1. First of all, I wish to acknowledge and thank Brothers Don Everett and Gary Gibson of Michigan for arranging a very enjoyable reception and banquet for me on 22 October in Lansing, Michigan. The evening and the roast proved to be very memorable; especially some of the gifts.
2. On 13 November, I and Margaret Atkinson, National Auxiliary President, were most fortunate to be able to participate in the dedication at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania of the new state of Maryland monument to its soldiers, both north and south, who fought there. The ceremony was one of best that I have ever attended. The Governors from both Pennsylvania and Maryland, along with many military and civilian dignitaries, were present. The ceremony was conducted with precision and was most impressive. I am also pleased to report that our own Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR) comprised an integral part of this ceremony and accounted for themselves most admirably.
3. On 19 November, I was back in Gettysburg for a very impressive Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremony sponsored by the SVR, an excellent dinner sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department and a Military Ball sponsored by the SVR. I strongly encourage anyone who has not yet attended the annual Remembrance Day activities to do so. It is very memorable. I would like to personally thank the 30th Michigan Volunteer Infantry - SVR, for the very large and impressive turnout at the Remembrance Day program. I was very pleased and highly honored.
4. I am very pleased to report that the newly instituted practice of submittal of written or verbal quarterly reports by your elected and appointed National officers and committee chairs was met with almost 100% success for the quarter. This is a new procedure which was started this year. In the past, the Order has always waited until the end of the year to have its officers and committees present their reports. By that time, however, it was either too late to take advantage of favorable circumstances or too late to correct problems. With the current quarterly reporting process, the Council of Administration, your Order's "Board of Directors", is afforded an opportunity to make informed and necessary adjustments in the direction of the Order during rather than at the end of the year. 'The next quarterly reports are due to me by 19 February 1995.
5. I also wish to report that the November Council of Administration meeting was probably one of the most productive (in terms of the short time allocated for it) that I have attended in years. Your Council of Administration members came with prepared motions and focused rather than unstructured, tangential and unproductive discussions. I fully believe that this new format will allow us who sit on your Order's Council of Administration to be much more effective in our dealings and more responsive to the Order and its needs.
6. Since my election I have had the honor and privilege of conferring a Certificate of Merit and National Aide status on the following Brothers: Philip E. Faller and Martin Ahlvin, Mississippi (representing the Commander-in-Chief at a Union soldier's grave site ceremony in Mississippi); Stan Parterre, Missouri (representing the Commander-in-Chief at the dinner reception for the incoming President of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War); Aram Plante and Jan Ouhrabka, Rhode Island (exceptional organizational work in Rhode Island); and Daniel F.B. Lisarelli, Texas (representing the Commander-in-Chief at the charter Camp meeting of the Lone Star Camp #1 in Texas). During the same period, I have had the pleasure of conferring certificates and National Aide status on the following Brothers for their membership recruitment activities: Charles Yates, Tennessee (5 new members); Richard Greene, Michigan (5 new members); L. Dean Lamphere, Jr., Michigan, (5 new members); Terrance L. McKinch, Michigan (5 new members); David F. Wallace, Michigan (7 new members); Donald H. Workman, Michigan (17 new members), David Turpin, Iowa (5 new members), Eugene Carpenter, Rhode Island (8 new members); Richard Parmenter, Rhode Island (4 new members); Brian Guiot, Rhode Island (4 new members); Donald Marcum, Rhode Island (3 new members); Douglas R. Knight, Massachusetts (5 new members); William R. Ward, Utah (8 new members); and Kenneth C. Nelson, Utah (5 new members). I was particularly pleased to confer the title of National Aide on Keith Ashley, Ohio, who initially served as organizer and now serves as Camp Commander of the new Ohio Brooks-Grant Camp 47. In addition to organizing the Camp, Brother Ashley brought in 37 of the Campís 54 total membership as new members into the Order. Finally, I was very pleased to present, via National Patriotic Instructor Danny Wheeler, a Certificate of Merit to Post 4961, Veterans of Foreign Wars in Ithaca, New York for its very generous donation of $500 to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Memorial Fund.
