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MOAA Levels of Excellent Submission for 2023


Dear Sir/Madam,

On behalf of the Military Officers Association of America Cape Canaveral (MOAACC), we are pleased to forward our 2022 MOAA Levels of Excellence Award submission. We are a chapter over 1100 members, with 18 Committees; 17 Liaisons to Uniformed Service, Veteran, and Community organizations; and two non-profit organizations: The Good Deeds Foundation and The Scholarship Corporation.

We had our best year for charitable giving over $130,000 back to our local community. The Good Deeds Foundation raised 50% more funds than in the previous year and was able to provide more support to community outreach efforts. Our Scholarship Foundation award $50,000 in scholarships to 10 deserving students from active military and military families. We also received our second grant from MOAA ($3,000) and worked with local veterans’ organizations to help 13 at risk active military, veterans, their families and others in the Brevard County and beyond.

Additional important support for others included:

  • Supporting the Brevard Veterans Treatment Court with member mentors and funds for indigent veterans for treatment related costs. Chapter support to VTC has shown a 64% success rate this year to assignees, with 51 veterans completing treatment.
  • Provided $1000 assistance to Space Coast Jr/Sr High JROTC to assist in transition from AFJROTC to becoming one of the 1st 10 Space Force JROTCs in the Country.
  • When Hurricanes Ian and Nicole struck Florida, we supported local efforts to assist the Ft Meyer and Central Florida areas. We contributed $2000 to help with transportation and several chapter members helped sort and load the non-monetary donations for transport.

We are proud to be an affiliate of MOAA and believe we exemplify the “Never Stop Serving” motto.


Brian R. Whalen, Lt Colonel, USAF (Ret)

President, Cape Canaveral Chapter


LOE Submission 2022

1. Advocacy: (35 points)

- Meetings with state or federal legislators, including any virtual activities

- Describe your relationships with elected officials, government and non-governmental organizations, etc.

- Describe your chapter/chapter members' participation in the national Advocacy in Action campaign. (for 2022, this information can only be used to help your chapter) *

Legislative Affairs Committee: Co-Chairs BG John R. McMahon, USA Ret, (National) and MAJ Tim Pishdad, USA Ret (State and Local).

Cape Canaveral Chapter, with its 1100 members, is a leader among Florida's chapters in supporting MOAA’s legislative advocacy with Congress and Florida Legislature.  We supported the Florida Council of Chapters initiative to contact Senators Rubio and Scott to sponsor and support the Richard Star Act.  Congressman Posey was an early sponsor.  Both Senators now sponsor this legislation.

Grassroots Advocacy included:

Weekly updates at our Thursday Morning meeting, in-person and via Zoom, keep members aware of relevant national, state and local legislative issues and initiatives, and specific MOAA priorities and initiatives.

Published 12 Advocacy Articles for our monthly magazine, THE INTERCOM, reinforcing MOAA’s advocacy initiatives, informing members of pressing national issues in Congress and encouraging members to “Take Action”.  THE INTERCOM is sent to all members, our state, local and federal officials, other MOAA Chapters in FL, and regional veteran and service groups.

Disseminated our bi-weekly e-Newsletter—MOAACC Five Things—alerting members of legislative issues and directing them to “Take Action” hyperlinks and highlighting upcoming events.

Met with Congressman Posey in his district office on 19 Apr 22 to discuss MOAA Advocacy in Action initiatives.  He agreed to co-sponsor H.R. 4824, Stop Copay Overpay Act and was already a co-sponsor of the Pact Act and co-sponsor of the Richard Star Act.  Past President Steve Bond participated on Rep Posey’s October Veteran's Council (along with MOAA members from other VSOs).

MOAACC leveraged its large membership horsepower to advocate for passage of the PACT Act supporting veterans exposed to toxins during their service which was successfully signed into law last August.  Senators Rubio and Scott and Rep Posey each voted for this important advance in veteran health care.


