55th Annual NCOA Conference and Vanguard Awards Banquet


By Tina Kish, Conference Manager

The South Texas heat fueled the enthusiasm of NCOA members who gathered in San Antonio, July 16-18 for the 55th Annual NCOA Conference and Vanguard Awards Banquet.

The Resolutions Committee, chaired by CMSgt (Ret) Bonnie Cooper, met on Tuesday afternoon to set the Association’s legislative course for the coming year.  The Committee is reviewing the Association’s resolutions package for relevance and continued need.

The Opening Icebreaker – Texas Bar-B-Que – was a themed event.  Delegates donned their most comfortable Texas attire and mixed and mingled.

Accomplishing the business of the Association continued on Wednesday with the Opening Ceremony.  NCOA President Vincent Patton welcomed the delegates.  We are grateful to the Senior Enlisted Leadership Panel members who took time to attend the conference and update our delegates on the happenings in their respective services.

Large and Small Regional Chapters of the Year were recognized, the prestigious President’s Award was presented to Paul Siverson for his selfless work on behalf of the Association, the Auxiliary President’s Award was presented to NCOA President Vincent Patton in recognition of his ongoing support, and new Rats were recognized.

During the afternoon, delegates convened for the NCOA Annual Business Meeting where changes to the Association’s By-Laws were approved and members were elected to the Association’s Board of Directors.

Meanwhile, Auxiliary members attended their Annual Business Meeting where members were elected to serve on the Auxiliary Board of Directors and outstanding performers for 2018 were recognized:  the Gateway Auxiliary received the Bettsy Ross Top Recruiter Award and Angela Gardner received the Top Supporter Award.

The Knights of the Square Table held their annual assembly to accomplish the business of the Knights of the Square Table.  Lady Sunny Wirth of San Antonio, TX assumed the mantle as Grand Knight.

The stars shined brightly on Wednesday evening during the Vanguard Awards Banquet.

NCOA’s superstar chapters were recognized – the Rogue Chapter was recognized as the 2018 Outstanding Large Chapter, the Frontier Chapter was named the 2018 Outstanding Small Chapter and the Gateway Auxiliary received the 2018 Auxiliary Chapter of the Year Award.

The evening’s guest speaker was HMCS (SWC/FMF) Jaclyn N. Place, a past recipient of the NCOA Military Vanguard Award.

The amazing stories of SGT Antonio T. Adams, U.S. Army, Cpl Daniel B. Aguirre Vargas, U.S. Marine Corps, HM2 (FMF) Axel A. Wong, U.S. Navy, TSgt Levi T. Owen, U.S. Air Force, and BM2 Tracy L. Mannes, U.S. Coast Guard, had delegates glued to their seats with tears in their eyes.  Check out the Vanguard stories on the NCOA website – ncoausa.org/2019 Military Vanguard Awards.

Thursday morning was the Breakfast with the Board – nothing like a hot breakfast to start the day off right as delegates prepared to depart amid promises to keep in touch and choruses of “see you next year.”

A huge thanks to our generous affinity partners and sponsors whose support helped make this year’s conference a resounding success.  Check out the Conference Sponsor page on the NCOA website – ncoausa.org/sponsors-2/.




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