What is a Professional Association?
A professional association is an organization that gathers, edifies and bonds the members of a particular vocation or career field. Associations serve the broader interests of a vocation by advocating for that vocation, developing and disseminating professional informational and educational resources of the vocation, as well as providing a fraternal dynamic for members of the vocation to increase networking and fellowship opportunities. Professional associations can have a global, national or local reach. For example, the World Reformed Fellowship or the International Ministerial Association are examples of global ecclesiastical bodies. The American Bar Association, the American Medical Association or the Military Chaplain Association are examples of national professional bodies, whereas a local ministerial association in a neighboring community is an example of a local vocational or professional body. The U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Regimental Association (USACCRA) is the professional association for all those individuals, past and present, who have served in the career fields of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps; Chaplains, Chaplain Assistants / Religious Affairs Specialists and Directors of Religious Education. USACCRA’s professional membership includes all components of the Army; Active Duty, the U.S. Army Reserve and the Army National Guard.
What Does USACCRA Do?
Just as the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps has the three doctrinal imperative of Nurture, Care and Honor; the USACCRA has three professional imperatives. Those professional imperative are Promote, Honor and Support. The USACCRA serves the Chaplain Corps by promoting and publicizing its work in order to professionally advocate and advertise for the branch. The USACCRA serves the Chaplain Corps by honoring the distinguished achievements of members of the Army Chaplain Corps during both their military career and their follow-on callings, as well as remembering our members when they pass away. Finally, the USACCRA supports the Chaplain Corps by providing members with social, charitable and educational opportunities, as well as fellowship opportunities in local chapters and during annual national conferences. The association also provides support through ongoing ministry to Veterans, Soldiers and Army Families, as well as by providing key support to the Chaplain Corps Museum.
Why Should YOU Join USACCRA?
Membership in a professional association is actually so common in the Army, that members of the Army often take such membership for granted. For example, a vast majority of members of the Army community are members of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). AUSA is the Army’s collective professional association and it provides a voice for the Army with national leadership, as well as provides forums for professional, educational and fraternal activities. Member of other branches also routinely join professional associations like the Field Artillery Association, the Judge Advocates Association or the National Infantry Association to name a few. The USACCRA is YOUR branch’s professional association. While USACCRA has always had its three association imperatives, in recent years it has emphasized the fraternal dynamic and placed significant time and energy in maintaining the network of Chaplain Corps Alumni through local chapters and national conferences. Moving forward, the USACCRA seeks to maintain the strength of its networks while reenergizing the other collective ways and means by which it can and will support the branch through advocacy and educational initiatives. Joining USACCRA will place you on the crest of the wave that carries the professional, educational and fraternal interests of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps into its future. The Chaplain Corps needs a vibrant USACCRA to promote its interests, and the USACCRA needs you and your energy to promote the outstanding future of our branch.
How Can YOU Support USACCRA Membership?
The primary way YOU can support the professional association of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps is to ensure you are a member of USACCRA TODAY. You can join as an annual member or as life member. Life membership is more expensive up front, but it demonstrates your dedicated commitment to the professionalism of our branch and is the less expensive option over time in lieu of paying for an annual membership over multiple years. You can join USACCRA at the following link: Become A Member :: The United States Army Chaplain Corps Regimental Association (chaplainregiment.org) Please see Dennis Madtes’s article for the dues amounts by rank. We look forward to YOU following into the professional ranks of the association.
There are also many other ways you can support USACCRA and its membership. As always, word of mouth advertising and influence is always most effective. After you join, please make it a point to personally share your membership in the association with other members of the Chaplain Corps, past and present, and of all components to include our Department of the Army civilians. If you personally recruit one new member a month, you will do a tremendous service to our branch and its professionalism. Second, you can share your activity in the USACCRA on your social media accounts. Use social media for public awareness with notes and pictures of your participation in USACCRA events. Support the USACCRA by sharing updates about its work. Keep abreast of USACCRA activities and initiatives, then share it with others when others comment on alternate Army professional associations. Support USACCRA by becoming a member of a local chapter enjoying the fellowship of that group. If you do not find a local chapter at your current assignment or in your community, please contact USACCRA so we can help you form a local chapter. Finally, when you mark significant events in your career field in the Chaplain Corps, please contact the USACCRA leadership and let us know, so that we can publicly celebrate your achievements. If your achievement is a presentation or publication, also let us know so that we can advertise it. These are some ways YOU can advance the USACCRA. Please know we are eager to have both your membership and your ideas as we move forward advancing a significant future for USACCRA and the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps.