This list of suggested changes within the 31st Regiment Association is produced by Jerry White and Robert Stewart based on input and ideas discussed openly on this site.
1. Devote interest and attention to the website. Keep it running and keep it up to date at all times. Have someone with technical knowledge, who is directly responsible to the Association, maintain it. An Associatoin officer should have all pertinent information recorded and in his posession concerning the site server host, website passwords and access codes, costs and expenditure information, and have delivered to him backup files from time to time of the entire site. No more unsupervised volunteers with total control of the site. The site should only be paid for by the treasurer directly and not through personal credit cards.
2. Open the Association up to give all members some say in it. Give every member a means of voting for all officers of the Association without having to be in attendance at a reunion business meeting.
3. Change the way reunions are chosen and when they are held and the Association should accept total responsibilty in seeing them managed. Allow for members to make suggestions of locations and times and open the choice up to a general vote and no longer be dependent upon a single volunteer reunion host selected years in advance at reunion business meetings.
4. Undertake projects that are of some benefit to the members. Offer information and assistance with service related health issues. Have a designated member, or group of members, responsible for desiminating notice about deaths in a timely manner. See that the website advertises and makes notice that these and other such service projects exist and are functioning. Allow members to suggest other projects without having a yearly meeting first.
5. Rethink the duties and responsibilities of the regional officers and how they are selected. If their prime responsibilty is to find new members, and promote reunions among members in their regions then they should do this or be replaced. Perhaps you should have battalion officers instead of regional officers and the various officers should have a board vote based on how many people they represent in their respective battalions. It would give weakly represented battalion leaders reason to gather their troops.
6. Be sure the Membership chairman does actively reach out to potential new members in all ways possible and does maintain an up to date list of who is in the membership at any given time. Membership committee searches for people unaware of the Association should include paid Social Security number searches, funded by the Association. The chairman should be obligated to respond to any request from any member as to contact information for other members in the Association as well. Give him a budget to do this duty and enough committee assistance to help him.
7. Redirect your newsletter to present more news and less history. Perhaps find correspondents from various battalions to report. Send it out in a time and in fashion that is predictable.
8. Rewrite the bylaws and constitution one more time with the help of a committee of members that include people from diverse backgrounds and both regular reunion attendees and those who are not. People who represent a cross section of former privates, NCO's, and officers. And at the end of the revision print it out in a newsletter, leave it open to comment, then allow all members to propose amendments and then allow the entire membership to vote on what is presented.
9.Do not make it mandatory to have a reunion at Ft. Drum any year, but allow reunions to be held according to the suggestion and majority vote of the membership every year.
10. Reunion notifications should be provided at least 6 months prior to the reunion. It is fine to use the newsletter to notify members; however, we should also post notices with various veteran's organizations such as VFW, DAV, etc. We should also notify "potential" members via email, standard mail, and/or personal phone calls. Extra focus should be directed toward both members and "potential" members who live within the state where the reunion is being scheduled as well as the bordering states. This "extra focus" should include "personal" emails and/or standard mail and phone calls. Simply making our men "aware" of the reunion is not enough. We need to show them that we not only want to make them aware of the reunion, we also want to encourage them to attend. We need to let them know that to us they are not just a name...they are our Brother.