The Ohio Council of Chapters disseminates periodic information on MOAA’s legislative actions, benefits, defense interests, and MOAA chapter news. Please visit this page at least monthly to review relevant information for your chapter and members.
Chapter Officers should also visit the Chapter Officers’ Action Page, as it provides quick reference to upcoming action items with helpful procedural information as provided by MOAA and OCC staff.
Click Here for the Chapter Officers’ Action Page, and the link is also available under the “Home” menu.
As President, I have been privileged to participate in the MOAA Leadership Roundtable videoconferences with MOAA National on various topics.
The first was on Generational Recruiting which developed into an interesting discussion on how to get and retain new/younger members. As you can imagine there was a lively discussion about how hard it is to recruit and keep new/younger members. Some good ideas initially came out, but the discussion became dominated by a few participants who kept repeating their same points. People kept repeating that it was hard to get new members to sign up. But everybody already knew that.
Initially, this was alright, but a few participants dominated the presentation. Limiting the discussion and the points presented.
The conference went well past the published end time. I left the conference a little disappointed.
The following month's videoconference was about Chapter Communications. Again a few participants dominated the presentations and talked about the same topic from last month—the issue of how hard it is to recruit and keep new members.
I thought, here we go again. But after a few minutes one presenter and the conference moderator jumped in and got the topic back to Chapter communications. It turned into a beneficial conference and only was little bit overtime, and there was lots of participation by numerous members. This turned out to be a very beneficial videoconference and made you want to come back for next month’s conference.
The topic for this article is not to give you a report on what was covered in the National Video conference but to talk about managing your Chapter meetings to make sure they are attractive to your members.
One idea that came out of that first video conference was that new members are looking for something interesting and pertinent. This is necessary to get them in the door and keep them there.
So, the first thing is to develop an interesting subject or topic. Then, you can prepare this or invite a subject matter expert to discuss it.
Whatever your topic is you should have an organized meeting. Develop an itinerary and publish it online and have paper copies for the meeting. The itinerary needs to have times, presenters, maybe key points, and a space for notes, and if possible, include some pertinent information for the attendees. You want the itinerary to be of some value for the attendees. If after the meeting you find lots of copies of the itineraries laying around, they were not perceived as very valuable. And it is a waste of paper.
Have a start time and start on time. Remember from your service time that crossing the LD (Line of Departure) was very time specific. So should your meeting start time, and end time. Respect your members and do not waste their time.
As President you are responsible for managing the meeting. Start on time. Make sure everyone knows what you are going to talk about and manage the time. Do not let the discussion get out of control. Remember my narrative about the first video conference.
Manage the discussions, follow your itinerary and be aware of the time.
As you get closer to the end of the meeting start to summarize your points and start to talk about what to do next. Build a summary and get everyone e interested in what you will be doing at the next meeting.
Andrew Emanuele. LTC(ret), USA
This is my inaugural letter to MOAA chapter members in Ohio. I was belatedly sworn in and officially assumed the duties as president on February 17; due to prior commitments I made well before I knew I was to be your president kept me from many of my chapter and council activities in January. I will be filling the large shoes of MG Hahn, as he took the Council out of the pandemic and into a vibrant organization. I recently read a quote from a leader that says “When filling large shoes one’s duty is to grow out of those shoes.” I will endeavor to out grow MG Hahn’s shoes, but I cannot do this by myself, the chapter presidents cannot do this by themselves either. It takes all of us.
The elephant in the room is the fact that we are aging out and we need to recruit new members who are relatively young and energetic to step in as leaders. Since this last year has been full of recruiting and retention (R&R) training, I’ll just mention that MOAA has provided resources to assist us in bringing new blood to the chapters. Use these tools! And share your success stories with the rest of us.
IMPORTANT NOTE: the Ohio chapters’ convention over the September 29-October 1 weekend will include a session where attendees can share their experiences in R&R.
MG Hahn noted that the Dayton and Cleveland chapters are undergoing the Rescue and Revitalization process initiated by MOAA (MOAA has a separate information booklet on this topic that I encourage everyone to get and read). I am reaching out to the presidents of these chapters to offer the Council’s assistance to them. Yesterday I contacted Frank Michael (“Tank”) co-director with Erin Stone of the Council and Chapters division at MOAA; CAPT Michael responded with a promise to put this as an important objective for them to help. (At this writing he has not contacted the chapters.)
