AFA National Report
Ralston Chapter member Matt Longo saved a cadet from choking. Read how in "AFA National Report. " See Air Force Magazine's December issue, also online at airforcemag.com.
Important Upcoming Dates
Air Warfare Symposium
Executive Committee Meeting
Board of Directors Meeting
* * *
We are attempting to ensure all interested parties receive Newsline regularly. In order to help with this effort, we request that you forward these newsletters to any interested persons in your chapters. If you wish to be added to the mailing list, please let the Field Operations Department know at email@example.com.
December Field Operations Update
By Scott Van Cleef
We continue to hang perilously close to the magic 100,000 mark for total membership, but managed to level off last month. We must keep the pressure on to recruit new members and retain those that we have. We continue to move towards a new membership option: E-Membership. With this option, E-members will enjoy all the benefits of full AFA membership but will only receive an electronic version of Air Force Magazine, not a printed copy. Traditional members will receive both. We hope to have this option available in the February timeframe. Additional changes which will restrict some AFA website information to members-only will be unveiled by the summer timeframe.
In the meantime, chapter membership recruitment needs to remain a priority for all of us. Only three years ago chapters were recruiting 30% more members than we have the past two years. We need to do our part to fix this. Make sure membership is an issue at every AFA meeting and event you hold. Emphasize what we do for our members and the USAF today: The Wounded Airmen Program, CyberPatriot, Family Support, Transition Assistance, networking, etc. That will make more impact than talking about what we did in the past. Be relevant!
For those field leaders who are authorized travel to AFA meetings, I want to remind you that there is currently a $525 travel expense limit. In order to stay under that, some pre-planning is in order. Book your reservations as far in advance as possible and take advantage of whatever price breaks or short drives to other airports that you can. For those who find they are unable to remain within the limit, waivers are possible, but must be approved IN ADVANCE if you are to be fully refunded. In most cases, Field leaders should ask for the waiver through Kari Hahn. We will track waiver requests through the next year and determine in the Fall if the limit should be raised. Remember, every dollar we spend on travel is one less we can use for other programs. And, if you donate travel expenses, or a portion thereof, back to AFA as in-kind donations, those are tax deductible.
The first Wingman Magazine supplement to AF Magazine will be published in May. There's a long lead-time for this, so send in your photos and articles now, as your events are accomplished. We need good quality action photos and articles to highlight what you are doing in the field. That's what Wingman will be...a showcase for field activities and our members. Send your articles and photos to Michael Sirak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good news continues to flow in from overseas. The Spangdahlem Chapter at Spangdahlem AB, Germany has elected its first EXCOM in more than ten years and is on the road to recovery! Like the recovery at Ramstein announced last month, this revitalization is due in large part to our AFA Special Assistant in Europe, David Gouin, who has been instrumental in reaching out and finding those like-minded Airmen who are willing to get AFA back on track in Europe. Given the right leadership, it's amazing what can be done! We need to follow his example here at home.
As we approach this special time of year, I want to personally thank all our Field leaders for what you have done for AFA over the past year. I think we've made measureable progress in improving the Association, across the board. That comes from a dedicated staff and great leaders at AFA National, and volunteer leaders from the National level all the way down to chapter officers who make things happen at the grass roots of our organization. It takes a team to make all this work, and you all have been great this year. My thanks for all your efforts, and my best wishes to you and yours for a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday Season, and a great New Year!
Scott Van Cleef
Vice Chairman-Field Operations
The AFA National staff, along with our legal counsel and tax advisers, continue to work through numerous issues with the Internal Revenue Service. Here are the latest highlights:
- AFA, and its subordinate organizations (our Chapters and state organizations) are now properly recognized as a tax-exempt group and a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization within the IRS databases.
- Vice Chairman of the Board for Field Operations Scott Van Cleef sent a note out to our region presidents listing 28 chapters and states which have lost their exempt status, in the eyes of the IRS, because of a failure to file any informational returns with the IRS since 2008. We question the absolute validity of this list from the IRS and the AFA National field staff is working directly with these chapters and states to confirm the filing status and develop next steps.
