The letters USA stand for many things, undeniably the most important being the United States of America. When developing a name for our organization some of the things considered were how our name would best exhibit our mission and our identity. It was a concern that the iconic three letters USA might cause confusion among people who might think that we were a part of our US government. While the organization is not, and never was intended to be, a part of the government, it was also a fact that every one of our regular members, as well as their spouses, either are, or have been among our country's most dedicated servants, those who devote their lives to the task of insuring the security of our great USA and its government. It was with that in mind that we chose the name, Uniformed Services Association (USA). We patterned the preamble of our organization's Constitution and By Laws after the U.S. Constitution's Preamble created by the great minds of our founding fathers. Ours reads as follows:
We the members of the Uniformed Services Association, in order to better serve the current and former uniformed service members of the United States, to establish just resolutions to their grievances, to be an advocate for the personal well-being of them, as well as of their families, and to provide support for the steadfast security and defense of the United States, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the Uniformed Services Association.
In the opening sentence of our preamble, when we refer to members of the Uniformed Services we are talking about both active and former and/or retired members of all seven of the uniformed services of the United States, the: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Public Health Service, Coast Guard and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.
Active participation by USA members in voicing their opinions and suggestions in the process of advocating for just resolutions to individual or widely applicable problems is essential. For issues relating to the general well-being of service members, or a need to protect the promised benefits veterans have already earned and paid for, the combined voices of USA's total membership, coupled with those of members of other veterans organizations, insures the most effective means for achieving just resolutions.
An informed membership serves all by permitting members to quickly react to information from knowledgeable sources about developing problems. This is the very best way to insure that elected legislators are alerted and can thereby make informed decisions when casting their votes. With few former uniformed services personnel now serving in the Congress, it is absolutely essential that those with such experience, such as USA members, be able to make their voices heard. It is with that in mind that we have established on our web page a quick link to both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees' web pages.
These links make it possible for our members to quickly review and respond to their respective legislators on matters relating to their own, our memberships', and the entire uniformed services community's best interest.
With respect to matters of individual concern we have also provided an email link to a USA Regional President located within each member's respective area of the country to facilitate the solicitation of his or her support on matters which may be of either a local/regional concern or of a national concern. A listing of these contacts can be found under the tab "USA by Region".
We must recruit uniformed services personnel from the thousands of persons eligible for membership in USA if we are going to maximize our effectiveness in carrying out our advocacy and support mission. We must hear from you about your problems or concerns. That is one place where those of you reading this come in. Web pages don't just pop up on peoples computers on their own. We must encourage your help in letting veterans know that uniformedserevicesassociation.org is there to offer a voice for their concerns. Email, call or write your veteran friends and direct them to our web page and our organization. Give us your thoughts on ways to best serve our fellow service members and their families. Tell us how you might personally be able to help. We are always looking for good leaders. Currently we need to fill some Regional Presidents positions and if you would like to become a candidate please provide us a short resume'. Our membership is currently free but you must complete, sign and return the application found above under the "Become a Member" tab. Do it today. We look forward to hearing from you.
It has now been over two years since the National Association for Uniformed Services closed its doors on December 31, 2017, and went out of business. As an active member of NAUS for about 25 years I, like so many of my fellow members, was sorely disappointed to see that organization, which had been very effective in serving the uniformed services family for 48 years, cease operations. Its membership had been declining for about a decade and seemingly nothing that was tried was effective in stemming the decline of its membership. It is a sad fact that the same fate has happened to many other similar types of organizations. In order to offer its members some continuing benefit for their paid memberships, those who were in the officer category had their memberships transferred to the Military Officers Association of America and those in the enlisted category had their memberships transferred to The Retired Enlisted Association. Both MOAA and TREA are fine organizations which do a fine job of serving their respective memberships as well as the uniformed services community at large. However, with the demise of NAUS there remained no viable organization which, by charter, served and represented both categories of members of the seven uniformed services of the United States. More importantly, we lost one of the most powerful voices then in existence for serving and representing the interests and needs of active duty, retiree, or other veteran members, their spouses and family members, as well as the interest of all service members whether or not they were NAUS members.
Faced with the above reality, most former NAUS Regional Vice Presidents, including myself, set out to establish, out the ashes of NAUS, a new, efficient, organization with the objective of fulfilling essentially the same mission purposes. To help facilitate that effort we were offered the opportunity to affiliate with the American Retirees Association for the 2018 calendar year and to enjoy the benefits of free membership in that organization for that period. That offer has now been extended through calendar year 2020. We have worked with the national president of the ARA, Dennis Egge, who had served for the past few years as chapter president of Hawaii, Chapter One, of NAUS.
The mission of the ARA is focused principally on only one issue relating to uniformed service members. That issue regards securing fair and equitable treatment of the service person in marital divorce settlements. However, it is an issue which has now been largely settled and the organization is evaluating possible changes in broadening its future purpose. What we gain from the affiliation is a chance to fully and carefully develop our USA organization while simultaneously being able to represent and serve members of all ranks and all branches of the uniformed services. During the period we will not have to encumber ourselves with establishing and collecting membership dues or soliciting donations. Our effectiveness with Congressional advocacy will be enhanced by our ability to be represented through the auspices of the National Military Veterans Alliance of which NAUS was and the ARA continues to be a member.
One might ask the question, "Why do we need yet another organization to represent the interests of our uniformed service members when we already have several?" The answer is that we are not adding another organization we are simply replacing another. "Why do we need to replace it?" The answer is that, with the demise of NAUS, there is not another organization of its type, the membership of which is made up of all ranks and all branches of the seven uniformed services to carry on its mission. Experience showed us that during NAUS's 48 years the combined representation of both officers and enlisted personnel was exceptionally effective in advocating for their interests. No one organization can be all things for all people.
However, there is strength in numbers and improved recognition. It is surprising at just how many of our service members have never heard of organizations which exist to support their interests. I have been asked many times by military persons at such events as Retiree Appreciation Days, "What is MOAA, what is NAUS, what is TREA?" I have participated in such events many times when NAUS was the only organization of its type represented. When it comes to encouraging our government representatives, whether local, state, or national, to listen to our arguments for keeping promised benefits it is very helpful to have the backing of a large contingent of members behind us. To cite just one example, I have, in the past, represented NAUS as a member of the California State Commander's Veterans Council. With the demise of NAUS the interests of the service persons for whom I could speak are silenced because, without an organization, there can be no participation. With the pressures on governments at all levels to reduce spending it is a fact that legislators will be looking at places to cut spending on personnel in all branches of government and the uniformed services will be no exception. We must be there to speak out, to educate and to persuade our representatives to retain the benefits which have been earned and paid for by service and sacrifice. If we fail to do so not only will individual service members suffer but also the ability to recruit young replacement people to keep our national defense strong will suffer. Our Nation cannot afford that.
That is why we need the Uniformed Services Association.
Albert G. Stewart
USA Founder and pro-tem National President