From The President
As we are all recovering from overeating Thanksgiving Turkey, we turn our thoughts to the upcoming Christmas Holidays with family and friends. I ask that each of you take time to reflect on past memories and build new memories to last a lifetime.
We are so thankful to have our website current and a Graduate for the first time in three years. This is our opportunity to share with all our members what is going on with the NCOAGA! Please reach out to members who may have given up on the website and let them know that it is current and they will find our latest meeting information, com- mittee reports and updates. This is a huge step in improving commu- nication with the membership and we are expecting great dividends as the word spreads that our NCOAGA is moving forward.
As we move forward into the New Year I am looking forward to growing our Association into a cohesive group of academy graduates that are working toward meeting our goal of promoting Pro- fessional Military Education (PME), both resident and satellite training. As we promote PME we are also assisting our commanders in growing young airmen to be our future leaders.
"We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, fol- low me, or get out of my way."
- General George
Smith Patton, Jr.
We all have seen the results of graduates working in the community and I’m sure many will be doing this during the upcoming Christmas season. That young child, veterans or others in need
will always remember the professionals in Uniform who made their Christmas a little brighter. You
may be planting a seed that will grow into a leader in the Air National Guard someday.
We have wonderful people in our organization that deserve to be recognized for being outstanding and promoting the values of the NCOAGA. Last year we did not have any packages submitted for Outstanding Graduate of the Year, MG I.G.Brown Award of Excellence, Hall of Fame Award or the Minute Woman Award. This was the first time in our history that there were no recommendations for any of the awards! Please get involved with your local Chapters to recognize deserving airmen for these prestigious awards, the deadline for submitting award packages is February 15, 2014.
Chapters, please communicate with your Region Directors, they must hear from your chapter once each quarter to keep your chapters active. Submit your monthly reports, even if you have no activ- ity during a month the report is necessary, twelve monthly activity reports gives your chapter recog- nition at the annual Seminar/General Membership Meeting. Use the Association Guidance Hand- book (AHG) located on the website to assist you in putting together Award Packages, Pride Book, Monthly Activity Reports and for general information and guidance.
One area that we need help with at this time is the reporting of deceased members. Guidance is in the AGH and a Form 6-3 must be completed by the member’s chapter so we can give appropriate recognition for our deceased members.
Scholarships are not being awarded – WHY no applicants. 2013 – 2014 we only had 3 applicants for scholarships. Chapters please do a better job of letting your members know about the scholar- ships available. All the information for applicants can be found on the website and in the AGH. The number one requirement that must be met is the member/sponsor must be a paid member of Chapter One in good standing. After that requirement is verified it is up to the individual applicant to write the required Essay and follow the guidance in the AGH to submit the application. The deadline to submit applications is May 1, 2014.
In closing, I am so blessed to have been selected your president and I want to see positive growth as we move forward. I am posting a newsletter on the website each month and appreciated your feedback. We need each member to be involved for success our association belongs to the mem- bership!
Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year! Janice O. Richardson, CMSgt (Ret)
Hello fellow members of ANG NCOAGA! I’m SMSgt Andy Traugot, and I’m proud to be serving this year as your 1st Vice President. I thought since we haven’t had a Graduate in about three years, and since many of you don’t know me at all, I would take this first article to give you a little about who I am and why I’m here.
I enlisted in the Air Force in 1981 as a Mandarin Chinese Cryp- tologic Linguist. After completing training, I was assigned to US Army Field Station Kunia. During my time at Kunia, I had my
first EPME experience, attending the NCO Preparatory Course at Hickam AFB. In 1986, I was accepted as a Technical School Instructor at Goodfellow AFB, Texas. I was fortunate enough to be a last second replacement to at- tend the NCO Leadership School during my first year at Goodfellow. By this point, I was hooked! I knew EPME was extremely important and well worth the hard work and dedication.
