USPS News Blast August 2017

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Get CPR and first-aid certified at the 2017 Governing Board

Want to get certified (or renew your current card) in the crucial skills of CPR and first aid? We are offering a one-day class on Wednesday, Sept. 13, in Dallas, Texas. The cost is $60 (book is included). Lunch will be available to purchase onsite. Minimum class size is 10 students. Registration deadline is Aug. 21. Email me for more information and to sign up. Email: Jeff McKinney

Dallas welcomes first-timers

If you’ve been planning to attend your first national meeting, register now to attend the 2017 Governing Board Meeting in Dallas! You will receive helpful information, an invitation to a meet-and-greet with the national bridge, and a discount coupon for one item from the Ship’s Store. We look forward to giving you a big ol’ Texas welcome.  Email: Lynda Leque

There’s a room in Dallas waiting for you to claim it

Rooms are available at the Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre for the 2017 Governing Board Meeting, Sept. 10–17. Visit the USPS National Meetings website and reserve your room now. While on the website, check out the exciting events and tours. Don’t miss out on the fun!  Email: Vincene Aquilato
Read more:  National Meetings

Dock and marina trash collection

The Environmental Committee urges all boaters and passengers to stow trash and garbage on the boat and take it to a trash disposal container on shore. In addition, the committee encourages boaters to pick up trash on the water and on land. After collecting all this stuff, we need convenient places on shore where we can dump the trash. We need to work with marinas, boatyards and other locations to provide visible, easy-to-use trash containers for boaters. Squadrons may need to work with proprietors to install signs directing boaters to trash containers to make protecting our waters as easy and convenient as we can.  Email: Richard Daybell

Squadron Development/Leadership Committee

It’s time you start looking at the seminars you’ll want to attend in Dallas. The Squadron Development/Leadership Committee will present four seminars: “Operations Training in 3 Hours” by Harvey Young, “How to Run a Meeting” by Brad Peters, “Navigate the National Website & Where to Find Forms for Your Department” by the committee and “Job Descriptions-Commanders Kits-Calendars” by the committee. See you in Dallas!  Email: Myles Gee
Read more:  Sign up for seminars

Wing’s book is being replaced

Charlie Wing’s “One Minute Guide to the Rules of the Road” is being replaced with the downloaded U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules immediately. This change affects the Seamanship Course and the Mastering the Rules of the Road Seminar. Those who already have Wing’s book may continue to use it.  Email: Chris Windeler
Read more:  USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook

Safety Committee has VSC posters

Please visit the Safety Committee web page for Vessel Safety Check posters, fliers and boat ramp signs. Click on the link to the Decal Awareness Program. If download assistance is needed to personalize your information, email me for assistance.  Email: Bob Bales
Read more:   Decal Awareness Program

Operations and Leadership Training

Wonder what happened to all the interesting and useful information that was on the Leadership Development Committee website? The commanders and district commanders kits, squadron and district calendars, and all presentations can be reached by either clicking on Squadron Development/Leadership Committee under Departments and then clicking on Operations and Leadership Training or by clicking on Operations and Leadership Training under Committees. If you need additional information, email Edwin Kridler or me.   Email: Mary Dodd
Read more:  Operations and Leadership Training

Celestial Tools V 5.6.1

Although Celestial Tools V 5.6.1 was announced in last month’s USPS News Blast, it was not available on the website until recently. This release contains feature enhancements, changes, and bug fixes. It is available on the ONCom Software and Tools web page.  Email: Stan Klein
Read more:  ONCom Software and Tools

Operations Training at 2017 Governing Board

The three-hour Operations Training Seminar, “OT in 3,” has been updated to include changes made at the Annual Meeting. You can take the revised seminar during the 2017 Governing Board Meeting on Sept. 15 from 8:30–11:45 a.m. The seminar will help new members learn how our organization operates and keep other members in touch with organizational changes. It covers officers’ duties and responsibilities at all levels, discussions on committee work, and interrelations among the levels. We discuss protocol, educational opportunities, project scheduling, delegating, committee management, and problem solving. We designed the seminar for members’ personal advancement and as encouragement to get members more involved. We emphasize the opportunities and benefits of membership. Since our organization is constantly changing, we recommend participating in the program every four to five years.  Email: Edwin G. Kridler

The Finance Committee needs your help

The Finance Committee is looking for members. We are looking to add a staff commander to lead a fundraising initiative. If you have a background in fundraising, please submit your resume to the Committee on Nominations or contact me directly. We are also looking for additional committee members. If you have a finance or business background, please consider joining our committee.  Email: Ben Coons
Read more:  Submit a resume

The Summer of Membership is in full swing

July 4th parades and activities are behind us, but summer is far from over. Summer got off to a quick start for the Golden Corner Lakes Sail & Power Squadron, which held its 12th annual boat rides for clients and families of the Tribble Center in June. This annual event promotes squadron retention and definitely provides a great service to the community. They’re in the running to win a new squadron banner; how about you? Learn more about their event in Dallas. Now it’s time for you to share your stories that promote membership.  Email: Jim Pahl-Washa
Read more:  Summer of Membership

Start using new educational course completion certificates

It’s time to start using the new educational course completion certificates. We will not be sending out educational course completion stickers for the old membership certificates, as there are new membership certificates and new printable educational course completion certificates. The new certificates can be accessed by the SEOs, squadron commanders as well as students. Visit, go to the “Information Center,” select the member under the “Member Information” page, then select “Show Training History.” Once there, you can either print a certificate that lists all the courses completed to date or each specific course certificate.  Email: Craig D. Fraser
Read more:  Information Center

USPS News Blast June 2017

USPS needs you!

