At the Department Convention in Simi Valley, California in June of 2017 numerous by-law changes were adopted that will enhance our ability to involve our members in the League and it’s activities. All twelve Regions now have active and aggressive Coordinators. Three are now involved with helping establish new Detachments in their respective Regions. One of the by-law changes approved in 2017 will establish two additional elected Trustees as Area Vice Commandants primarily responsible to enable the Regional Coordinators in Northern and Southern California recruit Marines and eligible Navy personnel into the League.
In order to attain the ultimate goal of doubling our membership in California I have also appointed a new Public Information/Communications Officer, Marine Mario Blandini. He will have carte blanche authority to work with the Detachments, Coordinators and Area Vice Commandants to improve communications both within the membership and with the public. It’s about time everyone knows who we are and wants to join us! Just as important after they join us they should want to stay. We intend to reach both goals and we will!
Last November Past National Vice Commandant Gene Rivers and I were invited and had the opportunity to attend the dedication of the first Gold Star Memorial dedication on the west coast in Hayward, California. The coordinator of the event was Marine Michael Emerson, a MCL member. The guest speaker was Marine “Woody” Williams, MOH, also a member of the MCL from West Virginia who, I’m sure, we all know. Woody had recently participated in the naming & dedication ceremony of the USS Williams, an innovative amphibious support ship, in San Diego. OORAH, Woody, Bravo Zulu!
I’ll be attending the National Midwinter Conference in Fredericksburg, VA, 1-5 March 2018. Shortly after that, 23-25 March will be the Department Spring Conference in Van Nuys, hosted by the San Fernando Detachment. All the info is posted on this website, so plan to attend and make your reservations asap.
Bob Villalobos, Commandant.
Semper Fi Marines and Navy Corpsmen & Chaplains, happy 242cnd birthday! I hope all of you find yourselves in good health. So far, I’m doing OK in spite of my advanced years & aches & pains related to that inevitable condition. Lucky to get this far along, I suppose I should have taken better care of myself in my earlier years. Enough about me.
Many of our Brothers & Sisters and their families have been negatively affected by what seem to be relentless natural occurrences like hurricanes and floods in Texas , Florida and Puerto Rico and fires in California, as well as not-so-natural tragedies such as murders & mayhem in New York, Nevada and now a small community church in Texas. These really test our patience and resolve, and sometimes our faith.
We must try, as difficult as it is, to take these events in stride and keep in mind that, as Marines, we will meet the tests that try us and do what needs to be done. Adapt and overcome! And don’t forget to pray. Especially for those affected. Here in California we have fellow Marines that have lost homes in the terrible Napa Valley area fires, especially Santa Rosa Detachment 686 and Commandant Jim Loorya. They have devised a plan to vet those that may need assistance and some other Detachments and the Department have offered to aid when asked. (see link on homepage). Look for updates as events unfold.
As you all are aware by now the Department did not have a Fall Conference this year. This was adopted at the June Department Convention in Simi Valley last June, after much discussion and with reservation, primarily for financial reasons. As it worked out the tragic fires would have affected attendance negatively at any rate. I hope we can see our way to resume that Fall Conference in the future. The Spring Conference is still scheduled, however, and it looks like it will be a very productive and, hopefully, enjoyable one. More info is on the Department web page.
I intend to go to Marine Expo West at Camp Pendleton and the Southwest Division Conference in Oceanside in February 2018, as well as the National Midwinter Conference in Fredericksburg, VA in March 2018. At that Conference National intends to have the new National By-Laws drafted and ready for discussion so that they will be adopted at the National Convention in Buffalo, NY in August. Those changed by-laws will be a main topic of discussion at our Spring Conference later that month and will be discussed with guidance for action by our delegates in August 2018.
I think that’s enough for now. Stay well and Semper Fi !
FYI the number is legit. I called it.
R.A. “Bob” Villalobos
Commandant, Department of California MCL
Southwest Division Vice Chief Devil Dog
Budweiser Considers Ending NFL Sponsorship Over Anthem Protests
October 1, 2017 By TFPP Writer
Bud Light’s brand parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev — one of the NFL’s biggest sponsors — is rethinking their NFL sponsorship, and they want your input.
The NFL player protests of the National Anthem have backfired in a major way on the league. It has seen sponsors pull out, ratings decline and teams play in front of practically empty stadiums.
In the wake of increased national anthem protests, Anheuser-Busch is reconsidering their NFL sponsorship, likely because the protests are very unpopular among everyday Americans. Bud Light currently serves as the official beer of the NFL.
At the end of 2015, the company extended its current deal, which is slated to expire at the end of the 2016-17 season, for another six years through the 2022 season, but that might all change very quickly.
So the company set up a hotline for fans to call and give their thoughts about the protests and Anheuser-Busch’s sponsorship of the NFL. The number for the hotline is: 1-800-342-5283.
When a customer calls the number, they are greeted by a recorded voice who gives them the opportunity to voice their opinions about the protests.
