Unofficial site - MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA
Provided below is some of the Internet dialogue
taking place on the matter of "expanding Daedalian
membership criteria" to, for the first time in The Order's history,
allow various non-pilots to become members.
Some serious questions have been raised, not only about the
merits of this issue, but also about the dubious way in
which a referendum on the matter has been brought to
the Daedalian membership. Please read on.
Remember, voting ends on 4 July.
If you've already voted, you can call HQ or contact them
through their web site and change your vote.
You can also submit any comments you may have directly to
National HQ via this link: http://www.votedaedalians.org/#daedalus-article
Either way, please be aware of the following bylaw governing this vote:
Voting by twenty percent of the active membership shall constitute a quorum.Any member who does not return either the paper ballot or vote electronically shall be considered as having no objection and consequently in favor of the amendment. Once a quorum is obtained, the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the votes cast shall be required for amendment of these Bylaws.
-- Daedalian National's web site home page: http://www.daedalians.org/
REMEMBER, voting ends 4 July!
IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THE CHANGES PROPOSED BY THE
NATIONAL COMMANDER, YOU MUST VOTE AND YOU MUST VOTE NO!
Some important information for you to consider:
FLIGHT 11 & FLIGHT 18 MEETINGS WITH LT GEN OWENS ON MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA
Flight 11 report by Ger Spaulding:
Twenty members of Colorado Springs Flight 11 met with Gen Owens at 1330 Tuesday, 31 May at the AFA Eisenhower Golf Course clubhouse in a room overlooking the course. He gave what I assume is the same talk he’s giving to every flight he visits trying to sell his proposal. He spoke for the better part of an hour before taking any questions or comments and, overall, the meeting lasted about 2.5 hrs. During his talk, he referred to the charts and statistics that have been published on the Daedalian HQ web site and in the Flyer. He also mentioned several times that Daedalians have lost and need to regain “relevance to senior leadership”, but every time he uttered that phrase, he got a downright skeptical reaction from the crowd. Judging by the collective body language (a lot of shoulder shrugging, eye rolling and head shaking) and whispered comments at the various tables, nobody but him and his fellow retired general officers give a hoot about relevance to senior AF leadership.
WRT his charts and graphs, to his credit, he did admit that his projections of future membership numbers are nothing but straight-line extensions of current trends and, therefore, have little to no credibility. To quote Mike Rosen, “Predictions are always difficult, especially if you’re talking about the future.”
Gen Owens told us that, according to his research, the Tenets have never mentioned the term "pilot," thereby suggesting that The Order of Daedalians was never a pilot-only organization. Comment from the Peanut Gallery: Huh? Isn't that a classic non-sequitur?After all, the Tenets address our sworn loyalties and standards of behavior, not membership eligibility.
During the Q&A session, I mentioned two things that, in my opinion, are not in consonance with Daedalian Tenet #2 (To be worthy of the Trust and Confidence of Fellow Daedalians) – a tenet that requires honesty at the least:
The comments at # (2) above evolved into a longer discussion of a two-year-old Daedalian bylaw concerning elections which in effect says that all non-votes would be counted as YES votes. This was done because it had been so hard to obtain a quorum in Order-wide elections. Apparently, Gen Owens was not aware of this rule when he advised those who oppose his proposal to “just don’t vote.” One of the last things he said yesterday was that when he gets back to HQ, he intends to “get that provision eliminated ASAP.” Of course, the BOD would have to make that happen. In any case, what a revoltin' development this is!!!
Of the other comments from the floor, several were along the lines that this vote seems premature – that not enough has been done to recruit new members from among the thousands of retired military pilots who are not Daedalians, for example. Others were critical of the 30+ year trend in the services that discourages drinking and the concomitant loss of officers, chiefs/nco and enlisted clubs on military bases. Along with that trend has been the failure of wing-commander-level leadership to support Daedalian participation as in the old days.
There was also a discussion of drone operators becoming Daedalians. Gen Owens made an impassioned case for doing so, emphasizing how hard it is on them having to kill bad guys before going home to mama. The problem with that argument, of course, is that it addresses only one half of the unpersuasive traditional case for allowing non-pilots to become Daedalians: mission essentiality and risk. Drone operators are certainly mission essential, as are most non-pilot crew positions aboard military aircraft. However, unlike all those other crew members, the lives of drone operators are never at risk (except in drive-time traffic). It was also pointed out that, in WWI, rear seat gunners were mission essential and took on the very same risks as their pilots, but because they were not pilots or officers, they were never deemed eligible for Daedalian membership.
Member # 8206
Flight 18 Report by Dale Boggie:
We had a very cordial meeting with LtGen Owens on 30 May attended by six members and staff of Mile High Flight 18, Denver.