We need your help! You have lots of talents—will you share with USPS? Please update or fill out your resume (SIRS) online. Go to the Nominations website, scroll down and find “Enter/Update Resume.” Where is the Nominations website? After you log in to the USPS site, it is found under the top menu: Committees > General > Nominations. Questions? Please let me know. See you in Dallas!   Email: Susan L. Darcy

Break the plastic habit

The Spring 2017 District 22 newsletter includes an excellent article by Commander Cheryl Matheson from Anna Maria Island Sail & Power Squadron regarding various plastic items. Some items boaters should avoid using or taking on board include plastic cutlery, plastic straws, plastic water bottles, takeaway coffee and drink cups, plastic bags and takeaway containers. Sea turtles can ingest plastic and many sea birds are killed annually from plastic in our oceans. The Pacific Gyre of plastic debris is growing rapidly.  Email: Richard Daybell

Read more:  Plastic bag bans spreading

First timers: It’s a Texas thing!

Howdy, y’all! If you have not attended an annual or Governing Board meeting, now is the time to go to the USPS website and register as a “first timer” for the upcoming meeting 10–17 Sept. Dallas, Texas, promises to be a great rodeo for all first timers! Information will be sent to you to give you the low-down on what to expect at the meeting. You will also be invited to a meet and greet with the national bridge. Make this your first USPS rodeo. We’re fixin’ to see you there!  Email: Lynda Leque

Submit National Safe Boating Week stories to The Ensign

If your squadron or district held safety demonstrations, taught boating classes, inspected vessels, participated in Ready, Set, Wear It! or held other events during National Safe Boating Week 2017, your efforts could be recognized in The Ensign’s Fall issue. For complete submission guidelines and a form you can use to submit stories and high resolution photos, please visit  Email: Tina Tibbitts

Vessel Safety Check and Safety web pages now linked

To view the latest information from the national Safety Committee on the Vessel Safety Check Program and other safety issues, please visit the national Safety Committee web pages. Check these pages often using the link below. Browse the drop-down menu on the left side of the page for additional information.  Email: Allan B. Furtado

Read more:  Safety Committee web pages

Squadron Development Committee web updates

The Squadron Development Committee website contains items designed to help districts, squadrons and their officers function more effectively and efficiently as well as information useful for all members. To visit, log in as a member at and select “Operations & Leadership Training.” “Tools and Other Presentations” includes a menu with links to detailed job descriptions for districts and squadrons, a nominating committee manual, a link to download the current operations training program, “Operations Training in 3,” and links to interactive district and squadron calendars and commanders’ kits.  Email: Edwin Kridler

D/Cs and D/AOs: Port Captains Program updates needed

Help us provide updated information for the Port Captains Program. Please email information for all district port captains to me, include the district number, squadron name, port captain’s certificate number, port captain’s name, address, phone, email and the waterway covered, including the state.  Email: Kathryn J. Stevens

Make your RV site reservation for Dallas Governing Board meeting

We found two potential RV parks suitable for commuting to the 2017 Governing Board Meeting. The closest is Sandy Lake MH & RV Resort, 1915 Sandy Lake Road, Carrollton, TX 75006. This park is approximately 10.5 miles from the hotel via I-35 South and I-635 East. The second park, Vineyards Campground and Cabins at Lake Grapevine, is 18.5 miles from the hotel via a mile of surface streets and a direct drive on I-635 East (LBJ Freeway). Visit the Highway Mariners website for further details and maps to both locations. If you are planning on RV'ing to Dallas for the meeting, make park reservations as soon as possible.  Email: William Miller

Operations Training Program Awards

The Operations and Leadership Training Committee is reviving the Operations Training Award. Your squadron/district will receive credit this year for teaching either OT in 3 or the Operations Training Program. To get credit, complete the online OT2 form with information for members completing the course. Make sure to include each member’s current active rank, because you receive extra credit when bridge members take the class. Submit the completed forms to United States Power Squadrons headquarters and send copies as instructed on the form.  Email: Mary Dodd

Read more:  Operations Training Award information

Add boating skills with interactive online seminars

USPS now offers seven fully interactive seminars online that can give you or your boating friends useful information for your summer boating. The seminars include How to Use GPS; All About Marine Radio; Weather for Boaters; Boating on Rivers, Locks and Lakes; Planning Your Cruise; Partner in Command; and Hurricane Preparation for Boaters. Just go to, choose the seminar(s) that interest you or a friend, and sign up today.  Email: Eileen Rickard

Communications Committee news

Have you checked out the Communications Committee Facebook page recently? It’s full of interesting articles and facts to keep you informed. Recently we posted a series of daily safety articles for National Safe Boating Week. On another note, our committee is always looking for new members to become website or newsletter advisers. Please contact Assistant Chair for Websites Cheryl Jarrell or Assistant Chair for Publications Barbara Pearson for more information.  Email: Kathleen Lambert

