Fellow Companions: I assumed the position of Commander-General just about 6 months ago and continue to look forward to the next 18 months as we continue our support of various presentations at the military academies, ROTC, and JROTC awards programs. Almost all of these programs have some historical significance in as far as our Order has been a participant for many years, an example being the award presented at the Coast Guard Academy. We have made that presentation since 1941. All of these presentations are an opportunity to have others recognize our support of the military and those that serve in uniform as we continue to attempt to educate citizens about our military history.
During these past months I have had the opportunity to attend a couple of historic events, as well as having the opportunity to visit with Companions during meetings and luncheons. I have been a member of the RI Commandery’s Executive Committee for many years and continue to attend all of the meetings and events associated with the Commandery. At the end of May I accepted an invitation to attend a luncheon put on by our 2nd oldest Commandery. The Pennsylvania Commandery held the event in Philadelphia and was a great chance to meet and greet all companions in attendance.
On 2 November I was invited to attend the christening of the USS North Dakota (a Virginia Class Nuclear Submarine) at Groton, CT. The invitation was extended to me by General Dynamics at the request of the Secretary of State of North Dakota, the Honorable Al Jaeger. Al and I attended basic training and AIT together back in 1967. A wonderful event for all in attendance especially the 100 plus that attended from North Dakota.
On 11 November I had the opportunity to place a wreath at the grave site of General of the Army “Black Jack” Pershing. Also attending this solemn ceremony was Junior Vice Commander-General “Chuck” Trombetta and his wife, Betty, Registrar-General Andy Johnson, and the Commander of the DC Commandery, Kent Webber. A very interesting ceremony, one that has been conducted on Veteran’s Day for many years, was conducted by the Military Order of World Wars (MOWW).
As for 2014, I look forward to the opportunities to attend events put on by other Commanderies. It is of great importance that we pursue new members and Commanderies. We must continue to educate people about our military history and the deeds of our military brother and sisters. Let us keep in mind that our Congress is at an all-time low in numbers of members who have any military experience. This has the potential to put our benefits, the pay of our military, and their retirements in jeopardy. I wish all Companions the very best for 2014! .