Austin, Texas Chapter

 The Association for all Military Officers            Companion Bulletin-February 2016
Words from the Commander:

Greetings, Companions! Can you believe that we are already into the second month of 2016? Hopefully, those who made resolutions are still adhering to them and I wish you continued success. Also, remember this is a Leap Year. Do you personally know anyone who has a birthday on 29 February?
Last month we had a very nice turn out for our luncheon. It was a great way to begin our year and the interest and enthusiasm expressed by all was most encouraging. Thanks to those who attended and those who were unable to make it…you were in our thoughts. Once again, I encourage Companions to reach out to our fellow companions who are not able to attend meetings to let them know we are thinking of them. We are about COMPANIONSHIP and SERVICE!
It is not too early to begin planning for the 2016 National convention to be held in Baton Rouge, LA. It is only about 440 miles from Austin or a good-days drive. In case you have not seen the notice on the National MOWW's website, here is an excerpt:

2016 MOWW Convention
9-13 August 2016 | Baton Rouge, LA Crown Plaza Executive Center We will gather in convention in Baton Rouge in August 2016. We will assemble to honor selfless service and memorialize Companions from local to national levels. We will convene and inform motivated Companions and guests alike through educational workshops and business sessions, and enjoy guest speakers. In doing so, we will uphold the traditions of the Military Order while building on the future.
The Crowne Plaza Executive Center is conveniently located in the heart of Baton Rouge, just minutes from the Louisiana State Capitol. Known for its warm Southern hospitality, this hotel has ultra-comfortable accommodations and best-in-the-city event planning. This stylish, modern 294-room hotel elevates all occasions.
Best of all, convention delegates, Companions and guests will enjoy a feeling of Companionship that is uplifting and rejuvenating. In short, we will have a genuinely terrific week as we begin a new operating

year of serving America and its communities with even more vigor. We look forward to every MOWW chapter being represented! Note: The 2016 Convention Agenda, Tour Schedule and Registration Form are in planning.
As a reminder, non-Perpetual members, please do not forget to pay your annual dues so that our chapter will be in good standing.
This month our meeting will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel beginning with our usual social gathering at 1830 hours followed by dinner and a short business meeting. Companion Bullard has arranged for a delightful program to prime us for Valentine's Day. The Women of Heartsong will grace us with beautiful melodies. So make plans to come out for a fun and enjoyable evening. Bring your friends and neighbors.
Finally, I will be asking for volunteers to assist in the presentation of JROTC/ROTC awards during the April/May time frame. Please let me know your availability as the schedules are announced.
Let's keep the Austin MOWW Chapter VIABLE!

---Colonel (R) Leon Holland, USA

Next Meeting:11 February 2016
Location:Crowne Plaza
Program:The Women of Heartsong

Open carry is now the law of the land in the Lone Star State, but the federal government is reminding Texan veterans that guns still are not allowed on VA property.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is scaling up an IT system to help benefits administrators reduce a backlog of veteran claims. But the VA's top watchdog in the House of Representatives is worried that the system is over budget, behind schedule and not working as advertised. The agency's own internal watchdog thinks that VA could be manipulating data to make their performance seem better on paper than it is in fact.




February 2016 Newness From Above
By Chaplain Ernie Dean

Then the one who sits on the throne said, "And now I make all things new!" He also said to me, "Write this, because these words are true and can be trusted." (Rev. 21:5) We have on our minds a great deal that has to do with newness. It is this way always this time of the year because we are looking both backward and forward.

We ponder the past and deal with a lot of "what ifs." What if I had been better at living up to the resolutions and promises for 2015 that were made, no doubt, in all honesty and good intention. But we have to let go of the past. It is over! Gone! What is, is! Yet, we may or may not be the "new me" we had hoped to be.

However, as we move forward into 2016, we run head long into "what if's" again. What if I do this or do not do that? What will the consequences be? We can become bound to the "what if's" and become frozen in place.

God wants to be our Divine Healer and go with us into the mysteries of 2016. God has said over and over in a variety of ways that we are never alone. Take a look at all of Revelation 21 and feel the power of God's Holy Presence:

Now God's home is with his people
The old things have disappeared.
And now I will make all things new.
I will be his God and he will be my son (daughter).