Read more:  Communications Committee website

Historian Department news

As many of you know, DB2000 wasn’t allowing Historian Reports to be filed, which was partly due to newly implemented security systems on our web server. Hopefully these problems have been corrected. I recommend that you download the latest version of DB2000 (9.7.5) and try filing your reports again. If you are still having problems, please click my name below to email me, explaining specifically what problem you encountered. I will make sure your problem(s) are addressed. Please don’t let this glitch discourage you from filing your reports. Thank you for your time and understanding.  Email: Jerry Zambroski

USPS Cooperative Charting Nautical Reporting

The new Cooperative Charting Nautical Reporting System is up and running. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Here’s what you need to do after you have concluded your day on the water and wish to submit a Cooperative Charting Nautical Report. 1. Gather all of your data. 2. Log on to 3. Then click here to find the Nautical Reporting Form and associated supporting documents for you to enter your report. It’s that easy.  Email: Thomas J. Peltier

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Get trained in CPR and first aid

The American Heart Association Heartsaver® First Aid/CPR/AED class will be offered on Wednesday (Sept. 13) during the Governing Board meeting. This course counts towards initial or renewal certification and is valid for two years. It also meets requirements for the USCG Captain’s License and BOC Certification. Minimum enrollment is six students.  Email: Jeff McKinney

Read more:  Heartsaver CPR and First Aid

Vero Beach earns 2016 BoatUS Civic Service Award

District 8's Vero Beach Power Squadron joins the 2016 list of honorees in recognition of their ongoing list of community projects. It recently came to our attention that file transfer issues last fall resulted in the submission being overlooked. In addition to offering numerous classes and vessel safety exams, the squadron has established partnerships with the local chamber of commerce, the Indian River County Boys and Girls Club, the local Civil Air Patrol squadron and Friends of the Spoil Islands to improve water quality and marine life populations. We are pleased to recognize the squadron members for their efforts. Read more about the 2016 BoatUS Civic Service Awards in the next issue of The Ensign.  Email: James Pahl-Washa

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, keep those members rollin’

No, it’s not Frankie Laine or the Blues Brothers singing that tune, but the national Membership Committee rollin’ out a whole new herd of web pages this summer. We’ll be working with all you cowpokes in Dallas at the Governing Board meeting to go over these new web pages to keep you admin folks sitting high in the saddle and on the right membership trail. Membership and Member Involvement have scheduled more than six different sessions (trail rides) on Thursday and Friday to take feedback and help you work through the tools and applications. We’ve scheduled multiple sessions to minimize meeting conflicts. See ya in Dallas, pardners!  Email: James Pahl-Washa

Are there any ABYC-certified techs in USPS?

The Electro-Mechanical Systems and several other committees would benefit by having ABYC-certified techs review and vet or suggest improvements to current and newly developed publications. If you’re willing to help, please let me or any Education Department leader know.  Email: Rick Edel

USPS News Blast May 2017

Get a FedEx Office account for your squadron

United States Power Squadrons and FedEx have established a partnership that allows squadrons to sign up for a FedEx Office account with access to the online USPS DocStore, where you can purchase Welcome to the Neighborhood banners, as well as discounts on other print and copy jobs in store and online. For complete details, download this detailed instruction sheet. If you have questions or problems signing up, please email me.   Email: Tammy Brown

Environmental Committee seeks wider coverage

The Environmental Committee urges district commanders to appoint a district Environmental Committee representative to help us expand coverage of environmental (clean, green boating) matters nationwide. Contact me for further information.  Email: Richard Daybell

Do you have an MMSI?

MMSI, an acronym for Maritime Mobile Service Identity, is like a home telephone number for your VHF/DSC and AIS radios. When you obtain an MMSI, information about you and your boat is entered into a database. When you transmit an emergency DSC call, your MMSI number allows the Coast Guard to read the information about you and your boat. If you do not plan to cross borders into Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas or beyond, then you’re entitled to get a free MMSI number from USPS.* Use the link below to get more information and register for an MMSI. *If you do plan to cross borders and use your VHF/DSC radio while in foreign waters, you are encouraged to get an FCC Station License and MMSI number. There is a cost associated with those.  Email: Richard K. Edel

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Squadron Development Committee news

The Squadron Development Committee has a new website. On the left side of its new home page, you’ll see Operations & Leadership Training, Squadron Development & Support and a link to the Membership Committee. Operations Training in 3, Leadership Training, BoatUS Distinguished Civic Service and Doing It Right awards can also be located on the new website. We hope that each squadron and district will participate in these awards. Please contact me or one of our three staff commanders if you have any questions.   Email: Myles Gee

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Celestial Tools V 5.6.0

An update to Celestial Tools is available at V 5.6.0 includes enhancements to the Noon Sight, Sight Averaging and Navigational Math tools.  Email: Stan Klein

Dallas welcomes first timers

If you have never before attended a national meeting, register now as a first timer for the 2017 Governing Board Meeting in Dallas, Texas. You will receive information in advance of the meeting to familiarize yourself with what to expect. When you arrive in Dallas, you will receive a discount coupon for the USPS Ship’s Store and an invitation to a special meet-and-greet with the national bridge. We look forward to your attendance at your first national meeting. Mark your calendars, and register soon!  Email: Lynda Leque

CPR and first-aid course at 2017 Governing Board Meeting

A CPR and first-aid class will be offered at the Governing Board in Dallas, Texas, on Sept. 13, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Upon completion of the training, students receive an American Heart Association Course Completion Card in CPR and first-aid. This certification card meets CPR and first-aid certification requirements for BOC and a U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License. It has a two-year expiration date. An additional section, “Special Medical Concerns and Emergencies for Boaters,” is included in the course. For more information, contact me at 301-788-0622.  Email: Jeff McKinney