Gen Owens gave his presentation as in the video and gave straight forward answers to the questions posed on various items.
For example, how many rated aeronautical ratings are there? USAF has 9, Army has one main one, Army Aviator (pilot), and maybe one more. Navy and Marine Corps have Naval Aviators, a term which now includes commissioned Navy/USMC pilots as well as Naval Flight Officers (navigators, bombardiers, WSOs, EWOs, ECMos and TACCOs). Navy also has mission-critical enlisted warfare operators, such as acoustic sensor operators, without whom antisubmarine missions could not be flown.
Another question was does the support of Air & Space power include opening Daedalian membership to the Missileers sitting in Silos controlling Minuteman Missiles - part of the Triad defense system? The answer was No.
One might wonder how long that would stand with other non- flying categories invited.
It was expressed that including some aircrew members like back seat Weapons System Officers was okay, with the operative word being AIR, as in being airborne in an airplane, not sitting at a desk operating a keyboard.
Including RPAs (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) operators was a main objection to the proposed amendment.
He countered with the fact that many RPAs were also regular pilots, assigned to the job because of the demand for operators, and that even those assigned without the benefit of pilot training had at least been exposed to some flight training up to and including solo flight.
He admitted there was no physical trauma involved in RPA duty, but there was emotional trauma due to the fact that launching a hellfire missile from a Drone was going to kill someone. It was something to leave at the job - not take home to wife and kids.
Some could do it, some had difficulty. For that reason, Psychiatrists were part of the support staff.
One of our major objections to the whole RPA set up was trying to load it on top of the Pilot career ladder, awards, decorations, etc. There should be a separate career field with their own promotion system, awards, decs, etc.
He agreed to that, but noted that we were faced with it as it stands now. He said that Tex Brown, former National Commander, also emphasized that it was a mistake to try to equate RPA to actual Pilot duties. They are apples and oranges and can never be the same.
Speaking of Pilots, Gen Owens said that many objections center on the notion that this is a PILOTs organization. Yet he said the word "Pilot" is not referenced in our Tenets. (See comment on this matter in Ger's report above.) The only mention in our Objectives is to recognize exceptional performance by military pilots.
Further, extensive research by Gen Owens in documents from the birth of the Order in 1934 forward, center on the Founders themselves and those who were first to fly and fight prior to Armistice Day in 1918. The names of these pilots was the legacy they sought to protect and perpetuate.
For that reason, the Hereditary Member category was established for descendants to carry on in their names, even though they were not pilots, but wives, widows, children, grand children. etc. Today there are only about 125 Hereditary members.
When the Order first opened up for new members they had to be on active duty, in the Air Corps. Over the years membership criteria has been relaxed in stages so that now anyone who earned military pilot wings is eligible, regardless of active duty, retired or separated status.
Two things have not changed. Prospective members had to be former or current military pilots, and, they were named to carry on for a WWI military pilot.
I believe the pilot I am named for, Stanley V. Wright, was probably proud to share the same last name with Wilbur and Orville who invented the plane to make the first successful powered flights. I don't believe he would want his second named membership associated with some of the new proposed categories.
Are Named Memberships to be discarded in this new organization?
The current proposed change is vastly more sweeping and controversial. It changes the organization into something completely different, yet it keeps the name, Order of Daedalians.
Perhaps the name, the reputation and the prestige of the Order may enhance recruitment into this new organization. But, the perception of many of us who oppose the proposed amendment see it as a "dialing for dollars" scheme to keep the money rolling in to fund the awards, the scholarships and the flight training programs.
Speaking of dollars, we are often told about how many thousands of dollars the Order spends on those programs. It is a big investment, but we seldom hear about the return on that investment in the form of how many actually enter the military, how many become military pilots, how many even join the Daedalians.
Gen Owen admitted that they needed to do a better job of following up and reporting on the results of those programs.
He said that he earnestly hoped everyone would vote on the issue. He did not want that provision in the Bylaws stating that a non-response to the ballot was counted as a Yes vote to be a deciding factor.
It seems obvious that the Failure to vote is now counted as a YES vote was overlooked or the consequences not understood.
He said he intended that regardless of the outcome of this vote, he would work with the Board of Directors to eliminate that "No Response Means Yes" provision in the Bylaws.
If that is the case, the honorable thing to do is postpone the vote on membership eligibility change until that onerous bylaw is repealed. The main reason given for that bylaw was to ensure a quorum so that votes tallied would count.
That sounded reasonable but the sneaky part in effect gave the National Staff a blank check to make changes, relying on the disinterest of a large number of members not voting, therefore counted as Yes votes.
That subterfuge puts a black cloud over the integrity and honesty of the Order.