2. Community Engagement and Outreach: (35 points)

- MOAA Community Outreach Chapter Grants, Community Sponsorship Program, MOAA Crisis Relief Fund

- Scholarship and JROTC/ROTC activities

- Other community outreach/service conducted by your chapter

- Collaboration with other VSOs/MSOs *


MOAACC has a very successful community engagement and outreach program.  The Good Deeds Foundation (501c(3)) provides direct funding support to area veterans and active duty military and families, major veteran support organizations, and students in ROTC and JROTC programs. In 2022, GDF provided $93,305 to support these valuable organizations.  This was more than double the support in 2021.

We provided $36,000+ to Florida Tech University ROTC, 15 JROTC, and other Cadet programs; $9000 to junior enlisted support programs at Patrick Space Force Base; $2500 to Wreaths Across America at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery; $4000 to the Space Coast Honor Flight.  As a result of their efforts GDF was awarded the Veteran Space Coast Star of the Year for 2022.

Our other 501c(3) program, MOAACC Scholarship Corporation honored exceptional students and highly deserving descendants of area Retired military and Active Military families.  In 2022 MOAACC Scholarship Corporation awarded 10 $5000 grants totaling $50,000 to junior through master’s degree students.  Because of the success of this program the decision was made to expand the awarding of $5000 grants to PhD candidates.

In 2022 we received a $3000 MOAA Grant.  Using these funds we assisted 13 people (3 individual veterans and 3 veteran families) and kept all of them in stable housing despite unforeseen financial hurdles.

Additionally, MOAACC directly and financially supports 21 area units including FIT, 15 JROTCs, 2 Sea Cadet, 2 Civil Air Patrol, and 1 Sea Scout in Brevard County.

For the outstanding Senior ROTC at FIT is the additionally recognized award of the MG Cleland Bugler Award. MG Cleland was a former Chapter President, long time mentor for FIT cadets until his passing in 2017.

An important addition to the 15 JROTC outstanding cadet program is the new award of $400 grants to MOAA Medal recipients to help meet future educational goals and assist in their leadership development.

3. Recruiting and Retention: (25 points)

- What have you done to recruit younger (ages 40-60) members?

- How do you find and reach potential members?

- How do you keep your members engaged?

- How do you promote an environment where all new members feel welcome?

In 2022, we recruited 105 new members, showing every member is a recruiter.

We go to military/veteran related community events to meet veterans and explain the role MOAA plays in lobbying for military and veterans’ benefits.  We are active in the local community supporting youth and veteran-related efforts. These are also recruiting opportunities.  We set a positive example by being an organization people should want to join.

We used the MOAA recruiting lists each month to reach out to all MOAA members who moved into our area and offered them a free annual Chapter membership to welcome them to the area.  We sent reminders to members at: 60 and 30 days prior to the expiration of their memberships.  If a membership expired, we wrote inviting them to renew and then 30 and 60 days after expiration if they had not renewed.  We also called our non-renewals and asked them to renew and if they did not, we asked why so we could capture information and use it to review our processes.  After 60 days we dropped them from our distribution list. 

We keep our members engaged by giving them weekly updates on our ongoing support with JROTC Units, Vets Back to Class, Speakers Bureau and let them know there are ways they can continue to serve the community. We have two lunches each month, an informal lunch at local restaurants and a monthly business luncheon with a guest speaker where we have an honor guard from a local JROTC unit present the Colors and we get the opportunity to learn about the cadets.  Three of our luncheons focus on youth – the MOAA Medal Luncheon, Academy Appointment and ROTC Scholarship Luncheon and our Scholarship Luncheon.

We ensure everyone attending the luncheon feels welcome.  Our Master of Arms is a designated greeter, and our board members are encouraged to go out and meet with the luncheon attendees, especially new faces.  We always ask guests or new members to say a little bit about themselves at our weekly meetings and luncheons. 

4. Leadership Succession: (25 points)

- Describe how you identify and train future leaders.

- How do you mentor new leaders? Describe your method for selecting new leaders.

- Where is your process codified? (by-laws, standard operating procedures, etc.)

