Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor
I served as the assistant medical unit leader on the Chediski/Rodeo fire near Heber, Ariz. Our unit was based at the (Army’s) Ponderosa Camp. Having an actual first aid building to operate from made our job of caring for 1,500 firefighters much easier.
Neil LeBarge, the camp superintendent, was very supportive in seeing that every need was met in our use of the facility. Captain Julie Garcia was a life saver. When our initial supply order through the forest service was delayed 48 hours, she came through…and coordinated the supplies donated by the citizens of Arizona for the fire fighters.
I have worked with Salvation Army personnel in several states and have always been impressed with their dedication and service. I have seen no higher example than your representatives in Arizona.
Spencer A. Hall, MD, JD
I am a keen reader of New Frontier, so I thought I should send you a note about some incorrect information in your esteemed paper dated 17 August.
With the lovely article about the promotion to Glory of Josef Korbel, there is a photograph of General Wahlstrom and Brigadier Korbel. The certificate the General is holding is not the Order of the Founder, but the Certificate of Exceptional Service. I do not know when this was presented.
The Order of the Founder was presented to Korbel at the 1990 Congress by myself when active General. It was a wonderful occasion when Major Yin Hung Shun, who had received the OF a few days before, came forward and embraced Korbel–one of those unforgettable moments.
General Wahlstrom retired in 1986, but was present at the 1990 Congress with the other two retired Generals–Wickberg and Brown.
I saw Josef Korbel at Denver some months before he died, and his daughter sent me the information about his promotion to Glory. So, I was able to send a tribute to be read at the funeral service. I was a great admirer of Josef Korbel.
Eva Burrows, General (R)
I read with great interest Bob Docter’s column (August 17) concerning advisory boards, having served 31 years on the Modesto board and since 1984 on the National Advisory Board.
An effective board is a policy board in all respects except two: in the ecclesiastical (the operation of the corps/church); and in Army personnel assignments and personnel administration.
We–the board–are the continuity in the community as relates to the Army. In Modesto, our favorite saying to each new officer is,”We were here when you came, we will be here when you go, meanwhile, you are in charge, but whatever you do we will have to live with after you have gone.”
The Army has failed, in my opinion, to adequately utilize boards (or councils) at any level. I believe this starts with indoctrination and understanding on the part of the new board member. One of my missions is to take each new member out to lunch and spend at least one full hour telling them the history, mission, and reality of serving on our board. Then, when we have several new members, we have a half day session at the corps with a tour and with in-depth discussions about programs, policies, budgets, etc.
I have regularly offered to address officers’ councils on the topic of working with the board. Only twice in the past 15 years has this offer been accepted, each time for a one hour session with our divisional officers. This November the SFOT is embarking on a new tack and has invited me down for a single session with the cadets on this topic. Margo Perot and Marilyn Klotz Collins have asked me to assist them in taking the topic to the NAOC next spring in Philadelphia.
This is one of the most effective tools the Army has, and surely is the least understood and least utilized by our beloved Army administration.
National Advisory Board
Modesto, Calif., Adv. Board
As always, Bob Docter’s column “On the Corner” goes straight to the point.
I sometimes think that “rubber stamp brigade” would be more descriptive of some (dare I say many) of our advisory boards.
Made up these days mainly of an older generation who at some point years ago wanted to help us but they didn’t know how, they continue to enjoy the fellowship and a good lunch together and patiently listen (or sleep through) staff reports of last month’s activity as they have done for many years. Some have become complacent.
We still try to recruit board members for their “wealth, work and wisdom” frequently in that order but alas, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit good, influential board members when eligible candidates begin to realize that communication is simply a one way street.
When a new, young, vibrant “mover and shaker” in the community is persuaded to join the board and has been appropriately briefed as to his/her role and function, he/she wants to “do something” for the Army or they can better use their time and talent elsewhere.
According to the board’s mandate, certain matters may not be considered for action by an administrative or corporate board UNLESS the minutes of the appropriate advisory organization showing their recommendation are attached to the proposal.
These matters may include, for example, a proposal to buy or sell property; or a decision to expand a program or undertake a new one; or a plan to build a new facility or undertake a capital fund-raising project.
It, therefore, can be seen that, while the authority of the advisory board is technically limited, its participation in administrative decision is essential in practice (from The Advisory Board Defined).
So, how do we turn our boards from “rubber stamp brigades” into “venture capitalists”?
A simple start: Let’s begin by LISTENING to them, then commit ourselves to a PROCESS designed for action.
George Church, Colonel