June 29, 2014
It is hard to believe it has been two months since our Reunion. Please accept my
sincere thanks for another very successful Reunion, I will go into more detail
later in the Reunion Recap. As I write this we are still at Camp Lejeune. Mary,
Jacy and I are having a great time. We are meeting people and just enjoying
The Association continues to thrive with the support of the Depot and more
importantly the support of the membership. We just returned from Parris Island
where we attended the Commanding Generalís Change of Command. Brigadier General
Lori Reynolds passed command of the Depot and the Eastern Recruiting Region to
Brigadier General Terry Williams. Mary and I thanked Brigadier General Reynolds
for her support of the Drill Instructors Association.
Once again, as so often happens in the summer, we find that the majority of
senior leaders aboard the Depot have changed. Our plan is to arrange a meeting
with the new leaders to brief them on the existence and mission of the Drill
Instructors Association. I plan to return to Parris Island in July for Colonel
Grabowskiís retirement and to conduct a meeting with as many leaders as we can.
I am very proud of this Association and never miss an opportunity to let people
know who we are and what we do. We have come a long way and I see continued
I am very pleased to announce that we had another very
successful and memorable reunion. We had Marines representing every decade from
the 40ís to the present. For those unable to attend I will attempt to report the
sequence of events.
Thursday 1 May: Registration commenced at 1500. The Reunion Committee was
professional and thorough in the performance of their duties. The club put out
an exceptional display of food and there was plenty for everyone. We secured
registration and many members returned to the Hospitality Room provided by the
Quality Inn Town Center. MGySgt Don Gabbard volunteered to run the Hospitality
Room and did an excellent job. I am told the stories ran freely and were very
Friday 2 May: Friday always begins early, we were at the H&S Battalion
Mess Hall at 0600 where the members enjoyed a Marine Corps Breakfast at a very
reasonable price. The Mess Hall is now managed by civilian contractors and they
went above and beyond to insure we were fed as quickly as possible. After
breakfast we walked across the street to attend Morning Colors. Watching the
Holiday Flag being raised to the sound of the National Anthem is always a very
moving experience. As usual the bands performance was flawless and the comments
from the Commanding General were from her heart. After colors we had our annual
picture on the steps of the Headquarters Building. Trying to get a group of
Drill Instructors in formation for a photo is always a challenge but we managed
once again. After the photo, we attended the Graduation ceremony where the
newest Marines were recognized and dismissed to go on leave before reporting for
further training. Following Graduation we all moved to the Drill Instructor
Monument where we read the names of 18 members who have passed since our last
Reunion. SgtMaj Jim Moore had moving words and a prayer for those in attendance.
It was then off to Elliotís Beach for the picnic. Golden Corral put on a
wonderful spread. We had many active duty Drill Instructors in attendance and
they were treated to lunch on the Association. Auction items were a little off
this year but we were still able to deposit $1000.00 in the Special Projects
Fund. The most anticipated event of the day was next, cadence calling and
storytelling. SgtMaj Jeff Nadeau gave a firsthand account of the events at
Ribbon Creek. Every eye in the room was on him as he recounted the events of
that day. The evening concluded and everyone went home for much needed rest.
Saturday 3 May: Saturday began with the annual meeting at Drill
Instructor School. 1stSgt Wyatt gave the members an update of Drill Instructor
School. I then called the meeting to order and gave a recap of the yearís events
and the state of the Association. We elected one trustee for a three year term.
Roger Stembridge was elected by affirmation. We had two nominees for Board of
Directors and rather than have the expense of sending out ballots the membership
voted to increase the Board by one member allowing both to serve. Major Ski
Wojciechowski was reelected to another three year term. Gunnery Sergeant Bud
Apple was elected as the most recent Board Member for a three year term. Both
were elected by affirmation. The complete minutes of the meeting can be read on
line shortly. After the meeting it was time to prepare for the Banquet. The
bandís performance at the banquet was both entertaining and moving. I continue
to tell the band of our memberís love of their performance. Our co guests of
honor Colonel Grabowski and SgtMaj Buck gave inspirational speeches. They will
both be missed!
Sunday 4 May: The farewell breakfast is always an emotional event. Time
to say farewell to old and new friends with hopes that we are all able to muster
back to Parris Island next year.
For those that made the Reunion thank you for your support. For those of you
unable to attend this year please try to join us next year. You wonít regret it!
Response to our latest reminder
card was very good. We will continue to send reminders at least twice a year as
a courtesy to our members. I still encourage all of you to invite a Drill
Instructor to join. While you are at Parris Island talk to active duty Drill
Instructors about the Association and encourage them to join. SgtMaj Moore
recently gave the Association presentation to the graduating class at Drill
I am in the process of placing an order with Spectrum. The
Reunion pretty much cleaned us out of the most popular items. Watch the web
I am very pleased to announce that
many of our members are donating more often. We have several members that are
making monthly donations. I continue to just ask that if you are able please
consider your Association for a tax deductible donation.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT DONATIONS TO THE ASSOCIATION ARE GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED
AND ARE TAX DEDUCTABLE.
SgtMaj Kenneth D. Miller USMC (Ret)
President East Coast Drill Instructors Association