In 1989, I went PALACE CHASE into the ANG. From 1989 through 2004, I was a bassoonist and vocalist for three different ANG Bands. I was very lucky to have a chance conversation with a major in the Georgia ANG, who pulled a few strings and got me a slot into the NCO Academy at McGhee Ty- son in 2001. When I graduated from NCOA, I knew I HAD to be an instructor, but the timing just wasn’t right. It took until the beginning of 2005 for me to be able to apply for a position as an EPME Instructor. Again, being exceptionally fortunate, I was asked to join the team at McGhee Tyson. Between 2005 and 2009, I carried 19 flights through NCOA, ALS, Satellite and traditional resident programs. Since the end of 2009, I have served as the ANG Liaison to the curriculum writing teams at the Barnes Center, and, for the past two and a half years, the Director of Education, Satellite EPME Programs.
I hope it’s evident from my background that I have a deep compassion for
Happy Holidays! I hope this newsletter finds everyone doing well and enjoying this time of year. I am excited we were able to have the 45th General Membership Meeting this year and I look forward to next year’s meeting! I unfortunately wasn’t able to attend this year’s meeting due to being tied up at the Senior Noncommis- sioned Officer Academy, but was kept up-to-date via our Face- book page and have heard great things. I am disappointed that we
didn’t have any nominations this year for Outstanding Graduate of the Year or I.G. Brown Command Excellence Award. After having to cancel the previous year, I am sure it was just a matter of uncertainty. Now that we know we are moving in a forward direction and things are happening, I highly encourage chapters to submit nominations this year. Both of these awards are due with a postmark no later than 15 February to your Regional Director. Your AGH is a great tool for completing these nominations and if you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me.
I am very excited for the future of this organization and the great things to come. We are a very active and energetic Board of Directors and we are working hard to make this organization as strong as possible. We can’t do it alone though, we need you! We need positive attitudes, open-minds, and a get it done spirit. We need award nominations, chapter reports, scholarship nominations, attendance at the annual meeting, and continued love for the organization. I know we all have what it takes to build up from here and we are off to a great start already. I believe in the future of the NCOAGA!
Don’t forget to accomplish Chapter Reports, I know we are all doing great things out there and this is the way to share those great things. I look forward to seeing a lot of Outstanding Graduate of the Year and Major General I.G. Brown Command Excellence Trophy nominations!
Master Sergeant Jen Weitekamp 2nd Vice President, NCOAGA
education in general, and, more spe- cifically, EPME. That was why I joined the NCOAGA in 2005. I be- lieve fully that every NCO should be provided the opportunity to attend EPME as a resident student. That being said, I hope you will all join me in helping to reinvigorate our organi- zation. We all need to take every opportunity to share the value of NCOAGA. First things first -- Let’s get involved and help re-establish those chapters forced to deactivate!
Please feel free to contact me at DSN
266-3853, commercial (865) 336-
3853, or email
Corporate sponsorship needs to be our lifeblood. Many hours of hard work went into obtaining a 501 (c) 3 status for our organization. Thanks to everyone who dedicated their time to making this a reality. Now it is up to
all of the membership to get out into each of our communities and let them know who we are and that we would love to have them on board. Many businesses are looking to be a part and sometimes are just not
asked. The 501 (c) 3 status allows for their contributions to benefit them during taxseason. It is a win-win situ- ation. The necessary documents are available to everyone via the website, to include a How-To Guide.
The Be Square Program is yet anoth- er way you can help. By
fulfilling your previous pledges, or maybe even making a new one, you can show your support for our Asso- ciation with you gift. If ever you have any questions about the Corporate Sponsorship or Be Square Programs, please feel
free to contact me and I will help you along.
On a personal note, I would like to thank all of you that have impacted my career and gave me the desire to attend the AF SNCOA. It was an incredible experience and I was proud to be a part of the great tradi- tion of the Academy. Many of you have encouraged me to attend over the past few years stating that there is nothing like it. As I graduated from 13-E your
support and encouragement echoed within me and I truly thank you!