I will share a success story from the Central Ohio chapter last summer when I was president. We had a special board meeting in July 2022 to brainstorm solutions; the board made an offer to the chapter members that, since many of our officers are past president, one of these officers is willing to step forward to take the presidency for two years IF a member will step forward to replace them. (The second part of the offer is that the two years will be used to fully implement the R&R program to draw in new members.) I then sent out an Emergency Letter to the members laying out the true status of our chapter: we were in danger of losing our MOAA affiliation if we cannot find a president. Then I laid out our offer. Two days later we had an offer to become the secretary, allowing Col Bettinger to become our president. This started the ball rolling, as for the past six months we have had several new recruits agree to step forward and take a leadership role in the chapter. This is a promising start, as the recruiting process is gaining momentum.
Advocacy in Action
On April 26 volunteers from all 50 states will gather in Washington, D.C. to lobby their states’ representatives and senators. Mike Mentas and I will participate on behalf of the Ohio chapters. We will be lobbying on behalf of all military members, active, reserve, or retired, for six actions (three are holdovers from last year). Since I have limited space I refer you to MG Hahn’s farewell letter which enumerated the issues (in this section of the website); and to the MOAA Advocacy in Action webpage for a detailed explanation of each. The council website has links to several webpages, including MOAA’s. After signing in, you can use the directory to find its Advocacy in Action webpages.
Members need to assist these efforts by sending letters supporting passage of these important pieces of legislation to their congressmembers.
Ohio MOAA Chapters Convention September 29-October 1.
The registration form is published on the Council website with information about the convention and instructions for completing your registration. Please note: hotel accommodations are offered by the hotel; attendees must make separate room reservations with the hotel.
You can see from the convention information sheet that the Convention Committee has scheduled several important and interesting speakers, breakout sessions covering topics of current interest, and social activities. My wife and I invite each of you, with a spouse or guest, to register and attend! We are looking forward to meeting old and new friends; and the end of September promises warm weather and beautiful foliage.
This year will be a busy one and I look forward to working with all the chapters to make this a productive year for Ohio MOAA members, current and new!
LTC William Radcliffe, USA (Retired)
Ohio Council President
Conveying the Benefits of Joining a MOAA Chapter
If you are reading this, you are probably a member of one of our MOAA Chapters. But have you ever thought about trying to recruit a non-chapter member to join your chapter? You obviously know the value of belonging to MOAA and your chapter, but when you’re talking to a potential new chapter member, what do you say or how do you approach that challenge? Here are some good pointers provided by MOAA.
First, it is important to remember that many officers might have only limited knowledge of MOAA’s chapter system. Creating a dialogue and asking open-ended questions is the best way to find out if and how a chapter membership could help a prospective member.
- Ask questions. Find out as much as you can about the individual’s priorities to tailor a response that is more likely to resonate with them personally. Here are some suggested reasons to give.
- Make yourself heard. MOAA’s chapters provide critical grassroots support for MOAA’s national legislative agenda. The benefits that we worked towards and have been promised are under attack, and MOAA is in the fight to preserve them. Chapter members let their legislators know what’s on their minds and open doors for MOAA’s legislative team in Washington. In these difficult times, MOAA members need to stick together, and our chapters are the best way we know to do that.
- Give back to the community. Chapter members are MOAA’s ambassadors in their communities, supporting countless programs that make a difference in the lives of others. These members continue their “officer ship” service and are giving back in the truest sense.
- Membership adds value added elements to chapter members’ lives. MOAA chapters sponsor interesting programs and opportunities to interact with civic, political, military, and business leaders on issues important to members.
- Membership raises chances to network with fellow officers.
Chapters include second-career members in the work force and retired servicemembers who have contacts in their communities that can be valuable to transitioning officers.
Membership keeps you informed. Chapter newsletters, websites, and meetings provide you with the latest information on local, state, and national issues and changes to military benefits.
- Membership keeps you informed. Chapter newsletters, websites, and meetings provide you with the latest information on local, state, and national issues and changes to military benefits.
