Middle Years – 1972 to 1992

The Middle Years — 1972 to 1992

In October 1972, Woolhouse was appointed to the position of Correspondence Secretary, later described as Association Business Manager and Coordinator. (The title was changed to Executive Secretary about 1983 or 1984.) From 1972 to 1982, Woolhouse, while employed full-time in his civilian occupation, devoted nights, weekends and vacation time, along with his wife, on AFOSISA business.

Following his second retirement in 1982, Woolhouse worked full-time on managing Association affairs, still assisted only by his wife. The question of employing paid assistance to Woolhouse arose several times, but was never fulfilled. In December 1986, he tendered his resignation effective 1 August 1987. Again Bob Sheeran, “While full credit is given to our Founding Fathers for originating AFOSISA, if it were not for the hard work, devotion and determination of Charlie Woolhouse during the past 15 years there would not be an AFOSISA today.”  One specific example that reflects that dedication was his creation of the directory.  Woolhouse designed this directory and spent $1,300 of personal money for the first printing, being eventually repaid.

During these middle years, efforts were made to develop collateral benefits for the membership. Some came to fruition, others failed to succeed. Among those succeeding were the Association lapel/tie tack pins, bumper stickers, membership cards, binders for the Global Alliance and an Association ring project. Two that failed were member tours to PACAF and USAFE (for which AFOSI HQ promised local briefings support) and an attempt to sponsor a modest life insurance program for the members.

Communications with the membership reportedly started with the first “Newsletter” published on 15 October 1966, which was a one-page letter-type designed to pass on news of members and alert former OSI members of the existence of AFOSISA and encourage them to join. No copy of it survives in the National HQ files. The earliest copy of a letter style report is dated December 1968 and entitled Ex-Officio Report. It is likely the first, and maybe the only, issue of that name because it reported on the origins of the Association and developments in 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968, ending with the hope there would be more to come and more often — a hope that would be delayed at least 3 more years.

The first edition of the AFOSISA Newsletter apparently was published with an issue date estimated to be sometime in 1971. This publication date is based on an analysis of the issue numbers appearing on surviving copies in the National HQ files which were carried forward to its successor, the Global Alliance. It is not clear if this newsletter was initiated by Woolhouse or someone else, assuming the 1971 date is accurate. In a profile article on Woolhouse in the Oct 1987 Global Alliance it is recorded that he started the newsletter in April 1973. Available record copies of the AFOSISA Newsletter start with the 15 Jan 77 edition. Publication continued under this name until 15 July 1986, when it was renamed the Global Alliance. The newsletter evolved from a 5½ by 8½ blue paper quarterly insert for the Membership Directory of 2-4 pages to 20 pages by the 15 Apr 83 issue, when it was converted to 8 x 10 white paper typeset format.

From a retrospective view, the newsletter was far from today’s standards for computer produced newsletters, but it seems to have met the needs of and was highly valued by the membership during Woolhouse’s stewardship as evidenced by its growth in size. It was crammed with details of member’s activities, association information, etc. Its preparation had to be one of the most time consuming and continuing aspects of his duties as Executive Secretary. One of the most interesting projects appearing in the newsletter was the publication of OSI School class photographs and student rosters, which commenced in the Fall 1977 issue. This was a cooperative effort by HQ AFOSI staff. By 1985, the newsletter had grown to 40 pages and many, if not most, of the articles were being written by Bob Sheeran, who had been contributing since 1982 and was announced in the 15 Oct 85 edition as the Acting Editor.

In 1986 the Executive Committee approved the change from a newsletter to a magazine under a new masthead, designed by Woolhouse, using the name Global Alliance. That name, devised by Sheeran, was taken “to betoken not only our alliance to one another but to note our alliance to AFOSI as stated in the Preamble to our By-Laws, to perpetuate the ideals and principles of AFOSI. We feel that the new title reflects our Association’s sentiment that its members are truly allied and will forever remain a part of the AFOSI family.” The new magazine first appeared on 15 Jul 1986, but carried Issue Nr. 62 in the masthead to note its past lineage.

Sheeran was appointed the Editor, effective 9 October 1986, and continued in that capacity until his death in 1997. Dick Law assumed duties as Editor at that time. Members have commented that the Global Alliance is one of the major factors binding the Association together. The magazine has evolved in a way that reaches out to all the membership. The magazine, like all other functions of AFOSISA, is a volunteer effort and also a labor of love by the Editor. Of necessity, the Editor depends on other volunteers to help bring this magazine together for the membership — an enormous never-ending intellectual and physical effort. It has become the major source of linkage among the members.

In April 1992, the Global Alliance was submitted as an entry in APEX ’92, an annual program of awards for publication excellence sponsored by Communications Concepts, Washington, DC.  Five editions (January 1991 through January 1992) were submitted in the category of Non-profit Internal Magazines/Journals. Of the 12 Awards of Excellence made in that category, the Global Alliance received Second Place.