Eric D Vickrey, MSgt DAL-Ways and Means
Chapter 54 is an integral part of the Team Little Rock Satellite PME Program. Several chapter
members from the 189AW have volunteered as facilitators, ensuring its ongoing success.
Team Little Rock’s Satellite NCOA class 13-9 began earlier this fall. The students met with some challenges due to the government shutdown. The class missed three weeks of training. No one was sure if the class would restart. Thankfully, instruction resumed 22 October. The administrators, instructors, facilitators, and students all worked together to ensure the scheduled training resumed. Only one additional day was added to the in-resident training at McGhee Tyson TEC.
Since the start of the Satellite NCOA class 13-9, Chapter 54 has provided support and assistance at food nights and within the classroom. They also sponsored a meet and greet for all students ’ commanders, first sergeants, supervisors and chiefs; including, two Command Chiefs from the active duty wings. This “meet and greet” enabled leadership to meet with all of the students, view an actual satellite broadcast and learn more about the satellite program. The support that Chapter 54 provided was instrumental in the motivation and success of Satellite NCOA class 13 -9.
Jeremiah Brewer, MSgt, AR ANG
President, Chapter 54
Since being appointed your Treasurer last year, I’ve been busy organiz- ing/setting up files, monitoring our accounts, paying bills, and filing our taxes. Preparing for the 45th General Membership meeting was some- what daunting as well as heading up the Finance Committee for the first time, but I had an excellent committee and also received much appreciat- ed guidance from CMSgt (Ret) Doug Schultz who assured me that I was heading in the right direction!
At the Board of Directors meeting held on 16-17 July 2012, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, a motion for a continuing resolution was passed for the 2012-
13 budget to operate under the 2011 budget constraints as a result of the cancellation of Seminar 44. We operated successfully this past year under that CR and the Finance Com- mittee was able to hammer out a proposed budget for 2014 which projects spending less than we did in 2011. Major expenditures this past year have included setting up our new website, paying for awards, legal fees, and travel for BOD meetings. I’ve included the finan- cial reports presented at the 45th General Membership Meeting for your information. These reports give you an accurate picture of what has happened in the last few years and certain- ly suggest the condition of our Association.
I believe that the deactivation of chapters has provided the stimulus for revitalizing our Asso- ciation. The difficult but faithful work of our President Ex-Officio, SMSgt (Ret) Ken Montgom- ery, our Commandant at the time, CMSgt Don Felch, the BOD, and others has established the foundation for getting our Association back on the right track. It did not take long for us to see the fruits of that labor with several chapters reactivated or now seeking reactivation. Regional Directors, Chapter Presidents, indeed, we all will need to work together to continue this process.
I encourage all of us to review and renew our commitment to the objective, mission and vision of the ANG NCOAGA – let’s go forward from there! Our newly elected President, CMSgt (Ret) Janice Richardson’s acceptance speech reiterated the importance of this. She has already demonstrated her courage, forward thinking and dedication to tackle problems and grow our Association! I have all confidence in the maturity, experience and proven leadership of our Board members – and you should, too! Your BOD is rock solid and ready to meet every challenge! I am especially proud of our recent SNCOA graduates, MSgt Eric Vickrey and MSgt Jen Weitekamp. And now with the ongoing strong leadership and vision of our newly elected President, our great Association will continue to succeed!
SMSgt (Ret) Terri Lever, SMSgt (Ret) Treasurer
I would like to start by introducing myself as your new Region Two Director and Chapter Activities Co-Chair. This is my first year as a member of the Non-commissioned Officer Academy Graduate Association (NCOAGA) and I am excited to be a part of rebuilding the association.
Attending General Membership Meeting 45 was my first real experience with the association and to be honest, I came away with very conflicted feelings regarding my new role as Region Two Director. In an effort to resolve my own conflicts about the relevance and focus of the association, I have concentrated on our mission statement.
