Rogue Chapter

Desk of the Chairman

February 2019 Report

We just ended the longest government shut down in US history and no matter what side of the political spectrum you claim, nothing compares to the deployment into a combat zone where people are dying and creature comforts like the ability to come home at night and hug your kids or your wife just aren’t available.  Just remember the saying, the grass is always greener somewhere else until you get there and find out that the only thing greener was the hope that you had.

I recently heard from a few members out there that at some point in the past they were disappointed in NCOA.  I would imagine that many of us have experienced disappointment in our lives, whether it is with family, a job, our government or even an organization like NCOA.  Life is full of choices and some chose to be bitter and those people struggle to find happiness and success.  Failure is part of life, but what separates success from bitterness is whether you chose to let that struggle to rule over you and keep you down, or you chose to get back up and prove those who try to hold you down were wrong.  Ask a woman if it hurts to give birth and they will tell you it hurts like hell, but once they hold that precious child in their arms, the pain is no longer important.  I tell you this information not to discourage you or point fingers, but to illustrate that life is hard and running an organization like NCOA is hard.  NCOA is struggling like almost every membership based organization in existence, but with the struggle, there will be opportunities to pick oneself up off of the ground and move forward.

The leadership of NCOA today is committed to bring life, opportunity and hope back for all of our members including those who are angry with us.  We are different people at a different time with different tools and opportunities with which to work.  NCOA is your NCOA and I and the current leadership have accepted the mantle of responsibility to make you proud again.  There are plenty of things in this world that can disappoint you, but in the end, I pray that NCOA will not be one of them.

There are a lot of wonderful things going on around NCOA, but we have done a poor job of sharing them with the rest of our membership and the world around us.  We are working on a plan to hopefully bring a publication back as a means of sharing with our members and the world the wonderful things that go on across this country because of what NCOA members are doing.  If you like to write, whether you are affiliated with a chapter or not, let us know.  If you can take pictures of activities that support our military and our communities, let us know.  If you have skills as an editor and can take information and turn it into a story, let us know.  If you have connections with businesses that are friendly to our troops, both at home and abroad and may be willing to sponsor projects in exchange for publicity, let us know.  If you have ideas that warm your heart and may be something that others can duplicate, let us know.  Together we will pick ourselves back up off of the ground and become the leaders that we are capable of being.

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

January 2019 Report

Christmas and New Years are now behind us and I pray that you all had a safe and memorable holiday season.  I am excited about 2019 because good things are on our horizon.  As many of you know by now, we have a new Executive Director.  Sir Joe Terry is not just our new operational head, he is one with a resume’ of success within NCOA.  For years he led the Dragon Hill Chapter in Korea to multiple Large Chapter of the Year awards.  He is a member of the Knights of the Square Table and is familiar with that body of leaders within the association.  He has also sat on the International Board of Directors and most recently has been the Membership Director for NCOA.  He knows NCOA from top to bottom and can use that experience to return us to a leadership role within the Veteran Service Organizations.

NCOA is changing and with those changes we will have many opportunities to be more than just a veteran organization that looks after the quality of life for our enlisted forces and their families.  We can become the model for all other veteran service organizations as we move forward.  Legislation and advocacy has always been an important piece of who we are and that will now get stronger as our Legislative Director has a single area of tasking without having to split his time and attention on multiple areas of responsibility.  This will better serve you!

We are examining our branding to clarify who we are to ensure that our current and potential members as well as potential corporate sponsorship know who we are.

We are updating all of our governing policies, By-Laws and procedures to match the world around us as opposed to when they were written over 60 years ago.  It is important that the audience that we are trying to attract can identify with who we are and what we are trying to accomplish.

Most if not all of you have been deployed while in the military away from home and or family.  This is a hardship that most who haven’t served in the armed forces will never be able to understand.  It is a sad matter when the greatest and most powerful nation in the world sends troops overseas to locations without access to simple basic things like access to hygiene items.  That is one place where NCOA can step up and help our brothers and sisters in harm’s way.  I can tell you for a fact that there are bases out there where if it wasn’t for NCOA and family members, the troops wouldn’t even have a bar of soap to wash with or tooth paste to brush their teeth.  That’s not all of our bases, but if it is just one, that is too many!