Yes, we can become new in every way and we can trust God to be our friend along the way. It is up to us, however, to do the right thing, that is to offer our whole being to God in obedience, gratitude, love, and trust.

There is no doubt God awaits our passage from the old to the new. Are we ready? Can we let go of the past what if's, the doubts or fears or any other negatives, even though they may now be familiar and comfortable? Are we ready for the adventure, and blessing, of newness? Are we truly ready?

May 2016 be the blessing for which we have been searching oh so long.

USS William D. Porter/ (DD-579), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was a ship of the United States Navy named for Commodore William D. Porter (1808-1864). From November 1943, until her demise in June 1945, the American destroyer 'William Porter' was often hailed - whenever she entered port or joined other Naval ships - with the greetings: 'Don't shoot, we're Republicans!' For a half a century, the US Navy kept a lid on the details of the incident that prompted this salutation. A Miami news reporter made the first public disclosure in 1958 after he stumbled upon the truth while covering a reunion of the destroyer's crew. The Pentagon reluctantly and tersely confirmed his story, but only a mattering of newspapers took notice. Fifty years ago, the Willie D as the Porter was nicknamed, accidentally fired a live torpedo at the battleship Iowa during a practice exercise. As if this weren't bad enough, the Iowa was carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the time, along with Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, and all of the country's W.W.II military brass. They were headed for the Big Three Conference in Tehran, where Roosevelt was to meet Stalin and Churchill. Had the Porter's torpedo struck the Iowa at the aiming point, the last 50 years of world history might have been quite different. The full story:
The Nurse Advice Line (NAL) is a great evaluation tool for those seeking care or who have medical questions. The telephone hotline provides instant access to a team of registered nurses who can answer urgent and acute healthcare questions. Call the NAL, toll-free and 24/7 for your urgent medical needs at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273) Option# (1).
If your iPhone or iPad locks up and displaces a message like "Warning! IOS Crash Reprot!! Due to a third party application in your device, IOS is crashed. Contact Support for Immediate Fix".
Instead - Put your device into Airplane Mode, go to Settings>Safari and tap Clear History and Website Data. Close Safari (double -press the Home button and swipe Safari up to close). Exit Airplne Mode. Restart Safari. To reduce further risk, go to Settings > Safari and toggle the Block Pop-ups witch.
Check out Dueling Pianos for some great 60's Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino entertainment.



Chapter Officers

CommanderCol Leon Holland512 335-1224
Treasurer Col Andrew McVeigh512 261-6272
AdjutantLt Col J R Howard512 993 4532
ChaplinLtCol Ernest S. Dean        512 477-5390
Youth Leadership Conference    LtCol J R Howard512 255-2206
ROTC AwardsCol Leon Holland512 335-1224
Newsletter & Web SiteLtCol J R Howard512 255-2206



World War I is one of the few major conflicts of the 20th century that does not have a dedicated memorial in the nation's capitol. That is about to change. In 2014, Congress designated Pershing Park in the District of Columbia, along with the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, as national World War I memorials. They also authorized the World War I Centennial Commission to redevelop Pershing Park to honor the Veterans of World War I.
The U.S. Department of Energy's "Solar Ready Vets" program will begin 1 FEB at Hill AFB. Under the program, which was announced by President Barack Obama during a visit to Hill in April, about 75,000 people will be trained to enter the solar workforce by 2020. A large portion of that workforce will include military veterans transitioning out of active-duty service. According to Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, more than 150 veterans have already been trained to enter the solar industry through first few months of the program. . "I'm pleased to report that every single one received a job offer upon graduating," Sherwood-Randall said in a statement on the DOE website.
The Department of Veterans Affairs may finally have good news to share, but lawmakers are balking at the price tag. Total costs for a digital system used to process veterans' disability claims that officials say has been key to slashing a massive VA backlog are nearly double the initial estimates. And VA, which has continued to make upgrades to the system under an "agile" software development methodology, still can't say how much the system will end up costing, according to auditors.
The House and Senate Armed Services Committees want to replace the current TRICARE program with an entirely new system, and plan to craft legislation this year to achieve this objective. The starting point will be the health care recommendations from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) that suggests that TRICARE be replaced with a plan similar to the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHBP). . use the FRA Action Center to ask your legislators to amend TRICARE but don't end it! Go to and use their editable email/letter service to forward your concerns to your legislators. [Source: FRA | Making Waves | January 6, 2016 ++]