Check your cyber member list

Recently we had a class where we had a significant difference in member and non-member prices. Several students went to and signed up to get the member price. They didn’t realize they were cyber members and not squadron members. We only knew they were members when they asked for the member price. Don’t make the same mistake, check your cyber member list on a regular basis.  Email: Robert Howd

America’s Boating Course now available in Spanish

America’s Boating Course is now available in Spanish and English online at The Spanish classroom materials can be ordered from the USPS Online Catalog. The Spanish student manual is free courtesy of a USCG grant, but there’s a $5 fee per book to cover shipping, handling, ancillary course materials and required student database support. A bilingual instructor PowerPoint presentation is in progress, as is translation of the state-specific examinations.  Email: Jack Purse

USPS Digital Media Library 2.0 casting call

Ever thought about being in pictures? The DML is now producing 20 new 2017 boating safety videos. And we’d like to feature you, your boat and crew on-camera. Topics include Boat Accident Reporting, BUI, Life Jackets, MMSI, Nav Rules, PWC Operations and Visual Distress Signals. Why should you get involved? Enjoy fame and fun, make the waters safer, and help save lives. How can you participate? Choose the most convenient day and contact us with information about your boat and passengers and where you’d like to be filmed. We’ll help select the best script and confirm all logistics with you. Let us make you a star!  Email: Marty Lafferty

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Membership Involvement and Retention Award submissions due

The MIRA recognizes both squadron and district programs to increase member involvement and retention that have produced measurable results. Membership retention rates are always a key indicator of squadron success, and the MIRA program is designed to recognize squadrons for their achievements. Submission deadlines: May 15 to District Membership/Involvement chair; May 30 to me.  Email: Priscilla Clarke

Read more:  Membership Involvement and Retention Award

USPS Cooperative Charting Nautical Reporting System

The new Cooperative Charting Nautical Reporting System is up and running. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Here’s what you need to do after you have concluded your day on the water and wish to submit a Cooperative Charting Nautical Report: 1. Gather all of your data, 2. log on to USPS, and 3. click here and enter your reporting information. It’s that easy.  Email: Thomas J. Peltier

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Communications Committee news

Both the Website and Publication Evaluation forms have been updated for 2017. They are posted on the left side of the Communications Committee web page under their respective designations. Please check them out. The committee is also looking for new advisers. If you’re interested in joining us, please contact Cheryl Jarrell or Barbara Pearson for more information.  Email: Kathleen Lambert

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Adding associate or honorary members to your roster

Thanks to the Information Technology department, squadron bridge officers, roster chairs or membership chairs can easily add an individual as an honorary member of their squadron or add a current USPS member as an associate member. To do so, log in to the Information Center, scroll down to the two new options under the membership information section and make the appropriate selection. This online option makes maintaining your squadron’s roster easy.  Email: Wayne Lambert

Educational Department launches new website

The Educational Department has launched its new website, adopting USPS’ standard template for member pages and updating its site index to help members find what they need more easily. National Educational Officer Craig Fraser said, “We hope it will help squadrons to plan and manage their educational offerings and make it easier for members to realize their boater education goals in the classroom, online and on the water. I invite you to take a moment to explore the site and to use the Contact Us function to share your comments, questions and suggestions.” To find the site, go to, log in as a member, and under Departments, select Educational Department.  Email: Jan Wright

USPS News Blast April 2017

2017 Annual Meeting photos available

If you missed the 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, or want to remember the meeting through the images captured by your USPS photographers, visit our online gallery at If you use one of our images for USPS publications, please give the photographer(s) credit for their work. Photo credits are visible as you “mouse over” each photo. Special thanks to Art Dodd and Nina & Guy Anastasio for taking and sharing their images from the 2017 Annual Meeting.  Email: Steve Erickson

Squadron Development news

It was great seeing everyone at the annual meeting. Squadron Development has two sections: Operations and Leadership Training chaired by Mary Dodd and Ed Kridler and Squadron Support and Development chaired by Deborah Rothermel. Each of these subcommittees has many members assisting. In future weeks, we’ll be changing our web page and publishing the names of committee members. Peace out!  Email: Myles Gee

More than 80 First Timers attend 2017 Annual Meeting

More than 80 First Timers attended the 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando. What a thrill to have such a large group experience what national is all about! Congratulations to the LaRue family for winning the First Timer drawing for a nautical pillow. Thanks to all the volunteers and national officers who helped and attended the meet and greet with this great group of First Timers. Encourage your fellow members to attend their first national meeting by registering as a “First Timer” for the upcoming 2017 Governing Board Meeting in Dallas, Texas! See y’all there!  Email: Lynda Leque

A message from Chief Commander Louie Ojeda

If you can’t get to your district conference, you can view a PDF of the chief commander’s PowerPoint presentation. Feel free to share with our members and continue to enhance our communications.  Email: Luis Ojeda

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Operations Manual has answers

The Operations Manual is being updated with changes passed at the Annual Meeting, including the consolidation of committees. Check it out! Questions? Contact us for information.  Email: Micky McNelis

