▲ top

  The Cape Fear Chapter MOAA : The Cape Fear Chapter Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) News and Events: What's Happening?

 

2020 COL MARVIN HARRIS COMMUNICATIONS AWARD WINNERS

by Rich Underwood

MOAA National announced the 2020 Colonel Marvin Harris Communications Award winners, and I am proud to announce that the Cape Fear Chapter maintained its string of now eight consecutive years as a dual 5-Star winner intact.

Congratulations to us for repeating as MOAA communications award winner in the website and eNewsletter platform categories.

All of us may add another feather to our caps!

05/06/21 20:39/ CFMOAA/ Awards/

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS!

Vacancies hurting our chapter!

There is a dire need for volunteers to step up and fill some of the vacant positions on the chapter’s Executive Board. Some of these positions have been vacant for over 2 years, and some have been filled by the same person for as long as 8 years and new blood is needed.

While all the positions are important (they would not exist otherwise) some are more critical than others. The following positions need to be filled post haste:

Secretary – Currently, the most critical vacancy; vacant since 1 January 2021.

2nd Vice President (Programs) – Another critical job; vacant since 1 January 2021 as well.

Surviving Spouse Liaison – A must-have position, a spoke person and advocate for our 30 or so surviving spouses. The position has been vacant for 2 years, but the duties have been performed by Ira Watkins as an additional duty.

Personal Affairs Officer – Another must-have position to advise and assist our members regarding benefits, entitlements, and survivor’s assistance. Position has been vacant for 2 years, but currently filled by Chaplain Atkinson as an additional duty.

Transition Liaison Officer – This position has the potential to be a great recruiting tool for the chapter. Active duty officers transitioning to civilian life can be attracted to a chapter that offers an effective transition program. This position has been vacant for over 2 years and is being filled by George Bond as an additional duty.

Newsletter Editor – An organization must be able to communicate with its members to be successful. A newsletter is one of the most important and effective tools to stay in touch. Don Gersh was the Editor for more than 6 years until he had to lay down his quill because of health reasons. The last issue of the Infogram was published in January 2021.

Webmaster – In this technological age, a website is a most important medium of communication. Juan Chavez has been our webmaster for more than 8 years and suffering from “burnout”. We need a younger, computer savvy type to take over and exploit the website’s potential to a new level.

Any of the above positions can be filled by a regular member or a spouse thereof, or a surviving spouse. Most of the work can be performed from home via telephone and computer. The Executive Board meets physically at the Fort Bragg Iron Mike Conference Center on the first Tuesday of each month, and meetings normally last approximately 2 hours.

The continued shortage of officers to lead the chapter forward constitutes an existential threat to the chapter. We simply cannot continue to keep the chapter afloat like this. We need an infusion of new blood, new ideas and new energy.

As we observe the 60th anniversary of the chapter’s founding, the first affiliate in the state, we should keep in mind all those who came before us and who worked so hard to make the chapter what it is. It is our collective responsibility to keep the organization viable for future generations of military officers.

04/08/21 14:52/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

NEW CHAPTER TREASURER

NEW CHAPTER TREASURER
President Underwood administers oath of office to Jerry Croll (right)

Major (Ret) Gerald "Jerry" Croll

Our prayers for a chapter treasurer were answered, Jerry Croll answered the call and no one was more relieved than President Rich Underwood. Jerry will fill the large void created with the unexpected death of Ralph Hinrichs on 23 February 2021.

President Rich Underwood officially installed Jerry at the monthly Board of Directors meeting on 6 April 2021 by administering the oath of office in the presence of the Board of Directors.

We all owe a great debt of gratitude to Jerry for stepping up to the plate. We wish him the best of success in a position of paramount importance to our organization.

04/07/21 18:42/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

NEWSLETTER EDITOR WANTED

We need someone to volunteer to be our Newsletter Editor. Don Gersh who has been our editor for the past 6+ years can no longer do it because of health problems. The January 2021 issue was the last one Don could put together and unless we find someone to takeover, it will sadly be the last.

