It is an honor to have been elected to serve our Association as your new AAAA National President. I thank our outgoing president, LTG (Ret.) Dan Petrosky for his dedicated and devoted efforts these past two years, as well as CW5 Mark Grapin and COL (Ret.) Bob Carter, for all their effort and acomplishments in Membership and Chapter Affairs respectively.
We have achieved historic highs in many areas. Some examples of our widespread involvement throughout the Army Aviation Community include sponsorship of the Congressional Army Aviation Caucus, support of our 71 Chapters worldwide, financial support to local events such as Welcome Home ceremonies for our Soldiers and Families and the scholarship program that awarded a record $363,500 to our members last year.
I would like to introduce your new leadership team that will work hard to build upon this unprecedented success.
The National Executive Group (NEG) consists of our Senior VP, BG (Ret.) E.J. Sinclair, a former Branch Chief; our Secretary, BG (Ret.) Steve Mundt, the former Army Aviation Director; and our Treasurer, MG (Ret.) Jeff Schloesser, former 101st Abn. Div. Commanding General.
Our new VP for Membership is CW5 (Ret.) Dave Cooper, a member of the Hall of Fame, and for Chapter Affairs, LTC (Ret.) Jan Drabczuk, former Central Florida Chapter President.
Together we look forward to building upon our current success and to ensure we do even more to meet AAAA’s touchstone of “Supporting the U.S. Army Aviation Soldier and Family.”
We are currently reviewing the composition of the National Executive Board and selecting new committee chairs. Involvement and volunteerism are key tenets to our Association’s success; please let us know if you are interested in serving on a committee. I will introduce our new volunteers in subsequent Magazine issues.
I would also like to recognize all the volunteers in our Chapters working diligently at the grass roots level to support our Aviation Soldiers and their families. These Chapters are the bedrock of our Association and the face of AAAA to our Aviation units. They know and understand what is most important to AAAA’s support for the Army Aviation community of Soldiers, civilians, government employees and the aviation defense industry.
As you will see in this issue, our recent AAAA Annual Professional Forum in Fort Worth, TX was a magnificent success under very trying circumstances. I want to congratulate all those AAAA and industry members, and especially our Army Aviation leadership for their unwavering and steadfast support of the Forum.
From the opening comments by our Branch Chief, MG Kevin Mangum, to the final banquet that featured an amazing performance by Trace Adkins and raised over $125,000 for future scholarships for our Soldiers and Families, you made AAAA succeed where many others have failed.
Special thanks to LTG Jim Barclay, LTG Bill Phillips, MG Tim Crosby, MG Lynn Collyar, BG Mike Bobeck, and CW5 Mike Reese, all of whom went the extra mile in order to be available to interface with the entire Aviation community. AC/RC, civilian and industry, to make sure best value continues to be delivered to our men and women in uniform.
I look forward to the next two years and assure you we will be reaching out to you for ideas on how we can improve even more as we work to achieve our goals.
Above the best!