Starting Clubs on Military Bases

NOVEMBER 5, 2013
There are many reasons why it makes sense to create new military-affiliated Rotary clubs:
Rotarians believe in Service Above Self; the military is about service beyond self.
Rotary is guided by the Four Way Test; the military believes in an Honor Code. The Navy’s motto is
Honor-Courage-Commitment. USMC motto is Semper Fidelis - (Always faithful).
Rotary supports youth leadership through RYLA and related youth programs; the military has Centers of
Excellence in Leadership development for America’s youth to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Analogous to RYLA is USMC’s Devil Pups and Navy League’s Sea Cadets.
Rotary tries to make the world a better place; the US Navy is a Global Force for Good;
Rotarians are patriotic; military personnel have to be patriotic to serve the country in harm’s way, to make
the ultimate sacrifice.
The love of country, the value of service, the bonds of friendship and doing good resonate with both
There are currently 4 military Rotary clubs in Zones 26/25 - three are located on or near a military base and one is
an E-Club. The purpose of this memo is to outline some considerations for establishing a military affiliated Rotary
clubs in Zones 25/26. At the end of this memo there is a list of exhibits that can be helpful.
Similarities between Rotary and the Military
1) Rotary Clubs on military bases are similar to Rotary Clubs elsewhere but each base can be unique based on
the branch of military service, its location, its mission, the commander’s experience, knowledge, and
background, etc.
2) Military personnel are service oriented – even more so than the typical club member. Their service
orientation makes them responsive to credible offers of service from other service organizations such as the
Red Cross, USO, Army Navy Relief, Rotary and others.
3) Military personnel appreciate rules. They live with them every day.
4) They value organizations with a history and broad reach. Rotary meets those requirements – even if a
specific military commander has never heard of Rotary.
5) Structure. A base commander is like the Mayor of a small town with specific duties and many ceremonial
A. Differences
Security. Rotary Clubs need a meeting want place where potential members and Rotarians from other clubs
can visit. Access to military bases can be difficult but there are ways to work through the issues.
Hierarchy. Rotarians like talking to each other on a first name basis. Military personnel are more
comfortable dealing with people of similar rank. Imagine a Rotary club where a member who is a General
makes a proposal and then calls for a vote. It would be a rare corporal or captain who would vote against
their general. On the other hand it is hard to imagine recruiting active duty or civilian workers on military
base without the support of the base commander.
Contributions to the Rotary Foundation. Most military people contribute to charity through payroll
deductions. However, getting payroll deductions transferred to The Rotary Foundation and then credited to
individual members requires the patience of Job.
Structure. The base commander may be like a Town Mayor but he/she has expensive toys and at times can
act like a dictator.
In order to be successful in starting a new Rotary club it is important to listen carefully and to be thoughtful and
balanced in reaction and response.
Steps in Starting a Military-based Rotary Club
1. After you have identified the base where you would like to start a Rotary club, the most important thing
is to find a Rotarian that meets the following characteristics:
A Veteran from the same branch of service (Army, Navy, etc.)
A retired officer – preferably, who retired at the same rank (or higher) than the current base
A Rotarian who is passionate about improving service to military families
2. Ask the Vet to arrange a meeting with the base commander. If the vet is of a lower rank than the base
commander the first meeting may be with the commander’s Executive Officer (XO). The most
productive meetings are peer to peer. (Colonel to Colonel or 6 to 6 in military-speak). Experience
indicates that Generals tend to accept DGs and PDGs as peers.
3. The suggested agenda for the first meeting – no more than 30 minutes.
 Be on Time
 Have written agenda
 Discussion Outline (main points)
 Rotary likes to serve the men and women of the armed services
 We bring tangible community support to military families and improve family morale
 We stay within regulations and Commanders see us as effective “force-extension”
Rotary has been doing service for over 100 years.
We have lots of former military among our members all over the world
Describe the types of services projects military clubs have done (see exhibits)
“Sir, we would like your active support in building a vibrant club here on the base”.
“We would be happy to meet with your staff to discuss next steps such as “aligning our
goals with yours, developing a communication strategy, identifying a place to meet, etc.”
 “We will get your sign-off before we do anything”. Who should we work with to start
the process?”.
 Write and confirm the main points discussed. If possible, confirm that you will be working
through the person identified.
4. Key Success Factors:
 Club Membership – a healthy mix of the following:
 Active Duty – enlisted and officers – (expect high turnover)
 Active duty spouses – (ditto)
 Civilian workers on the military base
 Retired military who live in the surrounding community
 Civilians from neighboring communities – active and retired
 One or two senior district Rotarians commit to joining this club and to keeping it on
 A signature fundraising attracts funds from surrounding communities (not
military personnel). One of the current military clubs has branded their event “Dancing
with Heroes”. It resonates with the community and the military.
