced with the horror of battle and that is ok.  The point is that you served.  Last month we remembered those who did not survive and this month I want to remember you, the survivors!  You served, you sacrificed and you survived.  Thank you for your service.

Many of you joined the Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) because it seemed like a good thing to do at the time.  For others, someone pestered you or twisted your arm until it was just easier to join rather than put up with being harangued.   Some of you joined because you believed in what we do and it made sense to you.  Some of you joined long enough to take advantage of a discount in your education.  Let me ask you a question.  Have you gotten anything out of your membership in NCOA?  If you have, I would bet it was because you put some skin in the game.  The generations that stormed the beaches of Normandy, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, the Cho son Reservoir in Korea, and numerous battles in Vietnam put some skin in the game.  They made a choice, nothing ventured, and nothing gained.  Perhaps if you haven’t gotten any value out of your membership is because you haven’t put any skin in the game yet.

Something that you can do even if you are not near a chapter that will reward you in spades is help with projects like Honor Flight that takes our older vets back to Washington DC to visit their Memorials and along the way experience what a grateful nation feels like.  Experience watching an elderly veteran transition to a proud man or woman who stands or sits a little taller because of this project.  I have heard of veterans who experienced closure to a lifetime of wondering after an Honor Flight.  I firmly believe that if any veteran or retiree experiences the results of this type of program, it will deeply affect how they perceive their fellow veterans but also a nation that they live in.

My job as a leader within NCOA is to lead, motivate, educate our membership in order to make us into an organization that we are proud of, but also an organization that we want our friends and neighbors to belong to.  NCOA is not just an organization stuck in neutral; we strive to be forward leaning and to make a difference within our communities and our nation.  We are not the largest but one day we could be.  It is a challenge to not stay stuck in the past and so fixated on tradition that we lose sight of how to survive in an ever changing world.  Your leadership is committed to look forward, but to never forget and learn from our history and tradition.

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

May 2019 Update

My fellow members, May is a special month for me and for many of you as well.  For me, my father who passed away almost 17 years ago was born in May.  He served in the United States Navy retiring as a Chief Postal Clerk from the United States Navy.  I just passed the anniversary of his birth a few days ago and stopped to reflect on how he was a great influence on my decision to join the Navy many years ago.  Memories of significant events in each of our lives help shape us into who we are, and I am proud of the fact that I joined and served for 30 years in the Navy that I loved.  Many of you have memories for your respective service and I will admit that for some of you they may not be as comforting as mine, but that service played a role for each of you in developing who you are today.

May is also a month that our country celebrates Memorial Day each year so that we can remember those who served and did not come back.  It is a solemn month and a solemn day that that raises memories of those that we may know that did not come back.  Perhaps it was a family member or a dear friend or just someone that you served with.  In each case, it brings up the reality that one day, each one of us wrote a blank check to the United States of America to serve in a job from which we might not return.  There are lots of professions out there that are dangerous, but service in our military holds a special place among them.

May is also Military Spouse month and one cannot understate the significant role that our spouses play in holding up the home front while we deploy.  Taking care of our families while we serve, keeping the house together, raising the kids and being an emotional support mechanism for us are huge responsibilities that may not be as dangerous as what we do, but are equally important in the grand scheme of things.  Remember those deployments where you have a tearful goodbye knowing that when you get on that bus, you might not come back.  Remembering the longing looks in the eyes of our spouses as they say goodbye knowing that this could be the last time they see you if your deployment was into a combat zone.

Ben Backen from North Medford High School and Maci Noble from Eagle Point High School each received $500 scholarships from the Rogue Chapter.

The Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) is not just another club that takes your money and gives you nothing in return.  NCOA played a significant role in my military career and help me advance to the rank of Master Chief in the Navy.  Maybe there is a similar story in your life that can bring a smile to your face as you reflect back and maybe not.  In either case, I ask each of you right now to consider this request.  With May being Military Spouse Month, if your spouse is not already in the NCOA family, please bring them in.  If your kids are not yet members of the auxiliary, please sign them up.  NCOA represents our entire enlisted force and their families and now you have an opportunity to show your family and your NCOA just how important that is to you.  Your country needs you and NCOA needs you to step up.  May God Bless each of you and may He Bless our beloved NCOA!

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

April 2019 Report

My fellow members, I want to re-kindle a moment of your service in the military.  Think back to when you felt proud to have been a Marine, or a sailor or a soldier.  Remember a proud moment as a member of the Air Force or Coast Guard.  For you family members who didn’t get to serve but joined our auxiliary to support your spouse or another member of your family, remember that moment that was shared with you by your service member.  Think back to a moment when you were proud to be an American; when wearing your uniform made you stand just a little taller and perhaps walk with a little bounce in your step.

