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Passing the Torch—Veterans conduct ‘Fireside Chats’ with Florida Tech ROTC Cadets


Melbourne, Fl – November 2, 2019

The Florida Tech ROTC Panther Battalion conducted a pre-summer camp field training exercise for cadets in Malabar recently.  The field exercise included patrol base operations, squad tactics, day and night land navigation, and “fireside chats” by Army Veterans. 

Four veterans were invited to share lessons, tips, and experiences they learned over their military careers with the cadets.  The veterans—all retired members of the U.S. Army—were Command Sergeant Major Gary Baura, Lieutenant Colonel Bob Faulkender, Colonel Tony Deane, and Colonel Steve Bond.  They shared their combined experiences of over 100 years of military service, stretching from wars and military operations in Vietnam, the Cold War era, Panama, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, to on-going operations in the war on terror.  Faulkender, Deane, and Bond are members of the Military Officers Association of America Cape Canaveral Chapter (MOAACC) Speakers Bureau.  The MOAACC Speakers Bureau provides a community service to area organizations and clubs by providing information on military service, patriotism, leadership, military and U.S. history.

“Over the course of our military careers, we all benefited from mentors providing us with hard-learned knowledge, guiding us, and sharing their experiences--This is one way we can ‘pay it forward’ with the future generation of Army leaders”, said Retired Army Colonel Steve Bond.  LTC Jimmy Crook, Professor of Military Science at Florida Tech, thanked the veterans for providing invaluable information to the cadets. 

For more information about the MOAACC Speakers Bureau, visit our website at

 Photo Caption:  Florida Tech Panther Battalion Cadets pose with Veteran Mentors following “Fireside Chats” during recent field training in Malabar.  Center L-R in civilian clothes:  LTC Bob Faulkender, CSM Gary Baura, COL Steve Bond, and COL Tony Deane--all Retired U.S. Army.



The Military Officers Association of America Cape Canaveral Chapter (MOAACC) is an affiliate of the national Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).  MOAA and affiliates are nonprofit veterans’ organization dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and ensuring our nation keeps its commitments to currently serving, retired and former members of the uniformed services, their families and survivors.  Membership is open to those who hold or have ever held a warrant or commission in any of the Uniformed Services or their surviving spouse.  MOAA and its affiliates are nonpartisan organizations.  Located in Brevard County, Florida, the Cape Canaveral chapter is the largest chapter in MOAA with 1400 members.  MOAACC supports MOAA’s aims at the national and local level, engages in philanthropy by providing direct support—monetarily and with volunteer hours—to local military, veterans, and their families, and is a social organization sponsoring activities for members.  For more information, visit our website at


Media Contacts

Marilyn Sanford


CW3 Amir Pishdad, USA Retired


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