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.
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 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