WARRANT OFFICER HISTORICAL FOUNDATION

(formerly Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation)

An Independent 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Public Charity

Preserving Army Warrant Officer History

Founded May 29, 2003


 

| Introduction | Purpose and Goals | Meeting the goals and Foundation History |

 

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About Us and Foundation History

 

Over the years, based on suggestions from the U. S. Army Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA) membership, research by staff and volunteers, and the ever increasing demand for support which frequently translates to increased funding requirements, USAWOA looked for ways to improve the efforts to insure that the Army Warrant Officer heritage and history is properly maintained and presented to the public. It was concluded that the best way to do this is to create a separate foundation.  During the summer of 2003, CW5 Franklin D. Meeks, then National President of the U. S. Army Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA), caused the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation to be set up.

 

Why was the foundation created?

 

The USAWOA felt this action was necessary due to the USAWOA federal tax categorization. The Internal Revenue Service determined that USAWOA was a “Not for Profit, Social Welfare Organization.”  The precise IRS categorization is “501 (c) (4).” This category was assigned to USAWOA in 1974..

 

USAWOA sought to clarify the “tax deductibility” question for present and potential financial donors. The 1972 IRS tax category designation letter for the Association clearly states that: “As a social welfare organization, contributions to you are not deductible by donors. You should advise your contributors to that effect.”

 

Therefore, we took action to establish a non-profit charitable organization to replace the "USAWOA Museum Fund" program.  The Warrant Officers Historical Foundation will administer the fund.  The IRS categorizes charitable organizations as “501 (c) (3)” and gifts to these organizations are fully (and generally unquestionably) tax-deductible.

 

While the foundation is structured to be a stand-alone entity, we can accept and hope for financial support from both individuals and organizations.  The foundation cannot succeed or even exist for very long without this critical support.  This new approach to what was the "Museum Fund" effort in the past will hopefully result in increased USAWOA donations and encourage organizations to also donate.

 


 

Purpose and Goals

 

The Warrant Officer Historical Foundation is organized, administered, and operated exclusively to receive, administer and expend funds as a public charity for among such other objectives and illustrative purposes only, and not by way of limitation, the following purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code as it may be amended from time to time:

 

Overarching goal

 

 “Preserve and educate our fellow military and the  general public about the long and rich history of  the Army Warrant Officer Corps.”

 

Individual Goals

  • Manage the funds  on hand; solicit donations, gifts, bequests, and grants, in order to achieve the over arching goal.

  • Publish Warrant Officer History Book Editions at approximately 10 to 15 year intervals.

  • Raise awareness about U. S. Army Warrant Officers and their contributions to the mission of the United States Army.

  • Erect  Memorials to our Fallen Comrades over the years since the establishment of the U. S. Army Warrant Officer Corps.

  • Design and Construct a Warrant Officer Historical Exhibit commemorating 100th Birthday of the Army Warrant Officer.

  • Participate in Joint Efforts together with the U. S. Army Warrant Officer Association in planning to commemorate the 100th Birthday of the Army Warrant Officer.

  • Avail ourselves of other opportunities to portray the long rich History of the U. S. Army Warrant Officer.


 

Here is where we are with these actions

and Foundation History

 

On May 29, 2003, then U. S. Army Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA) President CW5 Frank Meeks appointed the initial Directors of the Foundation. They were CW5 (Ret) David Welsh, Director, Incorporator and Registered Agent; CW4 (Ret) Ronald Whalen, Director; and CW4 (Ret) Carl Burnett, Director.  The appointed Directors elected two additional Directors who were CW4 (Ret) Cletus McKeown and CW5 (Ret) Thomas Piatti.  See current Foundation Directors and Officers.

 

In June 2003, a decision was made by USAWOA to transfer their Warrant Officer Museum Fund account to the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation.  Thereby, it was hoped to provide a much broader appeal to potential donors as well as broader latitude for the utilization of funds derived.

 

On July 8, 2003 the Commonwealth of Virginia approved the request to incorporate the Foundation.

 

On September 12, 2003, the Internal Revenue Service assigned the Foundation an Employer Identification Number.

 

On October 23, 2003 the Board of Directors held an organizational meeting during which they elected replacement directors for CW4 (Ret) Cletus McKeown who had passed away and CW4 (Ret) Carl Burnett who was unable to serve due to conflicting business pressures. CW5 (Ret) Richard Markle and CW3 (Ret) Alfred Cox were elected as replacements.  The Foundation Bylaws were approved and Corporate Officers were elected.  See current Foundation Directors and Officers.

