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THE COMMANDER: LTC Louis Stout, USA, (Ret.)  


As your Commander for this coming year, I recognize that I, and the members of our EXCOM, will have some very big shoes to fill. First we lost 1Lt Chuck Jones, our Commander, and most recently COL Jack Jones, two of our giants.

The Chapters challenge will be to continue the programs they initiated and meet the standards they established. For example, Chuck was the chief fundraiser and leader for special initiatives for our Chapter. This included  the “Purple Heart Trail”, the “American Heritage Monument” and the “Charles Paddock Zoo Statue” programs.

Jack has been our primary source of institutional knowledge, the primary contact with MOWW National, the lead for our ‘Cal Poly ROTC Awards and Commissioning Ceremonies’, the “Grizzly Youth Leadership Conferences”, the “Monthly News Letter”, and “Recruiting”. His goal was to make us the outstanding Chapter from within California.

Looking forward to this next year, we will continue our agenda as outlined above,  will provide interesting and informative speakers, will emphasize recruitment of new members, and will have fun. To this end, I encourage each member to bring a guest and potential new member to our luncheon. I will bring one or two.







September, 2017 June, 2017 May, 2017 April, 2017
March, 2017 February, 2017 January, 2017 December, 2016

November, 2016

October, 2016

September, 2016

August, 2016

July, 2016 June, 2016 May, 2016 April, 2016
March, 2016 February, 2016 January, 2016 December, 2015




SR. VICE COMMANDER, Lt Ronald Janney


A Memoir by USS Arizona Survivor

“At 8:06 AM on December 7, 1941, Seaman First Class Donald Stratton was consumed by an inferno.  A million pounds of explosives had detonated beneath his battle station aboard the USS Arizona, barely fifteen minutes into Japan’s surprise attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor.  Near death and burned across two thirds of his body, Don, a nineteen-year-old Nebraskan who had been steeled by the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, summoned the will to haul himself hand over hand across a rope tethered to a neighboring vessel.  Forty-five feet below, the harbor’s flaming, oil-slick water boiled with enemy bullets; all around him the world tore itself apart.

In this extraordinary, never-before-told eyewitness account of the Pearl Harbor attack--- the only memoir ever written by a survivor of the USS Arizona---ninety-four-year-old Donald Stratton finally shares his unforgettable personal tale of bravery and survival on December 7, 1941, his harrowing recovery, and his inspiring determination to return to the fight.”

The above quotation was taken from the inside dust jacket of the book written by Donald Stratton with Ken Gire.  We all know of the attack, and what it meant to our country.  If you have studied history, or read about the Arizona, you know that 1177 men from the Arizona men died as a result of the attack.  We do not often, or maybe never, think about the survivors.  There were not many, and this account from one of them is riveting.  I could not put the book down once I started reading.  It is well written, and gives some insight on not only what happened that day, but is a remarkable story  of what Don Stratton went through during the healing process, and his return to active duty in the Navy after being discharged.  On February 26, 1944 he went to Omaha to get back in the Navy.  He served on a destroyer, the USS Stack.  He saw action in the Third Fleet under Admiral Halsey at New Guinea, Leyte Gulf, and Okinawa. 


This book is one that I highly recommend, whether you are a student of history or not. 


Lt Ron



Membership Information


Some last thoughts of Jack: We are asking each member to reach out to bring in at least one new member within the next six months. In other words, “Each one – Reach one!”


A way to accomplish the mission: Stress the positive aspects of belonging to MOWW, and the Vandenberg Chapter in particular. Ask yourself, “Why do I belong?” Then when you think about all the reasons you enjoy MOWW and what we do, then you have the foundation for “selling” the Order to someone else.


Next, always carry an application with you to present to a prospective member which shows your commitment to being serious about having him (or her) join. I would suggest you go over the Preamble with him and relate it to what we do in our chapter to reflect our commitment to the Preamble and Order.





SGT AT ARMS: remarks from MAJ James Murphy:


MOWW 2017 Convention:
Billings, Montana


Technically the conference kicked off on Monday 31 July with a golf tournament. In fact the next two days were labeled as “Pre-convention Activities”. I will keep my comments specifically to the Convention, however I actually departed San Luis Obispo area on July 23, and arrived in Billings on 1 August.