- Members can participate in influencing and state federal legislation. Some Councils often lobby for and pass state-level legislation that affects military members and their families, such as exempting military retired pay from state income tax or increasing funding for state veterans’ programs. With membership, you can stay aware of the prime legislative issues MOAA is working on and can support MOAA by contacting your congressional and senatorial representatives to support the legislation. MOAA’s New Legislative Action Center, https://moaa.quorum.us/.
- Camaraderie with a purpose. MOAA chapters unite active duty, former, and retired officers from every branch of service, including National Guard and Reserve, as well as surviving spouses. These centers of camaraderie not only give you a chance to connect with other members with similar backgrounds and interest, but to also develop close and lasting friendships.
MOAA’s Legislative Action Center offers members a plethora of features to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill and take an active role in MOAA’s advocacy.
Click on this link for the Legislative Action Center Guidelines
This past year has been a good year for Ohio MOAA Chapters despite the challenges that several Chapters face. The Council and all Chapters submitted Harris Award recommendations, and all received some type of award, either for newsletters or websites. Three of our Chapters received both. Council and Chapters also submitted LOE recommendations and Council, and 5 Chapters received 5 Star Awards and 1 Chapter received a 4 Star Award. All are to be commended for making the effort to submit for these important MOAA awards. Most importantly the results represent the diligent efforts of many members in your Council and Chapters.
Also, all Chapters participated in Advocacy in Action and made contact with every Ohio Congressional leader or their staff. This was an important effort and ensured that Congressional leaders understood the purpose and importance of the three key MOAA issues for 2022, the Major Richard Star Act, for combat-injured veterans to eliminate the offset in their retirement pay, Military Pay Raise, important to recruiting and retaining an all-volunteer force, and Stop Copay Overpay Act, to stop overpayment of mental health care through TRICARE copayments. All Chapters are to be commended for their efforts.
This coming year will see major challenges for the Council and Chapters. We need to continue our efforts to submit for Marvin Harris Communication and LOE awards. LOE requirements are changed so all leaders need to look at these requirements and prepare their Chapters for this. We may have to grow into the new standards. Everyone should be aware that there are now three award levels.
Another change this year will be a return to in person Advocacy in Action in Washington DC. Our new Council President and Vice-President are preparing for this event scheduled for April 24-27th.
The MOAA Ohio Council Convention is scheduled for Sep 29-30, Oct 1 at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station. Three Chapters will be co-hosting this event, MVSC, OWRC, and Greater Cleveland. Do not be misled by this title because this is really a convention for the Chapters. We intend to have at least 90 people in attendance. This will be a great venue and very informative. The flyer for this event is published and all Chapter members need to receive a copy of this and have all members place this on their calendars now. This is vital for members to get information about MOAA, representatives from Council and Chapters will attend and present and the CEO of MOAA is planned to be our guest speaker at the Banquet. There is no better way to get your Chapter members connected to MOAA’s programs.
Of equal importance is the opportunity to meet members of other Chapters and increase the camaraderie across Ohio’s members. It is a great opportunity to exchange ideas as well. These are important objectives and with all leaders support we will be successful.
Also, this year, two Chapters will be undergoing Rescue and Revitalization. The question for all leaders is how we can help them in this process. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Dayton and Greater Cleveland leadership to offer assistance.
I would ask everyone to be mindful of the resources available to help Chapters in their efforts. First and foremost, I recommend that everyone develop a habit of reviewing the MOAA website weekly. There is a lot of information there that is constantly changing. Also, your membership chair should be reviewing the committee module every month. This is where you can get potential new members. Also get your members to set their profile so that they receive all the MOAA Newsletters, legislative updates, etc. Every member should register on MOAA’s Legislative Center and use the resources there to keep up to date on legislative issue and to send ready-made correspondence to your Congressional leaders.
Look at the Council website often. We can do a better job to update this. Let us get pictures of our Chapters’ events and keep our calendar of events up to date. This is also a place to share ideas and inform others of your successes and challenges. Our new website manager is Bruce Bille, a member of the Mahoning and Shenango Valley Chapter.
Finally, another important activity is the monthly webinars hosted by MOAA Council and Chapters. This is scheduled the last Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM. All members are welcome, and you should always have some members of your Chapter in attendance. They can share information at your next Board meeting or Chapter event. For the Council President, there is a quarterly meeting for all Council Presidents and Independent Chapter Presidents in the nation. Be on the lookout for updates from our Council President.
