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  The Cape Fear Chapter MOAA : The Cape Fear Chapter Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) News and Events: What's Happening?



LTC Ralph W. Hinrichs, Jr., US Army, Retired (Aug 13, 1947 - Feb 23, 2021)

It is with deep regret that we announce that Ralph W. Hinrichs, Jr. one of our regular members died of COVID-19 on 23 February 2021.

Ralph was a loyal and active member and officer of our chapter for many years, serving as Personal Affairs Officer from February 2015 to December 2018, and as Treasurer from January 2019 until his death. He loved serving on the chapter’s board of directors and performed every assignment with enthusiasm and excellence. For this he was awarded the coveted Robert F. DeMeter Chapter Service Award in 2016, the most prestigious award the chapter bestows upon a member, and a MOAA Leadership Award in 2018. Additionally, Ralph served as a volunteer and the chapter’s liaison to the Fort Bragg USO, the Highland Chapter of the Red Cross, and the Cumberland County Veterans Council. Moreover, Ralph worked with the Boy Scouts of America for many years.

Ralph served on active duty with the US Army for 24 years, including a combat service in Vietnam, retiring in June 1994. His distinguished military service and personal sacrifices to our country will never be forgotten.

Ralph’s sustained outstanding service to the chapter was extraordinary and exemplary; his loss will be keenly felt by all of us. Our heartfelt condolences are extended to his wife Dorothy and the entire Hinrichs family during their bereavement.

02/26/21 19:30/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


Rich Underwood

by Rich Underwood

I would like to thank the membership of the Cape Fear Chapter of MOAA for electing me as president; I am honored to accept the challenge.

Even though the general membership has been unable to meet physically for over a year, I want to assure you that the Board of Directors has not missed a beat. We met virtually most of last year, and for the past two months in person (wearing masks) at the Iron Mike Conference Center at Fort Bragg carrying out the chapter’s business.

While the COVID-19 safety restrictions are still in place we are hopeful that they will be gradually lifted this year. Accordingly, we are moving ahead with plans to have a general membership meeting in March if not May, I will keep you informed.

I pledge to the membership that I will work hard to ensure that we will come out of this stronger than before.

In the meantime, stay safe and stay healthy!

02/23/21 19:54/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


We need someone to volunteer to be our Newsletter Editor. Don Gersh who has been our editor for the past 6+ years can no longer do it because of health problems. The January 2021 issue was the last one Don could put together and unless we find someone to takeover, it will sadly be the last.

Wishfully, anyone who had prior experience in editing a publication at any level, e.g., high school, college, military, etc., would be ideal, but practically, we are asking for any literate person who would just like to help and has the enthusiasm (and a computer) to take on the challenge and make this experience a fulfilling one.

The chapter newsletter “Infogram” has been a monthly digital publication, disseminated to the general membership. The software program “Art Explosion Publisher Pro 3” is currently used to compile the publication, but the editor will have wide discretion as to what tools he or she prefers to use.

Anyone interested in taking on this job is requested to call President Rich Underwood at (910) 309-3568.

02/23/21 19:42/ CFMOAA/ General Info/

The Historic 3-Bomber Super Bowl Flyover Was a Huge Missed Opportunity

The Historic 3-Bomber Super Bowl Flyover Was a Huge Missed Opportunity
(Photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B Wrightsman USAF)

by Retired USAF Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, President & CEO, MOAA

It was an inspiring moment when music stars Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan concluded their "The Star-Spangled Banner" duet to fireworks and a history-making flyover: a trifecta of the B-2 Spirit, B-1B Lancer and the B-52H Stratofortress in formation. Their designations added up to 55 in honor of the 55th Super Bowl.

The formation of bombers was a first for such an event and was led by Capt. Sarah Kociuba, one of only 10 female B-2 pilots.

This demonstration of America's precision in defense was awe-inspiring, but you would not know it from commentary and lack of acknowledgment on air.

