The character and intensity of service expected from serving Reservists today is significantly different than what was expected before the massive Reserve call-ups triggered by Operation Desert Storm. [...] service on land, sea, and air around the world has become routine for Citizen Warriors.
EDITORIAL ltgen dennis m. mccarthy, usmc (ret.) • roa executive director Changing ROA to Meet Today’s Challenges W e have just completed a most successful Mid-Winter ited the voting “franchise” to a tiny percentage of Conference and Reserve Component Expo, with members who attend national meetings and show up great attendance and outstanding presentations. Ad- to vote. ditionally, the National Council joined hands with the Execu- • Our complex governance scheme demands more par- tive Committee (ExCom) and our past national presidents to ticipation than today’s Reservists can afford, resulting issue a loud and clear call for immediate action to balance the in an organization dominated by retirees. Serving Re- budget and implement many of the ideas proposed by our na- servists feel disconnected and powerless. tional president for modernizing ROA’s governance processes. What drove this remarkable coming together? What did the ExCom and National Council call for? First and foremost, ROA members understand that the • Begin now to increase revenue and decrease expendi- nature and mission of the Reserve Components has changed tures so we can bring the budget into balance in five dramatically and that ROA must keep pace. The character and years or less. intensity of service expected from serving Reservists today is • Amend the ROA constitution and bylaws to permit significantly different than what was expected before the mas- each member to vote for the president and president- sive Reserve call-ups triggered by Operation Desert Storm. elect, and each section member to vote for his or her Since that time, service on land, sea, and air around the world service vice president and other section officers. has become routine for Citizen Warriors. Much of the Selected Reserve of each service is now a significant part of that service’s What will these changes require? operational force. Finding an annual net gain of almost $900,000 to balance During this same period, activity in most ROA depart- the budget will be a multiyear process. Every member and in- ments and chapters, including participation in local meetings, terest group in our Association will need to make sacrifices. has declined significantly. The activity that still exists often re- Increasing revenue will mean raising dues for Term and fu- volves around retirees rather than currently serving officers. All ture Life Members, and seeking greater financial participation of these changes have a direct impact on the essential nature of from current Life Members. The “sustaining Life Member” our Association and on the type of governance structures that program—which hasn’t officially started—attracted a n
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