“If you are calling with questions or comments about Anheuser-Busch’s sponsorship of the NFL, press one,” the voice says. “At Anheuser-Busch we have a long heritage of supporting the nation’s armed forces, veterans and military dependents. The national anthem is a point of pride for our company and for the 1,100 veterans that we employ. Please feel free to share your feedback after the tone.”
The company also released a statement:
These are complex issues that require in-depth discussions and nuanced debate. What I can say is that at Anheuser-Busch we have a long heritage of supporting the institutions and values that have made America so strong. That includes our armed forces and the national anthem as well as diversity, equality and freedom of speech. We proudly employ over 1,100 military veterans and we work every day to create an inclusive environment for all of our employees. Because only together can we achieve our dream of bringing people together for a better world.
Since the company established the hotline and began to promote it, they have been bombarded with calls. According to KTVI-TV, the hotline went down Friday afternoon after receiving too many calls, but as of Sunday afternoon, the hotline is back up.
Feel free to share your thoughts by calling the hotline!
COMMANDANT’S LETTER AUGUST 2017
Greetings to all California Leaguers and Semper Fi! It’s been over a week since I got back from the National Convention in Overland Park, KS, and I’ve been pretty busy trying to catch up on some issues involving Detachments that may be in trouble with the State of California. Hopefully your Judge Advocate and the Detachment officers can resolve the issues. There are also some individual personal problems that need to be addressed. As Marines I’m sure these issues will also be resolved. Enough said!
I got a few things out of the convention that I believe to be very positive. (There is a very brief summary elsewhere on this site) Let me address some of them:
- We are here to serve the membership. The MCL is not a “top down” organization, but rather a “bottom up” entity. Sure, as elected officers and Trustees, we make certain decisions that affect the membership, but those decisions must be approved by the “red hats”, or they won’t be in effect very long, if at all.
- We are improving and are “over the hump”. This was evident after hearing the reports of the new COO Bob Borka and newly-elected Commandant Wendell Webb. The debt is being eliminated and the League now is highly rated as an efficient non-profit serving it’s members. Commandant Webb is a strong and knowledgeable leader that will demand action from the Departments and Divisions, as well as the Detachments, and will provide them the tools to get the job done. We will grow!
- The Marine Corps loves us and needs our help. No less than three (four, if you count a retired general/member) generals addressed the Marines in attendance and lauded the League for their support. They also asked for help, especially on the Reserve side. The Reserves are tasked with hundreds of additional duties such as funeral details, casualty assistance calls, Toys For Tots, etc. Because of the limited number of I&I & AR personnel available, equipment maintenance and training can, and is, adversely effected, We, as Leaguers and Marines, are being asked to help by picking up as much of these duties as we can. Let’s give it a try. I know most of the Detachments already are doing just that, but there may be another opportunity or two out there.
I’ll get off my soapbox, for now. Just keep me in the loop as to what you’re doing and don’t hesitate to ask for help. That’s what I’m here for.
PDD Bob Villalobos
Commandant, Dept of California
Southwest Division Vice Chief Devil Dog
HIGHLIGHTS AND SUMMARY OF MAJOR ACTIONS TAKEN AT NATIONAL CONVENTION
- Members At Large (MAL) Detachments can request a list of MALs from National by contacting the membership department and providing the zip codes of the area covered by the Detachment. Some Departments have established separate Detachments of MALs. This will be discussed further at Midwinter.
- MCL apps are being developed for I-Phones & Androids. Look for updates on this from National.
- All forms are now online and can be filled out & submitted. Dues will not be payable online because the dues for Departments and Detachments vary, creating numerous issues that will require further discussion.
- “Semper Fi” will have an extensive article about the MCL and PTS programs.
- “E Blasts” will be utilized to spread the word via e-mail to all those in the database.
- Title of the Executive Director changed to Chief Operating Officer (COO). New COO Bob Borka introduced and gave a presentation as to the status of the League. The MCL is now rated “Platinum” by “Guidestar”, which rates non-profits based on their finances and operating costs as related to the services provided.
- RUST insurance now has their forms online to better serve the Detachments.
- A video clip is now in effect as an opener whenever the National website is acquired. Shows the transitional from an active Marine to an active Leaguer.
- The major changes to the National By-Laws were postponed until the 2018 Convention in Buffalo, NY. The changes that were ready were not posted by 1 May as required by the By-Laws and the By-Law Committee decided that much more work was needed in order to have all the changes to both the By-Laws and Administrative Procedures addressed at the same time. Most of the work should be completed for initial review by the Midwinter Conference in March 2018 and will be posted by 1 May 2018.
- National will act aggressively to ensure that all Departments and Detachments are in full compliance with all applicable Federal and State legal requirements between now and the 2018 Convention.
- Election of National Officers: Wendell W. Webb was elected National Commandant, Dennis Tobin National Sr. Vice Commandant and Johnny Baker, National Jr. Vice Commandant, all unanimously. In a three-candidate contested election, Warren Griffin was elected National Judge Advocate with a majority on the first ballot. Congratulations to all!