- Many chapters and states attempted to file a 2012 informational return (990N, 990-EZ, etc) and had these returns REJECTED by the IRS. This was due to an error in the IRS database that they acknowledged and corrected. Many of those same chapters are now getting notices that they failed to file a 2012 informational return. This is ALSO due to a new IRS database issue. Legal counsel has advised us to inform these chapters to take the following steps:
- Respond to the notice with a simple letter indicating the date the chapter attempted to file, but that filing was rejected.
- Include (if possible) a copy of the initial rejection notice from the IRS.
- Send a copy of both the response letter and original rejection notice to Mike Smith at AFA National.
- For all other chapters who filed successfully for 2012, or had their filings rejected but have not yet received a follow-up notice from the IRS, our legal counsel's guidance is to hold tight while we continue to work the issues at the highest levels of the IRS.
- IMPORTANT - if your chapter has not yet attempted to file an informational return for 2012, YOU MUST DO SO IMMEDIATELY. Failure to do so puts your chapter at risk of losing its tax-exempt status.
Please contact Mike Smith at AFA National at email@example.com or at (800) 727-3337 ex. 5825 with any questions or concerns. This is a frustrating issue that is taking far too long to resolve, but we are diligently working to ensure the entire AFA enterprise remains exempt and compliant.
Attracting New Members
Membership is the basic foundation of any organization. Recruiting new members is best achieved through consistent planning and execution to build upon previous successes, and yes, failures.
AFA attracts new members through emails, handing out flyers, AFA.org, invitations, and a number of social media outlets. As an example, last February AFA sent an email to the entire Air Force, which included nearly 700K+ Active, Civilian, and Total Force members. The email received very little response - .01% of those who received it signed up. One wouldn't call this a resounding success but one couldn't call it a failure either because it still attracted some new members.
But after attracting a few members, what does work? Well, it takes a little work. Each of you reading this is in the best place to reach out and make a personal connection with prospective members. Sharing your personal experience, explaining what the Air Force Association is, and how that person will make a difference to our organization is the best way to get someone hooked on our organization.
We cannot expect flyers and handouts, or even the miracles of social media, to solve our membership problem. As the leaders of the organization we have to lead from the front and make a personal connection with someone that can bring benefit to the organization. It's simple, but it's not necessarily easy... It does take effort and the ability to reach out and say hi to a new friend. And here's a good way to get the conversation started:
New Statement of Policy Brief
The new Statement of Policy brief is available on here. You may also find it in Powerpoint format here. As you know, the Statement of Policy is our Associations strategic message to the public, our constituents, and our members. The document is an excellent resource to present this message concisely. This new PowerPoint format provides a method for field and national leaders to present the statement of policy to audiences in a presentation format. The slides include notes with text and bullet points taken directly from the Statement of Policy. The brief can be used to present to a large group or to use as a tabletop presentation. It is completely editable to tailor the presentation to your specific uses while retaining the core message of the SOP.
Retention is an ongoing process and should be a vital part of every chapter's membership plan. Tools are available on the AFA.org website under "Information for Field Leaders/Membership Resources" to assist chapter leaders in developing membership programs to focus on retention. Some ideas include the following:
1. Have monthly programs tailored to the needs and interests of the majority of our members.
2. Conduct Chapter business in Executive council meetings, separate and apart from chapter social functions.
3. Introduce new members, guests and Community Partners at all Chapter functions.
4. Keep brunches, dinners and other functions at the lowest cost possible.
5. Provide programs and activities that are different from those offered by competing organizations.
6. Encourage members to bring guests.
7. Avoid running up the total cost of attending the functions, i.e. raffles, donations for good causes, etc.
8. Have an active Hospitality Committee.
Community Partner "Tip of the Month"
NETWORKING, MEMBERSHIPS, PARTNERSHIPS AND SPONSORSHIPS equals growth! Every chapter has people and members that are well connected. The more you network, become member of other organizations, partner with others and sponsor other events, the more you will grow your CP program. This is math that works!
Get involved in your community by going to as many meetings, networks, and events as you possibly can. This is a sure way to preach the good gospel of AFA. The end result will be a community that is well connected - and a true Community Coalition of partners working together to improve, increase, grow the community. AFA can wind up being the lighthouse of these efforts. Its a win-win if ever there was one.