[RELATED AT MILITARY.COM: How the Air Force Pulled Off the First-Ever Super Bowl Flyover with All 3 Bombers ]

CBS and the NFL failed to give the occasion its due. If you blinked, you might have missed it. What also was missed was the opportunity to spotlight the planning and training to make such moments special to the American public and to international communities enjoying the big game. There is also the significant recruiting opportunity to support the all-volunteer force.

The military-civilian divide is only getting greater, and CBS helped widen the gap by missing the moment. This follows a fall game where Fox commentators Joe Buck and Troy Aikman lamented about flyovers' "cost of taxpayer dollars." These comments, which appeared in leaked audio, were shrugged off as sarcasm.

The Super Bowl's historic flyover could have been an opportunity to set the record straight. No shortage of information was advanced from the Air Force and reports from local stations and networks.

While the Air Force does perform nearly 1,000 flyovers per year, they double as crucial training for all the airmen and other services.

As a former commander of forces and a past aerial demonstration team member of the Air Force Thunderbirds, I can attest that the demonstration flights are rigorous and demanding. While keeping skills razor sharp, they also engage the public and inspire others to serve.

If the networks and the NFL are going to treat these flyovers as just another routine form of pre-game entertainment, there's a significant lost opportunity in providing a catalyst for one of our nation's sons or daughters to consider serving -- just like Kociuba, who as a young girl, was awestruck at the sight of a B-2 bomber at the Rose Bowl Parade.

Finally, such coverage fails to recognize and thank all those serving in our military for defending our country.

After the Super Bowl, I felt a bittersweet mix of pride in our country and sadness about misperceptions about the role of the military. Our men and women who serve in the uniformed services, our veterans, their families and survivors certainly deserve better.

02/15/21 21:31/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


Check out the first issue!

DFAS has a new Survivor SBP Newsletter with lots of news and helpful information for survivors/SBP annuitants. Learn all about the upcoming changes to the SBP-DIC offset, when you’ll get your tax statements, the new School Certification process, helpful form tools and more!

02/06/21 21:14/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


COL (Ret) David L. Miller, Jr., US Army (July 8, 1938 – January 23, 2021)

It is with deep regret that we announce that Colonel David L. Miller, Jr., US Army, Retired one of our regular members died on January 23, 2021.

Dave received his commission as a Second Lieutenant of Field Artillery from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1961. His military career included a succession of command and staff assignments in CONUS and overseas including a combat tour in Vietnam and a teaching assignment at his Alma Mater. After retiring from the Army, David taught writing, literature, and public speaking classes at Fayetteville Technical Community College for nearly twenty years.

Dave and Dottie were active members of the chapter and volunteers at the USO Lounge in the Fayetteville Regional Airport for several years. His loss will be keenly felt by all of us.

Our heartfelt condolences are extended to his wife Dottie, and the extended Miller family during their bereavement.

01/31/21 14:56/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


The first 100 days of the new administration offer an opportunity to address several key advocacy concerns. Read General Atkins’ letter to President Biden at this link.

01/22/21 15:46/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


January 5, 2021

Outgoing President Ira Watkins was presented with a much deserved MOAA Leadership Award in recognition of his extraordinary leadership as Cape Fear Chapter President for the past 2 years. The last year of his tenure was particularly notable because of the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

The award was presented by incoming Chapter President Richard Underwood on behalf of Retired USAF Lieutenant General Dana Atkins, President of the Military Officers Association of America.

A copy of the award citation is at download below.

Award Citation
Jan 5, 21/ CFMOAA/ Awards/


January 5, 2021

The newly elected officers for the 2-year term commencing January 2021 were officially installed during the Board of Directors meeting held in the Iron Mike Conference and Catering Center on January 5, 2021.

Because of COVID-19 safety constraints limiting public gatherings to 10 people or less, the ceremony could not be held in the more traditional installation/dinner affair attended by the general membership.

Taking the oath of office were: President Richard Underwood, 1st Vice President George Bond, 3rd Vice President Marty Williams and Treasurer Ralph Hinrichs. Outgoing President Ira Watkins had the privilege of administering the oath.

Congratulations are extended to our new leaders for their willingness to assume the responsibility of leading our chapter forward for the next 2 years.