Please avail yourselves of these resources to stay informed. It will help all of us to understand and be a part of MOAA. This will help to generate knowledge and enthusiasm and will make our Chapters better.
Next year’s agenda is busy but if we all tackle this aggressively and continue to help members be involved, we will truly feel like we have never stopped serving.
MG Dan Hahn, USA (Retired)
Ohio Council President
I became President of the Dayton Area Chapter (DAC), on 1 January 2021. At that time, it was apparent that we had succession issues on which we had to focus. Specifically, the First Vice President position, traditionally the steppingstone to the President’s job, became vacant when I moved up and has remained open since then. Also, although the other primary Executive Board positions were/are occupied by competent and active individuals, many of whom are former chapter Presidents and none of whom have expressed any desire to leave the board, we have no one in line to assume such positions when then inevitably become open. Currently, in addition to the 1st VP position, the Secretary and Surviving Spouse positions are not filled. (Both incumbents moved from our area.)
The bottom line is that the work of the chapter is currently performed by a relatively small number of people, which is undesirable in the short term and unworkable in the long term. For example, one individual holds our webmaster, newsletter editor, and legislative liaison positions. The available volunteer hours in our chapter are barely sufficient to conduct minimal normal operations, much less engage in the myriad of activities that will be necessary for a chapter to succeed under MOAA’s new Level of Excellence standards.
As a result of these circumstances, the DAC has taken numerous steps to try to persuade members to become more active in the chapter and serve on the board. In addition to numerous notices in our newsletter and appeals at chapter functions, we have attempted the following:
- New Activity Proposal. Traditionally, in addition to a summer golf league, the DAC has conducted monthly events designed to appeal to the entire membership. In the summer of 2021, we floated a proposal to conduct additional events, specifically intended to appeal to subsets of our members. In addition to making the DAC more attractive to our membership, it was hoped that participation in such smaller groups could attract individuals to greater leadership positions in the future. These activities could have included service projects, book clubs, games, outings to sites of interest in the area, happy hours, etc. Anything of interest to some members would be acceptable, but individuals were needed to lead or coordinate such groups. No one volunteered. We tried this during the height of the pandemic, which may partly explain our lack of success. We will likely revisit this proposal as our focus this year is on trying to save the chapter by encouraging members to assume leadership positions.
- New Members Luncheon. In the first quarter of 2022, we conducted two luncheons to which those who became chapter members in the previous year were invited. These members joined during the pandemic and had not experienced normal times in the chapter. The purpose of the luncheons was to introduce the chapter leaders and functions to them and solicit active involvement in our organization. While not all new members attended, we did have several small groups join us. One new member agreed to join our board as Secretary, but unfortunately, we lost him a couple months later when his spouse (an active-duty O-6) was transferred to the West Coast. I plan to repeat this process soon.
- Surviving Spouse Luncheons. Twenty of our approximately 175 members are surviving spouses (these numbers, of course, vary over time). When I became chapter president, I realized that, while we were happy to have these individuals as members, we did not have any activities specifically for them. Accordingly, in early 2021 our Surviving Spouse Liaison organized a luncheon for this group. It was quite successful and well-attended. Even though our Liaison moved out of state shortly afterwards, I have continued to organize these luncheons on a regular basis. The next one will be in late January. The spouses appear to enjoy the opportunity to socialize with their peers, and we have discussed conducting additional events for them as well. I remain hopeful that one will agree to join our board as Surviving Spouse Liaison.
The primary focus of our efforts this year will be to try to attract members to become more involved in our chapter’s operations. Without new members in leadership roles, it remains a matter of time until the DAC will be unable to maintain our current level of operations. In addition to our usual appeals for volunteers in our newsletter and at chapter functions and the activities outlined above, the Executive Board has also decided to initiate the MOAA Revitalization/Rescue process, set forth in the MOAA Council and Chapter Policies and Procedures Guide, Chapter VI. We thought it was important to do so at this time, while the chapter is still able to conduct normal, if minimal, operations, as opposed to waiting until we were in extremis, when our circumstances would probably far less attractive to potential volunteers for leadership positions.