Wishfully, anyone who had prior experience in editing a publication at any level, e.g., high school, college, military, etc., would be ideal, but practically, we are asking for any literate person who would just like to help and has the enthusiasm (and a computer) to take on the challenge and make this experience a fulfilling one.

The chapter newsletter “Infogram” has been a monthly digital publication, disseminated to the general membership. The software program “Art Explosion Publisher Pro 3” is currently used to compile the publication, but the editor will have wide discretion as to what tools he or she prefers to use.

Anyone interested in taking on this job is requested to call President Rich Underwood at (910) 309-3568.

02/23/21 19:42/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

The Historic 3-Bomber Super Bowl Flyover Was a Huge Missed Opportunity

The Historic 3-Bomber Super Bowl Flyover Was a Huge Missed Opportunity
(Photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B Wrightsman USAF)

by Retired USAF Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, President & CEO, MOAA

It was an inspiring moment when music stars Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan concluded their "The Star-Spangled Banner" duet to fireworks and a history-making flyover: a trifecta of the B-2 Spirit, B-1B Lancer and the B-52H Stratofortress in formation. Their designations added up to 55 in honor of the 55th Super Bowl.

The formation of bombers was a first for such an event and was led by Capt. Sarah Kociuba, one of only 10 female B-2 pilots.

This demonstration of America's precision in defense was awe-inspiring, but you would not know it from commentary and lack of acknowledgment on air.

[RELATED AT MILITARY.COM: How the Air Force Pulled Off the First-Ever Super Bowl Flyover with All 3 Bombers ]

CBS and the NFL failed to give the occasion its due. If you blinked, you might have missed it. What also was missed was the opportunity to spotlight the planning and training to make such moments special to the American public and to international communities enjoying the big game. There is also the significant recruiting opportunity to support the all-volunteer force.

The military-civilian divide is only getting greater, and CBS helped widen the gap by missing the moment. This follows a fall game where Fox commentators Joe Buck and Troy Aikman lamented about flyovers' "cost of taxpayer dollars." These comments, which appeared in leaked audio, were shrugged off as sarcasm.

The Super Bowl's historic flyover could have been an opportunity to set the record straight. No shortage of information was advanced from the Air Force and reports from local stations and networks.

While the Air Force does perform nearly 1,000 flyovers per year, they double as crucial training for all the airmen and other services.

As a former commander of forces and a past aerial demonstration team member of the Air Force Thunderbirds, I can attest that the demonstration flights are rigorous and demanding. While keeping skills razor sharp, they also engage the public and inspire others to serve.

If the networks and the NFL are going to treat these flyovers as just another routine form of pre-game entertainment, there's a significant lost opportunity in providing a catalyst for one of our nation's sons or daughters to consider serving -- just like Kociuba, who as a young girl, was awestruck at the sight of a B-2 bomber at the Rose Bowl Parade.

Finally, such coverage fails to recognize and thank all those serving in our military for defending our country.

After the Super Bowl, I felt a bittersweet mix of pride in our country and sadness about misperceptions about the role of the military. Our men and women who serve in the uniformed services, our veterans, their families and survivors certainly deserve better.

02/15/21 21:31/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

NEW SURVIVOR SBP NEWSLETTER

Check out the first issue!

DFAS has a new Survivor SBP Newsletter with lots of news and helpful information for survivors/SBP annuitants. Learn all about the upcoming changes to the SBP-DIC offset, when you’ll get your tax statements, the new School Certification process, helpful form tools and more!

Newsletter
02/06/21 21:14/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

MOAA’s LETTER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN

The first 100 days of the new administration offer an opportunity to address several key advocacy concerns. Read General Atkins’ letter to President Biden at this link.

01/22/21 15:46/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

OUTGOING CHAPTER PRESIDENT IRA WATKINS PRESENTED WITH MOAA LEADERSHIP AWARD

January 5, 2021

Outgoing President Ira Watkins was presented with a much deserved MOAA Leadership Award in recognition of his extraordinary leadership as Cape Fear Chapter President for the past 2 years. The last year of his tenure was particularly notable because of the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

The award was presented by incoming Chapter President Richard Underwood on behalf of Retired USAF Lieutenant General Dana Atkins, President of the Military Officers Association of America.