Jan 5, 21/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


by Ira M. Watkins

I would like to take this opportunity to say farewell and extend my sincere appreciation for having had the privilege of serving as the Chapter President for the last two years.

At our next Board of Directors (BOD) meeting on 5 January, I shall pass the gavel to newly elected Chapter President Colonel (Ret) Richard “Rich” Underwood. A swearing in ceremony for the president-elect and officers will be conducted at the conclusion of the BOD meeting. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance is restricted to only BOD members.

Rich is an accomplished leader, and I am confident that he will exert quality leadership that will result in sustain successes for the Chapter regardless of the challenges. He will be supported by the elected BOD members who have a superb record of making the objectives of the Chapter a priority, and who will work tirelessly to ensure the achievement of Chapter objectives.

My experience as the Chapter President was fulfilling and memorable. It was a learning experience to see first hand the continuing efforts of the North Carolina Council of Chapters in advocating state legislation that will enhance the quality of life for the military community in North Carolina.

Even more fulfilling and memorable, was the opportunity to witness the generosity of chapter members in supporting our membership goals, fund raising efforts and programs. Each of you are unbelievably valuable to the success and relevancy of the Chapter. Your contributions whether big or small have made a lasting impact on the Chapter’s capabilities. I thank each of you for your membership and generosity toward helping others within our community during my tenure as Chapter President.

To the BOD members whom I had the opportunity to interact with over the past two years, there are insufficient words to express my appreciation for the commitment and work that you exhibited to ensure tasks and objectives were accomplished in a superior and timely manner. I am exceptionally proud of the flexibility and patience demonstrated by BOD members during the pandemic. As a result, efforts to conduct the business of the Chapter and meet Chapter objectives were not adversely impacted.

Finally, I want to express my appreciation for the opportunity to communicate with our surviving spouses on a regular basis. I learned through that interaction that they are a unique and resilient group. They have earned a special place in my heart for the support that they provided to their spouses and their continue service to the community.

In closing, I want to convey my best wishes to Rich and the BOD for success in the new year. To enhance that success requires all of us to unite behind them and for more of our members to volunteer their services. Let us move forward together, look out for each other, make the best of the days the new year has to offer, and take advantage of all opportunities to exemplify our motto of “Never Stop Serving.” Stay Healthy, Stay Safe and Stay Connected.



Dec 31, 20/ CFMOAA/ Presidents Notes/


Congratulations to our new leaders!

The following officers were elected by majority vote of the general membership (by mail ballots) to serve 2-year terms in positions indicated effective January 2021.

COL (Ret) Richard Underwood, President

MAJ (Ret) George Bond, 1st Vice President

LTC (Ret) Marty Williams, 3rd Vice President

LTC (Ret) Ralph Hinrichs, Treasurer

Congratulations are extended to these members who volunteered to lead our chapter for the next two years.

Because of COVID-19 safety restrictions limiting gatherings to 10 people or less, the new officers will be officially installed on 5 January 2021 during the monthly CFC Board of Directors meeting at the Iron Mike Conference Center, Fort Bragg.

Dec 23, 20/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


Volunteers Needed

The elective positions of 2nd Vice President and Secretary will go vacant for the next 2-year term unless someone steps up to fill them. Besides the elective positions, there are several appointive positions that need to be filled as well starting in January 2021.

There is a dire need of volunteers to help carry the load of operating the Chapter in an effective and efficient manner. These positions only require a commitment of a few hours of your time a month and most of the work can be performed from home. Any regular member or surviving spouse in good standing can fill these positions; spouses of regular members are also eligible and encouraged.

Some of the positions below have been vacant for two years and others have been filled by the same person for a long time.

Surviving Spouse Liaison: This position is considered an essential position by MOAA; it has been vacant for two years, but the duties have been performed by President Watkins. Though a Surviving Spouse is preferred for this job, anyone can fill it.

Personal Affairs Officer: Another MOAA-essential position, it has been vacant for over a year.

Transition Liaison Officer: A MOAA-suggested position; been vacant for two years.

