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RFPB Fellows Society
2016 Annual Meeting Minutes
14 December 2016

At 1430, the Fellows Annual Meeting was held at the ASD M&RA CONFERENCE ROOM, PENTAGON and called to order by President Terry O’Connell. He expressed his appreciation to Richard Wightman for carrying out the duties of the President while he (Terry) recovered from a serious operation. He noted that with the transition to a new administration, many new issues of interest to the Fellows would be arising. The first of those issues included the nomination of senior officials at DoD and it was suggested that if people either knew good people who might serve or if they know people who are nominated, that we needed to establish entre with the new administration and push the RC educational effort. (Note: the President-elect has selected Vincent Viola as the new Secretary of the Army; he is a Ranger and retired from the USAR as a Major).

President O’Connell then turned over the meeting to Rich Wightman to conduct.

Minutes of the previous meeting (SEP 2015) were approved.

Old Business: Al Zapanta reviewed Citizen Patriot Award process that he and his selection committee had gone thru this year in making their recommendations. It was suggested and agreed that the process needed to begin earlier in the year so that the RC selection machinery could adequately respond to suggestions for nominations. A Concept Paper that suggested this process should begin in late January with notices to the RC Chiefs soliciting their nominations was discussed and favorably received. Wightman will coordinate this process with Zapanta with the expectation that a new process will be in place in about a month. Zapanta noted that this year the committee decided to make three awards: the traditional Individual Award (to LTG (Ret) Mick Kicklighter; the Unit Award (to the 200th RED HORSE Squadron of the ANG); and a Distinctive Service Award to the Kuwait Task Force, a USAR unit that came into being 25 years ago to assist in the restoration of the rightful Government of Kuwait.

The Fellows conducted a major education program in March 2016 at the headquarters building of ROA in Washington. It featured four members of the Commission on the Future of the Army as well as several RC leaders from the Army RC components who commented on the impact on their components and their expectations. Overall, the report was well-received by the RC and it was clear that several of the members of the Commission who had extensive RC experience had been able to educate their colleagues on various needs and capabilities of the Army Reserves. The program was both to a live audience and broadcast on the internet. It was possible as a result of a $5 thousand dollar gift to the Fellows by Al Zapanta to further the cause of the Fellows and to support the Citizen Patriot Awards.

Committee Reports: The treasurer, Julie Small, reported that proper accounts had been created with up-to-date signature authority. She is currently working on a more detailed end of year report, but, in fact there has been modest activity over the past year with the major income and expenses relating to the program discussed above. There is a bit over $2300 currently in our account, but we expect expenses relating this year’s Citizen Patriot Award to diminish the amount to about $2000. Money continues to come in from payment of membership dues, however, current memberships are down from last year (roughly 25 as opposed to 40) although doubtless more memberships will be coming in toward the end of the year.

The Secretary, Bob Feidler, noted that weekly updates go out to the membership roughly coinciding when the RFPB MILEX generates an update re the RFPB. He also recommended a review of the By-laws to be finalized in time to present to the membership no later than 1 June of 2017 in preparation for the SEP annual meeting that will occur on 13 SEP at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington. Wightman was to name a By-Laws review committee and Zapanta indicated he had an assistant who could also help in the process.

New Business: Historically, the Fellows have prepared timely papers on key issues of interest to the RC and the RFPB. This year the hot topic seems to resolve around “duty status” and the rights and duties of RC personnel under various types of orders. It was agreed that a committee would prepare a paper on this topic for delivery at an unspecified time in the late Spring, but in time to influence discussion of the RFPB on this topic.

Gus Hargett, the President of NGAUS, provided a thorough report on recent key authorizing and appropriating legislation. Several provisions in the NDAA17 are of concern relative to the future possible ranks of the RC Chiefs. The overall personnel level for the RC either mostly held steady or increased slightly.

It was suggested that a membership committee be established by Rich Wightman that would be diverse in nature with members from each of the RC components who could call upon colleagues eligible for membership with the Fellows and get them to join.

An open discussion occurred about the next meeting of the Board about a future educational program, to be hosted by NGAUS that will like occur sometime in the early Spring and focus on key issues related to the RC role in national security under the new administration.

Thanks were given to Terry O’Connell for his service as President of the Fellows, to Rich Wightman for filling in for him in the fall of 2017, and to Al Zapanta for his chairmanship of the Citizen Patriot Selection Committee. A special thank you was also extended to the DASD for M&RA, Matt Dubois, to MG Walter Lord, the RFPB Military Executive, for their extraordinary assistance and that of their staffs in assisting the Fellows with our meeting.

The next annual meeting of the Fellows was set for 13 SEP 2017 at the ANCC.

Citizen Patriot Award Ceremony: Following the conclusion of the business portion of the meeting the session was opened to the awardees and their guests.

This year’s recipients were LTG (Ret) Mick Kicklighter, the 200th RED HORSE Squadron, and the Kuwait Task Force. See attachment for the statements that were given to the recipients at the ceremony that briefly describe their achievements. Each of the recipients gave very thoughtful remarks in accepting their awards. Among those attending the ceremony was the Director of the Air National Guard, Lt Gen Rice, and the Deputy Commander of OCAR, MG Smith (see statement attached for a further listing of guests).

Following the awards ceremony Rich Wightman called upon Terry O’Connell for closing remarks. Terry was most eloquent in thanking the recipients of the Citizen Patriot Awards for their remarkable service, and he noted the sacrifice of family, friends, and employers that should never be forgotten.

The meeting was adjourned at 1625.

Respectfully submitted,

Bob Feidler, Secretary