Marines, the future is looking brighter. Since my last letter I’ve had the opportunity to participate in two Department of California Conferences and the National Midwinter Conference in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Let’s talk about the Department Conferences first. The Fall Conference in Santa Rosa last October was well attended, though not as well as it should have been. There was a slight improvement in attendance at the Spring Conference in Clovis, though more were expected. My sincerest thanks to both the Santa Rosa and Fresno Detachments for graciously hosting these events. Bravo Zulu!
Unless a Detachment is in dire straights there is no reason that at least one member, preferably a Trustee or an officer, should not be in attendance at a Conference. They are a little less formal than the Conventions, with no elections, by-law changes, guest speakers, etc., and much shorter. It’s my policy not to drag the business agenda out, and we were successful at that at both the Fall and Spring Conferences. My preference would be to schedule a Trustee meeting in the morning and a general meeting in the afternoon of the same day, but we have to allow for unforeseen items or issues that may occur. So far having the Trustees meet on Friday afternoon with the Commandants’ Council and business meeting on Saturday is working well. When the business meeting concludes early it allows some free time before the Growl. Feel free to make suggestions for improvement and they WILL be considered.
The Department Convention this June in Simi Valley promises to be a great one, with a golf tournament on Wednesday and Vietnam War 50th anniversary commemorative service at the Ronal Reagan Library on Thursday. Two-hour break-out training sessions are also planned for Friday. The schedule will be posted on the Department website shortly, as well as hotel info, etc. Every Detachment should be familiar with the number of delegates that each Detachment is entitled to and the registration requirements. All that info is in the by-laws, which are also on the website. ALL Detachments are emphatically encouraged to have delegates in attendance.
The National Midwinter Conference was, by all reports, the best attended Midwinter ever. Some major changes to the way the Marine Corps League does business is currently in the works, as are some major by-law changes. I anticipate that some of these changes will be enacted, or at least reported on, by our annual convention. The current leadership is strong AND smart. They will get ‘er done! Let’s do the same—recruit AND participate!!!!
PDD Bob Villalobos
I know that this is an extremely busy time for all of the Detachments with Toys-For-Tots and various other seasonal humanitarian activities. Add in the family holiday events and there is little time for much else (except some football). I hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving and that you will have a wonderful Christmas.
The October fall Conference was a rousing success. Santa Rosa is a great venue and PDD Steve Bosshard, as usual, did an outstanding job as host and coordinator. Steve always comes through in true Marine Corps style. OORAH! Also a great Pack Growl, with advancements to DD and a WWII veteran to PDD. (If you’re not a Devil Dog you wouldn’t understand).
The next events in 2017 will be the Marine Expo West at Camp Pendleton in February, the MCL’s Midwinter Conference in Virginia in March, and the Department of California’s Spring Conference in Clovis, CA in March. I encourage all of you to try to attend one of these activities, especially the Department Spring Conference. This is where your input for our future is solicited and discussed. All the info for these activities are on the Department website, which I know you are using or you wouldn’t be reading this letter, or on the National website, which is linked from the homepage.
Until next year, Marines, FMF Corpsmen & Chaplains and Associates: Semper Fi and Happy Holidays!
PDD Bob Villalobos
Commandant, Department of Californis
FROM THE COMMANDANT
Marines, FMF Corpsmen & Chaplains, I salute you and was honored to represent you at the National Convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma this year. It was a very active and very busy convention , with numerous by-law changes discussed and enacted on. All the changes were posted on both the National & Department websites very shortly after they were acted on. I encourage all of you to check them out, as some are major changes to the way we do business. I won’t go into detail as what I consider one of the more important changes regarding the membership renewal date because further guidance on that change will be promulgated by National very soon, and I don’t want to confuse anyone. Just watch for more info.
I strongly encourage each Detachment try to send at least one representative to the spring conference in Santa Rosa 14-15 October. By then we may have all the details and info on the above change(s) and will also have some important items up for discussion by the members present. We’ll also have a good time, at least that’s a promise Steve Bosshard, Santa Rosa’s conference coordinator, has made.
I had the privilege recently of visiting three outstanding Detachments, Victor Valley, San Fernando, and Eureka. SWDVC Gene Rivers was with me on the first two and Jr Vice Commandant Matt Valenzuela met us in San Fernando. Sr. Vice Commandant Ray Valenzuela was with me in Eureka. I’ll tell you that all three are very active and involved and were very receptive. God willing I plan to try and visit more Detachments during the year.
California Leaguers, I salute you! Keep up the good work. Remember, “make it fun & they will come.”
PDD Bob Villalobos
Commandant, Dept of Califirnia, MCL
Marines, I could not feel be more honored than I feel right now after having been elected to serve as your Commandant for 2016-2017. Our future looks bright because the Department of California is now growing and leaning forward in the foxhole. Looking at our membership I see younger Marines, Corpsmen & FMF Chaplains willing to take the helm and keep us on course. I’m proud of that, very proud. We have a new Detachment in Oceanside that Jr Past Commandant Fernandez, SWDVC Rivers & yours truly will be presenting a Charter to 24 June. That will be 2 Detachments in the Camp Pendleton area. They should be growing leaps & bounds in the near future.
As your new Commandant I will try to visit as many Detachments as I can, in the tradition of my predecessors, which will be a challenge. You will also see a revision of the Department’s Regional Coordinator program, which JPC Fernandez has agreed to supervise., and a thorough review of the duties of the Staff, all with an eye to better serve the “red hats”-YOU!
Don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the staff with your positive ideas. I guarantee we’ll review every suggestion & see if it will work.
Enough for now. Stay well & Semper Fi!
PDD Bob Villalobos
MCL Dept of California