Our primary focus remains to promote a strong national defense and ensure the nation keeps its commitments to those who have sacrificed so much for our nation.
Alexandria, Va. (PRWEB) January 04, 2016
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins became the new president and chief executive officer for the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) today, succeeding retired Navy Vice Adm. Norbert R. Ryan Jr., who led the association since 2002.
Atkins, 61 and a native of Portland, Ore., will lead the more than 390,000 members of the nation's largest military service organization and fourth-largest veterans service organization in its advocacy mission on behalf of the entire uniformed services community.
Since his 2012 retirement from the Air Force, Atkins had been the president of Chronicle Media, a large media and publishing company in Augusta, Ga.
“For more than 86 years, MOAA has excelled at providing an influential voice for the troops and military families, both currently serving and retired,” said Atkins. “Our primary focus remains to promote a strong national defense and ensure the nation keeps its commitments to those who have sacrificed so much for our nation.”
Atkins takes over during a period when budget cuts and continuing worldwide deployments pose major challenges for the all-volunteer force.
“There will be no lack of challenges in the months and years ahead,” said Atkins. “Whenever our country has experienced an extended period of conflict, the trend has been to seek some sort of a ‘peace dividend,’ often in the shape of cutting end strength and curtailing pay and benefits for those who serve. Unfortunately, we’re seeing that happen again right now. Our challenge will be to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, when similar cuts ultimately undermined retention and readiness.”
At the time of his retirement from the Air Force, Atkins served as the commander of Alaskan Command, Alaska NORAD Region, Joint Task Force Alaska and 11th Air Force at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
During his career in the Air Force, Atkins served as a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours in fighter aircraft, as vice commander of the 7th Air Force and U.S. Air Force Korea, as director of operations (J3) U.S. Pacific Command and as special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe during the air war over Serbia. During his career, he flew as a demonstration pilot for both the European A-10 demonstration team and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
Atkins earned his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Portland. He also holds two master's degrees, one in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and another in national security strategy from the National War College.
He and his wife, Laura, were the 2004 recipients of the General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award, which recognizes the wing commander and spouse whose contributions to the nation, the Air Force and the local community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple. Atkins and his wife have two children, a son who served in the Air Force and is currently a student at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a daughter who earned her doctorate in education and teaches in Washington state.
Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is the nation’s largest and most influential association of military officers. With more than 390,000 members — active duty, former, retired, and National Guard and Reserve officers from all seven uniformed services and their spouses and surviving spouses — it is a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and represents the interests of military officers and their families at every stage of their careers. For those who are not eligible to join MOAA, Voices for America’s Troops is a nonprofit MOAA affiliate that supports a strong national defense. For more information, visit http://www.moaa.org.