“Promote, support, and prepare enlisted members for professional military education, with an in-residence emphasis; to develop professionalism, promote readiness, and instill pride and esprit de corps among citizen Airmen.”
I believe the best way to support our mission and accomplish our goals is through actively promoting Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME). Moving forward, I would like to take a more synergistic approach to the promotion of educational opportunities for our enlisted members. While I strongly encourage each local chapter to develop relationships with your leadership, and continue to make EPME a part of your culture, I feel that the national association should develop resources and facilitate the sharing of best practices among chapters. Below are a few examples of successful programs that have been implemented locally. I would like to develop a dialogue among chapters, moderated at the national level, and begin to recognize and share the best way to promote and support Enlisted Professional Military Education.
As a member of the 189th Airlift Wing, I am blessed to work with leaders who strongly encourage formal training, mentorship in all areas of responsibility, and an attitude of acceptance for creativity and innovation with regard to enlisted education. The wing implemented several policies and programs to guarantee that our enlisted force will continually be challenged and cultivated. The development of sound leadership, communication skills, and heritage appreciation are truly integrated into the working environment. This has become a part of our culture and I have benefited greatly as an NCO that grew up in this wing.
Our wing’s satellite EPME program is arguably one of the strongest to date. In partnership with the Paul H. Lankford EPME Center, we regularly offer the opportunity for Guard, Reserve, and Active Duty enlisted members to attend this course. En- rolled students gain the experience and credit for an in-residence course. Meanwhile, units and work stations maintain a more consistent productivity when compared to traditional in-residence PME. The success of this program depends largely on the volunteer facilitators, promotional and informational efforts, and support from all levels of leadership.
We also have developed a partnership with Little Rock AFB Airman Leadership School; thus guaranteeing one seat in each class for a 189th Airlift Wing member. This program has become highly competitive and those eligible are required to submit packages for consideration. It is decidedly an honor to be chosen to represent the 189AW and, as a benefit, the member is able to attend ALS at home station rather than going TDY. Again, the success of this program depends largely on volun- teers who serve as board members, promotional and informational efforts, and support at all levels of leadership.
Attending an in-residence EPME course is always preferred to completing a correspondence course. The satellite program is a great alternative that offers many of the same benefits. Realistically, those are not always an option so many of our members still complete the correspondence courses for EPME credit. In an effort to impart experiences and offer learning opportunities to all members, we have developed a mentorship lecture series. This program allows us to develop an agen- da based on our local needs and impart leadership development on a variety of topics and timely issues. As with our other programs, the success of this endeavor is determined by the volunteer speakers and coordinators, promotion of the series, and support at all levels of leadership.
We have several other programs like those mentioned above. By developing relationships with the active duty component, local businesses, community colleges, and professional organizations we have created a vast network of opportunity for our enlisted members to continue learning. It really comes down to an attitude of understanding the importance of professional military education and doing what it takes to get the job done.
I share these specific examples with you, not to brag about our accomplishments … “Well, okay, maybe I’m bragging a lit- tle.” But to show you the kind of success stories I’d like to hear about from your local chapters and wings. I feel that this sharing of ideas and collaboration will go a long way to making NCOAGA a more viable organization. I’d like to work toward a more synergistic relationship between local chapters and the national association. I’d like to know what your needs and concerns are at the local level and how regional and national support might help you meet your goals.
I am new to this association and to the role of Regional Director and I am eager to learn from each of you. I am also excited to help this association evolve and transform in a way that is parallel to the ever-changing demands placed on our enlisted members. I look forward to working with each chapter in Region 2 and I hope to hear from many of you regarding activities that promote and support professional development.
Taunya Kidd, MSgt Region 2 Director
Region 3 has undergone similar changes as the other regions in our great association. We currently only have 3 active chapters in the region. Chapter 53 in Des Moines Iowa, Chapter 70 in Sioux Falls South Dakota, and Chapter 76 in Lincoln Nebraska. The other chapters were deactivated by the national board of directors earlier this year. Those life members and active mem- bers in the deactivated chapters will be receiving a post card from our membership director outlining what your options are concerning transferring your membership. If for some reason you don't receive the post card and you are reading this article in this addition of the Graduate, please feel free to contact me as your Region three director and I will be happy to assist you with the options.
