From AAAA President's Cockpit
Evolving to Remain Relevant
The next generation of personnel comprising our Branch will be different from those of generations past. Army Aviation will continue to evolve and so must the professional association that supports them and their families. AAAA needs to look to our next generation of leaders, the “millennials” – both in Aviation and as future leaders of the Association.
AAAA can look intimidating, or just plain OLD, to many in this new generation. Millennials are creative, independent and self-starting. We’ve got to make AAAA more flexible, adaptable, and relevant if we are to continue to attract this generation to AAAA not only as members, but as future leaders within AAAA.
Through previous meetings, focus groups, and even Survey Monkey we’ve heard:
- There’s no truly mobile device, app like, AAAA experience
- Get the magazine on the web – go digital
- The Info File is outdated
- AAAA is not relevant to ROTC and West Point cadets
- AAAA needs to market to millennials to reach the next generation
On October 20th this year at the AAAA Board Meeting we unveiled an entirely new brand for your Association. It’s based on what you told us were the four most important reasons you belong to an association of professionals.
Your number one reason to join AAAA is to Network. Externally, we’ve been reaching out to other professional associations such as NDIA, AHS, HAI, and AUSA in order to develop synergies that will best support our members. Internally, your six AAAA national officers, (the National Executive Group), are reaching out to our counterparts in individual chapters. The intent is to ensure every chapter is given the same amount of support regardless of size or location. Chapters are being encouraged to conduct their quarterly meetings to allow the opportunity for members to network with each other. We’ve completely revamped our website and created a version oriented for mobile users based on input from the field and to allow our users to network digitally. In addition, the magazine is now digital on the website.
Everyone wants Recognition. AAAA has an exhaustive array of mechanisms for deserving personnel to be recognized. From National awards, to functional awards, to material readiness and logistics related awards, to individual recognition provided by the Order of St. Michael and Lady of Loreto, there are many opportunities to recognize the best in Army Aviation. Soldier of the Month and NCO of the Month recipients may receive a one-year complimentary membership to AAAA; and that concept can be extended to our contractors at CCAD or instructors at Ft. Eustis, for example.
Your Voice needs to be heard. The Army Aviation Caucus is the forum where 52 members of Congress, their staff, and Army leaders can bring awareness and support to Army Aviation. Our Senior Executive Associates, retired 3 and 4 star general officers, inform Army Aviation leaders on the strategic landscape affecting current and future Army aviation initiatives as well as advocating on behalf of the Branch within DoD, HQDA, and throughout industry. Our membership in The Military Coalition (TMC) together with 3.5 million members also makes a big impact in Washington on your behalf.
Lastly, we Support our members and are true to our touchstone statement – “Supporting the U.S. Army Aviation Soldier and Family.” Last year we awarded 258 scholarships valued at over $407,000. We continue to support the Army Aviation Museum at Ft. Rucker as it represents our legacy. And, we continue to provide almost $100,000 per year to support our chapters in order to assist them in formals, deployment ceremonies or other various chapter activities.
The rebranding effort has been exciting. But, even more is on the way as you’ll read next month when I unveil details of our newly refocused, redesigned, and renamed annual convention, the “Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit,” sponsored by the AAAA in Nashville, TN May 4-6, 2014. The event will be one day shorter at 2.5 days; the professional development and learning opportunities are being greatly increased; the Hall of Fame dinner will be a formal blacktie event as the “Oscar Night” of Army Aviation; and our closing concert will be informal with memorable entertainment. We will also be pushing a lot of digital on the Summit. But more about all this next month – stay tuned.
Remember registration is open right now for the Tennessee Valley Chapter sponsored Joseph P. Cribbins Aviation Product Symposium February 12- 13, 2014 in Huntsville, AL. See http://www.quad-a.org/index.php/register-for-cribbins to sign up.
Also as we approach the end of another year please submit your best and brightest for our national awards that will be presented at our Summit in May. Suspense is January 1, 2014 and nomination forms are available at www. quad-a.org. Please ensure deserving Aviation personnel and units get an opportunity to be considered.
Lastly, keep in mind all those who remain deployed during this special time of year. For those of us back home, please remember that taking care of Soldiers and Families begins AT HOME!
Let’s all take some time to take care of our own.
Above the Best!
BG Howard W. Yellen, Ret.
31st President, AAAA