MOAA’s Revitalization/Rescue process includes the involvement of the State Council as well as national MOAA’s Council/Chapter Support group. It will include at least one event (perhaps more) for the DAC general membership as well as an event to which national MOAA members in the Dayton area who are not chapter members will be invited. The purpose of such events will be to highlight the chapter’s purpose, operations, and accomplishments and our need for additional volunteers. (Free food and drink will also be available – a relatively-crude, but I hope effective, inducement for attendance.) We will likely be successful if these efforts result in attracting two or three new volunteers for leadership positions. That would provide us an acceptable margin on which to build. Ideally, we would like to have a greater number of active members on our Executive Board as we would be better able to conduct additional charitable, advocacy, and community activities.
If anyone has thoughts or suggestions concerning the DAC’s circumstances and plan for the future, please contact me at 757-327-1388 (cell) or email@example.com. Your ideas and perspectives are very welcome.
LTC, USA (Ret)
DAC Chapter President
CENTRAL OHIO CHAPTER OF MOAA
The Central Ohio Chapter of MOAA has been facing a problem that most MOAA chapters are facing: members aging out of being active in the chapter, leaving very few who are willing to serve. LTC (USAR-Retired) William Radcliffe is in his third year of the presidency, one year more than is custom, so that the Nominating Committee could find a candidate willing to assume the presidency for 2023-2024, either from existing members or newly recruited members.
The nominating committee members did a thorough search of all existing members; none of our members was willing to take the job. The board concluded in July that we were asking people to become president without having first held a board position, which was a big obstacle for potential volunteers. Furthermore, the chapter did not have a working succession plan that identified who the next president would be.
Recruiting was a top priority for 2022; and instead of asking new members to be president we asked them to be part of our new succession plan and active on the board. However, this didn’t solve our immediate problem: we still did not have a presidential candidate. Thus, the board directed the president to send out an emergency letter to all members communicating just how serious a problem this was. The president pointed out the seriousness of not having a president: without a president we would be risking losing our certification as a MOAA chapter. However, (the letter continued) we have several past presidents currently serving on the board willing to assume the presidency IF a member would assume their responsibility as an officer.
The response to this letter was immediate: we had three members volunteer to join the board and three newly recruited members who wanted to be active.
The chapter is now experiencing something of a renaissance with new board members who have also volunteered to be one of three vice-presidents in line for the presidency.
William W. Radcliffe III
LTC, USAR (Retired)
President, Central Ohio Chapter of MOAA
The MOAA Surviving Spouse Advisory Council has done a stellar job getting members informed about the much needed work we all need to do before the inevitable, dealing with the loss of a spouse, both of you!. They always keep the information updated with different circumstances to think about, probably feedback from a member.
A couple worked together diligently to gather all their important papers, lists of contacts, and telephone numbers and placed them in a safety deposit box at their bank. However, one important detail was missing: The husband never had his wife sign the card allowing her access to the safety deposit box. After his death, it took months of correspondence and legal action before she was able to obtain the papers that she needed to continue the life she had envisioned as a surviving spouse who was prepared.
Being a military surviving spouse is never easy, and even though we might think we are prepared for the future, unexpected circumstances and questions arise that we must be prepared to answer. Keep this type of information at home, use a fire safe box and both spouses need to know where the key is. A safety deposit box is not recommended for these types of papers.
Order these helpful publications from MOAA, online or by phone:
Help Your Survivors Now: A Guide to Planning Ahead Survivor's
Checklist: First Steps for Moving On
Your Guide to Military Burials
Survivor's Planning Guide
You can also read through them online and download and print what you need. It isn’t a fun job but necessary for peace of mind.
I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about our role as Chapters within the larger context of the MOAA National organization. I have always been proud to be a member of MOAA and my association with a Chapter and now our Ohio Council is an extension of that pride. As members of the local Chapters we are required to support the purpose of the National organization. This is our first and most significant purpose. MOAA does a lot to help us support this purpose. I know that sometimes members can complain and think that MOAA doesn’t do enough to support us but when one considers other Veteran organizations, I think our national organization takes more interest in helping us than the rest.