Chapter 53 in Des Moines has been undergoing a very serious change of mission this year. They have lost the F16 mission and picked up a UAV mission and so many of there members may have had to transfer to another unit to continue with their careers. We wish them well as they transistion to their new mission and hope that they can continue to encourage their young members to continue to their professional military education to help them prepare for the future.
Chapter 70 has been very busy this last few months. They have been in the middle of a major deployment to the sand box and so many of their chapter members have been gone from home for quite some time. They are just getting back to a normal work load and having all their full and part time members back home. In spite of that they have continued to be engaged in small activities in their local community with a few limited members. They also have been ensuring that their members continue to work on their PME on individual basis. I look forward to working closely with them over the next few months.
Chapter 76 has been running along at their normal pace. At most times or every week, at least one of their aircraft and aircrew is deployed somewhere in support of the Air Forces world wide missions. With the KC-135 the aircraft can be tasked to deploy with a crew of three and two crew chiefs and usually is gone for up to nine days somewhere providing in flight refueling. Addition- ally the members of the unit can be tasked individually to deploy somewhere for normally 45 days at a minimum. In spite of this the unit was able to support a distant learning NCO class this past year that was full to capacity. All members who attended were very excited about their experience and the unit did a great job supporting the class and its members.
A past president of this great association also retired in Nov of this year. Wing Command Chief Kevin Uthe from Chapter 70 in Sioux Falls retired after a very long and fulfilling career. He will be missed at their unit and I hope that he stays involved in the NCOAGA when he can. Congratulations Chief Uthe.
At a teleconference that the Board held recently, Chapter 7 from Charlotte North Carolina has volunteered to host the 2014 Na- tional meeting. Information will be coming out in Jan. Please look at our new and much improved web site in January for all the specifics on time and reservation information.
If anyone from Region 3 needs to contact me please feel free to call me on my cell phone 402-875-1205. I am normally available most every day and evening. Additionally, if you have any infor- mation about any deceased member in your chapter please for- ward that to me or follow the guidance in the AGH.
Doug Schulz, CMSgt (Ret) Region 3 Director
"We must think in terms of tomorrow" said General of the Air Force Henry H. "Hap" Arnold and the NCOAGA is an intricate part of "tomorrow". We must be relevant and focused on pro- moting professional military education, community involvement and developing future leaders.
As we think in terms of tomorrow, let us not forget our beginning and our purpose. The Air National Guard Noncommissioned Officer Academy Graduate Association was organized in 1968 by a group of graduates from earlier Air National Guard Non- commissioned Officer Academy classes. The objective of
this Association is to support commanders through the leader- ship, knowledge, and experience of its members as follows, but not limited to:
- Promote enlisted professional military education with an in-
- Prepare enlisted members for enlisted professional military education with an in-residence
- Support enlisted professional military education with an in- residence emphasis.
- Providing scholarship opportunities to help further the educational desires of our members and their
- Instill pride and esprit de corps through 1.The Air Force core
2.Military customs and traditions. 3.Patriotism and community involvement.
Now is the time to start looking ahead for nominating Outstand- ing Graduate of the Year, Maj. General I G Brown Award of Ex- cellence, Hall of Fame and the Minute Woman Award. If you start working on the packages in October you should be free of the last minute rush and stress! Information about the
awards program can be found at www.ncoaga.com/awards.php
Please ensure that your Chapters are aware of the scholarships available and also the guidance is on our website (www.ncoaga.com). As we are all working under the constraints of a struggling economy it is now more important than ever that we make sure our members take advantage of every opportuni- ty to use the benefits available to them. Be sure that your Chap- ter members know that their membership dues to Chapter 1 must be current and the cutoff date for membership to be paid is 15 June 2014,cannot be postmarked 16 June, this is a hard deadline. The dues must be current through July 2014 for the applications to be considered for all scholarships. As you are promoting PME to your chapters please follow through with the Scholarship information.
