2021 MCAF Spring NewsletterPosted on: February 01,2022
Greetings Marines and Friends of the Corps,
I begin my comments for this Spring 2021 Newsletter with a sincere wish that you and your family are safe and healthy. I have had the privilege to talk with many of our loyal members and donors over the last year and know that the pandemic has been impactful in both personal and professional ways to many of us. The Marine Corps Association was certainly not exempt and due to COVID-related fallout, we were forced to either postpone or cancel many of our excellence awards and professional development events in 2020. Additionally, due to social distancing restrictions, Marines were not able to take full advantage of our amazing programs including visiting historic battlefields as part of our Commander’s Forum Program.
That said, just like the Marine Corps has done for over 245 years, we adapted and overcame: our iconic Gazette and Leatherneck magazines did not miss a deadline, significant improvements were made to our MCA and retail websites, numerous professional resources were added to our website for use by Today’s Marines, and we continued to position the organization for increased growth and success.
We are excited about our newly published “MCA 2025” Strategic Plan which is available at MCA-Marines.org. We also wanted to share our updated vision and mission statements and overarching goals which you can find on page 3. Also, please read more about our dinners and the new website for The Marine Shop on page 4.
Thank you for your continued dedication and support of the Marine Corps Association’s mission and what we do for Marines. Your fidelity continues to make a difference to the growth of individual Marines and the overall readiness of the Marine Corps both today and in the future.
LtGen William “Mark” Faulkner USMC (Ret)
President & CEO
Marine Corps Association
A New National Military Association
In January of 2020, the Office of the Secretary of Defense determined that the Marine Corps Association meets the eligibility requirements to be a National Military Association, one of only two organizations with that distinguished designation affiliated with the Marine Corps. While the Marine Corps Association was led in its early years by active duty leaders of the Corps, changes in law and policy required the Association to transition into a Non-Federal Entity and restricted any active officers from the governance structure of organizations like ours. We have followed ethical regulations governing relations between the service and “NFEs” and have been working through the Office of the Secretary of Defense with the close support of the Commandant and the Secretary of the Navy to strengthen and formalize our relationship with the Corps.
We hosted the first annual meeting of the Marine Corps Association in September in Alexandria, Virginia. With almost one hundred members, sponsors and donors in attendance, the meeting was also live streamed to members throughout the world. We were privileged to have General David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps, as our guest speaker and his appreciation for the Marine Corps Association and our mission was evident.
“This is a huge day,” said General Berger. “This [the Marine Corps Association] is not just an organization over to the side, in the bleachers, ‘call us when you need us.’ I think this is woven into the fabric of the Marine Corps.” He mentioned how pleased General John A. Lejeune would be with the Association’s designation. “I believe he’d be pretty happy with the intellectual edge Marines are driving towards and happy at what you’re doing to support them.”
The membership of the Association will meet annually, virtually if necessary, in order to ensure we are the foremost partner of the Corps’ leaders in professional development and support to Today’s Marines.
Marine Corps Association Dinners
The global pandemic did not prevent the Marine Corps Association from continuing to recognize Today’s Marines throughout 2020. We were able to host our West Coast and Okinawa Professional Dinners before the coronavirus made its dangers fully known and we later conducted smaller versions of our annual professional event at Camp Lejeune and the Wounded Warrior Awards, Ammo Tech Awards, Ground Awards, Information Awards and Logistics Awards. Although our professional and awards dinners did not look exactly like our previous ones, we were still able to host first class events with exceptional speakers in order to continue to support the professional development of Marines and recognize the best and brightest within occupational fields and major subordinate commands across the Marine Corps.
We ensured we were in full compliance with the precautions and restrictions associated with the persistent pandemic environment by providing masks, hand sanitizers, contactless registration, and social distancing. A principal change was reducing the number of attendees, and while we missed seeing the hundreds of Marines, sponsors, and industry partners we usually host, those who did attend expressed gratitude for the opportunity to hear from our guest speakers and acknowledge outstanding Marines.