Background: Joe Brocato volunteered and assumed the post as Commander of MOWW Region XIV. He then asked if I would be his Vice Commander. I agreed. Joe then, in mid-July, resigned as Region Commander. That elevated me to the Commander position. A number of members of the organization reminded me of my “new” office. I strongly informed one and all that I would not assume the position as Regional Commander and they should seek another. Still carrying the title, I attended sessions on 1 August, and before the convention was too far along, LtCol Dave Worley USAF (Ret) agreed to assume the role as Region Commander.


Tuesday 1 August 2017:

Various meetings from 0800 to 1650.
Morning: ExCom and Board of Trustees.
Afternoon: Almost three hours: Council of Area Commanders. I participated but mostly said little.


Wednesday 2 August 2017:

Day tour of local area, specifically Red Lodge (small town) and Beartooth Pass; two buses and one broke down on the way to the pass, effectively blocking traffic! We all crowded into the other bus and continued to the summit.

There was a Hann-Buswell Memorial Chapter meeting; I have yet to figure who/what this group is or does. Members of this chapter are by invitation only and I wasn’t invited.

Welcome buffet in the evening.


Thursday 3 August 2017:

Convention officially commences.
Day tour of Little Big Horn battle field and Pompey’s Pillar. Worth the time and trip.  Lewis and Clark, returning from their winter at Clatsop, Oregon and heading back to St. Louis, stayed at Pompey’s Pillar, a sandstone outcropping where Meriweather Lewis scratched his name in the sandstone. Good Park Service guide for the battlefield.


While on this tour, a number of meetings and workshops were being held:
Council Past CinCs;
Recruiting strategies;
Best practices for retention;
Secret to gaining visibility;
Ultimate guide to Social Media;
Benefits of recognition;
Winning tactics for fund raising;
What every chapter commander needs to know.
Keep in mind that as I was on the tour, never attended any of these. I offer them for information. Had the second tour been scheduled for Friday, all of us who opted to take the tour of Little Big Horn and Pompey’s Pillar would probably have attended the workshops.


Friday 4 August 2017:

Best practices showcases: Various ROTC, veterans, national security, etc.
Awards luncheon: Long drawn-out affair. We were never recognized.

Afternoon for national candidate presentations then voting. No other names offered, but it was ritual. The rest of the afternoon and evening was devoted to Hann-Buswell stuff.


Saturday 5 August 2017:

A brief memorial service then a business session and general staff meeting.
Region command training game plan preview: Dave Worley was now the Region Cdr so I was along for the ride. CinC receiving line and reception followed by a banquet and speeches. A lot of pomp and circumstance.

More detail of daily schedule of events may be found in the Officer Review, July-Sept issue.


Comment: Many have shared their times with Jack Jones so this time has been a little emotional from moment to moment. There was a strong concern regarding membership. Nothing was mentioned about opening the membership to any other classifications, but chapters were being closed and regions consolidated due to declining membership.  I heard no viable suggestions or options to really address this issue. It seemed that the leadership was resigned to the fact of continued declining membership and simply put on a show for those present. Those attending certainly seemed motivated and strongly supporting the organization and almost resigned to the unspoken inevitable.






M990507, LT Jay Gruenfeld, member of the Vandenberg Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars has commissioned a book, written about his World War II combat experience.  He said his experience in combat was rather unique.  By the age 20.5 he had been wounded five times, had killed many enemy, and received a battlefield commission to 2LT.  He thought it was worth while getting Todd DePastino to help produce,


COMMISSIONED IN BATTLE, my war experiences. 246 pages,  published by Hellgate Press.  To add to its value as a World War II combat history book, it is rather unique because it gives details on Jay’s many kills. COMMISSIONED IN BATTLE, autographed is available from Jay in the U.S. for $14 (Two for $26 )—outside the U.S. for $12 plus postage.


Jay Gruenfeld
815 S. 216th St. #27
Des Moines, WA 98198
Tel 253 509 3646