OFFICERS AND BROTHERS:
On Saturday, April 20, 1996,assisted by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Loomis, I
installed the new Department of Tennessee at Jackson, Tennessee that was organized by
Charles Yates. The new Department consists of three Camps.
On Saturday, May 18, 1996, I flew to Fort Myers, Florida and installed the new
Department of Florida which was organized by Ronald Bair. The new Department
consists of three Camps.
On July 13, 1996, assisted by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Loomis, I installed the
new Department of Missouri at St. Louis which was organized by Steve Leicht. This new
department consists of four camps.
At this 115th Encampment I will issue the charter for the new Department of Kansas
organized by Dean Speaks. This new Department consists of four Camps.
Brothers, the organization of four new Departments within one year has not been done in
this organization in any of our lifetimes and a round of applause is due for these new
Departments and those responsible for their organization.
The following accomplishments have been made during this administration.
1. We have never had an instrument in place to poll the membership for those who
would like to work at the Department and National level and to put in place a data base
listing these members and their expertise.
The member data form was created and placed in the Banner for this purpose and many
of you have completed the form and sent it to the National Secretary. This base has been
used for appointments and can be used to fill important positions within our Order.
2. With the expansion of our Order and the many problems that are being encountered
by our Camps and Departments, I organized the National Legal Staff to assist the
National Counselor. I am proud to announce that we now have 11 Brother attorneys who
have volunteered for this position and they have been used in several areas of our country
3. A new form “2” has been put in place to replace the old form used for delegates to
National and Department Encampments. We now have one form in place of six color
coded forms that were previously used.
4. During the past administration over 20 requests for our two $1,000 scholarships were
received. A scholarship committee was formed in this administration consisting of three
educators within our Order to study these requests and make recommendations to the
Commander-in-Chief. A scholarship request form was created to bring us in line with
other agencies today. This year we received 67 requests for these scholarships and 21
forms with attached paperwork were received and reviewed by this committee. As a
result of their work I have issued the two scholarships. The recipients are as follows:
Thomas D. Giffey of Dodgeville, Wisconsin, who is attending the University of
Wisconsin and seeking a career in journalism and political science. His father is a
Member Camp #2 in the Department of Wisconsin. Mr. Giffey placed first in his class of
92 in high school with a grade point average of 4.0 and a SAT score 1470.
The other scholarship award went to Paul J. Hutchinson of Adams, Massachusetts, who is
attending Gettysburg College and is a Mmber of Camp #15 in the Department of
Massachusetts. He is majoring in history and placed 10th in his class of 82 with a 3.29
grade average and a SAT score of 1210. He also acts as a guide at the Gettysburg
5. I have created a new recruitment award this year to be known as the B.F.Stephenson
award named after the founder of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). This award is
to be issued to the Brother that recruited the most new members since the last
Encampment. There has also been placed in service a new Department Award for the
top recruiter in each Department that has recruited a minimum of seven new Members into
the Order during this administration. Nominees for these two awards must come through
6. I have also requested that each Department submit the name of one of their Brothers
to act as a regional reporter for their area to the Banner.
7. During this administration further advances into the internet world have been made
building on the work done by the previous administration. A new special committee was
formed entitled the National Communications and Technology Committee, chaired by
Glenn Knight. Due to Brother Knight’s expertise and boundless energy, it has expanded
far beyond my expectations. We now have our own home page which has resulted into
thousands of requests for information on the Sons of Unon Veterans of the Civil War
(SUVCW) and the GAR. It has expanded our recruitment effort in that it surpasses our
8. The Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR) newsletter the Guidon has been discontinued
and is now placed in the Banner whereby all members can receive SVR news.
9. The Chief of Staff position has been reorganized and has no banquet function but now
supervises all officer reports and reports from all standing and special committees.
Andrew Johnson of the Maryland Department was appointed to this position and has
done an outstanding job which has made the committee system more efficient.
10. Work was started last fall inquiring into the possibility of a National Headquarters in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Much work and many meetings have been conducted during
the course of the year. The fine points have been ironed out and we have received a
contract which will be studied by our legal staff.
11. Certificates were created for the office of Past Commander-in-Chief, Past
Department Commander and Past Camp Commander to be obtained through the
Quartermaster to recognize those Brothers holding that office.
12. My final trip as Commander-in-Chief was to Richmond, Virginia on August 1 where
I presented greetings from the SUVCW at their 101st National Encampment before an
audience of 1,300 members. I was well received by all and there was much support for a
1999 combined event. We must keep the relationship going. I invited the new
Commander-in-Chief, Peter Orlebeke to attend our Encampment.
I have taken part in 59 activities this year, traveled over 15,000 car miles, 4,475 air miles,
1,775 email messages handled, 795 mailings sent and received and over 351 to and from
phone calls during the year. One hundred and sixteen members of our Brothers have
been recognized this year for their service to the Order.
It has been an honor to serve as Commander-in-Chief during the past year and I wish to
thank the membership for this opportunity. I especially want to thank all members of the
National Staff for their dedication to the SUVCW. A successful year can only be
accomplished through teamwork and dedication. I received 110 percent teamwork this
1. Retain the National Legal Staff;
2. Continue the Member Data Form and place it periodically in the Banner;
3. Continue the use of the scholarship form and committee with the proviso that the
Commander-in-Chief has the option to accept or decline their recommendations;
4. Retain the B.F. Stephenson Award for the Member obtaining the most new Members
in a year;
5. Keep the Chief of Staff position a working position and supervising all reports and
6. Maintain the progress in the electronics field and encourage all nominees for National
office to obtain email; and
7. Continue to recognize our Past Commanders at all levels with Certificates of Service.
Many old timers here remember when General Douglas McCarther retired from the
military service. He addressed a combined Congress and made his now famous
statement that “Old soldiers never die, the just fade away.” I’ve got news for you, this
old soldier will not fade away but will serve the Order as long as I am able to do so.
David R. Medert
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