Celestial Tools V 5.5.0

In response to user requests, two significant feature enhancements have been added to Celestial Tools: 1. The Sight Reduction and Noon Sight tools can now be used with a bubble sextant. (Note that bubble sextants are still not permitted for fulfilling sight folder requirements.) 2. The TVMDC tool can now be used with a small deviation table entered by the user. (Thanks to Capt. Jim Green of Cocoa Beach Sail & Power Squadron for suggesting and testing this enhancement.) In addition, a few minor changes and one bug fix are included in this update. See the Revision History for details. This update can be found at  Email: Stan Klein

Let’s make the water a better place this boating season

The Environmental Committee would like to urge everyone who is boating to practice clean green boating habits. Keep all trash gathered on board and take it ashore when you finish the trip. While out on the water, stop and pickup trash or other man-made items floating in the water. Stop and pickup trash along shorelines. Help with marina and coastal cleanup events. Use portable toilets and discharge your waste at pump stations. Keep absorbent pads on the boat and mop up any small oil spills. Never spray soap on an oil spill. Please send us your suggestions regarding environmental issues of interest to United States Power Squadrons boaters.  Email: Richard Daybell

McMurdo Smartfind EPIRB notice

The McMurdo Group manufactures Smartfind and Kannad Marine EPIRBs for commercial and recreational boaters. Made in England, these devices are popular in the United States. In February 2017, the company reported that the top dome sometimes develops small cracks near the screw inserts. Since this area is outside of the watertight electronics section, the cracks should not affect the performance or overall integrity of the device. The company recommends that you inspect your unit, and if there are any questions to contact its customer support team for advice. Find a service center.   Email: Jeff McKinney

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HeartSine extends Expo pricing for AEDs

Member Benefit Partner, HeartSine Technologies, has extended its USPS Expo special pricing on its 350P ($945) and 450P ($1,345) AEDs until June 30. These are priced significantly below the price available on any website. The 350P & 450P AEDs have the best rating for marine use, are lightweight and economical to maintain. The USPS Safety Committee has recommended that every district and squadron follow the lead of the national organization and have a First Aid Support Team (FAST) program to respond to medical emergencies. An AED is a critical part of FAST program supplies. For more information on purchasing an AED for your district, squadron or personal use, call me at 301-767-5905 or email.  Email: Alan Karpas

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Who was your squadron commander in 2012?

If you’re like me, you might not remember. That’s what makes filing squadron and district history reports so important. Historian Reports should be filed no later than 60 days after your change of watch. When our members get together at squadron and district events, at least one conversation goes like this: “Do you remember when we had that [blank] event?” or “do you remember when we won that … national award?” This type of information should be filed in your reports, so it’s easily retrievable. Don’t let your historical information be lost forever. On another note, if you would like to be part of the Historian section of the Heritage and Protocol Committee, we would really appreciate your efforts. Just click on my name below, drop me a line, and I’ll get you started.  Email: Jerry Zambroski

Submit OD1 and OD2 forms now

District and squadron commanders must submit an OD form whether officers change or not. To submit your OD information, go to, select the correct OD form and submit it no later than April 7.  Email: Lena Padro

Online learning assistance

Instructor Development is looking for members with experience managing and using online learning programs and learning management systems. Please consider sharing your knowledge and experience with the Instructor Development Committee. Please contact me for more information.  Email: Robert Rayburn

USPS Cooperative Charting nautical reporting

Cooperative charting nautical reports will be accepted starting in early April 2017. Look for SailAngle messages informing everyone when the new reporting system is up and running and fully functional.  Email: Thomas J. Peltier

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37% more squadrons grow their membership in 2016

Eighty-five squadrons experienced membership growth in 2016, a 37% increase over 2015. That’s great news for United States Power Squadrons and a sign that we can turn around our overall decline in membership. Squadrons that are growing do so by regularly conducting classes, seminars, and providing opportunities for their members in the classroom and on the water. Spring is the season of renewal, a great time to renew our memberships and our commitment to sharing the benefits of membership with everyone we meet in the classroom and across our communities. Please make a commitment to welcoming someone new to the neighborhood this year!  Email: James Pahl-Washa

USPS News Blast September 2016

New Nominations Committee Manual Released

No USPS committee is arguably as important as a nominating committee at the squadron, district and national levels. A new Nominating Committee Manual for Districts and Squadrons has been approved and released by the Leadership Development Committee. It’s available for downloading from the Leadership Development web page and gives revised insight into the workings and composition of a nominating committee. It’s required reading for any nominating committee member. Email: Harold W. O’Briant Jr.

USPS MMSI Registrations Setting Records

USPS continued to experience a record-setting month in July 2016 with 723 new MMSI numbers assigned. MMSI, or Maritime Mobile Service Identity, numbers are used for identifying vessels (your own and others) using VHF/DSC and AIS radio systems. July was our busiest month ever and continues an upward trend from 403 in July 2015 and 133 in July 2014. Please help us continue to get the word out that new users—not traveling internationally—can get free MMSI numbers from USPS at Email: Rick Edel

New Weather Webinar: GRIDs, GRIBs and Electronic Navigation

Save the date! A brand new webinar—GRIDS and GRIBS: Computer Weather Forecasting and Navigation—captures the fascinating world of modern weather forecasting. After providing some historical context, the webinar gets right to the foundation of the modern forecasting process: the giant computer models that are the basis for all professionally produced weather predictions. Most importantly for boaters, the webinar describes the types of forecasts (GRIDS and GRIBS) that these models have made possible, their strengths and weaknesses, how to get them at no cost anywhere in the world, and how to use them in electronic chart plotting. The webinar will be given at 2000 Eastern Time on Tuesday, 15 Nov. Stay tuned for registration information. Email: Robert F. Anderson

