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  The Cape Fear Chapter MOAA : The Cape Fear Chapter Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) About Us : The Cape Fear Chapter MOAA



Cape Fear Chapter Founding

Compiled by Juan Chavez

As early as June 1959, Fort Bragg was receiving inquiries by officers as to the existence of a local chapter of the Retired Officers Association. In his periodic letter to military retirees in the Fort Bragg area in September 1959, Lieutenant General Robert F. Sink, then Commander of XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, highlighted the Retired Officers Association as a helpful organization that might be of service to retired officers.

In September 1960, the recently assigned Chief of the Retired Activities Unit at Fort Bragg, Colonel Hugh J. Socks, an associate member of the Retired Officers Association himself, submitted a request to the National Headquarters of the Retired Officers Association for information on procedures to form an affiliate in the Fayetteville/Fort Bragg, NC area because of the growing interest.

On February 23, 1961, a meeting of retired officers residing in the Fayetteville, NC area was held in the General Hodge Room of the Fort Bragg Officers Open Mess and was attended by approximately 70 officers interested in forming a chapter. Lieutenant General Thomas J. H. Trapnell, the new Commander of XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg sponsored the meeting and Colonel Hugh J. Socks, Chief of the Retired Activities Unit acted as the interim moderator.

Colonel (Ret) Sumner E. Smith of Fayetteville, NC was elected chairman of a committee consisting of Colonel (Ret) Foster W. Aungst, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) C.E. Noel, Major (Ret) R.B. Vanaman, and Major (Ret) R.E. Smith all of Fayetteville, NC. The committee’s purpose was to draft a constitution and by-laws and to complete other necessary paperwork for establishing a charter. These documents were to be presented to the entire body for approval at the next meeting to be held at the same place on March 22, 1961.

The group met as scheduled on March 22, 1961 at the Fort Bragg Officers Open Mess and overwhelmingly approved the constitution and by-laws and the request for affiliation with the Retired Officers Association. Since one of the requirements for becoming affiliated with the Retired Officers Association was that all chapter members had to be members of the National organization, membership applications were completed by all those who were not. A total of 44 members formed the founding chapter, becoming the first affiliate in the state of North Carolina.

The following were elected as officers of the newly formed Cape Fear Chapter:

President: Colonel Sumner E. Smith, AUS, Retired

1st Vice President: Colonel Foster W. Aungst, AUS, Retired

2nd Vice President: Colonel John A. Cosgrove, USAF, Retired

3rd Vice President: Captain George G. Chiles, USN, Retired

Secretary-Treasurer: Major Robert B. Vanaman, AUS, Retired

Assistant Secretary: Major Ronald E. Smith, AUS, Retired

The following committee appointments were made:

Executive Committee –

Commander Gould M. Hambright, USNR, Retired

Lieutenant Colonel Floyd F. Brazell, USA, Retired

Lieutenant Colonel John S. Pollard, USAF, Retired

Lieutenant Colonel William E. Rone, USAFR

Major Kathleen H. Strayhan, ANCR

Major James C. Blanton, USAR, Retired

Major Charles W. Mason, USAR, Retired

Program Committee –

Chairman: Lieutenant Colonel Joe M. Hauer, USAR, Retired

Membership Committee –

Lieutenant Colonel Edward J. Degutis, USAR, Retired

On January 1, 2003, the National organization changed its name from The Retired Officers Association (TROA) to the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). Through an act of Congress in 2009, MOAA was granted a federal charter. This gave MOAA an expression of congressional support for all of the group’s activities as a veterans service organization. It also enabled all state-level MOAA affiliates to represent veterans on governor-level veterans advisory councils.

For the first 54 years of its existence the chapter held all its monthly Board of Directors meetings in the Fort Bragg Officers Open Mess. Most of the chapter’s general membership meetings and social functions were likewise held at this historic venue until it closed in April 2015. Since then, the chapter has used the Iron Mike Conference Center, Fort Bragg for its meetings and functions.

A list of the Cape Fear Chapter charter members and a list of all former presidents can be viewed below.