It is as reality that a lot of our members are not affiliated with a local chapter and are considered members at large.  There are members out there with skills to help us with this recovery and there are even members who would be willing to be part of an active chapter if one popped up near them.  The beauty of our current situation is that chapters don’t need to meet in a building.  They can meet on line via SKYPE or Facebook Live Feed to name a few options.  If you have some time and want to be part of our re-emergence, contact headquarters and something can be worked out.

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

December 2018 Report

I hope that you all had a blessed Thanksgiving and experienced why there is so much to be thankful for in this great country.  In a few short weeks, Christmas will be here.  The vast majority of us will have the opportunity to be with families and loved ones and to experience what Christmas is all about.  I don’t have to remind you that we have many brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers and sons and daughters who will be away from us this eighteenth Christmas season since 9/11.  Please pray that this will be the last time we have troops in harm’s way at Christmas.

I want to thank all of you who have contacted me about sending care packages to some of our troops in Afghanistan.  If you sent something special to another service member as a result of my last column, thank you.  I was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq for Christmas 2005 and I can assure you that being in a combat zone is a humbling experience.  I have a grandson serving in the United States Army right now and his wife, also a soldier, will be spending this Christmas separated from him in Eastern Europe.  Separation is a way of life in the military, so this year, I ask all of you to do what you can to ease that loneliness just a little bit.  You will feel better and I can assure you that our troops will appreciate it.  Some chapters have sent cards and others care packages.  All can pray for their safety.  You can also do something special for the families back home to show them how much we support their service man or woman.

A college professor once stated “There is no such thing as a free lunch!  Someone somewhere is paying for it.”  I have never forgotten that statement and I think that we all need to spend some time reflecting on what it means.  There are some in this country that have been so brainwashed with the entitlement mantra that they think that by being able to breath air, they are entitled to free stuff.  There is a big difference between free and free to you!

My generation and most of the ones that came before me understood that only through hard work and effort were things earned.  The benefits earned by our service in the military are earned by your years of service, but they aren’t free.  Taxpayers cover the cost and yes that means even those who serve are investing in the very benefits that we receive.  That GI-Bill education or that VA disability payment is not free.  The difference between the benefits earned by years of service in the military and many of the things being talked about by politician’s todays is a matter of investment and effort.  Each of us has invested years of our lives, holidays away from our loved ones and numerous other inconveniences because we chose to serve to protect our freedoms.  Be proud of that!

Now I know there are some of you that were drafted into service and that was not a choice that you would have made at the time, but in the end you served rather than run away and hide in Canada.  You earned those benefits because you did serve.  If you wore the uniform of any branch of the military, I salute you.  Do not diminish that service because you were drafted rather than volunteering.  You served and therefore earned every benefit those groups like NCOA and a host of other organizations fought hard to win for you.

As we approach the end of a turbulent year and look forward to a new and hopefully better year, remember this!  Life is a matter of choices.  Each of us can choose to be part of the solution or we can relegate ourselves to be a part of the problem.  NCOA will align itself to be part of the solution.  Will you help?  If you have thoughts, I want to hear them.  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 2018 Report

November 10th is the 243rd birthday for the United States Marine Corps, so a very happy and respectful birthday wish goes out to all Marines, past and present and for those who will serve, the bar has been set high.

Many of you served in combat and can truly understand the significance of service over the holidays.  Being away from family and loved ones is hard no matter what day it is, but there is something a bit more emotional when we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas away from home.  There are Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen serving all over the world this upcoming holiday season and when I use the word “man”, I also want to call out that there are a lot of women serving proudly right alongside.

