From the president
Brother Tankers, and all of us who served with and supported Marine Tankers, please accept my greetings as your newly elected President of the MCTA. See what can happen when you miss the National meeting. In a serious vein, I would like to let the Association know that I look forward to helping move the MCTA forward for the next two years. By way of a short introduction, I have been a member of the Association since 1979 and as a member of the Board of Directors since 2008. My most recent billet has been the Chairman of the Scholarship Committee for the past five years. I reside in Oceanside CA, about ten miles from my predecessor. I joined the Marines in 1971, retired in 2000, an 1802 all the way. I began with a couple M67, M48s, and finally M1s.

I can confidently report, Buster, and the Board have passed on an organization that is in excellent condition. We have a strong, safe financial basis and the Board continues to insure that the Association maintains all of the legal requirements, documentation and records to be fully compliant for our tax exempt status. The MCTA Scholarship Program which is comprised of the John Cornelius , Max English, and the First Lieutenant Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarships continue to be vibrant, growing and better known among the Tanker family. For 2018, the Association selected twelve scholarship winners, disbursing $32,000 dollars. Please take a moment and chack the scholarship link on the MCTA website. Our 2018 winners are truly an outstanding group.

As I look forward to the next two years, I am working with the Board to form and agenda to continue to move the organization forward. Primary among  my issues is membership. We are going to come up with a tool to figure out who is still out there and how to be sure we get the word out. You will be seeing some stuff in upcoming news letters to get this going. As always, we are trying to find ways to generate interest in the Association, and attract new members. The challenge to find new members has always been a generational element, which begins with WWII, RVN, and all the way to Iraq and Afghanistan. Age, career demands and the way we all get information are just a few of the challenges we confront getting the word out. No matter, we are giving it  a try. Some of you who are internet savvy may have seen the website and the MCTA Facebook page. The Facebook group page is amazing.

You may have heard by now, The General Membership approved a change in the MCTA reunions. We will now have a reunion every two years instead of an annual event. This was done for a number of reasons; but mostly cost and the ability to participate. We realize travel to an event is costly and difficult for some of our more senior members ( like me). What we intend to do is provide maximum advance planning time, for a destination that is easily accessible, with much to do, and the best competitive opportunity for us to organize the best deal possible. We are involved in that process now., and plan to have the 2020 reunion destination out as soon as possible after the New Year. We hope to tie this effort with out membership rolls revitalization. Our goal is to organize a major event that will attract many (hundreds) members and new members. Over ambitious? Probably; but we'll try. We are thinking probably east or west coast destinations. The San Diego and Washington DC areas look most promising. 

Space is limited, but one more very important item left. I want to thank the membership, the Board, and most importantly, my predecessor for having the confidence in me to take on this job. My association with Buster Diggs spanned most of my active duty and years since. It's been a pleasure to work with Buster for the past 10 years on the Board. In any organization, there are people who talk a good game, and those who do the work. In the past five years as President. Buster put in the time, effort, miles, and dedication to keep the MCTA moving forward. His positive, engaging, tireless behind the scenes work has done more for the comradery, and effective of the MCTA than I can express. Buster did the work. Thanks Buster! The good news for me is that he lives only 10 miles away.

Best wishes to all. Please feel free to contact me for information, assistance, or ideas. 
 
4th Tanks and The Companies
1st Tanks, 2nd Tanks and FB MCTA-NW
WWW.USMARINETANKERS.ORG| INFO@USMARINETANKERS.ORG|