From the President's Cockpit
Energy + Enthusiasm = Excitement
The strength of Quad-A is, and has always been, the dedicated and selfless efforts of its volunteers. It starts at local unit and chapter level and builds all the way to our National efforts. Without this kind of unselfish volunteerism, we would never have been able to achieve many of the landmark accomplishments seen in the AAAA since the concept of an organization to support Aviation soldiers and their families was first conceived in 1957.
Recently I had the opportunity and distinct pleasure to visit one of our chapters, where this concept is on full display; the Wright Brothers Chapter in Columbus, Ohio. Comprised principally of active and retired National Guard members, it is a chapter that demonstrates how the power of volunteers with a little energy and enthusiasm can infuse excitement into a chapter in order to demonstrate camaraderie and fellowship with its current and potential membership. They are the embodiment of AAAA’s new brand reflecting the importance of Networking, Recognition, Voice, and Support.
Less than a year ago, this chapter was on the verge of disbanding. Today it’s a chapter that has doubled in size, recognized deserving personnel through a robust awards program including Order of Saint Michael and Soldier of the Month awards, and is quickly beginning to accumulate funding to support scholarship activities. They’ve used a variety of social media, chapter activities, and other mechanisms to reach out and touch a market that is spread between Columbus and Akron, Ohio. Their focus on enjoying the company of others (read as “let’s have a good time together”), regardless of rank and/or position is infectious. At their chapter social that Saturday evening in January I could not have been more proud of them as they signed up 27 new members. This is just the sort of energy and enthusiasm that perpetuates great chapters and infuses enthusiasm into the members.
Speaking of recognition, I attended the AAAA National Awards Board which met on Saturday, January 11, 2014 to select the National Awards such as Soldier of the Year, Aviator of the Year, Unit of the Year, etc. Several refinements were made this year to include secret balloting and employment of more rigor in the overall voting process. This board of your fellow AAAA members represents all aspects of the Army Aviation Community to include Active, National Guard, Reserve, spouses, industry and retired personnel. They evaluated over 150 nomination packets and the results of their balloting will be released over the next few weeks. My sincere thanks to our Awards Committee Chairman, MG (Ret.) Walt Davis, his entire committee, and our awards staff at AAAA National led by Janis Arena, for their hard work.
AAAA efforts for the 2014 Mission Solutions Summit are now well underway and the aforementioned awards will of course all be presented during the opening ceremonies. The exhibit floor is rapidly filling up and the hotel is almost sold out. Preparations for deep dive sessions are moving forward to provide attendees professionally rewarding venues to discuss relevant and topical subjects. We are also working in partnership with Helicopter Association International (HAI) to provide information pertaining to future possibilities in the civilian marketplace. And lastly the Air Assault Chapter is busy planning the Golf Tournament just as National is putting the final touches on our final night concert with Trisha Yearwood as our featured entertainer. All said, Opryland will be the place to be that first week of May. Look forward to joining everyone 4-6 May in Nashville, TN.
Above the Best!
BG Howard W. Yellen, Ret.
31st President, AAAA