At our next Council meeting on July 23, we will have the opportunity to talk with CAPT Frank Michael, USN (Retired) from MOAA Council and Chapter Affairs. He is excited about coming to meet and discuss important changes and initiatives that MOAA is taking. This will be our chance to learn and ask questions about the direction and intent of MOAA.
As you know, one of the key aspects of MOAA is advocating to Congress for support of Military Members and their families, Veterans, and Surviving Spouses. All Chapters participated in this during April. Thanks to everyone who supported this effort.
John Anderson provides the following thoughts::
The MOAA Preamble and Our Responsibilities to Support it
• To inculcate and stimulate love of our country and the flag.
• To defend the honor, integrity, and supremacy of our National Government and the Constitution of the United States.
• To advocate military forces adequate to the defense of our country.
• To faster the integrity and prestige of uniformed service.
• To foster fraternal relations between all branches of the various Services from which our members are drawn.
• To further the education of children of Service personnel.
• To aid personnel of the Services from which our members are drawn, and their family members and survivors, in every proper and legitimate manner; and
• To present their rights and interests when Service matters are under consideration.
We unite to form THE MILITARY OFFICERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA.
These words identify the work that MOAA National does to which we, by virtue of our membership, are requested to support. Inaction can potentially affect the outcomes of actions taken by MOAA lobbyists (who are working for us) who visit and work with the congressional offices on issues that affect all facets of the uniformed services as spelled out in the preamble. We can become involved by several means … phone calls, letters (electronic or handwritten) or by going on-line to MOAA’s New Legislation Action Center where a series of questions and answers informs you about the new site.
MOAA has developed an easy means for all members to reach out and make their concerns known. If you have an electronic address, go onto the MOAA link and register. That action identifies who we are and our location. Once on the initiative site, (https://moaa.quorum.us/), the various issues being worked through Congress appear, ready for us to send a message. All we do is identify the issue to which we are concerned and click on the block that says ‘Write’ or ‘Call.’ Doing so brings up our Congressional Representative’s name with a pre-written message containing our signature. If there is both a H.R. and S. bill, all respective names appear. At this point, if you desire to modify the message content, or limit whom you send it to, you can.
If the requested action says for you to ‘Call,’ that is simple as well. There is a pre-prepared script for you to read and a phone number, which will automatically ring into your representative’s office.
Individuals do not need to be MOAA members to use the site.
When MOAA publishes a request for our support in the Military Officer Magazine (hardcopy or digital form), either in an article or by inclusion of easy tear-out form cards or letters, take the time to respond. It is easy, important and our responsibility.
We can all help MOAA National do its job in meeting the goals and objectives of the Preamble that benefit all of us.
Finally, in order to be good Advocates for these important legislative initiatives, we need to keep our Chapters strong and viable. This means developing camaraderie among our Chapter members and their spouses or significant others, recruiting new members and developing leadership within the Chapters. These three topics could be discussed as separate articles but I will leave these for another time.
MG Dan Hahn, USA (Retired)
Ohio Council President
MOAA Ohio Council of Chapters Legislation Liaison,
From MOAAs’ Opening page “WHAT HAPPENS WHEN 350,000 VOICES SPEAK AS ONE?” We as MOAA members protect the earned benefits of all servicemembers. Through our actions as members, we improve the lives of those who are now serving as well as the lives and of retired or separated service members and their families. We (all of us as a group) have more influence in Congress. That is why it is so important to go to the former MOAA ‘Take Action Page’, now called ‘MOAA Legislative Center’ (https://moaa.quorum.us/) and read through the numerous issues. Then, add your voice to the cause! Select the issue(s) on which you wish to make you voice heard. Click on the ‘Write’ block. It will take you to your Senators and district Congressional Representatives with prepared letters there to be sent to each. You can send to all at one time or select the ones you individually want to contact. Once on the page, click on the ‘Submit Selected Actions’ and your support is on its way. It is as simple as that.
We need all the support we can muster to get these important pieces of legislation passed. If you need assistance in sending a response, ask your spouse, caretaker, or friend to help you. Follow the instructions indicated above. Thank you for your service and thank you for being an important member of MOAA.