 

On March 19, 2004 the IRS issued an Advance Ruling granting the Foundation Non-Profit Status under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Ruling covers the Foundation and donors from July 8, 2003 (the date of Incorporation in the Commonwealth of Virginia) until December 31, 2007, at which time a final determination will be rendered. As a publicly supported organization, all grants, donations, and bequests to the Foundation are tax deductible.

 

On March 21, 2005 Foundation President David Welsh, Vice President Richard Markle, and Treasurer Ronald Whalen met with Army Historical Foundation (AHF) and National Museum of the U.S. Army (NMUSA) Project Office. AHF representatives presented an overview of the AHF and their involvement with the NMUSA project.  The Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation (WOHF) presented a briefing on the Foundation's structure and goals.  Brig. Gen. (Ret) Abrahams, AHF Executive Director, presented the WOHF with a copy of U.S. ARMY A COMPLETE HISTORY.  This almost 1,000 page book published by AHF is a chronological and pictorial history of the Army from 1607 through 2004. It contains the birth of the Army Warrant Officer Corps in 1918, half page reproductions of the "LET GO!" and "The Quiet Professional" prints commissioned by the U.S. Army Warrant Officers Association and painted by the late Don Stivers, plus a full, 9 1/2" wide by 13" long concise History of the Army Warrant Officer.  Discussion then followed between all parties and it became obvious that mutual cooperation was in the best interest of both Foundations. In addition, the WOHF Directors met with the NMUSA Museum Contents Coordinator.  We were briefed on the concept plan for the museum and tentative layout. WOHF assistance was solicited in obtaining Warrant Officer unique historical items for the Museum.  The possibility of obtaining oral biographies of historically significant Warrant Officers was also discussed.  Both the AHF and NMUSA representatives also spoke about the Memorial Garden planned for the Museum grounds.  This Memorial Garden could become the site for a Memorial to Fallen Warrant Officer, the erection and placing of which is a Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation goal.

 

On October 12, 2005 the manuscript for a Warrant Officer History Book was submitted to the printer - see Cover & Table of Contents, and more information on the History Book Project.

 

October 2005 marked the 2nd Annual Board meeting of the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation. The Board meeting was held in Tucson, AZ in conjunction with the USAWOA Annual Meeting (AMM) of the Members. Directors present in person or by teleconference were David Welsh, Chairman & President; Richard Markle, Vice Chairman & Vice President; Thomas Piatti, Director & Secretary; Ronald Whalen, Director & Treasurer; and Alfred Cox, Director & Assistant Treasurer.  During the meeting Chairman David Welsh made a motion to reorganize the Board to expand to seven members so that the membership would constitute a simple majority for oversight of the Corporate Officers who would also remain as voting Board members.  This would incorporate the current trend to insure oversight by external directors.  The motion passed unanimously and the following were elected: Richard Markle as Chairman, Alfred Cox as Vice Chairman, David Welsh as Director & President, Thomas Piatti as Director & Secretary, and Ronald Whalen as Director & Treasurer, with two directors position vacant.  Chairman Markle then appointed the Board as a whole as a search committee.  See the Minutes of the Meeting.

 

In December 2005 the Board of Directors met in Executive Session to discuss nominees for the two vacant directors and some issues that came up during the USAWOA Annual Meeting of the Members in October 2004, regarding the Warrant Officer History Book Project. CW5 (Ret) Donald "Woody" Woodruff and CW2 (Ret) Benjamin Gottfried were nominated and elected to fill the two vacant Directors positions effective January 1, 2006.

 

In June 2006 a letter was sent to each USAWOA Life member outlining the Foundation's goals, objectives, and progress to date. This letter also solicited financial support.

 

On September 22, 2006 proofing of "WARRANT The Legacy of Leadership as a Warrant Officer" history book, it's covers, and dust jacket was completed and the book was certified for printing - see Cover and Table of Contents and more information on the History Book Project.

 

On October 14, 2006 the 3rd Annual Board Meeting of the Foundation was held in Chestertown, MD. Operations since the 2nd Annual Meeting were reviewed and plans were reviewed for the upcoming 12 months.  See the Minutes of the Meeting for details.

 

In October 2006, at the 34th USAWOA Annual Meeting of the Members in St. Petersburg, FL, the attendees individually donated $1,660 to the Foundation for which we were very grateful.

 

In December 2006, "WARRANT The Legacy of Leadership as a Warrant Officer" history book was released - see more.  (This History Book is now sold out. The Foundation plans to publish a new Warrant Officer History Book in 2018 in commemoration of the 100th Birthday of the Army Warrant Officer.)

