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Membership and Recognition

President’s Cockpit / By BG Stephen Mundt, Ret.: The pace of all things AAAA is certainly picking up now as we head into Fall with the Luther Jones event at Corpus Christi (October 24-25), and both the Joseph P. Cribbins (November 13-14) and the Aircraft Survivability Equipment symposia (November 15-16) coming up in Huntsville.

Membership Booth at 2018 AAAA Summit

We have just had our semi-annual AAAA Board Meeting in October during the AUSA Annual Meeting so please ask your chapter leadership for an update on where we are and how we are set for the 2019 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit in Nashville (14-16 April, 2019). And later that same week we followed up with a Senior Executive Associates meeting and I will provide an update in the next issue.

We were scheduled to have a meeting with the Army Aviation Congressional Caucus but it was cancelled at the last minute due to Congress being released for most of the month of October to prepare for the elections in early November. Please get out and vote as we know it is not just a right but a responsibility!

I want to focus on two points in this issue: membership and recognition. Let’s start with membership! During last year’s Summit, it was brought to my attention and that of other board members that spouses of members could not be members. I assured those who raised the concern that was not true and AAAA welcomes spouses and family members to join in keeping with our philosophy of taking care of the Aviation Soldier and family member. The spouses I was talking to quickly asked me that if it was true why was there no block on the membership form to check signifying they are spouses and they are supporting their Aviation Soldier? It seemed incredible to me that after 61 years of existence since AAAA started in 1957, this was the first time that this issue had come up. Considering our AAAA mission statement, “Supporting the U.S. Army Aviation Soldier and Family,” this was a no-brainer.

The AAAA national office took a quick look at editing the application form and membership online process and – voilà! – we now have the spouse category at the same rate as the existing enlisted and student rate of $15. Keep in mind that both that rate and the basic rate of $26 for all others has not changed since 1998 so both are a pretty good deal indeed.

We are sad to see CW5 (Ret.) Dave Cooper step down as the VP of Membership but excited to announce that CW4 Becki Chambers is our new VP for Membership. She did confide in me that Dave had agreed to stay on her committee as a condition for her taking on this new role. She is excited and working on a number of initiatives to get the word out on this spouse membership category, new and innovative ways to increase our membership and a special focus on our younger enlisted soldiers, as well as many other ideas you will see rolled out over the next few months. You will soon see a themed membership campaign from Becki with a realistic goal and timeline to position AAAA for success in the next decade including increased tangible membership benefits. The key to membership however is each and every member taking an interest in letting others know why you joined, why they should, and what we at AAAA National need to do to make it even better for each and every member.

Networking, Recognition, Voice and Support are the tenets of AAAA and what we are all about. The next few months you will see example after example of how AAAA: creates Networking opportunities through our events; presents awards on everything from Depot Maintenance Artisan to ATC, ASE, Medicine, Trainer, and Air/ Sea Rescue; is your Voice to Congress through the Army Aviation Congressional Caucus; and provides Support to our chapters for local events that benefit you all directly, and will soon be rolling out an A&P license support package for our enlisted members.

The second topic I need to discuss is RECOGNITION! We have so many great people in our ranks. One of the leading reasons that people join organizations is for recognition, according to the professionals. Unfortunately with the pace everyone is moving, in many cases units and businesses fail to take the time to recognize excellence! I am amazed at the responses I get when I ask chapters and units why. Suffice it to say everyone has stories about the great folks in their unit that should and need to be recognized. As they say, you cannot win if you do not compete. If you need help let us at National know or better yet go and enlist your chapter leadership to help!

AAAA has always been there for you the Army Aviation Soldier and family through good times and bad, war and peace, before there was a Branch and since, always adapting and changing to provide you with what you are looking for. Like the spouses at the last Summit – all you have to do is ask.

Above the Best!
BG Stephen Mundt, Ret.
33rd President, AAAA
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