Ladies and gentlemen,
I think it is safe to say the snow is finally gone and we can welcome in the warmer weather! With it, I'd like to usher in some optimism about our Chapter. While there are still strides to be made, I truly believe the rest and relaxation in the upcoming months will lend itself toward positive progress during our busy fall and early winter months.
In order to makes these hopes a reality, we are very much in need of some greater participation on the Board of Directors. New faces bring new ideas and both our Chapter and national contingents would be extremely grateful for some fresh volunteers. I certainly appreciate the continued and increased participation at the Quarterly Meetings; it is a nice opportunity to catch up with folks we sometimes only see three or four times a year. However, if you have some additional time to spare and would be willing to lend your energy in a more direct way, we would enthusiastically welcome you! With more ways to contribute than you may think, every little bit helps and as John Heywood so eloquently (and accurately) stated, "Many hands make light work." Thank you in advance for considering this plea and an even bigger thanks to those who answer!
In addition to the need for Board members, a gentle reminder to all hands to please pay your dues! Tech savvy individuals can now even pay them online via the MOAA website. A point of note: there are two sets of (separate) dues each year - MOAA National and Chapter. A common theme we have encountered when talking with members is their belief that they have paid their dues, when in fact only MOAA National dues were submitted. Please double-check your records to make sure both bases are covered and thank you to those who are able and contribute donations toward our ROTC and/or general fund(s) with their submissions!
Finally, I strongly encourage you to invite other officers you know or meet to join us! Every man and woman has to eat and the Woodlands Club does an exceptional job feeding us. We also have several impressive guest speakers lined up that you won't want to miss. Something to impart on guests and potential members - memberships to both MOAA National and our Chapter are FREE for the first year. So no harm no foul in joining great people for some great food!
I wish everyone an amazing summer in Vacationland and hope to see new and familiar faces at the Woodlands on the 17th!
Novum Millenium Fabricari,
The April CPI is 238.432, 1.4 percent above the FY 2016 COLA baseline. The CPI for May 2017 is scheduled to be released on June 14th. This marks the fifth month in a row the CPI has advanced.
Health Care Update
The Defense Health Agency is busy working on the many mandates that come from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017. For those of us who are eligible for TRICARE health benefits, the changes are likely to have little effect. The Department of Defense will (1) increase the use of military treatment facilities (MTFs), (2) restructure the TRICARE program, and (3) charge beneficiaries more. However, (1) with few MTFs in the Northeast now, most of our health care will still be delivered in the civilian sector, what TRICARE calls “purchased care.” (2) The TRICARE restructure will affect anyone who uses TRICARE Standard. Standard will be replaced by “Select.” Select won’t be an automatic entitlement like Standard; it will require enrollment, which will be offered once a year during an open-enrollment season, and will feature an enrollment fee (premium) and copayments, unlike the percentage cost-share of Standard. (3) Most of the higher charges for health care, when applicable, will fall on those (including family members) who begin military service on or after 1 January 2018, not on those who are currently serving or have retired from the military. TRICARE For Life will remain the same. For our Chapter members who use Martin’s Point Health Care for TRICARE Prime – including members like me who also have Medicare – I just don’t see much changing. I should also mention that, independently of the NDAA, Humana Military Services will replace Health Net Federal Services as the managed care support contractor for TRICARE in our region on 1 January 2018. This contractor conversion does not affect Martin’s Point, which has a separate contract with the Department of Defense. (Col Bill Hall, Secretary)
ROTC/JROTC Program Update
I just wanted to update our Members on the status of the ROTC and JROTC Programs for 2017. The school year for both JROTC and Senior ROTC for Maine schools has ended. In the March Newsletter, we ran a detailed listing of all the school units, points of contact, graduation dates and phone numbers for interested Chapter Members. As many of you know, our Chapter supports each of the eight Junior Programs with National MOAA certificates, signed by our Chapter President, and ROTC medals the cadets may wear on their dress uniforms. The school cadre award the certificates based on school criteria and present the awards at the annual awards dinner, which vary according to individual school schedules. In addition, our Chapter also awards a handsome solid brass compass to these deserving cadets.
