1. I wish to express my deep appreciation to all the Brothers who elected me Commander-in-Chief at the 114th National Encampment at Columbus, Ohio on August 13th, 1995. It is a great privilege to hold this office and I gladly accept the challenge it presents.
2. Camp William Dennison #1 of the Ohio Department is to be congratulated for a job well done in planning and hosting the 114th National Encampment at Columbus, Ohio. The artifact displays were appreciated by all and the dedication and enthusiasm shown by the host camp was very apparent.
3. All correspondence to this office should be sent to the above address which also has E-Mail capability. All business correspondence is to be sent to the National Secretary, David Wallace with the following exceptions. Requisitions for supplies are to be sent to National Quartermaster Elmer Atkinson, PC-in-C, and quarterly reports from Chairmen of Standing and Special Committees are to be sent to the Chief of Staff Andrew Johnson. Addresses for these Brothers as well as for the 1995-96 elected and appointed Brothers to National Offices and Committees are listed in this issue of the Banner.
4. Standing and Special National Committee appointments for 1995-96 have been made and are listed in this issue of the Banner. The quarterly reporting by committee chairmen will continue. As previously stated these reports and correspondence from committee chairmen will be directed to the Chief of Staff. This office will be the liaison between the committees and the Commander-in-Chief. He will have the authority to followup on the progress of the various committees. He will make his report to the Commander-in-Chief and the Council of Administration. Quarterly reports are due by the following dates: November 5, 1995, February 15, 1996, May 20, 1996 and two weeks prior to the next National Encampment. All previous appointees are hereby relieved unless listed in this issue of the Banner.Their work and dedication to the Order is greatly appreciated by all.
5. All Brothers are urged to contribute to the Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Fund. The money will be used to pay for recruitment advertising in various national periodicals. These advertisements have proven to be an invaluable recruiting tool. Contributions are to be sent to Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Alan Loomis, 1310 Forest Park Ave., Valparaiso, Indiana 46383.
6. The G.A.R. Memorial Fund finances patriotic programs that perpetuate the memory of the GAR. Contributions are to be sent to the National Patriotic Instructor, David Turpin, 6510 Merle Hay Rd., Johnston, Iowa 50131.
7. Recruitment has always been my No. 1 priority and without a doubt it is the life blood of our Order. Not only do we grow in numbers but our financial base is increased as well. As in the past each Brother who secures three new members will be appointed as a National Aide and issued a National ribbon for his badge. Those who recruit five new members will receive a Certificate of Merit. There will be an addiional two awards. A miniature GAR lapel pin will be awarded to the top recruiter in each department for the period of August, 1995 thru July 15, 1996. A minimum of 7 new members recruited will be the base. There will be only one such award issued to each department. There will also be one national award for the member who recruits the most members for the above dates. This award wil be a walnut plaque with an engraved brass plate. It will be a permanent award and not a rotating award. All entries must pass through the department secretay.
8. Any deaths, addresses or membership changes should be sent immediately to the National Membership Coordinator Richard A. Williams, 1917 Teel Ave., Lansing, MI 48910.
At present there is no instrument in place that furnishes information to our National Data Base for the following: members who are interested in chairing or serving on a department or national committee and fields of expertise of members that would qualify them for positions with the Order. A Member Data Form has been created and is printed in this issue of the Banner. Any Brother that wishes to advance within the Order should fill out the form and send it to National through channels. This information will be placed in the National Data Base and can be called up for future use.
10. Any deaths or serious illness of a Brother should be immediately reported to this office. Deaths of past presidents of the allied orders should be reported to this office so that proper letters of respect can be forwarded to the order concerned. One of my goals is to maintain a close relationship with our sisters in the allied orders. We are all working toward the same goals and must remain close.
11. All per capita tax and other quarterly reports are to be forwarded to the National Secretary on time.
12. Along with recruitment, communications should hold a high priority in our Order. It isn't cheap but it is necessary. The individual camps are the most important segment of our Order and each individual member of a camp is important. Each and every member should be kept informed and contacted. Each of us wants to know that we are more than a name on a roster. Most all national officers now have E-Mail capability. Communications among these officers is the best that it ever has been due to this electronic communication. We must maintain and expand our communication technology. A special committee has been appointed to do just this.
13. During the current year the Commander-in-Chief has received over 20 requests for the Order's two one thousand dollar scholarships. We have reached the point where we must become more professional in the issuance of these scholarships. A scholarship form has been created and each applicant will fill out this form and attach supporting evidence to it. This request will then be turned over to a three member scholarship committee. The committee consists of educators from our Order who will review the requests and make recommendations to the Commander-in-Chief as to who should receive the scholarships.
14. I have spent my entire adult life in a military atmosphere and have learned the value of "Chain of Command". The C & R gives us the proper direction to handle our business and other types of problems. I would expect all Brothers, Camps and Departments to adhere to the direction given us in the C & R.
15. All requests for the Commander-in-Chief to appear at department encampments and other functions should be forwarded as soon as possible so that a proper itinerary can be formulated.
16. On behalf of the Order, I would like to extend congratulations to all the new presidents of the four other allied orders of the GAR: The Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Ladies of the GAR, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Woman's Relief Corps. We must all work together. Each of our orders is just as important as the others. We are all Brothers and Sisters working toward the same goals.
17. The Remembrance Day parade and ceremonies at Gettysburg are designed as a means of remembering the Grand Army of the Republic and paying homage to it. Members are encouraged to attend this event on November 18, 1995.
18. All members of the Council of Administration are advised there will be a meeting of the Council at 8:00AM, Sunday, November 19, 1995 in Gettysburg at the headquarters hotel.
19. Our Order is growing by leaps and bounds. We are growing in membership and technology. We are exploring new ways of doing things. We must always keep in mind the purpose for which our Order was created and strive to carry it out on a daily basis. In this period of our country's history there are persons and groups who would like to place our nation's history on the back burner. It is up to us and our allied orders to keep our heritage bright and shining and not permit it to be tampered with.
Good luck to all officers and committees. The espre de corps is excellent within our Order and we will continue to go forward on all fronts.
20. Each Department Commander is to submit the name of a member of their department to be appointed a national aide for regional reporting. It would be the responsibility of this member to submit news for his department to the editor of the Banner. This news to include: outstanding work by camps and members of that department, news of allied orders, scheduled events that will be occurring in his area of reporting and other items that may be of interest to the Order.
By Order of:
David R. Medert
David F. Wallace