 

On September 28-30, 2007 the 4th Annual Board of Directors Meeting of the Foundation was held on Chincoteague Island, VA. Nominations and elections were held and all Board Members and Corporate Officers were reelected.  CW4 (Ret) Donald E. Hess, USAWOA President Emeritus, was honored with the designation as Foundation Historian Emeritus and Advisor.  The Board also directed that a program be developed by the Corporate Officers to recognize major donations by individuals and organizations.  See the Minutes of the Meeting for details.

 

In October 2007 at the 35th USAWOA Annual Meeting of the Members in San Antonio, TX, USAWOA National President CW4 (Ret) Roy Valiant accepted two copies of "WARRANT The Legacy of Leadership as a Warrant Officer" on behalf of the U. S. Army Warrant Officers Association.  Individual attendees and USAWOA Chapters donated a total of $1,000 plus pledges in the sum of $600 were received.  We are grateful for the support of USAWOA, it's Chapters and Members.

 

On April 18, 2008 the Internal Revenue Service issued a letter classifying the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation as a Public Charity. With this final ruling, all past and future donations continue to be tax-deductible - see IRS Letter.

 

In the Summer of 2008 "WARRANT The Legacy of Leadership as a Warrant Officer - 90 Years of Technical Expertise in the Army", a Feature article in "ON POINT The Journal of Army History," was published by Army Historical Foundation.

 

In January 2009, the Foundation issued an open letter in the USAWOA NEWSLINER to USAWOA, its Regions, Chapters, individual members, Corporate sponsors, and fellow Warrant Officers for their support and donations.

 

In June 2009, the Foundation issued another open letter in the USAWOA NEWSLINER announcing that the fund raising goal for the Memorial to our Fallen Warrant Officer Comrades had been reached.

 

In September 2009, the Corporate Officers of the Foundation proposed a concept design for the Warrant Officer Memorial. The design concept was unanimously approved by the Foundation Board of Directors on September 18, 2009.

 

On November 3, 2009, Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation Chairman of the Board CW5 (Ret) Richard Markle visited the Army Historical Foundation (AHF). During the visit the WOHF proposal was presented for approval to place six granite benches funded by the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation in the Memorial Garden of the National Museum of the U. S. Army (NMUSA) engraved in memory of our Fallen Warrant Officer Comrades. The  theme is "SOME GAVE ALL - ALL GAVE SOME" with each bench engraved to cover a period of conflict, i.e. 'THE WORLD WARS", “KOREA”, “VIETNAM”, “PANAMA - SOMALIA – HAITI”, “PERSIAN GULF” and “GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR”.  Also during the visit, Markle presented a $5,000 check to the National Museum Capital Fund Raiser in behalf of the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation and the U. S. Army Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA). Also presented were two copies of "WARRANT The Legacy of Leadership as a Warrant Officer" history book, one for the NMUSA Research Library and the other as a desk reference for the AHF Historian. 

 

On November 6th USAWOA National President CW5 Gary Nisker announced the Memorial Bench design and the $5,000 donation to the NMUSA Fund Raiser to the attendees at the USAWOA 37th AMM in Salt Lake City.  CW5 Nisker also announced a campaign to raise $100,000 toward construction of a proposed Warrant Officer Historical Exhibit commemorating the 100th Birthday of the Army Warrant Officer Corps in July 2018 - see more.

 

On December 1, 2009, CW3 (Ret) Alfred E. "Al" Cox relinquished his seat as the Vice Chairman of the Foundation. He admirably served as a Director and Assistant Treasurer from 2003-2005 and as Vice Chairman of the Board from 2005-2009. 

 

On March 24, 2010, CW5 (Ret) Donald "Woody" Woodruff became the Vice Chairman of the Foundation's Board of Directors replacing CW3 (Ret) Alfred "Al" Cox who had retired and CW4 (Ret) Harry C. McCurdy assumed the Director's seat vacated by Vice Chairman Woodruff.

 

On April 7, 2010, the Board of Directors of the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation set 2018 as the planned release date for the next Warrant Officer History Book edition. The Title of the book has not yet been selected but the theme will center around the July 9, 1918 birthday of the Army Warrant Officer in the Mine Planter Service of the Coast Artillery and the 100 Years thereafter.

 

On April 24, 2010 the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation was joined by the U. S. Army Warrant Officers Association in issuing a Joint Resolution to support an initiative for the Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe, Virginia to remain as an active Army Museum in the United States Army Museum System - see the Resolution.  (See also "Fort Monroe's Little Known History: Birthplace of the U. S. Army Warrant Officer.")