Mahoning-Shenango Valleys Chapter
The Mahoning-Shenango Valleys Chapter (MSVC) continues to be an active advocate of the military within Ohio and Western Pennsylvania our geographic area. Membership continues to grow mainly due in large part to our active meetings and programs and chapter involvement. MSVC meets monthly with a dinner or lunch followed by a lively information program. Of particular interest was a two event program designed for preparing members and spouses for the inevitable end of life. These luncheon workshop provided information and speakers from six federal, state and county agencies! Handouts were provided by MOAA National, and the agencies that presented topics. Other programs also included a slide shop presented by a chapter member about his recent deployment to Iraq as a CH-47 helicopter pilot; and Active shooter defense provided by a local SWAT team leader. Chapter’s premiere event is our Cadet Recognition Dinner in which we invite and recognize outstand Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from three area high schools and a cadet from the Youngstown State University Army ROTC program having been awarded the MOAA medal and scholarships. Additionally, the MSVC provided Second Lieutenant bars and branch insignia to five soon to be commissioned cadets. The chapter will assembled in July to participate in our annual picnic and “gun shoot” at the Vienna Fish and Game Club; as well as a Joint Christmas party and raffle in December to raise money for a veterans charity.
The chapter president participated in the annual MOAA’s Advocacy in Action (AIA) in April where Congressional legislative representatives; Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-06 District) and Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13 District) are personally contacted to solicit support of key bills and legislation that affect military personnel and their families. Consistent with this effort are the legislative articles in the chapter’s newsletters and legislative moments at monthly meetings. Members of the chapter actively participate in many local veterans programs and ceremonies for veterans as leaders and speakers. Chapter members volunteer at the local VA Clinic as part of our give back initiative. The chapter is proud of its MOAA National recognition by receiving a Five Star Level of Excellence Award and a Five Star Colonel Marvin Harris Award for the chapter website and newsletter. The MSVC continues to extoll the MOAA motto, Never Stop Servicing.
LTC, USA, Ret.
The Importance of Joining MOAA and MOAA Chapter
MOAA Members Proudly Hail from Every Branch of The Uniformed Services. MOAA fights for the welfare of all Servicemembers, be they active, retired, veterans, and their families.
In authoring this article, we wanted to reemphasize what MOAA says about the importance of becoming a MOAA member and joining a local chapter. Some of this is personal narrative and the rest comes from various areas of the MOAA website.
When you join MOAA and a MOAA chapter, you are living up to the MOAA motto of Never Stop Serving. You are joining a community of officers and surviving spouses who share a mutual understanding. They understand the importance of what joining a chapter can do for the individual, his/her country, and for MOAA National. Whether you are on active duty or retired, when you join a MOAA Chapter and become an active participant, you are continuing and expanding your role as a leader. You are taking responsibility for the welfare of our military-at-large, the families, the survivors, and for those who will follow you.
Ok, you say. “Now that I have joined, what can I do?” Here are some suggestions.
MOAA’s local chapters provide critical grassroots support for MOAA’s national legislative agenda. Your benefits and ours are under attack, and MOAA is fighting to preserve them. Chapter members can contact their state/local legislators to express their concerns which in turn opens doors for the MOAA’s legislative team to meet Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C. In these challenging times, MOAA members need to work together, and our local chapters are the best way to accomplish these important issues.
Be an active user of the MOAA website: Make yourself heard. There are an unbelievable number of choices for you to review. You can actively contact your Congressional representatives: your congress men/congress women or your senators on the issues MOAA is working to get passed. When you join MOAA and a local chapter, you are joining over 355,000 members like you that can cause Congress to turn its head, take note, and listen.
Stay informed: Chapter newsletters, websites, and meetings provide you with the latest information on local, state, and national issues and changes to military benefits Also, be sure to check your local newspapers for announcements of meetings and local community involvement by MOAA chapters.
Network with fellow members: Chapters include second-career members in the work force and retired servicemembers who have contacts in their communities and surviving spouses that can be valuable to transitioning officers. You can communicate with and through MOAA at https://www.moaa.org/ in a number of ways from face-to-face meetings, to using MOAA’s informative weblink tools such as Live Chat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, “Never Stop Serving Podcast”, and the “MOAA President’s Advisory Councils” (Currently Serving and Surviving Spouses).