A top U.S. lawmaker slammed the Air Force's handling of its weather satellite program 7 JAN, saying it would have been easier for the government to simply set the money on fire. "We could have saved the Air Force and the Congress a lot of aggravation if we had 18 years ago put a half a billion dollars in a parking lot in a pile and just burned it," said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, held to discuss military acquisition reform.
ServiceMale Body fat
accession standard
26 %
Air Force
20 %
23 %
18 %

Several items from RAO Bulletin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Action of 1 August 1801

Part of the First Barbary War

The schooner USS Enterprise opens up a
broadside upon the polacca Tripoli at close
quarters in the open sea, blowing debris off
the ship in a cloud of splinters. USS
Enterprise fighting the Tripolitan polacca
Tripoli. William Bainbridge Hoff, 1878
between Tripoli (present day Libya) and Malta
Commanders and leaders
Andrew Sterett Rais Mahomet Rous
US Strength
1 schooner
70 sailors and
20 marine infantry
Tripoli Strength
1 polacca
80 men
US Casualties and losses
Opponent -Tripoli disabled
30 killed
30 wounded
The Action of 1 August 1801 was a single-ship action of the First Barbary War fought between the American schooner USS Enterprise and the Tripolitan polacca Tripoli off the coast of modern-day Libya.

As part of Commodore Richard Dale's Mediterranean Squadron, Enterprise had been deployed with the American force blockading the Vilayet of Tripoli. Enterprise, under the command of Lieutenant Andrew Sterett, had been sent by Commodore Dale to gather supplies at Malta. While cruising towards Malta, Enterprise engaged Tripoli, commanded by Admiral Rais Mahomet Rous. Tripoli put up a stubborn fight, and the engagement lasted for three hours before the polacca was finally captured by the Americans.

Although the Americans had taken the vessel, Sterett had no orders to take prizes and so was obliged to release her. Enterprise completed her journey to Malta, and received honor and praise from the squadron's Commodore on her return to the fleet. The success of the battle boosted morale in the United States, since it was that country's first victory in the war against the Tripolitans. The opposite occurred in Tripoli, where morale sank heavily upon learning of Tripoli's defeat. Despite Enterprise's triumph, the war continued indecisively for another four years.

Background Following the recognition of the independence of the United States (US) in 1783, the new country's early administrations had elected to make tribute payments to the Vilayet of Tripoli to protect American commercial shipping interests in the Mediterranean Sea. Tripoli, nominally a subject of the Ottoman Empire, was practically autonomous in conducting her foreign affairs, and would declare war on non-Muslim states whose ships sailed in the Mediterranean in order to extract tribute from them. In 1801, the payments demanded by Tripoli from the United States were significantly increased. The newly elected administration of Thomas Jefferson, an opponent of the tribute payments from their inception, refused to pay. As a result, Tripoli declared war on the United States, and its navy began to seize American ships and crews in an attempt to coerce the Jefferson administration into acceding to their demands. When word of these attacks on American merchantmen reached Washington, D.C., the Jefferson administration gave the United States Navy the authority to conduct limited operations against Tripoli. As part of the American strategy, a squadron under Commodore Richard Dale was dispatched to blockade Tripoli.

By July 1801, Dale's force had begun to run low on water. In order to replenish his supplies, Dale dispatched the schooner USS Enterprise, commanded by Lieutenant Andrew Sterett, to provision at the British naval base on Malta, while the commodore himself remained off Tripoli with the frigate USS President to maintain the blockade. Soon after leaving the blockade, Enterprise came upon what appeared to be a Tripolitan cruiser sailing near her. Flying British colors as a ruse, Enterprise approached the Tripolitan vessel and hailed her. The Tripolitan answered that she was seeking American vessels. At this Enterprise struck the British colors, raised the American flag, and prepared for action.