7. In March of last year, the current National Treasurer, Brother Richard Orr, announced that he would not be seeking another term as Treasurer at the end of his current term (August 1995). In the past when issues such as this came up, we as an Order usually have done nothing and let fate take its course. We were fortunate to have had Brother Orr serve these last few years; however, we may not be so lucky in the future. I do not believe that this is the best way to approach such issues. I fully believe that it behooves us as an organization to actively solicit and encourage qualified individuals who have the experience and talent for such a position to consider running. Because of the Order's large and continued growth, we now have a vast pool of talented Brothers who, if are made known of the upcoming vacancy in advance, might be willing to be considered for such a position. I strongly urge any Brother who feels that he could be an asset to the Order to consider the possibility of running for National Treasurer. The term would be for three years. For our newer Brothers who may not know, it helps if you wish to be considered for the position, that you obtain endorsement from your Camp to your Department Encampment and then from your Department Encampment to the National Encampment. For individuals in Camps-at-Large, you should seek endorsement from your Camp to the National Encampment. And finally, for Members-at-Large who wish to run for the office, you will need to place your own name into nomination at the National Encampment. Strongly consider the possibility of running. Our Order does best when we have individuals in positions who have both the interest and desire to do the work.
8. The Commander-in-Chief awards two $1,000 scholarships on an annual basis. The availability of the Order's annual scholarships is becoming known more and more throughout the country. I believe that this is a good for two reasons. First, it increases the pool of qualified candidates which in turn allows the Order to pick the most deserving; and second, it helps to get the name of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) out before the public. This year, the Order received over 20 requests for scholarship consideration. The pool of applicants was filled with some of the brightest and highly talented young people that I have seen. It was both a very difficult but most rewarding task that I have had to select the top two individuals for this year's scholarships. The two recipients of the annual SUVCW scholarships for 1994-95 were Ms. Gretchen Kroger of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Russell C. Young of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Ms. Kroger is a member of the Anna M. Ross Auxiliary #1. She graduated from high school magna cum laude being in the top 5% of her class (#27 out of 550) with a grade point average of 3.9. Her Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) score totaled 1,250 (610 verbal and 640 math). She is currently attending Rowan College of New Jersey majoring in elementary education with a history coordinate major. She happens to be also the granddaughter of PC-in-C Bud Atkinson and National Auxiliary President Margaret Atkinson. The second recipient, Mr. Russell Young, is currently finishing up high school and will be attending one of five colleges in the fall. Mr. Young currently ranks 17th out of a class of 222 and also exceeded 1,200 on his SAT. He is a member of the National Honor Society, German Honor Society, National Art Honor Society and was included in the 1994 edition of Who's Who in American High Schools. His great great grandfather was Corporal Nathan Hale Baker of Company B, 10th Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry. He is interested in pursuing history in college. The National Committee on Program and Policy is currently working on the development of an application and process to be used by future Commanders-in-Chief which should greatly help streamline this program.
9. Due to the lateness of the post-encampment Banner, the requirement placed onto Departments and Camps-at-Large to have a copy of their Bylaws into National Counselor, James Pahl, by I January is extended to 1 March 1995.
10. Among the National staff, there have been two vacancies. Brothers Russell Gregory and Vaughn Rawson, Banner Editor and National Camp and Department Organizer, respectively, have resigned. Both have done an exemplary job in their respective positions and deserve the accolades of the Order. Both were given a Certificate of Merit for their work. I have appointed Brother Richard Greene (9245 Willits, Mayville, Michigan 48744; 517-843-5967) as the new National Camp and Department Organizer. An ad hoc committee of the Council of Administration is currently seeking a new editor of the Banner for consideration by the full Council of Administration. During the interim, all articles should be sent to the National Secretary, Dave Wallace (7017 Granada Lane, Flint, Michigan 48532).
