CUMBERLAND — The Maryland Council of Chapters, Military Officers Association of America, with assistance from the Upper Potomac Chapter, is starting an initiative to establish a new chapter in the Cumberland area to serve officers in Western Maryland and neighboring West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

MOAA is a nonprofit veterans’ association dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and ensuring the United States keeps its commitment to currently serving, retired and former members of the uniformed services and their families. Membership is open to anyone who holds or has held a warrant or commission in any component of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service or NOAA and their surviving spouses.

MOAA has approximately 400,000 members nationwide and, as a 501(C)(19) veterans organization, is a powerful voice with national, state and local governments on issues affecting active duty members, retirees, veterans and their families. For example, in Maryland, MOAA members have led a charge to exempt retired military pay from state income tax and have achieved some success with an increase in the current exemption of $5,000 (all ages) to $10,000 (for ages 65 and over). 

According to retired Army Col. Doug Reichard, president, Upper Potomac Chapter, the first step is to determine if there is enough interest from officers in the area to pursue the establishment of a chapter. If 10 to 20 officers express interest, then Upper Potomac Chapter personnel would assist in organizing a satellite chapter – the precursor to a regular chapter.

Officers in the Western Maryland and neighboring West Virginia and Pennsylvania areas interested in establishing a chapter are asked to contact Reichard, 301-639-0340 or dwreichard@comcast.net or retired Marine Lt. Col. Hugh McIlroy at 717-785-1059 or  ermac03@gmail.com

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