ANNUAL PROGRAMS & EVENTS
SUPPORTING THE ENTIRE U.S. ARMY FAMILY
IN THE TAMPA BAY AREA AND WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA.
ANNUAL PROGRAMS & EVENTS
The following programs are the key elements of the annual support activities of the Suncoast Chapter. In reality, almost every day, Suncoast Chapter leaders are out supporting the Army in our community with a wide range of activities that support the Army in numerous ways.
Monthly Executive Committee Meetings
The EXCOM holds monthly meetings the first Tuesday of each month either as a virtual meeting or in-person at Vino E Pasta, Tampa. Meetings are generally held from 1130-1300. Contact us if you would like to join.
Army Birthday Celebration
For twenty three years now, the signature event of the Suncoast Chapter of AUSA is the annual U.S. Army Birthday Celebration which is held in Tampa. The Suncoast Chapter is the host of the event, US CENTCOM and US SOCOM share the responsibility of supporting the birthday ball on alternate years. The celebration offers a wonderful opportunity for the military community to interact with the local communities of the Tampa Bay area. It is at this event, that our chapter awards the prestigious GEN Paul Adams Award to the person who did the most to the mission of the Suncoast Chapter over several years. In addition to being a celebration of the Army birthday, the event offers an opportunity for a family gathering of the entire Army family, and the chapter ensures that the following members of the Army family are invited to participate in each celebration:
- JROTC and ROTC
- Gold Star Families
- Wounded Warriors
- Army Recruiting Command
- AUSA Community and National Partners
- Local Veterans Groups
- Military History Groups
- Active Duty, National Guard and Army Reserve
The Army Birthday Celebration will be held in June, 2023 in Tampa. Tickets will be available beginning in April. Interested sponsors and supporters can find sponsor information displayed on our website.
Checks to the Suncoast Chapter for the Army Birthday Celebration should include ” Army Birthday” in the memo line of the check.
The Suncoast Chapter has supported JROTC awards for decades, and for ten years now, the chapter has offered annual JROTC scholarships to the ten best JROTC cadets from Hillsborough County Schools as well as 35-40 JROTC medals and certificates throughout West-Central Florida.
Checks to the Suncoast Chapter specifically for the Hillsborough County JROTC Citizen Patriot Program should include ” Hillsborough County JROTC C.P.” in the memo line of the check.
Independence Day Dinner at the Fisher Houses
At the James A.Haley VA Hospital , there are two Fisher Houses that support families of Wounded Warriors 365 days each year. Each year, our chapter hosts a complimentary Independence Day Dinner at both Fisher Houses. Our chapter is blessed to have longtime community partner, Vino E Pasta Restaurant, whose owner, Luis Zamora Bulla, provides homemade gourmet Italian cuisine for this annual celebration.
Support for Army Recruiting Command
For several years now, one of the main efforts of the Third Region of AUSA has been to support Army recruiting efforts at the local level through our chapters. This includes active duty, Army Reserve and Army National Guard recruiting. Our chapter actively supports the Tampa Recruiting Battalion and seeks to provide opportunities for recruiters to interact with the community and build the future of the Army
Support for Department of Defense, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)
Since 2020, the Suncoast Chapter has supported the Department of Defense office, Florida ESGR ,efforts as an ongoing program. Five Suncoast Chapter leaders volunteer many days annually to support ESGR military and employer outreach efforts. This is an outstanding way for the Suncoast Chapter to engage the National Guard and Army Reserve units as well as the employers of those Troops in the chapter’s AOR.
Jenkins Military Leadership & Entrepreneurship Academy
The Jenkins Military Leadership & Entrepreneurship Academy was established by the Suncoast Chapter of AUSA in 2022 with the express goal of offering a variety of leadership development programs to the military community as well as entrepreneurship programs for Military Families, Veterans and Small Businesses who support the military community. Focus areas include the following:
- Leadership Development through guest speaker presentations
- Entrepreneurial Training focussing on government contracting
- Professional Development Seminars focussing on technical skill development such as project management and OSHA certifications.
The academy was made possible through a generous donation from an Army family and serial entrepreneurs, Chuck and Susan Jenkins and their firm, CWU, Inc located at 5402 W Laurel St. Unit 1B Tampa, FL 33607 . CWU, Inc. (CWU) is Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business that provides its government clients with critical staff augmentation support. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, CWU began operations in 2004 and is owned and managed by Charles & Susan Jenkins.
Mr. Jenkins is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces Veteran, who is the majority shareholder and CWU’s qualifying disabled veteran. The company is a prime contractor on the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command’s Defense Language Interpretation and Translation Enterprise II (DLITE II) multi-award task order contract.
To better serve its mission, the academy headquarters is situated with the AUSA Suncoast Chapter, and trainings are held on site at various locations the CONUS and OCONUS. Trainings build upon an educational program that was begun in 2016 by AUSA European Region and held in Germany, Greece, Italy, Denmark, Israel and Florida over the last seven years.
South Tampa Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee
Since 2010, the Suncoast Chapter has engaged the local business community by serving on the M.A.C. of the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Chapter leaders volunteer at annual events such as the Taste of South Tampa and the MacDill AFB Airfest.
MOAA Tampa Transitioning Service Members Event
Since 2020, the Suncoast Chapter has cooperated with the local MOAA chapter. The MOAA chapter hosts the event and Suncoast Chapter leaders provide a briefing to transitioning service members each March, May, August and November. This cooperation with MOAA is a great way to gain synergies of both organizations to support service members who are transitioning into the local area after serving.
Annual STEM Camp with SAME Tampa Post
Since 2022, the Suncoast Chapter has cooperated with the Tampa Post of the Society of American Military Engineer to support their annual STEM Camp at MacDill AFB. Chapter volunteers help with the week-long program each June to assist local schoolchildren with their introduction to STEM. At the camp, students are exposed to practical exercises such as creating construction plans, building robots and other scientific exercises presented by industry professionals.
Military Thanksgiving Dinner
Building on a tradition of two decades, the Suncoast Chapter began hosting the annual Military Thanksgiving Dinner at the Brandon Elks Lodge in 2019. Generous support of the Brandon Elk’s Lodge as well as financial and volunteer support from Altria make this event a huge success each year.
AUSA 3rd Region Meeting , Annual Meeting and Chapter Leader Training
The only way to effectively fulfill our mission and serve our members is for chapter leaders to participate in regional and national trainings. Annual meeting and training highlights include the following:
- 3rd Region Meeting each Spring
- Annual Chapter Leader Training each June
- Chapter President Training for new Chapter Presidents
- AUSA Annual Meeting in Washington DC each October
- Chapter Leader Training at the Annual Meeting