11. One of our newest Camps-at-Large, the Lot Smith Camp #I, Salt Lake City, Utah, has offered to assist Brothers and applicants FREE OF CHARGE in researching Civil War military records. According to Camp Commander William Ward, the Camp is uniquely placed to be a resource to the National Organization in terms of its access to personnel records of the Civil War. Many of the Camp's Brothers participate in the Civil War Soldiers System project of the National Park Service, Genealogical Society of Utah and the Federation of Genealogical Studies. Brother Ward is currently the user specialist assigned to producing a finished CD-ROM set from the records. In addition, Brother Ken Nelson, the Camp's Senior Vice Commander, is the LDS Family History Libraryís expert on American military records with special interest in Civil War and GAR records. Brother Ward may be contacted by writing to William R. Ward, Commander (Lot Smith Camp #1 SUVCW, PO Box 11592, Salt Lake City, Utah 84147-0592). His e-mail address is: WR-WARD%UTLl3N%UTLO1N%XFER%UTLVAX%YVAX%WPGATE@yvax.byu.edu
12. Brothers are reminded and urged to send their donations to both the Senior Vice Commander-in-Chiefís and the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Memorial Funds. Both funds are integral to the operation of our Order. Donations to the Senior Vice Commander-in-Chiefís Fund may be sent to Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief David Medert (16 Shawnee Drive, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601-1148). Donations to the GAR Memorial Fund may be sent to National Patriotic Instructor Danny Wheeler (501 Willow Ave., Ithaca, New York 14850). In both cases, checks should be made payable to the "National Organization - SUVCW." No donation is too small.
13. Camp and Department Commanders are reminded that copies of fully completed applications must accompany their quarterly reports for every new Member or Associate being reported during that quarter. There are no exceptions to this.
14. At the 113th National Encampment, the Order approved the category of Juniors (Junior Sons) within the SUVCW. This new classification does not represent a new "Member" category or authorize a lowering of the current minimum age (14 years) for a Brother. Briefly, Juniors are boys 8 to 14 years meeting the same eligibility requirements as a Member (no Junior Associates) but who cannot vote or hold any elected office, and for whom Camps and Departments do not have to pay per capita tax. Juniors cannot be counted towards Camp or Department membership totals and will not receive a Banner. Juniors may be charged dues if so determined by the local camp. It is optional for Camps to have Juniors. Departments do not have to authorize the new category for Camps to take in Juniors; however, Departments can, by vote at its upcoming 1995 Encampment, prohibit its local Camps from having Juniors. It is anticipated that only those boys who have a relative in the local Camp will be voted in by that Camp. It is also expected that any Brother who brings a Junior into the Camp will assume all responsibility for the boy while he attends Camp functions. I would strongly encourage Camps to consider and Departments not to prohibit the inclusion of Juniors in our ranks. We as an Order have a tremendous opportunity to involve our sons, and to serve at a critical time period in their development as a positive role model in terms of such attributes as appreciation of history, love of the flag, patriotism, citizenship, fraternity, charity and loyalty. Let us not lose this opportunity to help ensure the perpetuation of our Order and the memory of the GAR.
15. Pursuant to the National Regulations, a difference exists between Standing and Special National Committees. Standing Committees will reoccur yearly until such time that a National Encampment decides otherwise and amends the regulations. Special Committees are created for a specific purpose and a specified period of time (usually one year). Special Committees cease to exist after that time period unless it is felt by a National Encampment that they are still needed. The National Organization currently has 12 Standing Committees (Program and Policy, Constitution and Regulations, Membership, Encampment Site, Legislation, Military Affairs, Americanism and Education, Lincoln Tomb Observance, Remembrance Day, History, Fraternal Relations and Graves Registration). The National Organization also has (this year) seven Special Committees (Blue/Gray 1999 Encampment Investigation, Computer Software Standardization, Banner Printing & Distribution, Real Sons & Daughters, National Headquarters Fund Committee, Life Memberships and Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Foundation). I point this out because in the past several Special Completes have almost been given a defacto status of a Standing Committee and/or were continued way beyond their usefulness. In order to help correct this problem, I had hoped to have had the above distinction highlighted in the last Banner's listing of National Committees. Unfortunately, the distinction did not get printed.
16. Appointments to the last two Special Committees (Life Memberships and Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Foundation) for this year will be finalized in March. If any Brother has a desire to serve on either of these committees, please let me know.
17. I hope that everyone had a very happy holiday season and I trust that your new year will be rewarding in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty.
By Order Of
Keith G. Harrison
David F. Wallace