At that moment, was it an individual accomplishment that made you proud or was it a group accomplishment?  I have long felt that some of the best friends that have come into my life are men and women that I served with and I think many if not most of you may feel the same.  Promotions required a lot of individual effort but there was also a contribution from your fellow service members that made the promotion possible.  Perhaps it was a mentor that guided you or your platoon that worked hard together to contribute to group success.  Earning the title of United States Marine is a high point or putting on your anchors to become part of the chief’s mess for you Sailors and Coast Guardsmen.

Maybe it was successful completion of a grueling mission where all objectives were achieved and all of your people came back in one piece.  There are lots of individual accomplishments that make up a career in the military or even a successful enlistment, but more often than not satisfaction is attached to group accomplishments.  Being part of a team, whether it is a squad, platoon, company or even a battalion, regiment or a division give us reason to be proud.

In a certain perspective, the Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) is no different.  Just like in the military, no individual can succeed by themselves.  Success requires teamwork, objectives and effort.  My friends, I just learned this past week that a military organization that has been in existence for 70 years will be closing their doors in a few short months.  Many other organizations, even big ones with millions of members are struggling to move forward.  Individually we can’t do much, but collectively, much can be accomplished.

NCOA currently has approximately 30 chapters located in the US, South Korea and Italy.  We have perhaps another 6 that have gone inactive for not submitting paperwork and another half dozen requests to form new chapters.  Approximately 80% of our membership is not affiliated with a chapter so many of you reading this article fall into that group.  With technology and the Internet, a group of members could form a chapter even if they don’t live in the same state.  A lot can be accomplished in Unity and cooperation and I can assure you that NCOA is not going away.  As Gunny Highway said in Heartbreak Ridge, “we adapt and overcome!”  That is what NCOA is going to do.

Can you help?  Will you help?  Contact me or headquarters and information can and will be provided to assist you. Keep checking our website at www.ncoausa.org and new information will be shared as we move forward.

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

March 2019 Report

My fellow members and perhaps even some currently serving that have not yet joined us; I have some news that I want to share with you that will hopefully provide you with some clarity and perhaps even some comfort as we move forward.  First off, I have heard comments from within our organization and even from other organizations regarding the subject of branding.  Many of you only know our organization as NCOA.  Internally within small groups of members, that may be what you will continue to use, but officially going forward, we will be the Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA).  The reason for this simple change is that when dealing with current serving members of the armed forces, many believe that NCOA stand for Non Commissioned Officers Academy and the business world, we are confused with the National Council on Aging.  The acronym alone has been found to be confusing so officially going forward we will spell out who we are along with the acronym in official correspondence and then we can use NCOA throughout the balance of the documents.  When speaking to a group for the first time identify ourselves with our full name up front so that they know who we are.

The second change that we will begin to implement is that we are moving away from calling ourselves a Veterans Service Organization (VSO) and move towards becoming a Military Service Organization (MSO).  A Veterans Service Organization has become identified as a group that files claims with the VA and focuses on older veterans.  It is our goal to be recognized by our younger veterans as shifting our focus to taking care of those who are currently serving as well as those that are transitioning from service to civilian life.  Our mission has always been to handle quality of life for our military and their families, but it has become equally important to address employment, training, education and follow-on medical care for the service members and their families.

Another point of confusion or perhaps frustration is that too many members have a difficult time who approaching Navy and Coast Guard because their E4-E9 personnel are referred to as Petty Officers instead of Non Commissioned Officers and our name implies that Navy and Coast Guard don’t belong.  That could not be farther from the truth but there is no simple name change that we can come up with that is inclusive of all five branches and how they all identify their E4-E9 members.  Additionally, to officially change our name, Articles of Incorporation and Congressional Charter would be extremely expensive.    Over our history, we have had leadership from all 5 branches of the military and the last 3 consecutive National Commanders have been former E-10s.

Finally, I want to bring it to all of your attention just how effective our current Executive Director has been since joining your national staff.    A recent communication that I saw from an Air Force SMSGT indicated that when he went onto our NCOA website and looked at our benefits, he was blown away by what we now have.  Recently we picked up a vision program, a hearing program, a mentorship program, mental health counseling, a car rebate program and many more.  I encourage you to visit our website at www.ncoausa.org and explore to see all of the exciting and current information about your association.  You will be surprised.

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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