DAV’s State Commanders and Adjutants Association (C&A) is a vital link between Chapter and Department officers and our professional staff. Though often behind the scenes, it plays an active role in developing and implementing our crucial legislative goals.
“I think it’s a service to DAV,” said C&A President Floyd Watson. “Our help with the Mid-Winter Conference is our greatest asset. That, followed by the C&A Orientation Conference at National Headquarters each year, gives new leaders from our Departments the opportunity to get acquainted with our national staff and to understand the essentials of DAV—and that is service.”
“With new Department Commanders every year or two, we have a large group of state leaders who are eager for a deeper level of understanding about DAV’s mission and goals,” said National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “The C&A provides that opportunity here at National Headquarters. And its sponsorship of our Mid-Winter Conference gives those Department leaders the opportunity to communicate our legislative priorities directly to their elected representatives.”
“We act as a conduit for information,” said Secretary-Treasurer David Tannenbaum, who’s been a C&A officer for more than 21 years. “Additionally, we look at DAV financial reports, support the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, National Service Foundation and other service programs.”
“We helped develop the centralized Chapter Service Program by being the catalyst in working out the necessary insurance coverage needed by the National Organization,” Tannenbaum said. “It has been a landmark service program.”
“Every member of DAV and millions of veterans benefit from the good work of the C&A,” said National Membership Director Tony Baskerville. “By educating our new leaders and providing them with the forum to advance our most important legislative issues, all veterans benefit.”
“It is the glue that holds Departments together,” said Tannenbaum. “The Department leaders keep our Chapters focused on our primary goal: fulfilling the promises made to the men and women who served.”
Every C&A member is either a current or past Department Commander or Adjutant who brings their expertise and skills together to serve veterans. In existence for 50 years, C&A
membership has grown to about 1,200 members, all of whom are experienced DAV leaders.
“We are always prepared to support the National Organization any way we can,” Tannenbaum said. “We work closely with the National Adjutant wherever and whenever we are needed.”
Tannenbaum credits the sponsorship of the annual C&A Orientation at National Headquarters as one of the group’s most influential accomplishments. “Department leaders can communicate with the national staff, National Commander and each other,” he said. “It is a gathering that helps our organization remain cohesive and true to our single mission of service.”
The C&A is recognized as one of the great organizations within DAV and is “a mechanism that puts emphasis on accomplishing things that will support the National Organization and makes achieving our goals a reality,” Tannenbaum said. “We’re one of many contributors toward the success of our mission, and we are a significant part of that equation.”
Watson said the C&A enhances DAV by being proactive. “We’re another avenue for DAV to do what it does,” he said. “We carry information back to our Departments and Chapters, and we are an important liaison with our state organizations.”
“The State Commanders and Adjutants Association sometimes does not get the credit it is due,” said Adjutant Burgess. “But it provides valuable services to DAV. It helps develop top-notch leaders and gives us the opportunity to show our strength to elected leaders.
“Each year at our Mid-Winter Conference, it is the C&A that provides the massive power of DAV in our meetings with congressional and Administration leaders,” he said. “They attend numerous seminars supported by the C&A and then take those issues to Capitol Hill, including providing unequaled support for our National Commander during his legislative presentation to the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees. It is something that is both exciting and heartwarming to experience, and it’s all in support of our ill and injured veterans.”