"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer."
John F. Kennedy
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Date: September 12, 2016
To: All Combatant Craft Crewman Members
From: Joseph John Zemlin, President Combatant Craft Crewman Association
Subject: 100 – Message from the President:
It is a tremendous honor to address you as you’re newly elected President of the Combatant Craft Crewman Association (CCCA). Allowing me to give back is a privilege. I developed my sense of military leadership while at SBU-12, from 88-95. I arrived a young ET3 and advanced to ET1 (CC). Serving on almost every platform from 65’ Specter’s, Seafox’s, HSB’s, 24’ & 30’ RHIBS. Between deployments, I trained sailors and twice meritoriously promoted. I was given rare opportunities to lead my detachments and was groomed by with some of the finest SEALS & DBG’s I have ever known. However, back then I made a choice to make Chief and for me that meant going back to the fleet, finish my degrees and earn a commission. I achieved all my goals: MTS, Chief Petty Officer, a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration, and M.S. in Homeland Security and Safety Engineering, and ultimately a commission as a Chief Warrant Officer, Security Technician; retiring from Active Duty as a CWO4, in Mar 2015 at NCIS. Now I work as the TSA Headquarters Emergency Management Coordinator, in Arlington, VA.
As a founding member, I helped out any way I could (Trustee, Ship-Store, and Graphic Designer). It was just happy reconnecting with people I served with and quickly made new friends. It felt good to contribute and be around DBG’s once again. Because no matter where I went, it was never the same mindset as NSW and those who didn’t, never got that!
Now that I have served as a Trustee, Vice-President, and now President, I want to lead this association to the next level. Our primary goals are “Preserving the History and Keeping the Brotherhood Alive”. However, now it's time to take on some new challenges to better meet our needs. The CCCA Board has devoted countless hours towards several complex initiatives that have resulted in an official 501c3 non-profit veteran’s charitable organization status. We will continue to strive in delivering activities that honor all generations of Naval Special Warfare operators, support personnel, and their families. In the next couple of months, the CCCA Board intends to complete its official turn-over. Overall, the CCCA actions that we have thus sponsored and participated in have been well received and very successful!
Our membership base is strong and continues to grow. The CCCA Board is extremely grateful for the work Tom Lyons has put into streamlining the notification process and turn-around time for new members and renewals. Please continue to support Tom Lyons as he settles into his new role as Membership Coordinator (now located on the East Coast).
As you know, we currently depend on membership, donations, and Ship Store sales to support our CCCA charitable activities. I would encourage you to reach out to a fellow DBG and share some of our positive activities that demonstrate our dedication and good will. If each one of us can bring one more DBG into the fold, this next year we could double our membership and do
more for our community. This past year we have provided medical equipment, funeral and wellness support services, bereavement counseling, resource assistance, “Holiday Cheer”, educational posts, camaraderie with multiple gatherings on each coast.
The many achievements of support are just outstanding! However, the CCCA still needs to grow and streamline its processes, while finding better ways to communicate our activities. Therefore, I will be proposing a three-prong plan to increase our current revenue streams:
1. Increase Membership Base (Each member to get one other DBG to join)
2. Gain Corporate Partnerships (with similar values)
3. Qualify for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) participation
All three are possible to secure our fiscal health, provide more services, and help us reduce the current membership costs. Many of our senior DBG’s are on fixed incomes and struggle to stay in good standing. I would like to be able to offer more options that would lessen that burden and develop a fund that will make money and grow for the long-term of the organization. With your help and support, this will become a reality within my tenure as your President.
The CCCA Board has taken many good ideas under consideration and put them into action. We are not exclusive! Sometimes we are restricted due to funds, personnel, and legal issues. We need people to help make those ideas into reality! Consider volunteering for a project.
I would be remiss not to mention the outstanding support of our families and friends. Therefore, I would cordially invite you to have your wives and family members consider communicating with our Women’s Auxiliary representative, Miho Brown. Her compassion and dedication to the organization are simply incredible, and her experience is proof that what we do as an organization is of vital importance. Miho is our version of an Ombudsman and will be my direct link to family concerns, support from our better halves. She will be working with Bill Redmond our Casualty Assistance Officer. They both are serving the CCCA in one of the most arduous jobs. Remember that you are never alone and help is available.
In Closing, I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you for supporting your CCCA and my sincere gratitude to our outgoing leaders, Dave Wylie, Phil Garn, and Tom Folkesson, you raised the bar and set a standard of excellence. Thank you for your friendship and commitment to the CCCA. No one said it would ever be easy! It's the hallmark of achieving something of value!
Joseph John Zemlin
President, Combatant Craft Crewman Association