MARCH FORWARD in 2023
January USACCRA President’s Message
It’s been a year since I’ve been blessed with the honor of being the USACCRA president. Much has changed in 2022: several new board members, a new constitution (updated and clearer), a new brochure (first since 2009), a new updated membership roster, added new members, developed new awards for presentation to top graduates at the Institute of Religious Leadership (IRL-school house), reconstructed the website, formed a new relationship with the Office of the Chief of Chaplains (OCCH), and after a four-year COVID pause conducted a successful Association gathering in Tucson that included the largest memorialization of deceased in the history of the Association. This biennial event was the most cost effective in many years. All of this was achieved by Association Board Members working as a team. I may orchestrate, but they play the music. Their magnificent skill sets, hard work, and sacrifice of time and money made 2022 a turn-around year of progress. Kudos to the USACCRA Board!
This march forward continues in 2023 with exciting objectives in support of our vision and mission.
- Institute the awards system with the first graduates in February.
- Promote Association presence at major Chaplain Corps events. (Several planned already)
- Update our by-laws to coincide with our new constitution for improved Association business.
- Add significant new members from all possible parts of the Corps and begin a new joint life-time membership plan with the Military Chaplains Association (MCA).
- Complete website construction with added archival storage of records.
- Plan and promote the next biennial gathering in 2024 as the liftoff event to the 150th anniversary celebration of the Chaplain Corps, The U.S. Army, and the Nation. We seek to announce the date, location, and theme early.
- Renew the Honorary Regimental Chaplain and SGM positions as directed by new decisions expected from the OCCH in 2023.
- Develop deeper our relationship with the OCCH especially with a change of chiefs scheduled in July.
These objectives are doable and needed to increase our membership and expand our service.
This progress needs every Association member, not just the board or a 10% core of the actively involved. We are on a successful roll towards becoming the professional association to the Army Chaplain Corps as many other Army branches have with similar organizations. Here are how all members count for Corps and Country.
- Share copies of the new USACCRA brochure with a personal invitation to prospective members. (Digital brochure copy is on the website.)
- Donate your dues and if you have spare change make an added gift. Imagine a legacy offering to your professional branch organization to promote a continuing healthy Chaplain Corps history and future.
- Volunteer to be an Association representative at designated Corps events. We strive to have folks who live near these events be the spokespersons for all of us. It presents a broader Associational face, gets more people involved, and saves substantial costs to the Association.
- Write an article for the website on a pertinent issue or regale us with a witty war story about the Corps. (See Al Buckner’s piece on chaplain response to 9-11 attack on the Pentagon or John Brinsfield’s amusing tale of ministry in Turkey, both on our website.)
- Contact your faith endorser with a request to spread the news about the USACCRA with current serving Army chaplains. Encourage them to seek ways to work with the Association in better supporting their chaplains.
- Attend the next biennial gathering by fencing off the date upon announcement of our next event.
In all these ways membership works together to keep marching forward in preserving our Chaplain Corps legacy, being a present support to the Corps and building a better future for Corps and Country as God continues to bless us.
Thank you for your service.