 Consistent focus on service projects that help families
For Districts that are interested, Zone support is available in the form of consultation and in-person assistance.
Please contact the writer for more information.
Contact: Larry Sundram – 760-533-6362 :
Typical Projects done by Rotary Clubs affiliated with the Military
Potential locations for new Rotary Clubs, by District (excuse any errors)
Organizing New Clubs – RI’s document that provides forms and instruction
List of all the military facilities in Zones 25/26
Support for Deployed Troops
Supported homecomings for returning troops
Shipped “care” packages with letters from school children during holidays
Shipped 500 Eyeglasses to Iraq to improve community relations
Shipped soccer balls, backpacks, and stuffed animals to Iraq for community relations
Provided information on portable generators for solar an emergency power in Iraq
Support for Active Military
Free furniture transfers from Senior Living to Marine Families
Volunteer at the Thrift shop - one meeting a month
Donate motorized wheelchairs to the Wounded Warriors
Institute programs to recognize outstanding Marines once a month
Single Marine BBQ
Run Golf tournaments for Non-commissioned Officers
Present the Peacemaker award
Make contributions to the Heroes Fund
Rotarians at Work Day – built horseshoe pits, BBQ and painted benches
Contribute to swords for the Corporal school
Hold live videoconferences for deployed troop and their families on Valentine’s Day
Sponsor inter-company football games
Sponsor football games between Police and Marines.
Made a donation to a bridge in Kabul
Refurbish base theater
Family and morale support
Contribute to Halloween party for kids
Partner with other Rotary Club on expanding base thrift store for Navy-Marine Relief organization
Work at booth on Volunteer Day on base
Procure turkeys and hams for battalions for Christmas parties
Conduct Fundraisers
Contribute to the YMCA Secret Santa program
Sponsor students for leadership training e.g. RYLA
Grant Rotary Club Scholarships to Marine spouses
Contribute gift cards and gas cards to Marines with hospitalized children at Christmas
Contribute prizes for the Enlisted Wives Club
Clean-up and paint around the base
Provide picnic table for the Mary Fay School on the base
Contribute to Family Violence seminars
Built a Memorial Wall with the names of the fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan
Built a Memorial Garden for services and a place to grieve.
Pearl Harbor Naval Base
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
NAS Kaneohe
Schofield Barracks (USMC), etc.
Bangor/Bremerton bases & Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Naval Station Everett,
NAS Whidbey Island,
Canadian armed forces base, Esquimalt, BC
Oakland Naval Base
NAS Lemoore
Port Hueneme - Naval Surface Warfare Center,
Vandenberg AFB
Los Angeles AFB
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake,
Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base,
Nellis AFB,
NAS Fallon in Nevada
Fort Irwin (near Barstow).
March AFRB,
29 Palms Marine Combat Training Center
El Centro - NAF El Centro
Luke AFB
MCAS Yuma,
Fort Huachuca
Davis-Monthan AFB
Barry M. Goldwater Range
Phoenix, Arizona
Located relatively close to the Mexican borders, Barry M. Goldwater Range is used for bombing exercises by the Air
Force and the Marine Corps. The planes used for training include the powerful A 10, F 16, F 18 and AV BB Harrier.
Davis-Monthan AFB
Tucson, Arizona
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Force and located within the city limits of Tucson. The objective of this base is simple – it constantly trains p...
Luke AFB
Glendale, Arizona
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and the only one out there that can successfully train F-16 Falcon pilots. It has more than 200 units available for ...
Camp Navajo
Flagstaff, Arizona
Camp Navajo, Arizona is currently the largest, most important and general base in the state. With a rich history and
a lot of objectives in time, the base has grown to become a full and complete training site. It is 114.3 square k...
Fort Huachuca
Cochise, Arizona
Camp Huachuca was built in 1877 to defend against the Chiricahua Apaches and to guard the Mexican border. It
was renamed Fort Huachuca in 1882. Geronimo’s 1886 surrender ended the Apache resistance, but the fort
remained because...
Yuma Proving Ground
Yuma County, Arizona
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located in the southern side of Arizona and represents one of the widest military bases in the world. It is so wide to
give ...
Yuma, Arizona
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Beale AFB
Marysville, California
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Edwards, California
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the ...
Los Angeles AFB
El Segundo, California
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Airport. The base is garrisoned by the 61st Air Base Wing, and is home to the Air Force Space Command’s Missile
March Air Reserve Base
Riverside, California
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beginnings dating back to 1918. It is located in the southern part of the state, between Moreno Valley and Riverside.
