SOFA – Senior Old Fogies Association By Richard (Dick) Babcock, Captain, USN Retired
The United States Naval Reserve Intelligence Community has developed and nurtured a significant number of Naval Reserve Intelligence Officers and Enlisted Personnel, which have risen through the ranks to increasing levels of responsibility, until finally reaching the pinnacle of managerial excellence. The pinnacle of managerial excellence is a story for another day and the SOFA – Senior Old Fogies Association will most likely receive honorable mention there as well. These achievements were usually rewarded by formal assignment to a non- pay status, ultimately leading to an uneventful retirement.
In 1992, in order to maintain high credit for Recruiting and Retention of Naval Reserve Intelligence Community personnel, seen by many as the carrot dangling the stick effect or tease. This became the brainstorm of United States Navy CAPT Mel Rodelli that a new organization should be formed, which retained those valuable personnel resources under the responsibility of an official non – paid Navy unit designation.
Thus, SQFA-OI08, AREA13 was formed with CAPT Al Parker as its first Commanding Officer. In keeping with the Navy’s penchant for acronyms, the designation “SOFA was assigned to the unit. “SOFA” officially stands for “Senior Old Fogies Association”, however, a more creative and appropriate substitutions for the word “Fogies” (usually related to gaseous events occurring with the lower digestive tract) has been put forth for unofficial usage and-has become a common term for referring to those who become members of the unit.
The Charter of SOFA-0108 is that its members’ attend USNR Retirement, Veteran Socials, change of Command; Unit Luncheon, Dining Out or general Beer Blast to which they can obtain invitations, in addition to holding an annual gathering at the home base of one of its members. During this latter event, a Change of Command ceremony is encouraged to be performed to give those who have never had much responsibility on Active Duty, even less responsibility in Retirement. That is why we are all here.
Change of Command – We wish CAPT Bob Gorham fair winds and following seas as he departs from the position of , ‘SinK-SOFA” (to SunK-SOFA), and pray that his relief in the person of CAPT Jim Pinkerton (previously ASS-SOFA now incoming SinK-SOFA) is able to uphold the traditions so feebly established by all prior administrations.
Center of activity for SOFA Area 13, is East Central Florida (The Cape). There are approximately 50 members in our group, adding members as they retire from military and/or reserve service. Although there is no rank requirement to join, most members of this group come with ex-Intel backgrounds. This is strictly a social group for those of us who loved the military and miss the passing of those years.
SOFA meet once a week for lunch, a different local restaurant each Thursday, and have been doing so for the past 18 years. One major social event is planned each year, usually in the fall, in order to select the slate of incoming “officers” for the next year – SINK Sofa and ASS Sofa. Once you leave the group you are known as a SUNK Sofa. There is no real function for these officers other than to select our next dining location and to alert all members of its location. They also keep abreast of any formal functions happening – Dining-ins, Dining outs & funerals for example. Because we are all retired, topics of conversations generally center around whom is traveling where, current health issues, local news and events, and the swapping of old sea stories – you know, old guy stuff.
We do have uniforms – a navy blue shirt with the SOFA logo that is a requirement of attending the luncheons. No uniform shirt and you are assessed a 25 cent fine for being out of uniform. The money is accumulated and donated to whom ever is hosting the yearly official event of SOFA officer selection. Wives and husbands, whatever the case may be, are always welcome to attend all functions.
Overall, it is a fun group working at keeping all of us old military types together.
Thank you Captain Babcock from American Writer
by AMERICAN WRITER Dr. Pietro Savo Tradition Books Publication © 2012
Manufacturing Research Practitioner ™ by Dr. Pietro Savo
Dr. Pietro Savo E-Mail Link firstname.lastname@example.org
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