USACCRA biennial gatherings (formerly called reunions) are a bread-and-butter benefit for members. It is the only place where the total Army UMT Family has a chance together celebrate our branch’s history and heritage, attend educational updates, host social activities, and memorialize UMT family who have died during the last two years. It is a reunion of friends and an opportunity for new relationships. It’s a time to catch up on the Corps’ progress and rub elbows with senior leadership. It’s a time to honor those who have gone before us and whose shoulders we stand on.
Our next biennial gathering theme is “Army Chaplaincy Serving God and Country: 250 Years and Beyond”. We meet in Columbia, SC, 22-25 Oct 2024. Planning started immediately after our last event in Tucson. First VP SGM-R Gary Dahl (and his wife SGM-R Susan who keeps him going) leads this effort. He is a person of one with the entire membership backing him up as volunteers to pull it off. The 2024 event is particularly exciting and important. It is the kickoff event to begin a three-year celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Army Chaplain Corps, the US. Army, The nation, and numerous other historic moments. The goal is to have the largest number of attendees since our first gathering, in Columbia, in 2009.
This means we need all hands-on deck. (OK, a Navy term.)
You have ideas and connections for special speakers? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Gary Dahl at email@example.com.
People living in the greater Columbia, SC area are needed to help with on ground preparations and coordination.
Planning volunteers are needed wherever you are located. Gary Dahl will be sending a blast message to membership soonest with specifics.
Entertainment for our dinners. Got ideas in SC?
Normally we have a couple of tours. This time we hope to arrange a visit to the IRL (School House) campus. If you have not been there in the last five years you are in for a surprise and treat. It’s huge, new, and boasts a lovely memorial. The museum has just completed a renovation. The Corps Personnel Directorate is located there and much more. This is a place you get to see and enjoy with the latest from the Corps.
Board member Bill Morrison is now working public relations for the Association. He needs help by our sharing and inviting folks to Columbia through our Facebook, Twitter, and other personal digital platforms. How about making a few phone calls to invite and remind folks? Contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help with this. And don’t forget your endorsers. They are gatekeepers for getting info to Army UMTs actively serving and retired.
Bottom Line: The gathering is like a religious worship service. It’s not a performance by a few professionals, but the work of the people from the heart to God and each other. Let’s make this gathering an experience God and the Army UMT Corps will always celebrate and remember.
Pro Deo et Patria
USACCRA President, Scottie Lloyd
Nonvoting Board member advisor and actively serving chaplain, CH(COL) Bob Nay, has been chosen by OCCH to be the Association’s official POC between the two staffs. In addition, another POC will be released as the POC from the IRL to USACCRA. The goal is to greatly improve communication and coordination between the three staff.
USACCRA By-Laws are revised (18-month process) and will be released to the membership in September for a vote of approval. This is the first major review of the By-Laws since 2009.
USACCRA board member Bill Morrison volunteered to be our public relations staffer. Thank you, Bill, for this effort forward for the Association.
Don’t forget. We received a generous $5,000 matching fund offer. All donations up to $5,000 will be matched by one of our own giving the Association a $10,000 boost. Suspense to give is Dec 2023. We need this. Please spread the word and donate.
An analysis and plan are being worked out by two senior veteran chaplain colonels for possible resurrection of the “Corps Store”, in the past run by Father Utley. There is a ground swell request for this renewed benefit. More to follow.
Death Notice Reminder: Board member John Brinsfield is the POC for your input with Army UMT death notices. His email is email@example.com. So far in 2023 John has processed 40 obituaries and counting.
USACCRA and the Military Chaplains Association (MCA) agreed to field a hybrid chapter together in Columbia, SC starting in Nov 2023. If this format works well, it could be a model for future gatherings across the country considering feedback from the field. We listen. You are heard.