Reach out, get engaged in as many things as you can, when everyone in your chapter does that, and you will see growth like you have never dreamed of!!!
Do you have a CP tip that has worked well for your chapter? Please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will highlight it in the next Newsline!
| Community Partner Spotlight
This month we are excited to feature a CP spotlight submission from the Northeast Texas Chapter. Gentle Dental Care is their longest standing Community Partner - they have supported the chapter since 1994. They were recruited to become a Community Partner by one of their dental patients, who also happened to be an AFA member. Throughout the years, Gentle Dental Care has continually committed to serving their community. In 2007, when current owner of Gentle Dental Care, Brent S. Wehner, took over the practice, the former owner was sure to lay out all their memberships and make sure that they were all carried on after he left. Wehner's family has a long, proud military tradition so he was excited to learn about the Air Force Association Community Partnership. Wehner and the staff at Gentle Dental Care believe that if they can help promote air power, they are helping their community, state, and country.
Thank you to Gentle Dental Care's continued support of the Northeast Texas Chapter and AFA as a whole!
Does your chapter have an outstanding Community Partner that should be featured in next month's Newsline? Send us an article to email@example.com!
Our Wounded Airman Program brochure
is hot off the presses! Contact Caitie Craumer at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you'd like some to pass out at an event. Consider supporting one of the upcoming adaptive sports camps, organized by AFW2 (http://www.woundedwarrior.af.mil/
- Jan 4-12, 2014: All Service Adaptive Sports Exhibition, Hickam AFB
- Jan 17-20, 2014: Volleyball Classic, Lancaster, PA
- Feb 17-21, 2014: Warrior Sports Intro Training Camp(Western Region Joint/Navy Safe Harbor), San Diego, CA
- April 7-11, 2014: Warrior Games Selection Camp at Nellis AFB
- June 10-14, 2014: Introductory Adaptive Sports Camp/Warrior Games Clinic, JBAndrews
- Sept 27-Oct 3, 2014: Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, CO
"Old" AFA Hangar Store Closing December 31st
AFA will be moving to a new store provider after December 31st - but until that date, please visit our Hangar Store for great discounts and up to 50% off! Visit www.afa.org/store
2014 Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition
The Air Force Association's 30th Annual Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition will take place February 19-21, 2014 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Invited speakers to the Symposium will include the Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody and other top Air Force leaders.
The chapter will celebrate "Citizen Airmen: A Tribute to the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve" at its annual dinner, which will be on THURSDAY, February 20, 2014 this year. Dress for this year's Air Force Gala will be Service Dress and/or Business Suit. Tickets to the Gala may be purchased through registration on the AFA website. For additional Gala information, please contact Tim Brock at Brock1874@bellsouth.net or 407-359-4963.
As an AFA leader, you are invited to attend the symposium which will be held on Thursday, February 20, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and on Friday, February 21, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. The standard registration fee for the symposium is $850 for an AFA individual member and $950 for non-AFA members. However, since it is important for AFA leaders to attend this national event, there is a special leader registration fee of $250 (for AFA National Officers, Region Presidents, Directors, National Committee Members, State and Chapter Presidents. [Note: Since this is not a directed meeting, this fee is not reimbursable for AFA leaders.] The registration fee includes a welcome reception in the exhibit hall on 2/19, one and a half days of sessions on 2/20-21; continental breakfasts on 2/20-21; coffee breaks on 2/20-21; and a lunch in the exhibit hall on 2/20. Each AFA leader who registers at this special rate will be entitled to purchase an additional ticket to the Welcome Reception on Wednesday for $175. In addition, tickets for the Central Florida Chapter sponsored events (annual Gala and Golf activities) can be purchased through the registration site.
Registration is now open. Please go to http://www.afa.org/airwarfare/home and select the 'Register' button: choose the 'AFA Leader' registration category from the drop-down to register. If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Katie Storm (ext. 5848) at email@example.com.
AFA is pleased to extend our internal rate of $162 single/double per night, plus applicable taxes. Reservations will be accepted on a first-in basis until the block is full or until noon on Friday, January 24, 2014, whichever comes first. To reserve your hotel room, you must first register for the Symposium. At the end of the registration process, your Internet browser will display a registration confirmation page. Look for the 'Make Hotel Reservation' button - click that button and then input the appropriate information. NOTE: Do not call the hotel directly; this is the only avenue available for you to make your hotel reservation at this rate. If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Grandel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-247-5819.
