HAMPTON ROADS CHAPTER
MILITARY OFFICERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
Officers Association of America (MOAA) is a national organization of over
400,000 men and women who are or have been commissioned or warrant officers
in any component of the seven uniformed services (Army, Navy, Air Force,
Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
and Public Health Service). It was founded in 1929 and presently has headquarters
located in Alexandria, Va. MOAA is the largest military-oriented organization
in existence. The local chapter of over 1000 members and over 400 other
local chapters and state councils of chapters are affiliated with the National
Association. At present, the local chapter is the largest of 15 Virginia
chapters. The Hampton Roads Chapter Military Officers Association of America
(HRCMOAA) was organized in the Fall of 1958 and encompasses the area of
Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and part of Chesapeake. Portsmouth Area became
a separate chapter in 1983.
work of the local chapter is done with our heads, hearts, and hands. Annually,
HRCMOAA awards a medal and certificate to an outstanding ROTC/JROTC student
in local high schools and colleges. The Chapter supports legislation designed
to strengthen our national defense or benefit our uniformed services. For
social enjoyment, the Chapter normally has a monthly dinner meeting with
members' spouses present and has a well-known guest speaker with a subject
of current interest.
of military life have tended to impart to the military officer a liking
for the gregarious life. His or her daily close association with contemporaries,
superiors, and subordinates tends to create within, a warm sympathy for
this group. Each takes great pride in being a member of a select group
of individuals who rely on each other for mission accomplishment and, at
the end of the day, for social amenities.
to be a valid part of our adopted communities and we look forward to our
new careers and activities, and to activities which were precluded by the
demands of our uniformed services. However, we also wish to retain the
best of the past; the customs, procedures, and traditions that we cherish
must be preserved. We have a continuing professional interest in our services
and we want to talk with our former associates -- to ones who speak our
language -- about subjects as diverse as "International Relations" and
"Skin Diving in the Bahamas."
the scene in Tidewater in the late 1950s. Our retired population then was,
indeed, small in comparison with the size of today's retired military community.
Each retiree and family became part of a particular Tidewater community;
they became local citizens. However, many realized the need to band together
for mutual benefits, both economic and social.
the need for a common cause, RADM F.C.B. McCune, Colonels Frederick Ward,
John Fye, and Harry Watts met in a selected home and discussed the methods
to be used and the action to be taken to organize a Retired Officers Chapter
of the National Association.
plans were being implemented, additional officers were invited to assist.
VADM Ralph Davis, VADM Delbert Cornwell, VADM Archie Antrim, BGEN Robert
L. Denig, COL Fenton G. Epling and CDR Justus White joined the original
continued to meet in members' homes to develop the organization and to
acquire new members. These home meetings were held until the membership
numbered between 30 and 40.
group developed a mailing roster of eligible retirees. RADM McCune and
COL Ward conducted the first mailing as a "Letter of Intent" and a membership
was born at Fort Story Officers Open Mess in the Fall of 1958. At a dinner
meeting, VADM Ralph Davis was elected as the first President. All Officers
and a Board of Directors were elected by acclamation. VADM Antrim accepted
the responsibility of drafting a Chapter Constitution and By-Laws. The
Chapter was now locally established.
grew, the President, VADM Davis, took action to secure a Charter from the
National Association.. On 23 April 1959, The Retired Officer Association
(TROA) Affiliated Chapter status was granted to the Princess Anne County
Virginia Beach Chapter with 79 charter members.
the Chapter's name was changed to The Hampton Roads Chapter of The Retired
Officers Association, "to better reflect the area which our membership
continues to gain in membership because each member realizes that "in unity
there is strength" and in strength each member becomes more aware of these
issues and actions directly affecting his or her retired status and the
status of the member's parent service.
From a few interested
men in 1958, our Chapter has grown from the 79 original memebers on Charter
Night to about 1000, both male and female officers, during 1996, truly
proving that "mighty oaks from little acorns grow."
NOTE: The foregoing chapter history
was prepared and updated by CAPT George I. Garner, USCG, until his death
on July 25,1998. CAPT Garner served as Chapter Historian during his chapter
membership years and took photos at many Chapter functions. He was
elected as Chapter President for 1992. His unfortunate passing leaves
a large void which will be difficult to fill.
1 January 2003, The Retired Officers Association changed its name, after
approval of its memebers, to the Military Officers Assocation of America,
so as more accurately to reflect its involvement with the entire officer
community. The Constitution and By-Laws of the Hampton Roads Chapter
have been amended to reflect this change of name.