For the top award winners for the three Senior Programs at the University of Maine (Army ROTC) and the Maine Maritime Academy (Navy ROTC) we also send MOAA certificates, medals, and compasses. In addition, our Chapter also provides a $500 scholarship to the top graduates: one for the Army Program and one each for the two Navy Programs (total of $1,500 each year). These awards and scholarships are made possible through the generous donations made by our own Chapter Members each year and from the proceeds of the Annual Military Scholarship Golf Tournament (“Mr. T” Memorial), held in August yearly (see above). We thank you all for your support this year and in all the previous years you have been giving. (COL Frank Toderico, ROTC Chairman)
Ted Sharp Returns as Speaker for the June Meeting
It hardly seems as if summer is almost upon us but it is. Our next Quarterly Meeting will be on Saturday, June 17th at the Woodlands Club. We hope you will find time in your busy schedules to take a well-deserved break and plan to join us. The June gathering will see the return of the breakfast buffet format. We will meet for coffee and juice at 9 AM followed by a sumptuous buffet at 9:30 to 10:30. This will be followed by our speaker, none other than Ted Sharpe, the Superintendent of Schools for Gorham, Maine. Ted has spoken to us on several occasions in the past on current affairs in our schools and China. He has just returned from another trip to China and has agreed to share his impressions and observations regarding this amazing nation. Ted has a variety of interests including history, reading, photography, collecting antiques, working in his flower gardens, canoeing, and travel. He and his wife, Sharon, live in Gorham. We know you will enjoy his talk. See you at the Woodlands on June 17th!
The Chapter is pleased to welcome our newest member, Colonel William E. Benson, USA, and his wife Tara, from Gorham, Maine. We look forward to meeting you at one of our future meetings. And, we thank you for your interest in our Chapter. (Col Rob McAleer, Membership Chairman)
We are in the process of wrapping up our 2017 Annual Dues Drive. To date, 91 Members have contributed $1820 to this year’s dues. Our list of Emeritus and Auxiliary Members continues to grow. Members who are 90 years old or older are considered Emeritus and no longer are required to pay yearly Chapter dues (let us know when you reach this milestone please). Contributions are always welcomed! To date our Members have contributed $1370 to our general fun and $740 to the ROTC/JROTC Fund, for a grand total of $3930. To all who have sent in their dues and contributions, we extend a sincere Thank You for your continuing support. We have yet to hear from a number of Members. For those receiving the printed copy of The Newsletter and find a red dot on the address label, please be advised we have not received your 2017 dues to date. Kindly send a check for $20 to Southern Maine Chapter, MOAA, Post Office Box 2145, South Portland, Maine 04116-2145 to remain current. Members receiving The Newsletter via email, you will be receiving a reminder note to kindly send in 2017 dues.
Hold the Date
The 11th Annual Military Scholarship Golf Tournament, the “Mr. T” Memorial, to benefit the Military Officer’s Association of America, Southern Maine Chapter Scholarship Fund, will be held on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, beginning at 7:45 AM at the Sable Oaks Golf Club, South Portland, Maine. For details, contact Jack Fay, 14 Mulberry Lane, Scarborough, Maine, 883-6447 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Maine Chapter MOAA Senior Award Nominees (Navy)
MIDN 2/C Elliot Roberts
University: Maine Maritime Academy
Home of Record: Charleston, Maine
Major: Marine Transportation Operations
Cumulative GPA: 3.22
- NROTC Midshipman Division Officer (2016-2017)
- NROTC Midshipman Public Affairs Officer (2015-2016)
- Created and designed the Unit’s New Insignia and Symbol
- Singlehandedly painted the new NROTC insignia in the unit’s classroom
- Maine Maritime Academy, Men’s Lacrosse Team (2015)
- Maine Maritime Academy, Men’s Rugby Team (2014, 2015)
- Dean’s List: Spring 2015 and Fall 2016
MIDN 2/C Russell W. Wilson
University: University of Maine
Major: Marine Sciences (Biology)
Minors: Political Science, Naval Science
Cumulative GPA: 3.33
- NROTC Midshipman Combat Fitness Leader (2016-2017), Detachment Orono
- NROTC Ranger Challenge Team Captain (2016), Detachment Orono
- Selected to commission as a Naval Officer in May (2018)
- National Collegiate Wrestling Association Academic All-American (2016)
- NCWA National Qualifier (2015 and 2016)
- Eagle Scout (2014)
- Intermural Sports:
- American Society for Civil Engineers Member
- Volunteer Assistant Wrestling Coach Nokomis High School
- Volunteer, Zimmerman Fitness Challenge, Annually
Southern Maine Chapter MOAA Senior Award Nominee (Army)
Cadet David Audet grew up in Augusta Maine. After graduating from Cony High School, he entered the University of Maine in the Fall of 2014, pursuing a degree in Secondary Education. While in ROTC he participated in Color Guard, Ranger Challenge, and is currently the vice president of the 20th Maine Honor Society. Cadet Audet is currently pursuing a B.A. in Secondary Education with a minor in leadership studies. He is hoping to receive an active duty commission and become a military intelligence officer.