1. It is a great honor to have been elected and installed as the SUVCW's 117th Commander-in-Chief by the delegates assembled at the 122nd National Encampment in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky on August 9, 2003. I wish to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to serve in this office and I look forward to working with you to further our Order's efforts in tribute to those who answered President Lincoln's call to "Save the Union" between 1861 and 1865. You may contact me regarding any concern, at the address above.
2. The 2003 National Encampment Host Committee (comprised of volunteers from the Departments of Kentucky and Ohio) is to be commended for providing this year's delegates with business and social facilities that promoted an enjoyable and productive annual convention.
3. Special thanks also goes out to the National Committee on Credentials for their long hours of processing the registration of our delegates, and to all other Brothers who volunteered their time to various Encampment duties.
4. All business correspondence should be directed to our National Executive Director - Lee F. Walters, P.O. Box 1865, Harrisburg, PA 17105-1865 (SUVEXDIR@aol.com).
5. All supply requisitions with payment are to be sent to our National Quartermaster - Elmer F. Atkinson, 1016 Gorman Street, Philadelphia, PA 19116-3719.
6. All billing, requests for payment, and tax-deductible monetary donations to the various funds of our National Organization are to be sent to the National Treasurer - Max L. Newman, 4995 E. Wilkinson Road, Owosso, MI 48867-9616.
7. All purchase requests for the SUVCW's Eagle Scout Certificate are to be sent with payment to our National Eagle Scout Certificate Coordinator - Robert M. Petrovic, 6519 Cherokee Lane, Cedar Hill, MO 63016-2527.
8. All purchase requests for the SUVCW's R.O.T.C Award (for graduating seniors) are to be sent with payment to our National Patriotic Instructor - Timothy H. Downey, 632 Apache Trail, Danville, KY 40422-1711. The application and instructions are available on the national website (http://suvcw.org).
9. All Civil War memorial grant requests are to be sent to the senior elected member of our National Council of Administration - Ronald B. Gill, 655 Sheffield Drive, Valparaiso, IN 46385-2948. The application and instructions are available on the national website. I had the honor of making the first $100 contribution to this fund, before a portion of the national per capita was allocated toward it. I hope that all Camps will eventually apply this funding toward the restoration of a nearby GAR monument or other Civil War related memorial.
10. The death of any Brother of our Order is to be reported to our National Chaplain - William B. McAfee, 9080 Dorado Court, Milan, MI 48160-9773 (firstname.lastname@example.org). If possible, please include: the departed Brother's full name; date of his passing; name of his Camp and Department; name, rank and unit that his ancestor served with.
11. It is imperative that all reports be sent on time to the National Executive Director and National Secretary as instructed on each reporting form. All such forms are now available on the national website.
12. All Department Commanders are respectfully instructed to assure that their Department website information (and the Camp related info within) be up to date. An ever-increasing amount of the public forms its first impression of the SUVCW through what is posted on the Internet. Your effort to provide current information and keep links in working order will help assure that a website visitor's first impression is positive.
13. In addition to internal business forms for the SUVCW, our national website is a resource for interested Brothers to learn more about the Order and how it functions. The paramount document that guides this organization is our Constitution and Regulations ("C&R"). All Brothers are encouraged to become familiar with the C&R as it can answer most procedural questions that come to mind. An updated version, with amendments made at the 2003 Ntl. Encampment will be available on the website soon. Work will continue this year on the updating of our Order's "Ritual and Ceremonials."
14. Several of our various Camp, Department, and National officer & committee job descriptions, were updated at this year's Ntl. Encampment and will also be available on the national website.
15. A roster of all elected and appointed national officers and committee members for the 2003-2004 administrative year can be found on the national website (http://suvcw.org/officers.htm).
16. RECRUITING - This is every Brother's job. It's been said many times that if each of us were to bring in just one new Member, Associate, or Junior, we would double the size of the Order. Please do your part to help our organization grow, and thereby accomplish more in honor of those who Saved the Union. All of us want to feel as though our efforts have made a positive difference and recruiting is an activity that can give you that satisfaction..
17. RECOGNITION - A Brother who recruits at least three new applicants in the 2003-2004 administrative year, will be declared in General Orders as a National Aide and be issued a ribbon with the National Organization's colors, to be pinned behind his membership badge. A Brother who recruits five or more new applicant's in that time frame, will additionally receive a Certificate of Merit. It will be my very great pleasure to present the National Organization's Major Stevenson Award at next year's Ntl. Encampment to the Brother who recruited the greatest number of new Members, Associates, and Juniors, nationally. All recruiting accomplishments are to be reported through the Department Secretaries.
18. RETENTION - Much of what we do to honor Union soldiers & sailors happens at the local level, through our Camps. Therefore, Camps are encouraged to support and promote a variety of activities. This will not only help attract new Brothers, but will more importantly allow varied contributions of time and talent from current Brothers. The SUVCW's Graves Registration Program, Civil War Memorials Assessment Project, and the search for GAR records are just a few of the many activities that our membership can make a valuable contribution toward - even if they cannot attend Camp meetings due to personal schedules and/or travel distances.
19. PUBLICITY - We must take advantage of every opportunity to bring respectful attention to our Order. The public needs to become more aware of the SUVCW and our purposes. Positive promotion of our accomplishments will provide an example that will attract new Members, Associates, and Juniors alike.
20. Please inform your community's High School and/or nearby college that the SUVCW National Organization awards two annual $1,000 scholarships. An application plus details on the "Standards of Selection" are available on our national website (http://suvcw.org/scholar.htm).
21. With our nation's armed forces again being put in harm's way this year, we are reminded of the importance of formal ceremonies that honor American veterans of ALL eras. Thus, cooperation with other veterans' organizations provides another important activity for our membership. Our participation in Memorial Day observances also respectfully reminds the public of the origin of this national observance.
22. Please join me in contacting members of Congress, regarding the return of Memorial Day to May 30th!
23. I look forward to visiting as many Department Encampments, and other functions, as requests for time off from work will allow. Please send invitations when details are available so that I may plan accordingly. Thank you.
24. On behalf of the SUVCW it is my privilege to extend Congratulations and BEST Wishes to the newly elected National Presidents of the Allied Orders of the GAR: the Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (ASUVCW); the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (LGAR); the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865 (DUVCW); and the Woman's Relief Corps (WRC). May the efforts of our five organizations continue to compliment one another in honor of all Union soldiers and sailors.
25. This year's Remembrance Day functions will take place in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on Saturday, November 15th. I hope to see many of you there. Those of us who return each year, should invite a "new pilgrim" to share in this observance. A schedule will be posted on the national website and in The BANNER.
26. All members of the National Council of Administration (CoA) are advised that we will meet at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 16, 2003 in the Eisenhower Inn, just south of Gettysburg.
27. BEST regards to all, in Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty as we begin another year in our unending efforts to maintain the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and to promote public pride toward all who honorably served the Union between 1861-1865.
By Order of:
Kent L. Armstrong
Edward Krieser, PCinC