MOAA Celebrates 93 Years: Longtime Members Share Why They Joined

MOAA Celebrates 93 Years: Longtime Members Share Why They Joined
From left, MOAA members CW5 Jennifer Warner, USA (Ret); Capt. David Peterson, NOAA (Ret); and Lt. Col. Marvin Skeath, USMC (Ret). (Courtesy photos)

Lt. Col. Marvin Skeath, USMC (Ret), became a member of The Retired Officers Association (TROA), now MOAA, in 1966 — the same year he retired from the Marine Corps. He joined to support the association’s advocacy efforts.


“It was clear to me that without a strong and constant reminder, Congress would overlook the contributions of the military,” he said.


Longtime members like Skeath, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday, joined MOAA for a variety of reasons: wanting to fight a specific threat to their earned benefits, access to MOAA’s programs and services, a desire to continue serving, and as a way to stay connected to their military communities.


Capt. David Peterson, NOAA (Ret), joined while he was still on active duty in the 1990s. At the time, there was a proposal to dismantle NOAA. TROA was one of the organizations that fought against this proposal, and they were successful. Peterson has been an active MOAA member ever since.


[NEVER STOP SERVING: Join or Upgrade Your Membership Today]


Benefits are another reason many have joined MOAA.


“Life membership in an organization that looked after retired benefits and offered special rates and discounts on supplemental health insurance and entertainment and shopping sounded like a good thing at the time — and it was,” said CW5 Jennifer Warner, USA (Ret).


Lt. Col. Karon Uzzell-Baggett, USAF (Ret), wanted to continue to serve her community.


“I joined MOAA after I retired because I wanted to collaborate with other military officers who were still serving in their communities. I became a Life Member soon afterward and consider it an excellent decision to this day.”


[SPECIAL DEALS AND PROGRAMS: MOAA's Member-Exclusive Discounts]


Importance of Advocacy

MOAA’s effective advocacy is an important reason people remain members for decades, but they also enjoy the opportunity to stay a part of a military-related group.


“I have continued to remain a MOAA member because I believe in the tenets of the organization and appreciate the ceaseless advocacy of MOAA to benefit active duty, Guard, Reserve, and retired servicemembers, along with their families,” Uzzell-Baggett said.


Warner also appreciates MOAA’s advocacy efforts.


[RELATED: Meet MOAA’s New Legislative Action Center]


“From what I’ve seen in the intervening nearly 30 years, MOAA has continued to get better, with the change in name and focus to support all troops and surviving family members in addition to the larger retired community,” she said. “I am proud of what MOAA is doing at both the national and local levels to improve the quality of life for all who have worn a uniform.”


Chapters Create Community

Community involvement is a key factor in long-term membership. Whether joining other members in person at geographically based chapters or participating in one of the four virtual chapters, members enjoy camaraderie, philanthropy, and the opportunity to impact their local area and state.


Peterson, Warner, and Uzzell-Baggett all are involved in local MOAA chapters.


Peterson has served as vice president, president, membership chair, and webmaster of the Montgomery County (Md.) Chapter. He has also served on MOAA’s board of directors.


“I enjoy the camaraderie of the chapter and the organization itself,” he said.


Warner also has been involved in her local chapter as well as her state council.


Uzzell-Baggett said chapter membership helps her to fulfill MOAA’s motto to never stop serving.


“I stay engaged with my chapter and community through various activities,” she said. “The MOAA motto … resonates with me.” 


Want to Help Servicemembers in Your Community?

Learn how you can make a difference with your local chapter.

Get Involved Go Virtual

Related Content

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell

Horrell is a personal financial educator and military spouse. Get more finance tips at