 

The May-August 2010 Edition of ENGINEER The Professional Bulletin of Army Engineers contained a Historical article by Foundation President CW5 (Ret) Dave Welsh entitled 92nd Birthday of the Army Warrant Officer.

 

On July 20, 2011, autographed copies "WARRANT The Legacy of Leadership as a Warrant Officer" were presented to V.Adm.. Norbert Ryan, Jr., President of the Military Officers Association of America by CW5 (Ret) David P. Welsh, President of the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation and author of the book; and for COL Stanley Smith, Commandant of the U.S. Army Warrant Officers Career College, by CW4 (Ret) Donald "Don" Hess, the Foundation's Historian Emeritus.  COL Smith's book was accepted on his behalf by CW5  Michael R. Funk, Deputy Commandant.

 

During the October 2011 at the USAWOA Annual Meeting of the Members in Fayetteville, NC an initiative was announced for the Foundation and USAWOA to join forces in an effort to commemorate the July 2018 100th Birthday of the Army Warrant Officer Corps with Warrant Officer Memorial Benches for placement in selected locations in the U. S. and a 100th Birthday traveling Historical Exhibit - see the announcement.

 

On January 18, 2012, the Corporate Office of the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation moved from 462 Herndon Pkwy Suite 207, c/o USAWOA, Herndon, VA to Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation, c/o Bay Life Consulting Group, 6743-1 Maddox Blvd, PO Box 438, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336-0438.  Donations continue to be sent to the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation c/o USAWOA, 462 Herndon Pkwy, Suite 207, Herndon, VA 20170-5235 for processing and deposit.

 

On February 3, 2012, the Foundation purchased the web domain names WarrantOfficerHeritage.org and WarrantOfficerHistory.org for future use as the Foundation's web site.  The Board of Directors decided that when the web site is relaunched as a stand alone site the domain name WarrantOfficerHistory.org will be used.  The Foundation will continue to own and renew the domain name WarrantOfficerHeritage.org so that it is not available for others to purchase.

 

On February 17, 2012, the Foundation ordered the first Warrant Officer Memorial Bench.  When received by our vendor the seat back will with engraved with the text and an Eagle Rising.  Once completed pictures will be taken and posted on the Foundation’s web site and provided to the NEWSLINER Editor.  The Foundation is also exploring a location in the Mid-Atlantic Region for installation of this bench.

 

On February 18, 2012, the USAWOA First State Chapter held an Installation and Awards Luncheon at the Dover Downs Hotel.  CW5 (Ret) David P. Welsh, President and Founder of the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation, presented the first of many Certificates of Enrollment as an "Eagle Rising Donor." T he Certificate was presented to the USAWOA First State Chapter for their continued support in preserving the History and Heritage of the U. S. Army Warrant Officer.  CW5 (Ret) Welsh also presented a specially designed Foundation Coin to USAWOA Northeastern Region Deputy Director CW5 (Ret) Bill Buss recognizing his significant donation to the Foundation.

 

The March 2012 edition of the Army Historical Foundation CALL TO DUTY newsletter announced the National Museum of the U. S. Army VETERANS' HALL SPONSORSHIP and asks veterans' groups to "Follow the lead..." of the six groups  already demonstrating "Support in action!"  The Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation is a SILVER STAR Member having issued a grant in the sum of $5,000 on November 3, 2009 - see more.

 

Also in March 2012 CW5 Ida Tyree-Hyche was elected to the Foundation's Board of Directors. CW5 Tyree-Hyche is a Life Member of the U. S. Army Warrant Officers Association and served as the USAWOA Southeastern Region Director at the time

 

On May 13, 2012 the Foundation was registered in the Charitable Organization Database of the Office of Consumer Affairs of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - see current registration record.

 

In August 2012 a joint committee was formed to plan commemoration of the 100th Birthday of the Army Warrant Office occurring in July 2018. The committee consisted of representatives from the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation and the U. S. Army Warrant Officers Association.  CW5 (Ret) Dave Welsh was elected by the Committee members as the Interim Chairperson. 