The Tripolitan vessel, Tripoli, and Enterprise were quite evenly matched. Enterprise, with a complement of 90, was a 12-gun, 135-ton schooner built in 1799 that had seen action in the Quasi-War. In contrast, Tripoli, a lateen-rigged polacca with two masts, was crewed by 80 men under Admiral Rais Mahomet Rous and armed with 14 guns. Although the Tripolitans held a slight advantage in firepower, Enterprise had to its advantage the larger crew and the element of surprise. The Americans were also significantly more experienced in gunnery action than the Tripolitans, who preferred to attack by boarding and taking over their opponents' ships.

The Tripolitan polacca Tripoli attempts to flee the pursuing American schooner USS Enterprise with a beam of light striking down upon the two vessels in an otherwise dark and stormy sea.

USS Enterprise pursuing Tripoli
Thomas Birch, 1806
Shortly after Sterett had the American colors raised, he had his men open fire upon the Tripolitans at close range with muskets. In response, Tripoli returned fire with an ineffective broadside. The Americans returned fire with their own broadsides, which led Rous to break off the engagement and attempt to flee. Neither able to fight off the American vessel nor outrun her, the Tripolitans attempted to grapple Enterprise and board her. Once within musket range, Enterprise's marines opened fire on the Tripoli, foiling its boarding attempt, and forced Tripoli to try to break away once more. Enterprise continued the engagement, firing more broadsides into the Tripolitan and blasting a hole in her hull.

Severely damaged, Tripoli struck her colors to indicate surrender. As Enterprise moved towards the vessel to accept its surrender, the Tripolitans hoisted their flag and fired upon Enterprise. The Tripolitans again attempted to board the American schooner, but were repelled by Enterprise's broadsides and musketry. After another exchange of fire, the Tripolitans struck their colors a second time. Sterett once more ceased firing and moved closer to Tripoli. In response, Rous again raised his colors and attempted to board Enterprise. Enterprise's accurate gunnery once more forced Tripoli to veer off. As the action continued, Rous perfidiously feigned a third surrender in an attempt to draw the American schooner within grappling range. This time, Sterett kept his distance, and ordered Enterprise's guns to be lowered to aim at the polacca's waterline, a tactic that threatened to sink the enemy ship. The next American broadsides struck their target, causing massive damage, dismasting her mizzen-mast, and reducing her to a sinking condition. With most of his crew dead or wounded, the injured Admiral Rous finally threw the Tripolitan flag into the sea to convince Sterett to end the action

At the end of the action Tripoli was severely damaged; 30 of her crew were dead and another 30 were injured. The polacca's first lieutenant was among the casualties and Admiral Rous himself was injured in the fighting. In what amounted to a total American victory over the Tripolitans, Enterprise had suffered only superficial damage and no casualties. Sterett, whose orders did not give him the authority to retain prizes, let the polacca limp back to Tripoli. However, before setting her free, the Americans cut down Tripoli's masts and sufficiently disabled her so that she could barely make sail. Sterett then continued his journey to Malta and picked up the supplies for which he was sent before returning to the blockade.

After Enterprise left, Tripoli began its journey back to the port of Tripoli. On the way it ran into USS President and asked for assistance; Rous falsely claimed that his vessel was Tunisian and that it had been damaged in an engagement with a French 22-gun vessel. Dale suspected the vessel's true identity and merely provided Rous with a compass so he could find his way back to port. When he finally arrived at Tripoli, Rous was severely chastised by Yusuf Karamanli, the Pasha (ruler) of Tripoli. Stripped of his command, he was paraded through the streets draped in sheep's entrails while seated backwards on a jackass before suffering 500 bastinadoes.

Enterprise's victory over Tripoli had very different consequences for the two nations involved. In Tripoli, the defeat, combined with severity of the Rous' punishment, severely hurt morale throughout the city, and led to significant reductions in recruitment for ships' crews. In the United States, the exact opposite occurred, with wild publicity surrounding the arrival of news that the Americans had won their first victory over the Tripolitans. The American government gave a month's pay as a bonus to each of Enterprise's crew members, and honored Sterett by granting him a sword and calling for his promotion. Fanciful plays were written about the victorious Americans, and morale and enthusiasm about the war reached a high point. The victory did not have any long-term consequences in the conduct of the war, however. Dale's blockade of Tripoli was ineffective in preventing ships from entering and leaving the port, and was equally ineffective in altering the Pasha's diplomatic stance toward the Americans. Dale's squadron was relieved in 1802 by another under Richard Morris, and the war continued until 1805.