We are looking forward to having another successful meeting at the Rosen Shingle Creek. Here are some highlights about the property:
- Check-in time is 3:00 p.m. Check-out time is 11:00 a.m.
- Less than 20 minutes from the Orlando International Airport. Visit http://www.rosenshinglecreek.com/location-and-transportation/ for directions or for transportation information.
- Multiple dining options from full service restaurants to a 24-hour deli and market place. Please check out all of their options at http://www.rosenshinglecreek.com/dining/.
- Four pools and a spa.
- Discounted golf available - just mention you are with AFA.
- Self parking is $16 per day, however, if you mention you are with AFA, you will receive 50% off; Valet parking is $20 for the day and $21 overnight.
New Member Benefit - Hearing Health Discounts
We're pleased to announce a new partnership with American Hearing Benefits, a division of Starkey Hearing Technologies. Starkey is the only privately held and American-owned company in its industry and is recognized across the globe as the premier provider in hearing healthcare.
The program offered to AFA Members is a convenient hearing benefits program which provides access to free hearing consultations and significant discounts on hearing aids through its nationwide network of hearing professionals. As a member of AFA, you and your family are entitled to hearing savings through American Hearing Benefits.
AFA members receive:
- FREE annual hearing consultations
- Advanced Hearing Solutions with the latest in hearing aid technology, tinnitus solutions and protective hearing products
- Special AFA discount pricing
- FREE box of batteries (40 cells per hearing aid purchased)
- 60-day trial period
- And MORE!
To activate your benefit, find a provider near you and schedule your free consultation, Call 888-809-7786 or visit www.americanhearingbenefits.com
From the AFA Facebook Page
AFA's Hurlburt Field Chapter gave 24 Air Commandos of the 1st Special Operations Wing unsung hero awards during a ceremony on December 4
th. Read the story here.
AFA Pacific Air & Space Symposium Recap
AFA held our Pacific Air & Space Symposium in November in Los Angeles. Over 600 people attended the symposium, which featured over 30 speakers and ended with the annual Air Force Ball. Speaker highlights from this year's conference included Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning, Commander of Air Force Space Command General William Shelton, Commander of Pacific Air Force General Hawk Carlisle, and a number of other active and retired Air Force officials and civilian industry leaders. Topics ranged from the Airmen in the Rebalance, AFMC: Equipping the Force, Pacific Airpower Resiliency, Air Force Space Command's challenges, and more. To listen to the audio from the speaker sessions, visit our symposium website
Cadet Named Chapter 157 Member of the Year
Cadet Mathew Simmons, Chairman of the Thomas W Anthony Chapter Cadet Council, was selected the Chapter Member of the Year for 2012 - 2013, a first in many years with the chapter. Cadet Simmons joined the chapter in 2010 after asking his dad what he thought he should do with his life. He said his dad suggested considering JROTC as a way of seeking an answer. Shortly after joining JROTC, his Senior Aerospace Instructor, CMSgt USAF (ret) James Warren brought him to a meeting.The chapter took him under their wing and worked with him every since.Doing his years with the chapter he led the way in fundraisers that resulted in raising several thousand dollars for JROTC programs and other chapter endeavors. He brought in many other JROTC students, a color guard to Chuck Suraci's funeral, and participated fully in chapter programs. He has been accepted into the USAF and is awaiting a reporting date. AFA is lucky to have a such a bright, young man working at the chapter level and wishes him all the best as he enters the U.S. Air Force!
| CyberPatriot VI Update
CyberPatriot re-brands as it plans for program expansion in 2014
With the first ever participation of 75 middle schools middle schools in CyberPatriot VI, along with two HUGE bits of news that are on the way, CyberPatriot is changing its brand! Moving forward, the program will no longer will be "AFA's CyberPatriot--The National High School Cyber Defense Competition," and will instead be "AFA's CyberPatriot--The National Youth Cyber Education Program." This great development is the result of outstanding work by AFA chapter members nationwide, and we will need your continued support as we venture into these new endeavors. Contact email@example.com for more information on how you can support your local teams.