Feb 18, 13/ CFMOAA/ History/

Charter Members of the Cape Fear Chapter

COL. F.W. Aungst, USAR

LT. W.F.W. Baker, USAR

MAJ. J.C. Blanton, USAR

COL. R.F. Bradish. USA

LT.COL. F.F. Brazell, USAR

MAJ. S. Byrd. AUS

CAPT. G.G. Chiles, USN

COL. J.A. Cosgrove, USAF

MAJ. J.F. Crowder, Jr., USAR

LT.COL. E.J. Degutis, USAR

CDR. G.M. Hambright, USNR

COL. M.F. Harrison, USAR

LT.COL. J.M. Hauer, USAR

COL. P.F. Horr, USA

LT.COL. W.T. Johnson, AUS

COL. J. Kennedy, USA

MAJ. D.A. Krause, USAR

MAJ. G.W. Lancaster, AUS

MAJ. A.P. Liberty, USAR

MAJ. J.D. MacRae, USAR

MAJ. C.W. Mason, USAR

LT. COL. B.C. Matsen, AUS

LT.COL. F.J. Miller, USAR

MAJ. I.B. Moore, USAR

MAJ. E.W. Muller, AUS

LT.COL. G.R. Newton, USAR

LT.COL. C.E. Noell, USAR

LT.COL. S. Patrick, Jr., AUS

LT. R.L. Paul, ANC

LT.COL. J.S. Pollard, USAR

MAJ. L.C. Pulley, Jr., AUS

LT.COL. W.E. Rone, Chap., USAFR

CAPT. W.A. Rutherford, AUS

MAJ. J.A. Smith, USAR

MAJ. R.E. Smith, USAR

COL. S.E. Smith, USAR

LT.COL. J.F. Stanback, AUS

LT. W.C. Stancil, NGUS

MAJ. K.H. Strayhorn, ANC

MAJ. R.B. Vanaman, AUS

CWO A.E. Wagoner, USAR

CWO L.G. Waldrop, USAR

MAJ. R.B. Williams, USAR

COL. F.E. Wishart, USAR

01/19/21 16:35/ CFMOAA/ History/

Former Cape Fear Chapter Presidents

2021-Pres: COL (Ret) Richard A. Underwood, USA

2019-2020: MAJ (Ret) Ira M. Watkins, USA

2013-2018: COL (Ret) Juan I. Chavez, USA

2009-2012: LTC (Ret) Arlie R. Smith, USA

2007-2008: LTC (Ret) Robert T. Garman, USA**

2005-2006: COL (Ret) Arturo Rodriguez, USA

2003-2004: COL (Ret) Thomas F. Ellzey, USA

2002-2002: LTC (Ret) Robert T. Garman, USA**

2001-2001: COL (Ret) Arturo Rodriguez, USA

1999-2000: LTC (Ret) Robert T. Garman, USA**

1998-1998: COL (Ret) Ted Jakubowski, USAF

1996-1997: COL (Ret) Ralph R. Smoot, USA

1993-1995: MG (Ret) Claude T. Ivey, USA

1992-1992: COL (Ret) Robert P. Fuqua, USAF**

1991-1991: LTC (Ret) Richard Suehr, USAF

1990-1990: MAJ (Ret) Art Brindle, USA

1989-1989: LTC (Ret) Robert DeMeter, USMC

1988-1988: MAJ (Ret) John W. Surprise, USAF

1986-1987: COL (Ret) Chester R. Oehme, Jr., USAF

1985 (Oct-Dec): LTC (Ret) James L. Louden, USAF

1985 (Jan-Sep): LTC (Ret) James M. VanStrein, USA

1983-1984: COL (Ret) Robert P. Fuqua, USAF**

1981-1982: COL (Ret) Carlyle P. Woelfer, USA

1980-1980: COL (Ret) Charles L. Brindel, USA

1978-1979: COL (Ret) William S. Hinton, USA**

1977-1977: LTC (Ret) Standfor Touchstone, USA

1975-1976: COL (Ret) Robert Kendrick, USA

1974-1974: COL (Ret) Paul A. Shields, USA

1973-1973: COL (Ret) Meritt F. Harrison, USA*

1972-1972: MAJ (Ret) Robert B. Vanaman, USA*

1971-1971: LTC (Ret) Richard Suehr, USAF

1970-1970: COL (Ret) James D.C. Breckenridge, USA

1968-1969: LTC (Ret) W.T. Johnson, USA*

1967-1967: LTC (Ret) A.F. Warnecke, USA

1966-1966: 1LT (Ret) Mike Cook, USMC

1965-1965 : LTC (Ret) Edward J. Degutis, USA*

1964-1964 : LTC (Ret) Ben W. Hill, USA

1963-1963 : LTC (Ret) Edward J. Degutis, USA*

1962-1962 : COL (Ret) Foster Aungst, USA*

1961-1961 : COL (Ret) Sumner "Pappy" Smith, USA*

*Charter Members

**Also former presidents of NC State Council of Chapters

Feb 18, 13/ CFMOAA/ History/