posted on June 14, 2010 10:10
Our first annual Golf Tournament exceeded my expectations. Much of that success is due to the efforts of Master Chief Jerry Featherstone. Right bedside him were CAPT J.J. Parker, CAPT Jim Diehl, and Jean Byrd. We made a small profit! On the 16th of June we will have a hot-wash up meeting and begin the planning for next year’s event. Golf tournaments are the largest source of charity fund raising in America and we are working both to promote AUSN and to increase revenue.
For those of you who don’t read everything that we put out (that is most of us), in April we held our first annual Navy Now Forum here in Washington, D.C. The event was held at the Army-Navy Club and was sold out. The concept is to have an annual event which gives the Navy a forum during an important time of the year to get out “the word.” The speaker for this event was Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe/ Commander U.S. Naval Forces Africa. We were so pleased with this first event that we are considering a companion event in the fall on the West Coast.
Also in work is our first annual two-day Career Development Symposium. We are targeting the end of summer 2011 for what we expect to be a future hallmark of AUSN. A symposium with exhibits is what is planned as both a membership opportunity and a fund raiser. This of course, will take a lot of planning and hard work to spin it up. Volunteers are needed.
The picture that is being created here is an AUSN that hosts important events in Washington and elsewhere. That is what is needed for AUSN to achieve the stature that the name implies and the revenue that follows. One might think that this means a lessening of importance for our regions and chapters but I will argue that the opposite is true. These events themselves will engage the National Capitol region and the Southwest Region in ways we have not asked of them before. As AUSN gains stature there will be increased opportunities for regional recruiting efforts at Air Shows, Fleet Weeks, and Navy Week events across the country where volunteer help from all Regions will be essential. We are going to create that demand signal.
Something to think about: If you follow our legislative alerts and our web site at all you know that we have a very successful and busy legislative department. The Commission on the National Guard and Reserve would not have happened if it weren’t for AUSN. TRICARE Reserve Select came about largely because of AUSN as did the current early retirement provision for Reservists. This year again we were instrumental in holding the line on TRICARE fee increases. Protection of Veterans’ benefits doesn’t happen automatically it takes a concerted effort properly placed in the halls of Congress. Most of you know that MOAA, ROA, and FRA also have legislative departments that are very busy as are we. But what about the Sea Service Leadership Association, the Naval Enlisted Reserve Association, Naval Intelligence Professionals, the National Naval Officers Association, the Association of Naval Services Officers, the Association of Naval Aviation, the Surface Navy Association, the Naval Submarine League? All of these groups espouse either career development or support a branch of the Navy, its stuff. None of them do legislation as we do. None of them are on the Hill for Navy equipment like we are. We all need to understand and promote what it is that we do because it matters to us as individuals and to our Navy. Among the organizations just listed are some we will reach out to as we develop that two-day symposium.
Our Las Vegas conference is truly shaping up. On Wednesday, the day before the official start of the conference there will be a tour at Nellis AFB. We will see the Predator training facility, the RED Flag operations center, the Soviet Aircraft museum (the Petting Zoo) and other places of interest. Lunch will aboard the base. On Wednesday after the tour we are planning a small reception for our Life Benefactors before dinner at the hotel. On Thursday and Friday there will be a display of SEAL equipment and some SEALS to explain it all and answer your questions. VADM Debbink is invited to address us on Friday and Mr. Craig Williams of Lockheed Martin will brief us on the F-35 program. Mr. Williams is the head of business development for the Navy Ff-35 program. Also in the early planning stages is an opportunity to honor the Reserve Force Sailor of the Year, HM1 Shalanda Brewer. This plus a great President’s Reception, election of new officers, and election for part of our first Board of Directors. All in a city made for playing, so please join us.