There is a base in Afghanistan that my chapter has been supporting for some time.  There are Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen at Camp Shorab.  NCOA’s mission is to look after the quality of life for our enlisted men and women as well as their families.  This holiday season, I am going to ask a favor of all of you.  This base doesn’t have a PX and many of the outposts do not even have a chow hall.  They are asking for simple hygiene items as well as snacks and canned food to supplement their diet.  I received thank you letters from several enlisted Marines thanking NCOA for our support.  I am asking all of you to consider sending some care packages and or any service man or women Christmas cards to this base to let them know that NCOA truly does support them.  While I have one isolated base to support, you may know of others.  In either case, please support our troops on the front lines in harm’s way.  What a way to plant a seed that NCOA cares for them and will step up and take care of them.  Email me for the address if interested in this specific base or if you have any questions about what to send or how to send it and I will be happy to guide you.

After much thought and research, NCOA will be having our annual conference next year in San Antonio from July 16-18.  We need you to seriously consider attending as many significant changes in our organization will be formulated and voted on and you should all be involved in the decision process.  There is plenty of time until we meet in San Antonio to budget and come.  I hope to see all of you there.

Finally, NCOA has all of the programs that all of the other service organizations have, but we have a leadership team that truly cares about each and every one of you.  I have the privilege of working alongside Vince Patton, our National President.  Our current Board is made up of active duty and retirees from across the military spectrum.  We are working hard behind the scenes to turn NCOA from just another veteran service organization into the premier organization that focuses on “all” of our enlisted forces.  Hop onto the crest of this wave and be a part of this process.  If you have any ideas or suggestions, I want to hear from you.  Email me at chairman@ncoausa.org.  Remember, failure is not an option!

Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example

Terry M. Haines

Chairman, International Board of Directors

September 2018 Report

This month I want to try something different.  NCOA in its current form has been doing things a certain way since 1960 when we were first created as a Veteran’s Service Organization.  Our mission calls for us to fight for quality of life for all enlisted personnel and their families from all five branches of the military.

We have received a number of thought provoking ideas about where we are weak as an association and I must agree that we have a lot of room for improvement, but I have said it before and I will reiterate it again, failure is not an option.   It is a foregone conclusion that we need an injection of youth into our organization in order to keep up with the times.  The flow of new recruits into all branches of the military is healthy enough that we still are an all-volunteer military.  Considering that we as a nation have been at war for almost 17 years, it is amazing that our force still maintains its status as the best fighting force in the world.  How can that be?  Many in the older generation think that the younger generation does nothing but play video games and text on their phones.  While that perception may be partially true for some of the younger generation, how can it be absolutely true with all of those who are serving today?  They can’t maintain our fighting force at such an elite level by keeping their nose buried in a cell phone or playing video games 24/7.

Maybe those who are serving have some the same stuff that we had when we joined decades ago.  They must be patriotic or why would they sign up knowing there is a good chance they will be deployed to a combat theater?  They must have some level of discipline.  They must have some sense of loyalty.

I have talked to many younger sailors and soldiers and they have some level of desire to improve their community.  I propose that this younger generation has many of the same qualities that we had, but it just manifests itself differently than we are used to seeing.

We have spent years complaining about what is wrong with everything in our lives.  There isn’t much wrong with this world and NCOA that hasn’t already been identified and analyzed.  I am asking you today to shift gears.  What do we do well?  Come at this exercise as if the glass is half full rather than half empty.  Talk to young people and listen?  Stop assuming that you know what they think or you will never hear what they are saying.  Brainstorm with the younger generation.  What do they want?  How do they want to accomplish it?  How can NCOA help?  What do they need that they can’t get from the military?

It is time we all started looking for solutions rather than dwelling on problems!  If you have any suggestions as to how we should operate as an organization, I want to hear about it.  My email is chairman@ncoausa.org.  I can assure you that your thoughts, ideas and suggestions will not be ignored.  I pass every email that I get onto the entire leadership team.  We want to turn NCOA into a leading veterans service organization that makes a difference for you and your family no matter whether you are in your 20’s or your 60’s.  I say again, “Failure is not an option!”

 

Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example

Terry M. Haines

Chairman, International Board of Directors

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