First Timers Welcomed to Pittsburgh

First Timers from more than eight states and 11 districts attended the 2016 USPS Governing Board Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. First Timers attended a special “Meet and Greet” reception with the national bridge on Friday. These guests received a one-time discount on one item at the USPS Ship’s Store and an opportunity to win a door prize during the First Timer’s reception! The Membership Committee encourages USPS members to invite fellow members and friends who have not attended a national meeting to come and experience what USPS is all about! Be sure they register as First Timers for the 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Email: Lynda Leque

Safety Committee Web Pages

Having trouble finding accurate Safety Committee information? Please be sure you are accessing the newest Safety Committee web pages by removing your old bookmarks and clearing your browser cache. Log in as a member on the new USPS website. Follow the drop-down menus at the top of the page. From the “Departments” drop-down menu, choose “Executive” and then “Safety” for all the latest Safety Committee information. The old web page is inactive and will not be maintained. Email: Mike Wiedel

State Legislative Representatives Needed

The Government and Partner Relations Committee is seeking members to represent their respective districts as State Legislative Reps (SLR). We have about 25 states where USPS has a district presence but no SLR has been appointed to monitor the state legislature. Please contact Mary Ann Jensen or me for additional information Email: Pete TenBrink

Go to the Public Relations Web Page

For all your community outreach needs, go to the Public Relations website, where you’ll find the PROLOG Idea Book, the Seminar Promotion Guide, a large archive of boating articles and so much more. Check it out! Email: Greg Scotten

Let Us Help You Revitalize Your Squadron

Please check out the new Squadron Development/Revitalization website. Beta testing has been completed, and now it’s time for you to contact our team to help revitalize your squadron. We will work hard to bring your vision back in focus. Email: Myles Gee

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Wrap Up Savings in the Ship’s Store

September's featured sale item, our new beautiful, oversized beach towels, come in two colors,   feature a full-color embroidered logo and are now 10% off. They also make great gifts! Visit the Ship’s Store today, and click on the "Sale" prompt. Email: Jacky Van Doren

Coastal Cleanup Day Announced

A nationwide Coastal Cleanup day is scheduled for Saturday, 17 Sept. Please join a group doing the cleanup and spend the day removing debris and litter from our country’s shorelines and riverbanks. Then follow through by removing debris from the water anytime you are out boating. Email: Dick Daybell

Celestial Tools V 5.1.5

An update to Celestial Tools will be available at shortly after the Pittsburgh Governing Board Meeting. V 5.1.5 includes minor bug fixes and feature enhancements. Email: Stan Klein

Compete in The Ensign’s Spring 2017 Photo Contest

Show us what you love most about boating by sending us your favorite photos from your time on the water, and you could win a prize! The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers who are USPS members or subscribers of The Ensign magazine. Deadline for submission is 31 Dec. 2016. Winning photos will be featured in the Spring 2017 issue of The Ensign. Use the form at the link below to submit your photos. Email: Amy Townsend

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New Benefits for USPS Instructors, Students and Members: Fugawi

Our new partner Fugawi offers a select range of other manufacturers’ products on its website that make boating more fun and enhance boaters’ knowledge and awareness. Fugawi navigational software was developed by an avid mariner 20 years ago and has a large and loyal following around the world. USPS instructors receive 67% off Fugawi Marine 5 Navigational Software, and members and students receive 50% off. All members receive 10% off other products on the Fugawi store website. Email: Jonathan Bensman

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Geodetic Cooperative Charting Guidelines Revised

The Cooperative Charting Committee is changing its geodetic review process to make it easier for members with smartphones to record the latitude/longitude and date of inspection on the front of geodetic photos. This requires smartphone users to download an application that can display the required information. A number of free or low-cost apps do this. Check out some of the possible apps on the Cooperative Charting website along with the new guidelines. Let your smartphone be your camera and your GPS. Let’s have some fun Cooperative Charting! Email: Diane Julum

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Heading Into Fall With Heavy Hearts

As many of you know, Louisiana has endured floods of historic proportions. But out of it all, a new nautical group has been formed, the Cajun Navy. Chuckle if you may, but if you could have seen the onslaught of pickup trucks, boats and volunteers, those chuckles would have turned to tears. Many of these volunteers took off work at their own expense to help their fellow man. Our work is just starting. For information on how you can help, visit Email: Jerry Madden

USPS Headquarters Closed for Labor Day

United States Power Squadrons headquarters will be closed on Monday, 5 Sept., for Labor Day. Email: Mary Catherine Berube

BSVT Trainers Update—Regional Administrators and Generation 4

The Boating Skills Virtual Trainer Program received a fourth U.S. Coast Guard grant, which will be used to grow the program and add functionality into 2017. So far in 2016, more than 2,500 users have been documented through the BSVT tracking forms. In September, we will test out regional administrators. Six administrators will oversee local transportation of a BSVT unit in their areas: Scott McDonald, Texas; Ken Voight, California; Al Keim, Northwest; George Hallenback, Northeast; Lisa Wilson, Southeast; and Dick Pfenniger, Florida/Puerto Rico. We hope to increase usage with greater availability and lower costs. Reservations will be handled through the BSVT website. Please contact me with any questions or suggestions. Email: Lisa Wilson