A copy of the award citation is at download below.

Award Citation
Jan 5, 21/ CFMOAA/ Awards/

NEW CHAPTER OFFICERS OFFICIALLY INSTALLED

January 5, 2021

The newly elected officers for the 2-year term commencing January 2021 were officially installed during the Board of Directors meeting held in the Iron Mike Conference and Catering Center on January 5, 2021.

Because of COVID-19 safety constraints limiting public gatherings to 10 people or less, the ceremony could not be held in the more traditional installation/dinner affair attended by the general membership.

Taking the oath of office were: President Richard Underwood, 1st Vice President George Bond, 3rd Vice President Marty Williams and Treasurer Ralph Hinrichs. Outgoing President Ira Watkins had the privilege of administering the oath.

Congratulations are extended to our new leaders for their willingness to assume the responsibility of leading our chapter forward for the next 2 years.

Jan 5, 21/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

CAPE FEAR CHAPTER, MOAA ELECTION RESULTS

Congratulations to our new leaders!

The following officers were elected by majority vote of the general membership (by mail ballots) to serve 2-year terms in positions indicated effective January 2021.

COL (Ret) Richard Underwood, President

MAJ (Ret) George Bond, 1st Vice President

LTC (Ret) Marty Williams, 3rd Vice President

LTC (Ret) Ralph Hinrichs, Treasurer

Congratulations are extended to these members who volunteered to lead our chapter for the next two years.

Because of COVID-19 safety restrictions limiting gatherings to 10 people or less, the new officers will be officially installed on 5 January 2021 during the monthly CFC Board of Directors meeting at the Iron Mike Conference Center, Fort Bragg.

Dec 23, 20/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

THE SBP-DIC OFFSET IS GOING AWAY

from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service

Congress enacted changes to the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) that will eventually eliminate the offset for surviving spouses who are also receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The changes will take place in three phases.

January 1, 2021 begins the first phase. In 2021, surviving spouse SBP annuity payments issued by DFAS will be reduced (offset) by no more than two-thirds of the amount of DIC (issued by the VA) rather than by the entire amount of DIC, even though eligible surviving spouses will continue to receive the full amount of DIC from the VA.

Beginning January 1, 2022, the second phase, surviving spouse SBP annuity payments will be reduced (offset) by no more than one-third of the amount of DIC (issued by the VA) rather than by the entire amount of DIC, even though eligible surviving spouses will continue to receive the full amount of DIC from the VA.

On January 1, 2023, the SBP-DIC offset will be fully eliminated. That means, beginning in 2023, SBP payments will no longer be offset by DIC. Spouses will receive full SBP (issued by DFAS) and full DIC (from the VA).

For more details and frequently asked questions, see the special SBP-DIC News on the DFAS webpage.

Dec 14, 20/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

THANK YOU TO ROTC SCHOLARSHIP FUND DONORS

by Ira Watkins

It is my pleasure to report that our ROTC scholarship fund donation campaign was a resounding success, raising over $10,200. A great debt of gratitude is owed to all who responded so generously to my special appeal for direct donations this year since our annual fundraising golf tournament could not be held because of Covid-19 considerations.

Special thanks are extended to the following chapter members, sponsors and supporters for their generosity and interest in insuring continuity of our scholarship awards for school year 2020-2021:

Chapter Members

David Baggett

Eli Ballard

William Bell

Dave Beshlin

Bruce Brown

Juan Chavez

David Cheney

Maria Cory

Gerald Croll

Addison Davis

Thomas Delahunty

Thomas Donnelly, Jr.

John Dunigan

Ronald Elrod

Ronnie Foxx

George Glann, Jr.

John Hazlett

Ralph Hinrichs, Jr.

George Hutnan

Harold Isaacson

Carol Ivey

Kirk Johnson

Hank Larsen, Jr.

Dan McNeill

Joe Nagel

Charles Pimble

William Richardson, Jr.