Further, things have changed since that bylaw was put into play. With the growing use of Apollo, the National Staff has been afforded a Bully Pulpit to communicate directly with Flights and individual members. On line dialog can be established to clearly explain and justify actions for a fair and transparent vote when the time comes.
That bylaw to insure a quorum is no longer needed.
Do the right thing. Postpone the vote on criteria change until the house is put in order.
#2442 (Stanley V. Wright)
And here is some relevant email dialogue with members of other flights about which you should be aware:
Sir or Ma’am
I felt compelled to write even though there is a possibility this might not go anywhere.
I’ve been a proud Daedalian for nearly 30 years (1988 at George AFB) and am thankful for my experiences and the amazing aviators I’ve met over the years. I’ve humbly held every office in a flight from Flight Captain on and am currently the Adjutant in Flight 56. To say that I have been honored to be a part of this Order is an understatement…until now.
Full disclosure is that I voted for By-Law 9.04(c) when it was brought to a vote in 2014. To be honest, I am ashamed for not paying far closer attention to the “silence is consent” clause in the language. I have never been in an organization that has brought forth such an undemocratic concept…how can we “assume” one would vote for a measure simply for not submitting a ballot? There may be other organizations that follow similar procedures but I am not aware of any. This is even more acute given the dramatic and potentially volatile decision in front of us pertaining to membership criteria. Any by-law change, regardless of popularity or lack thereof, is virtually guaranteed to pass if enough people are asleep at the wheel as I was. I’m not sure what historical member response is on by-law change elections but have “heard” it tends to be lower than 50%...sure hope that’s not accurate.
Regardless how one feels about the new criteria, the true voice of the membership should be heard. Therefore I urge the Order leadership to cease the current voting immediately, rewrite 9.04(c) language to reinstate democratic principals with a subsequent new vote (not using the current procedures of ‘silence is consent”) then engage the membership with new membership criteria. I’m not sure what you have been hearing “in the trenches” but there are plenty of members who are angry and disappointed over the current situation and events. Many I have spoken with have made it abundantly clear that their future membership is on the line…I have to confess that I am one of them.
Please do the honorable course of action.
Bob Kay (Flight 56, Edwards AFB)
Member # 8748
Agree, Andi. And I also agree 100% with the following line from Bob Kay’s 17 June email to National: Therefore I urge the Order leadership to cease the current voting immediately, rewrite 9.04(c) language to reinstate democratic principles with a subsequent new vote (not using the current procedures of ‘silence is consent”) then engage the membership with new membership criteria. I believe this is the only reasonable, responsible and honorable course of action available at this point.
Andi Biancur [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
I trust you are sharing this correspondence trail with Flight 11 leadership. I think a straw vote of Flight 11, although far too late, would be interesting.
Falcon Flight 11
Vince Caterina [mailto:email@example.com]
With that bylaw, effectively any proposal will pass. Voter turnout rarely runs much above 60% for anything, from presidential elections to corporate stockholder votes to club elections to surveys. (Heck, we’re lucky if we get 60% to RSVP – yes or no – for Apollo dinner invitations even though it takes only a single click.) So with upwards of half the eligible votes in favor of any proposal as a consequence of the bylaw, it takes almost unanimous opposition to defeat it.
The outcome of an “idea” – shall we call it – depends on whether the proposal is worded in favor or against the idea. This year the expansion of membership criteria will be approved. If next year there is a proposal worded to rescind the new membership criteria, it would pass. If the following year there is another proposal to reinstate the new membership criteria, it would pass. The existence of the bylaw makes the voting system unstable.
So the only way one can make an unpopular change one is advocating truly permanent is to get rid of the bylaw AFTER you use the bylaw to get it passed. I believe that is what is happening now, with members not even being aware of how they are being duped.
There are Daedalians who have been after this expansion for years, Clearly, the current Board strongly supports the idea. The subject bylaw was passed in 2014. I have to believe most members must not have read the fine print carefully. It is so un-democratic it is inconceivable most patriotic Daedalians would have knowingly supported it. There was outrage about it in 2014, and a promise then that it would be repealed. That obviously has not happened in two years. There is now renewed outrage as more people have become aware of it.
So my prediction is the current proposal to expand membership will pass (see first paragraph), and immediately thereafter there will be a new proposal to rescind the bylaw (officially in response to the outrage over the bylaw, but in actuality as part of the long term strategy to ensure the change remains permanent). The absolutely sweet irony in the whole plan is that the bylaw itself will be used to rescind the bylaw!
I believe what we are seeing is end-game of a multi-year strategy to implement the expanded membership criteria.
I also believe it is a tragic mistake that will ultimately lead to the dissolution of the Order of Daedalians. And that will sadden me greatly.
Flight 56, Edwards AFB
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
- Robert Heinlein
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