There is a video on YouTube that I hope you take the time to view. It is almost 12 minutes long, but is worth every second. It tells how Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the words to the song that has become Our National Anthem.
The 2017 Department of California convention is now history. It was a well-attended and interesting event. Detachment 597 once again hosted and did an outstanding job-Bravo-Zulu to all hands!
I am honored to have been re-elected for one more term as your Commandant. I will serve the membership to the best of my ability and will try to be no more than a phone call or an e-mail away. There are going to major challenges, or opportunities, in the coming year for your elected Board of Trustees and the appointed Staff. I can speak for all of them in promising better service to you, the members and associates. We can, of course, always improve and we welcome your suggestions in that area.
The major changes adopted by the members at the convention are posted on this website so I won’t repeat them in this letter except to tell you that we will be working out the details regarding the election of the two additional Trustees for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. We are confident the changes will enable the staff and the Regional Coordinators to better serve you and the Detachments in the future.
Have you seen the new member guidebooks? They are a very informative and useful tool, especially for the newer members. If the Detachment hasn’t got them yet ask the Commandant to check with the Regional Coordinator. They were distributed at the last two Conferences and at the Convention. I have a very few left for distribution at the Detachment level. Hopefully we can find the funds in next year’s budget to have more printed.
For all you Devil Dogs out there a great Grand Growl was conducted! And all had a great time and many pockets were emptied. The Pack donated $2000 to an organization in Simi Valley that aids developmentally disabled children. As far as the MODD is concerned, that’s what it’s all about!
Until after the National Convention an Supreme Growl in Overland Park, Kansas in August,
Semper Fi & Woof/Woof!
PDD Bob Villalobos, Commandant
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