CyberPatriot Program expands with CyberCamps and activity in Elementary Schools
Set to rollout by summer of 2014, CyberPatriot is adding two new programs - CyberPatriot CyberCamps and an Elementary School Education Program. CyberCamps, designed to take the cybersecurity training outside of the competition and allow students who may not participate in the high school competition an opportunity to learn the importance of cybersecurity, will be available to schools upon request. In addition to CyberCamps, CyberPatriot will introduce an after school program designed to engage elementary students in learning about careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
We are relying heavily on AFA Chapters to spread the word about these new programs throughout their local communities. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can spread awareness and get your local schools involved.
CyberPatriot teams prepping for State Recognition Round
The State Recognition Round for CyberPatriot VI is schedule for February 21-23, 2014. All teams that did not qualify for The National Finals Competition will be invited to participate in this round of competition. The winning team from each state will advance to the Regional Recognition Round, and the next three highest-scoring teams from each state will be given state awards. Contact email@example.com for a list of teams from your state that will be participating and how your chapter may have a chance to present the award.
90% Discount on SAT and ACT Test Prep
Upcoming SAT tests will take place on January 25th. ACT tests are December 14th and February 8th. Did you know that AFA members and their families get a 90% discount on SAT and ACT Test Prep programs through eKnowledge? Normally $250, eKnowledge is offering AFA members and their families their test prep system for less than $20. The fee covers everything including: materials, shipping, student support and streaming. Visit www.eknowledge.com/afa for full details or call Lori Caputo on 951-256-4076.
USAA IT Programming Training for Veterans
We are excited to highlight a special offer from one of our parterns, USAA:
Do you know a veteran who would like to be a software developer yet may not have the training or education? Yesterday, USAA IT Services launched a new veteran IT cohort program designed to provide comprehensive software development training and an internship for recently discharged veterans and military spouses.
This pilot program will begin in March 2014 and will offer approximately 20 participants a potential career opportunity as a Java developer. In addition to receiving nearly 500 hours of intense technical training over the course of 12 weeks, each participant will have an opportunity to demonstrate their skills immediately following the training as IT interns in a 10-week summer internship with USAA applying the skills learned. Candidates who successfully complete the 12-week training program and 10-week internship will be evaluated for placement into an entry level Software Development and Integration position with USAA.
During both the training and internship phases, the participants will receive an hourly compensation to help offset financial obligations and ensure they can focus their efforts on graduation from the 22-week program.
Interested external applicants should apply here today.
Relocation assistance is not available for this position and qualified applicants must successfully complete a pre-employment background and drug screen.
Acting Secretary of the Air Force Speaks at November AFA Air Force Breakfast Program
The Honorable Eric Fanning, Acting Secretary of the Air Force, discussed the Air Force's path forward in 2014 with sequestration and a continuing resolution that are looming at the November installment of the AFA Air Force Breakfast Program. To hear Acting Secretary Fanning's full remarks, listen to the audio from the event here.
AFA's Mitchell Institute Event Features Gen T. Michael Moseley as Guest Speaker
AFA's Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies welcomed Gen Moseley from the East West Institute as the guest speaker for this month's Mitchell Hour event. General Moseley is a member of the East West Institute and Chairman of Gulf Alliance Company. He is also President, Chief Executive Officer of Moseley and Associates, an international consulting enterprise focusing on global security matters and international relations.To listen to the audio from this event and previous Mitchell Hours, click here. For more information, contact Doug Birkey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFA Letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Re: Military Justice Improvement Act
AFA has joined fellow military organizations in opposition of the provisions of S.967, "The Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013". A letter was sent earlier this week to the offices of the Honorable Carl Levin (MI), Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC); the Honorable James Inhofe (OK), Ranking Member, SASC and the members of the SASC. AFA and its peer organizations believe that the proposed changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) will negatively affect a commanding officer's ability to protect their Airmen. This proposed change poses a threat to our national security by compromising a commander's ability to maintain good order and discipline in his or her command, and could potentially result in fewer prosecutions and convictions of sexual misconduct. The letter was signed by AFA's Chairman of the Board George Muellner, a retired Air Force lieutenant general, as well as over 100 general officers and five former Chief Master Sergeants of the USAF. More details can be found here