Art Rodriguez

Richard Shereff

Bob Smoot

Nathan Smyth

Pat Stang

Richard Underwood

James Volkmann

David Vroom

Ira Watkins

Marty Williams

Gregory Williamson

Willie Wright

Drew Ziegler

Chapter Sponsors & Supporters

Buie, Norman & Company, P.A.

Cape Fear Cardiology

Cape Fear Eye Associates

Edward Jones Investments

Healy Wholesale Company

Lafayette Ford

Carl Meinhardt

Erika Meinhardt

Lisa Meinhardt

Rhudy's Inc.

Sandhills Surgery

Simon Funeral Home

Superior Bakery

USAA

Watson Family Dentistry

Oct 4, 20/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

CFC REPEATS AS A 5-STAR CHAPTER

2019 MOAA Levels of Excellence Awards

For the sixth consecutive year, the Cape Fear Chapter was awarded a MOAA 5-Star Levels of Excellence Award. This is an extraordinary streak of achievement for the chapter, a credit to the Executive Board of Directors plus the chapter membership at large.

Chapter President Ira Watkins will pin the 5-Star medallion on the Chapter colors awards streamer at the first opportunity the general membership is allowed to physically meet again.

Congratulations to all!

Aug 20, 20/ CFMOAA/ Awards/

MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE

May 25, 2020

While the traditional Memorial Day ceremony at Freedom Memorial Park was not held due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Chapter's memorial wreath was displayed at the Global War on Terror Monument at the park on Memorial Day in remembrance of our military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in fighting terrorists worldwide since 9/11.

May 29, 20/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

LOCAL AFJROTC UNITS SELECTED FOR TOP USAF AWARDS

E.E. Smith High School and Terry Sanford High School AFJROTC units were selected as two of 79 units across the globe and two of seven in North Carolina to receive the 2019-20 Air Force JROTC Distinguished Unit with Merit Award.

This award recognizes Air Force JROTC units that have performed well above and beyond normal expectations, and that have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force JROTC citizen development mission for America.

The Cape Fear Chapter is proud to extend its heartiest congratulations to both units, their leaders/instructors, and their entire corps of cadets for a significant achievement.

The E.E. Smith High School AFJROTC program’s leaders and Aerospace Science Instructors are: Retired USAF Lt. Col. Tom Glockzin, and Retired USAF CMSgt James Mitchell, Jr.

The Terry Sanford High School AFJROTC program is led by Aerospace Science Instructors: Retired USAF Capt. Timothy K. Peedin, and Retired USAF SMSgt Thomas Albanese.

May 20, 20/ CFMOAA/ Awards/

2019 ROBERT F. DEMETER CHAPTER SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENT ANNOUNCEMENT

by Ira Watkins

It was my pleasure to announce at our monthly Board of Directors Meeting held by video conference on 7 April 2020 that LTC (Ret) Martin “Marty” Williams is the recipient of the 2019 Robert F. DeMeter Chapter Service Award. The DeMeter award is the most prestigious award the Chapter can bestow upon one of its members.

The citation on the award certificate reads as follows: “For sustained outstanding service as 3rd Vice President for ROTC Affairs, Cape Fear Chapter from December 2015 to December 2019. His faithful and unselfish service on the Chapter’s Executive Board and his work as Chairman, ROTC Scholarship Awards Committee are without equal. Marty discharged his wide-ranging responsibilities in support of 5 university and 25 high school ROTC programs with unparallel dedication and excellence. He routinely drove hundreds of miles traversing a six-county area visiting ROTC units to administer the chapter’s ROTC scholarships and leadership awards programs. His vast contributions to include his donation of travel expenses, are worthy of the highest esteem and his selection as the 2019 recipient of this coveted award.”

Congratulations Marty, you have the eternal gratitude of all our members for your dedicated service and unselfish contributions to the chapter. You are an inspiration to all of us. Our only regret is that we could not present the award to you in person because of the COVID-19 social distancing constraints.

List of previous DeMeter award recipients is at download below.

Apr 7, 20/ CFMOAA/ Awards/