 

On November 2, 2012 at the U. S. Army Warrant Officers Association Board of Directors Meeting following the 40th Annual Meeting of the Members in Harrisburg, PA,. National President CW5 (Ret) James 'Jim' White nominated Past National President CW4 (Ret) Kenneth 'Pete" Hill to Chair the 100th Anniversary Observance Committee to plan for commemoration of the birth of the Army Warrant Officer on 9 July 1918 in the Mine Planter Service of the Coast Artillery.  The committee is a joint venture based in USAWOA and involving the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation and the USAWOA Scholarship Foundation.  The Joint Committee consists of the Chair plus representatives of USAWOA and the Foundation.  (See Resolution)

 

On January 15, 2013, revised Foundation Bylaws were approved.  The number of External Directors was increased to six (6) and a Corporate Vice President with a vote was added.  This brings the total number of Directors to ten (10) with the External Directors providing oversight of the day-to-day operations of the Corporation. (See Revised Bylaws)  Also on January 15, 2013 several changes of Board Members and Corporate Officers took place.  Co-Founder and Corporate Treasurer CW4 (Ret) Ronald Whalen’s retirement took effect.  Over the last ten-years, Ron has totally dedicated his life to supporting the Foundation, our efforts and projects.  CW5 (Ret) Donald ‘Woody’ Woodruff relinquished his position as Vice Chairman of the Board and he assumed the position of Corporate Treasurer with membership on the Board.  Also, CW4 (Ret) Donald ‘Don’ Hess was appointed as Corporate Vice President.  Don will assist as Co-Author of the 100th WO Birthday History book, historical research, and other projects underway by the Foundation.

 

On February 3, 2013, CW5 Gary R. Nisker was elected to fill a vacancy as an External Director on the Foundation's Board of Directors.

 

On February 26, 2013, Director Gary R. Nisker was elected to fill the vacancy of Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.

 

In April 2013, theFoundation  purchased four Commemorative Bricks for the entrance walkway of the planned National Museum of the U.S. Army.  These bricks recognize Vietnam era Medal of Honor recipients MAJ Frederick E. Ferguson, then CW2; CW4 Michael J. Novosel, then a an CW3; and CW2 Louis R. Rocco, then SFC; plus the first and only Army Warrant Officer Astronaut CW4 Thomas J. Hennen, then a CW3.

 

On July 27, 2013, CW4 (Ret) Harry McCurdy resigned as an External Director on the Board of the Foundation due to health issues.  Harry was an active Board Member since March 2010.  He will be missed.

 

On July 31, 2013, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to change the name of the Corporation/Foundation to the "Warrant Officer Historical Foundation.  The change of name requires submission to multiple Federal and State Agencies, therefore the change of name will be phased in.

 

On August 8, 2013, CW5 (Ret) Albert G. Curving was elected as an External Director on the Board of the Foundation.  He replaces Harry McCurdy.

 

On September 17, 2013, CW5 (Ret) Ida Tyree-Hyche resigned as a Director on the Foundations Board for personal reasons.

 

On November 7, 2013, David A. Ratliff, CW5 USA Retired, was elected to fill the vacancy on the Board of Directors.

 

On November 12, 2013,  The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved the change of name to the "Warrant Officer Historical Foundation."  The name change better portrays our goals and mission to "Preserve the History of the U. S. Army Warrant Officer."

 

Also in November 2013, the Foundation purchased a Commemorative Brick for the entrance walkway of the planned National Museum of the U.S. Army in recognition of WW II Medal of Honor recipient CW4 Oscar Johnson, then a PFC.

 

On December 27, 2013, The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) approved the change of name to "Warrant Officer Historical Foundation under the same Tax Payer Identification Number issued to the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation.  Therefore all donations made to the Warrant Officers Heritage Foundation remain deductible within the limits prescribed by law.

 

On December 30, 2013, The Foundation was notified of achieving Bronze Participation Level recognition on GuideStar.org.  Guide Star is a non-profit clearing house providing information to potential donors.  ( see the Foundation's report).

 

On January 30, 2014, The Foundation website moved to a stand alone site at https://warrantofficerhistory.org

 

In March 2014, the IRS Master File was updated to show the change of name to the Warrant Officer Historical Foundation. (See Foundation Record)

 


  • We are an independent foundation.  Notwithstanding that, we are grateful to the United States Army Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA) for causing the creation of the Foundation, promoting the efforts of the Foundation, the processing and depositing of donations, hosting the Foundation on their website, and other outstanding support.

  • All Directors, Officers, Staff, and Volunteers of the Foundation serve without compensation.

  • The Foundation Office of Record is c/o Bay Life Consulting, 4176 Vivian St, P.O. Box 438, Chincoteague, VA 23336-0438.

  • Questions or comments about the Warrant Officer Historical Foundation may be emailed to wohf-2003@verizon.net, or to the Foundation President at  757-999-2022.


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Updated September 21, 2014