Influence your state legislation: Most states have a council of chapters like ours, “OHIO COUNCIL of Chapters” that unites chapters within the state. These groups often lobby for and help pass state level legislation that affects military members and their families, such as exempting military retired pay from state income tax and/or increasing funding for state veteran’s programs.
Build Friendship and Fellowship: MOAA chapters unite active duty, former, and retired officers from every branch of service, including National Guard and Reserve, as well as surviving spouses. This camaraderie not only gives you a chance to connect with other members with similar backgrounds and interest, but to also develop close and lasting friendships.
Give back to the community: Chapter members are MOAA’s ambassadors in their communities, supporting countless programs that are effective in the lives of others. These members continue their “officership” service and are giving back in the truest sense. By participating in Chapter activities, you become a value-added member. MOAA chapters sponsor interesting programs and opportunities to interact with civic, political, military, and business leaders on issues important to chapters’ members. And enjoy fun and informational socials!
So, what more can we say. If you are an active-duty officer of one of our eight military services, a member of a National Guard, reservist, retired, or a surviving spouse, and not a member of MOAA, join MOAA National now, and one of our six chapters in Ohio. When you do, check the many benefits and services MOAA provides. You can gain access to a myriad of services ranging from military and pay benefits resources, post military career transition guidance and assistance to exclusive member discounts and more. And, as a PREMIUM and LIFE member you can log in to access greater benefits and savings on products and services of all types. You will not ever regret it. You will never stop serving.
We look forward to having you “onboard”!
Lynda L Farkas, Surviving Spouse, President/OWRC
LTC John Anderson, USA Retired, Secretary/OWRC.
Happy New Year to all Ohio Chapters; their leaders and all members, surviving spouses and spouses of members! This past year has been another challenging year due to COVID and all the restrictions related to the pandemic. Still I am impressed how all our Chapters maintained continuity and kept their organizations moving forward. Recruitment was a bit slow but all in all, every Chapter was able to add new members. Programs to help Veterans were maintained although not without great challenge.
I look forward to a great year. There is a lot on the agenda, particularly in the first half of the year. We will have our Ohio Council of Chapters Convention hosted by Central Ohio Chapter, May 13-15. There will also be an Advocacy in Action conducted live in Washington DC from April 25-28. We have the submission of the Harris Communications award by Feb. 1 and the Level of Excellence award submission by May 1. There will be considerable preparation and leader involvement to ensure these events are successful.
At the Council level, we need to replace a couple of leaders. First is a legislative liaison officer to replace Bryan Beamer who was reassigned at the end of the year and is no longer in Ohio. Second is another Vice President, to replace Mike Glaser who submitted his resignation for personal family reasons. These are critical positions to maintain our legislative outreach and maintain a stable progression of leadership for the Council.
Further as I found out at the December Council and Chapter Affairs Quarterly meeting of Council Presidents, there are a lot of initiatives MOAA will be introducing this year that will affect Chapters. In my recent email to our leadership I highlighted several of these. I think the most significant will be: 1. Rollout of the Social Media Cookbook in January; 2. Development of a Speakers Bureau to provide virtual resources (speakers) on various topics for use at your meetings and events; 3. Use of Chapter Effectiveness Principles in the coming year. There will be a lot more to follow on these topics from MOAA.
The Social Media Cookbook will have training associated with this effort. The Speakers Bureau will most likely require further input from us and we will need to use it to make it effective. MOAA plans to select the platform for these virtual sessions in February. We need to be thinking about what we need from the MOAA experts that can assist our Chapters and make us more effective. Finally MOAA’s use of the Chapter Effectiveness Principles will require the development of effectiveness metrics. We can expect the LOE metrics to change. MOAA will engage Council Presidents to assist, so I will be reaching out to all of you for your ideas.
The Committee module will change at the end of the 1st Quarter so look forward to learning how to use the new system. The new Committee module will be Fontiva. Not much is known yet but standby for more information. Obviously this will be an important transition.
We should look forward to a challenging year and opportunities to make our Chapters better. We need to work collectively and as individual Chapters on leader development and look to continue to expand our leadership pool. We all need to diligently work recruitment and retention and to share ideas on how to recruit younger members. I appreciate the opportunity to be your Council President for another year. I thank you for the help you provided me last year and know you will assist me again this year.
MG, USA, (Ret)
Ohio Council President