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The Northeast Division Conference was held April 5-6, 2019 at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center in Binghamton, New York. Hunterdon County Bulldogs Commandant, Chris Soldano and Adjutant, Mary Soldano attended this year’s event.

The day started with a joint opening with the Department of New York, Department of Pennsylvania and Department of New Jersey Marine Corps League and Marine Corps League Auxiliary members. The memorial and Chapel of Four Chaplains service was presented by Tom Minchin, Division Chaplain and Chair of the National Chapel of Four Chaplains Committee.

Past New York Department Commandant and current Northeast Division Vice Commandant, Tim Forbes introduced Barbara DeAngelo to present on Vets4Warriors. Vets4Warriors, housed at the Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care National Call Center in New Jersey, is a one-of-a-kind 24/7 peer support network. They serve veterans of all generations and the entire military community, from those who just put on a uniform, to the caregiver of a veteran who has long since stopped wearing a uniform. For more information visit: https://www.vets4warriors.com.

Staff Sergeant, Darcel Carver, Marine for Life Network representative and Marine Corps Reservist located in Binghamton, New York talked at the conference about the importance of the relationship between the Marine For Life Network and the Marine Corps League. The Marine For Life Network (M4L) connects transitioning Marines and their family members to free resources, such as education, employment opportunities, and other Veterans services that aid in their career and life goals outside of military service. Barbara DeAngelo is the Northeast Region MCL/M4L Liaison. For more information visit: http://marineforlife.org/.

Department Commandants from each state in the Northeast Division were moderators for group sessions that discussed communication, recruiting and professional development. Each Commandant rotated through each group to discuss ideas from each member. Key topics discussed were using multiple lines of communication to get our league news into the membership and the community noting that each generation prefers different methods and to make sure we diversify communication channels. Multiple different recruiting methods were discussed. The emerging theme was to have more family style events to encourage younger working members with young families to stay active in the league and to encourage more young Marines to participate. During the professional development session, most thought leadership school was a good tool for development of members who have a year of league membership under their belt. For new members, mentoring was discussed, and Detachments were encouraged to assign a mentor for all new members and find out what they need out of the league and are looking to do.

After the close of the normal business meeting the conference was adjourned until reconvened at the banquet later that night. During the banquet, Tim Forbes presented many well-deserved distinguished service awards to Division members. Among them was our very own Hunterdon County Bulldogs Commandant and Northeast Division Webmaster, Chris Soldano. Chris was also awarded the 2019 Victor T. Fisher Award for his outstanding work on rebuilding and designing the new Northeast Division website and his dedication to making the Northeast Division Marine Corps League stand out on top among the other division websites.

During the banquet, John Cleary, head of the Northeast Division Marine of the Year committee and last year’s recipient, presented this year’s Division Marine of the Year candidates from each state represented in the Division. Joseph DeAngelo, Division Assistant Vice Commandant from New Jersey, Tim Forbes, Division Vice Commandant from New York and Dave Brady, Adjutant from the Department of Pennsylvania and National Recording Secretary were nominated this year. The committee was deadlocked on a decision and decided to break protocol for this year and all three candidates were awarded this year’s Northeast Division Marine of the Year.

The next big event on the calendar for New Jersey MCL members is the Department of New Jersey Annual Convention from June 13-15 at the Seaview Hotel in Galloway New Jersey. For more information on the Department of New Jersey Annual Convention visit https://dnjmcl.org/ to see all the convention documents listed on the homepage.

For more information about the Northeast Division Marine Corps League visit: https://nedmcl.org/.

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