Greetings from the Pentagon, DUSTOFF Warriors!
I am honored to take the controls as the President and continue to spearhead initiatives and work with the executive council, leadership and members to collaborate and bring positive change to ensure we remain Your Association. We are the DUSTOFF Association. I move into the President’s seat as LTC(R) John McMahan becomes the Executive Director, LTC(R) Pat Zenk becomes the Vice President, & COL(R) Jack Leech becomes the Treasurer joining CSM(R) Jeff Mankoff as the Secretary as we bid farewell to COL(R) Dan Gower who retired as the Executive Director of the DUSTOFF Association after over 27 years of incredible service. We owe him and his wife Suzie a debt of gratitude Dan for their contributions to our community through the years!
At the Pentagon, I work in the Department of the Army G3/5/7 (DAMO-AV) office. Part of what we do in this office is work modernization initiatives to ensure the MEDEVAC and Aviation enterprise modernizes to remain relevant for today and tomorrow and message those efforts to Army Senior Leaders and refine the plan/recommendations based on their guidance. We work to define requirements and secure resources to fund those requirements.
It’s not too different than in the DUSTOFF Association: We see where we are today and where we want to go tomorrow. We see where we want to go to modernize and reach the current and Vietnam generation and ensure the Association improves and grows with the community we serve. But we need your feedback and recommendations as you did on Facebook with our alternate logo, featuring the HH-60M. Thanks for your response and feedback to the survey COL(R) Rick Ortiz sent out as his team works strategic initiatives for the direction of the Association. If you haven’t seen that, we will post and send again. A little about where we are going –
We are actively working industry partnerships and donations to increase revenue to provide you, the members and your family members increased scholarship funds and to offset the cost to community and recognize our annual awardees. Our new DUSTOFF store, led by DUSTOFFer Kris Willis is almost complete and will be live soon. Our first DUSTOFF Rally Call in San Antonio, led by COL(R) Johnny West was a huge success. We want more DUSTOFF Rally Calls nationwide! If you want to help lead one in your city, let us know! We’ll send you some merch and stickers/coins to give away to other DUSTOFFers. That’s just a glimpse into some of the efforts behind the scenes by our incredible team.
Next year’s DUSTOFF Reunion is set for 21-24 March, 2024 in San Antonio, TX- save the date and reserve your rooms early at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk! Hope to see you all there. We will make a HUGE announcement soon about the destination for the 2025 Reunion once approved for public release. But I promise – you will not be disappointed.
Thanks for all you do every day for our community and the Servicemember on the ground.
LTC Chris Wingate
President, DUSTOFF Association