USPS News Blast August 2016

Dress Code Correction for Pittsburgh Meeting

Please note the following uniform changes: Friday, 26 Aug., Uniform T (tropical), USPS blazer with tie, open-collar tropical shirt, USPS polo shirt, or other appropriate attire; Saturday, 27 Aug., Day–Uniform G Regulation short-sleeve white shirt with uniform trousers or other appropriate attire. Evening–Blazer with tie or other appropriate attire. Email: Yvonne Hill

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Get Tropical Attire for Pittsburgh

The chief commander has designated Uniform T for tropical as the official uniform of the day for Friday, 26 Aug., in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Two styles of unisex tropical shirts are in stock for immediate shipment. Order yours today by visiting the Ship’s Store website or calling 888-367-8777 ext. 0. You can also pick yours up at the Ship’s Store in Pittsburgh, where there will be plenty on hand! Show your USPS team spirit and support by purchasing one today! Email: Jacky Van Doren

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USPS Clean, Green Boating Projects

Please join the Environmental Committee at its Pittsburgh meeting, where we will be discussing ways to expand the California Dock Walker Program to other states and biodegradable six-pack beverage holders. The committee is looking for additional members to move forward with some clean, green boating topics. Email: Dick Daybell

Adventure Dry Sack Bag on Sale in August

Get 10% off this new Ship’s Store item when ordering online at Keep your belongings dry on the boat, at the beach or while sitting by the pool. Check out this handy new bag today and use the 10OFF promotional code. There’s plenty of summertime left! Email: Jacky VanDoren

Pittsburgh Welcomes First Timers

An information packet will soon go out to all registered first timers! If you have never attended a national meeting, register today! You will be invited to a special reception, receive a discount coupon for one item in the Ship’s Store, and receive an opportunity to win a special nautical door prize! See you at the First Timers table near registration at the 2016 Governing Board meeting. Email: Lynda Leque

Who’s Going to Help When You Have a Heart Attack?

Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States, and 90 percent of victims die while waiting for help to arrive. According to the American Heart Association, up to 74 percent of cardiac arrest victims could be saved if properly performed CPR is immediately applied along with the use of an automated external defibrillator, or AED. USPS is sponsoring a CPR/First Aid for Boaters course on Wednesday, 24 Aug., at the 2016 Governing Board Meeting in Pittsburgh. For more information about the course and a registration form, contact me at 301-767-5905 or Email: Alan Karpas

Program Partner Relations New Brunswick Contest

At the 2016 Governing Board Meeting, the Program Partner Relations Committee will debut a new national contest for squadrons participating in educational programs with local Brunswick Partner Dealers. At our meeting on Friday at 1500, we will have exciting new pictures of the Fairport Tall Ships Parade of Sail, in which USPS participated. Squadrons working the upcoming Discover Boating Boat Shows should begin spiffing up their displays and looking for talent to demonstrate the Boating Skills Virtual Trainer. Go to to find a show near you or email me for further information. Email: Shirley D. Heald

Squadron Emergency Response Assistance Team

Plan to attend the Squadron Emergency Response Assistance Team Program seminar at the 2016 Governing Board meeting in Pittsburgh to learn about this important and exciting squadron public service program. While the name indicates “emergency response,” the program can be used to recruit new members and enhance your educational and civic service programs. Guidelines for SERAT training will also be provided and discussed. Please email me for further information. Email: Jim Strothers

Put Your Boat in the Spotlight

Got an interesting story about how your boat was named? We would like to spotlight it in The Ensign’s Bitter End section. Please see for complete details. Submit your story and high-quality boat photo(s) using our online form. Email: Tina Tibbitts

Catch Up on What’s New in Cooperative Charting

Get the latest Cooperative Charting updates at the 2016 Governing Board Meeting in Pittsburgh, including new reporting sites for nautical Cooperative Charting. Meet our new NOAA representative, Russ Proctor. Learn about our upcoming MOUs with NOAA and the USCG. Share your ideas and recommendations for changes to the nautical and geodetic program. Get your questions answered directly. Come join us at 0800 on Thursday, 25 Aug., to learn more and share your stories and photos with the committee. Email: Diane M. Julum

Teaching Aid Competitions

District educational officers are encouraged to hold teaching aid competitions at their fall conferences and to register their “best of show” teaching aids for the national competition in Orlando as soon as possible. Visit our website for more information. Squadron educational officers in districts that don’t hold competitions can contact their DEO to submit an entry. Provide them with the necessary information and ask them to submit the registration. All entries should be registered well in advance of the annual meeting, so we know how much space will be needed. Email: Tom Shuell

Revised Instructor Development Student Manual Available

You can download the June 2016 edition of the Instructor Development student manual from the ID course website The Introduction (including all forms for the new final evaluation procedures) and chapter five have been revised. A revision of chapter three will be ready in a few weeks. Email: Tom Shuell

Mariners Learing System

You’ve been boating and fishing most of your life and taken most of the upper level courses form USPS; now you want your Captain’s License to make some money doing what you love. If you want to get your OUPV or Master’s license, USPS members can now buy the Captain’s License software with a 10% discount from the USPS Ship’s Store. Email: Jonathan Bensman

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Communications Committee News

The website and publication evaluation forms, updated in 2016, can be found on the Communications Committee website using dropdown menus from either “Websites” or “Publications.” Please contact me or your adviser if you have any questions about the form. Email: Kathleen Lambert