Newsletter Editor: Don Gersh has been our Editor for 6 years, four of which he was also the Chapter Secretary; Don had to step down due to health reasons. We have been unable to publish a newsletter for the past 2 months.

Webmaster: Juan Chavez has been our Webmaster for 8 years and needs to pass the torch on to someone younger.

If anyone is interested in volunteering for one or more of the positions listed above, please contact us through the website.

Dec 23, 2020/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


Take action today!

By majority vote of the general membership (by mail ballots) the dues structure for 2021 will remain unchanged, i.e., $20 for regular members; $10 for surviving spouses per annum.

Accordingly, the Membership Renewal Campaign for 2021 is underway with the goal of achieving 100% retention. We are asking our members to submit their renewals as soon as possible. Remit by USPS mail using renewal form at download below together with check payable to “CFC MOAA” and mail to “CFC MOAA, P.O. Box 53621, Fayetteville, NC 28305”; or, online using a charge card and following the prompts.

There are still several chapter members who have not paid their 2020 dues. If you fall in this category, please bring your account up to date by remitting for both 2020/2021.

One of the criteria for earning a 5-Star Chapter award is to achieve 95% or better retention. You can contribute to clearing that hurdle by renewing your membership now.

Dec 23, 20/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service

Congress enacted changes to the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) that will eventually eliminate the offset for surviving spouses who are also receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The changes will take place in three phases.

January 1, 2021 begins the first phase. In 2021, surviving spouse SBP annuity payments issued by DFAS will be reduced (offset) by no more than two-thirds of the amount of DIC (issued by the VA) rather than by the entire amount of DIC, even though eligible surviving spouses will continue to receive the full amount of DIC from the VA.

Beginning January 1, 2022, the second phase, surviving spouse SBP annuity payments will be reduced (offset) by no more than one-third of the amount of DIC (issued by the VA) rather than by the entire amount of DIC, even though eligible surviving spouses will continue to receive the full amount of DIC from the VA.

On January 1, 2023, the SBP-DIC offset will be fully eliminated. That means, beginning in 2023, SBP payments will no longer be offset by DIC. Spouses will receive full SBP (issued by DFAS) and full DIC (from the VA).

For more details and frequently asked questions, see the special SBP-DIC News on the DFAS webpage.

Dec 14, 20/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


School Year 2020 - 2021

This is to serve notice that the Cape Fear Chapter, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is now accepting applications for ROTC scholarships effective immediately and through March 1, 2021.

Applicants must be in good academic standing. Applications need be submitted in accordance with CFC Policy Memorandum 15-1 using the application form prescribed therein. Application forms may be downloaded from the “Documents” Section of this website.

It is preferred that all applications be submitted via email accompanied by all pertinent documentation (scanned) to 3vp@cfmoaa.org NLT March 1, 2021. Applications or documents received after the deadline will not be considered.

The heads of all ROTC/JROTC units supported by this chapter were directly notified of this announcement by electronic mail on November 27, 2020.

Dec 1, 20/ CFMOAA/ General Info/


by Ira Watkins

I wish to convey my sincere appreciation to all of you for the success of our September ROTC Scholarship Fund drive. This undertaking was initiated due to the cancellation of our annual golf tournament because of Covid-19. Several of you, along with some of our normal sponsors and supporters of our golf tournament, really stepped up to the plate to help the scholarship fund drive to score big during this challenging pandemic year. For those of you who missed the opportunity to donate it is not too late, just mail your donation check to CFC MOAA, P.O. Box 53621, Fayetteville, NC 28305. Make check payable to “CFC, MOAA” and write in the memo line “Scholarship Fund.”

My two-year term as chapter president is coming to an end and I will not seek reelection. I have enjoyed my service and wish to thank the board of directors and the membership at large for their support. God willing, we will be able to get together at the Iron Mike Conference Center on November 21 when a slate of candidates will be presented by Art Rodriguez, Chairman of the Nominating Committee.

Oct 16, 20/ CFMOAA/ Presidents Notes/