- How do you motivate and recognize your current leaders? *

MOAACC’s leadership development plan is based on potential leaders accepting a four-year commitment to lead our chapter.  This begins with members observing others who show potential to the chapter in the myriad of activities happening in MOAACC. A nominated Chapter candidate serves a year-long term as Second Vice President, then First Vice President, then President and finally as immediate Past President (PP).  The plan offers the leader an in-depth on-the-job training and experience developing the candidate to ultimately assume the presidency of the chapter and ensures continuity.  The Succession Plan is codified in our bylaws and operating handbook.  As we have tested in the past few years the selection process must be flexible and dependent on using the experience of past leaders to adjust to ensuring MOAACC is accomplishing its mission.

•Each year, the current president appoints a Nominating Committee Chairperson

•Nominating Committee Chairperson selects 3 to 5 committee members, not holding elective office, to solicit VP position, 3 directors and other open elected positions vacant.

•The previous year’s First VP is normally recommended to become President, and the serving Second VP is recommended to become the First VP.

•Nominating slate of officers is presented to the Board of Directors and General membership for their approval in November.

•Once the new President is installed, the immediate Past President remains on the Board of Directors as a Senior Advisor for continuity to the President and the Board.

Our Chapter’s continued success validates that our process is successful in selecting and preparing future leaders throughout MOAACC. The incoming Second VP has 2 years to prepare to become Chapter President, obtains a detailed understanding various aspects of chapter business, and posturing for success.  A major factor in our success is the ability to use the experience of Past Presidents as excellent sources of information and guidance.

5. Training: (20 points)

- Describe training your chapter leaders have undertaken. (e.g., leader workshops, roundtables, council and national collaboration, etc.) *

Chapter leaders attended the annual Florida Council of Chapters (FCOC) leadership seminar in January and interacted with other state Chapter participants, FCOC officers and MOAA National representatives. 

Key chapter personnel participated in the most monthly MOAA virtual round tables.  During our monthly board meetings, we conduct reviews of portions of our chapter’s handbook (action items) to ensure we are on track and the items are still accurate.  We also emphasized the roles and responsibilities of positions as specified in the chapter handbook to ensure we understood the rationale for our guidance and to confirm the guidance is still current as some of our actions are predicated on the actions of external entities.

We also participated in the FCOC Annual convention and had representatives at the FCOC Board Meetings during the convention.

Due to an unanticipated resignation of our Second VP we faced a loss of experience to lead our Chapter in 2022.  The remaining VP filled in both VP positions with assistance of past Chapter leaders.  In the meantime, a PP volunteered to train 2 new candidates in the responsibilities of both of our VP positions.  The result was when the time came to elect a new group of officer candidates, they were prepared for leading MOAACC. The flexibility in our training plan worked.

We also met with CAPT Erin Stone (JAGC USN, Ret), MOAA National’s Senior Director of Councils and Chapters on Nov 2.  She attended our weekly Thursday Morning Business Meeting (TMBC) and addressed our members.  She also participated in a follow-on meeting and working lunch with our board of directors, and other key chapter members.  This was an outstanding learning experience.  We appreciated her insightful comments and her attention to our comments.

6. Information Only:

Council President (CP) Assessment (10 pts):

Please note: this information is for CPs only. Alternative assessment will be obtained if no CP assessment is provided/available. Council President (CP) Assessment (10 pts to reach a maximum possible score of 150 only)

7. Extra Credit: Visit Reports (10 points to reach maximum possible score of 150 only)

Indicate dates of any visits by MOAA National or applicable Council during 2021 or 2022. Judges will review input from visit.

On 3 Nov 22, CAPT Erin Stone (JAGC USN, Ret), MOAA National’s Senior Director of Councils and Chapters, addressed the membership at our Thursday Morning Business Meeting (TMBC).

COL Steve Bond, USA (Ret) the FCOC VP and a chapter member and attends our weekly TMBC and monthly luncheons.

MAJ Lorraine Holland, USA (Ret) FCOC EC Area Vice President and Mrs. Pat Green, FCOC Surviving Spouse Liaison, occasionally attend our monthly luncheons.

Military Officers Association of America

ATTN:  2022 Levels of Excellence (LOE)

Award Selection Committee

201 North Washington St.

Alexandria, VA 22314-2539

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