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USPS News Blast July 2016

Chapman Award Nominations Deadline Approaches

Now’s the time to submit squadron Chapman Excellence in Teaching Award nominations to district educational officers. Remember that your DEO needs time to evaluate squadron nominations and submit the best one to USPS headquarters by the 1 Sept. 2016 deadline. Don’t lose the opportunity to select a prize to augment your squadron’s teaching program should your nominee be a national winner! Email: Spencer P. Anderson

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Celestial Tools V 5.1.4 Now Available

To get the latest version, visit Email: Stan Klein

Calling All First Timers

The 2016 Governing Board Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 23–28 Aug., is an opportunity for each member to see what national is all about! Come for the education! Come for the fun! Come for friendships, old and new! If you have not attended a national meeting before, please indicate that you are a first timer when completing the registration form. We’re looking forward to meeting and greeting you with a special reception on Friday, 26 Aug. You will receive information to help you navigate through the meetings and events, and you’ll receive a discount on one Ship’s Store item. See you in Pittsburgh! Email: Lynda Leque

Take Advantage of Partner Benefits

? In addition to monetary awards given to the squadrons teaching the most classes at a Brunswick Partner Dealer, participating squadrons will soon have a new case study contest to enter. Participating squadrons will write case studies about their efforts and experiences in the program. Brunswick will judge the studies and award prizes at the Annual Meeting. ? If you live in or will be traveling in the Great Lakes this summer, catch one of the Tall Ships Challenge events. Go to for the 2016 ports of call itinerary. Contact me or Don Stark if you want to volunteer at one of the ports. ? Discover Boating Boat Show managers have asked USPS to once again feature our Boating Skills Virtual Trainer at sponsored shows, so get ready to support your local show. Go to to get the new 2016–2017 schedule. ? Coming soon, we’ll have info on the new Freedom Boat Partnership. Don’t forget to visit the Ship’s Store for a 10% discount on Mariner’s Learning System Captain’s licensing course materials. Email: Shirley D. Heald

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CPR Saves Lives; Take a Class

Who’s going to help you when you have a heart attack? If you are on your boat, you have little chance of surviving a cardiac arrest unless someone knows CPR. Sign up now to take the CPR/First Aid Course for boaters on Wednesday, 24 Aug., during the 2016 Governing Boarding Meeting. By taking the course, you and your significant other will be prepared to perform CPR when needed. For more information and to register for the course, call 301-767-5905 or email me. Email: Alan Karpas

ABC3 Online Is a Winner

While America’s Boating Course online has been with us for several years, online final examinations are now available and working to bring online basic boating education to everyone. Key to bringing online students into squadron view for possible membership, the district ABC coordinator links online students to squadrons located near them. Email: Richard Carson

Boating Safety 4 Kids

The continuum of education starts with children. The no-cost Boating Safety 4 Kids seminar instructor manual is available from the Educational Department Basic Public Education web page. The seminar makes a super addition for educating children while presenting America’s Boating Course or other USPS courses. To learn more, join us for the Boating Safety 4 Kids seminar overview at the 2016 Governing Board Meeting in Pittsburgh. Email: Richard Carson

Save Money: Register for Activities by 13 July

Time is getting short to sign up for activities at the 2016 Governing Board Meeting in Pittsburgh. Register now to avoid higher fees that go in effect after 13 July. With so many things to see and do, you won’t want to miss anything! Email: Sarah McCurry

New Ship’s Store Item on Sale

Introducing our new Blue Flex Cooler just in time for the hot summer days ahead! Perfect to take on the boat, to the beach, on a family picnic or on vacation. Order yours today and get 10% off during the month of July. Visit and click on the “Sale” prompt. Email: Jacky Van Doren

Electronic Communication Tips

I love a new device! But having email in more than one location can present challenges for those receiving your messages. Here are some tips on how to make using email on your new gadget seamless and easier on others. 1) When setting up your email account, use the same name on your main computer’s email account. This makes finding emails from individuals easier, for example, Kristi W Anderson vs K W Anderson. 2) Always reply from the email chain or the email you are responding to, so the recipient can reference previous emails easily. 3) When discussing topics from previous emails, keep the same subject line. This allows users to use subject line keywords to search and sort emails in the same conversation. 4) When starting a new email regarding USPS, start the subject line with your squadron initials (SISPS) or USPS plus the committee name (USPSMS for USPS Membership Services Committee) and make the rest of the subject line informative. Members will know who the email is from and can read as needed. Members can also search on squadron initials to find all squadron-related messages. Using simply USPS could cause your message to be rejected by internet service providers as postal service spam. 5) If you feel the need to change the subject line, add text to the end of the line and edit the recipient list as needed to keep related emails together. 6) When simply acknowledging receipt, remember to respond privately to the sender with “received” or “thank you.” Share your tips by emailing the Help Desk at Email: Kristi Anderson

Take Advantage of BoatUS Discounts

Promoting boating safety is a mission shared by United States Power Squadrons and BoatUS. To recognize our partnership, USPS members are eligible for a 50% discount on BoatUS membership and a 10% discount on all water towing service levels. Premium discounts for USPS members are also available on BoatUS marine insurance policies. Email: Jonathan Bensman

Read more: BoatUS Benefits

USPS Headquarters Closed 4 July

USPS headquarters will be closed on 4 July in observance of Independence Day. Stay safe on the water! Email: Mary Catherine Berube