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 firstname.lastname@example.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