I need your monthly reports for your Chapter activities. As I have stated before I know the Chapters are doing great things, however without the paperwork you don't receive credit for all the wonderful things you are doing. As a reminder your Chapter has a month with no activities you must still submit a monthly report and show no activities for that month to be recognized at Seminar for submitting all reports.
Our challenge is to get more local Chapters active and reach out to our young airmen. We owe each young airman an oppor- tunity to excel by promoting Professional Military Education and involvement in our local Chapter programs promoting patriotic community events. With our support our Noncommis-
sioned Officer Academy Graduation Association and our Air National Guard will be an inclusive organization that draws young people who want to be Involved as productive military members and citizens.
Chris Amburn, SMSgt Region 4 Director
SOCIAL MEDIA/FACEBOOK DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK
This is a newspaper clipping a friend shared with me, and I think it is very relevant to our organization as we reach out to our membership!
I am 28 years old. I am a social person, but I’m not on social media sites. I have the same phone number I had in high school. I live at the same address, which is less than three blocks from my high school. However I was not invited to my 10 year class reunion because it was organized through Facebook. I found out about it because my best friend (who went to a rival school) is on Facebook and married to a classmate of mine.
There are plenty of people who are not on social media websites, even at my age of 28. Facebook may make it easy to plan events, but without a little bit of effort and consideration, it also makes it easy to leave people out.
There is an assumption that everyone sees invitations for reunions, parties, notifi- cation of engagements, births as well as photographs and videos that are regular- ly posted on Facebook and other social media sites. It’s not so, and the assump- tion can create hurt feelings, along with a few unnecessary surprises. Take time to think about those you may have missed in an effort to notify everyone at once.
To all Past Chapter 1 Presidents
Approximately a year ago I was asked to chair a Past Presidents Coun- cil by President Ken Montgomery. I had the honor of serving as Presi- dent # 2 and was around for the formation of the Association.
Ken and the Board of Directors were and still are looking for input on the activities and situations going on in the Association. They felt a great deal of good advice could come from the Past Presidents as you’ve all been there.
We have all heard of gloom and doom talk about the GA and why we only had a General Meeting this Year.
After attending the Board of Directors Meeting and General Meeting this summer I can assure you this talk is NOT true. Will we be making changes to how we have done things in the past? YES.
Now to the first problem – getting the addresses, phone numbers and e- mail addresses of all Chapter 1 Past Presidents. Please send this infor- mation to John Van Roo, 805 S. Birdsey St., Columbus, WI 53925.
I feel the goals of the Graduate Association have not changed – Sup- port PME and Support your Base/State Commanders. How we do it may have changed – so send me your ideas.
John Van Roo, CMSGT (Ret)
As many of you know, our numbers to our General Membership meetings have decreased over the years. Our liveli- hood, as the NCOAGA, is contingent on several keys areas: support from lead- ership, active chapters, and the contin- ued recruiting of new members. Each of these areas has been a challenge to us.
While I can go into hours of dialogue into each of these key areas, my focus is finding a location for our next General Membership meeting. Currently, we do not have an assigned location as of yet. Without the location, we cannot sched- ule a date.
However, as the appointed Chairman for the Seminar Committee, I am work- ing with several chapters to find our next location. We have narrowed down to several potential areas. Both Ne- braska and Wisconsin are potential host sites for 2014. I am working with repre- sentatives from both states to confirm sites and availability.
There is also an effort to share locations with EANGUS location. The proposal would mean the potential of bring more members to each set of membership meetings to ensure quorums are met.
Ultimately, we need volunteers from our membership to help support our Gen- eral Membership meetings. Volunteers, with leadership support, allow us to thrive and continue to support the Air National Guard and the United Sates Air Force.