McClellan AFB
Sacramento, California
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Fairfield, California
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Vandenberg AFB
Lompoc, California
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Dublin, California
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Monterey, California
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Fort Irwin
Barstow, California
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Presidio of Monterey
Monterey, California
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ISC Alameda
Alameda, California
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Petaluma, California
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San Diego, California
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San Diego, California
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Barstow, California
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San Diego, California
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Mountain Training Center
Pickel Meadows, California
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Twentynine Palms
Twentynine Palms, California
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in the San Bernardino County. By the 2010 census, the base hosted 8413 individuals. The terrain consists of small,
Chocolate Mountain Range
Chocolate Mountains, California
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The range covers not less than 1850 square kilometers and is about 30 kilometers in breadth and 75 kilometers in
NAS Lemoore
Lemoore, California
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NAS Point Mugu
Point Mugu, California
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Naval Air Facility El Centro
El Centro, California
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Naval Base Coronado
San Diego, California
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Naval Battalion Center
Port Hueneme, California
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Camp Pendleton, California
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Naval Medical Center
San Diego, California
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Naval Postgraduate School
Monterey, California
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university is based on research studies exclusively. It was established in Monterey, right on the western side of
NAWS China Lake
China Lake, California
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unlike most expectations. Whenever they run into this name, people automatically think it has something to do with
North Island Naval Complex
San Diego, California
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North Island Naval Complex is among the largest and most significant military facilities the United States Navy
controls and owns. The place was established in San Diego Bay, on the northern part of Coronado peninsula. It is
one o...
NS San Diego
San Diego, California
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Naval Station San Diego is one of the multitude of military bases in California owned and operated by the United
States Navy. In fact, this is the largest one located on the West Coast. It is the base with the most important opera...
NWS Seal Beach
Seal Beach, California
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Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach is one of the military facilities with multiple detachments. It is located in Seal
Beach, in the southwestern part of California. All of its three detachments are located in the same state, in San ...
Point Loma Navy Base
San Diego, California
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Although it was officially opened in the ’60s, Point Loma Navy Base has been reestablished, renovated and
reopened in the autumn of 1998. The event came as a new beginning for the base. It is among the youngest military
Bellows Air Force Station
Waimanalo, Hawaii
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Bellows Air Force Station is one of the oldest bases in the United States, established in 1917 and initially called
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Hickam AFB
Honolulu, Hawaii
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Fort Shafter
Honolulu, Hawaii
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Fort Shafter is a United States military base in Honolulu, Hawaii. Fort Shafter was established by the Army on June
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Schofield Barracks
Oahu, Hawaii
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Schofield Barracks is the largest Army post in Hawaii. It was named in honor of LTG John M. Schofield, who
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Honolulu, Hawaii
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Station Maui
Wailuku, Hawaii
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USCG ISC Honolulu
Honolulu, Hawaii
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USCG ISC Honolulu – Integrated Support Command – is one of the major military facilities operated by the United
States Coast Guard in Honolulu, Hawaii. The unit has a major role on the island. Its headquarters is located in th...
MCB Hawaii
Kaneohe, Hawaii
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MCB Hawaii is an American military base located in the Mokapu Peninsula of Honolulu. According to a census of
2000, there were a little under 12,000 inhabitants of the base. The base hosted sailors and Marines, not to mention
Barking Sands Missile Range
Kekaha, Hawaii
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Wahiawa, Hawaii
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NS Pearl Harbor
O’ahu, Hawaii
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Mountain Home AFB
Elmore, Idaho
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Creech AFB
Indian Springs, Nevada
Creech AFB Nevada is an Air Force operated base and among the most important fighters in the so called War on
Terror. The base is located in the Clark County, only 56 km from Las Vegas and less than 100 km from another
similar bas...
Nellis AFB
Clark, Nevada
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immediate proximity of Las Vegas, around 11 km, in the southern side of Nevada. The base provides full support
and equip...
NAS Fallon
Fallon, Nevada
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Umatilla Chemical Depot
Umatilla, Oregon
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Fairchild AFB
Spokane, Washington
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Named after the honored World War 1 aviator, General Muir Fairchild, FAB or Fairchild Air Base is located in
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McChord AFB
Tacoma, Washington
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Fort Lewis
Pierce, Washington
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Realignment and Closure Commission) and is now known as JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McChord). JBLM is located in
Pierce and Thurston c...
NAS Whidbey Island
Oak Harbor, Washington
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Naval Hospital Bremerton
Bremerton, Washington
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Naval Hospital Bremerton is a community hospital that deals with a wide array of operations and specialties,
including primary and basic care, emergency care, obstetrics or surgical operations. The hospital is as complete as
it ca...
Navy Base Kitsap
Silverdale, Washington
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Navy Base Kitsap is named after the peninsula it is located on, in Washington. The base is relatively new on the
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NS Everett
Everett, Washington
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