Staying in our “Battle Rhythm”

Commentary from DAV Wisconsin State Commander Matt Kampainen

The 2020 calendar keeps moving along, and now we are into the crisp days of autumn! This year is truly unique as we deal with the issue of COVID-19 while still attempting to meet the need of America’s disabled veterans. Despite the challenges of the day, I am impressed with the tenacity and drive of our Chapters.

Slowly, Chapters are beginning to meet again while the leadership teams are ensuring best practices such as social distancing, wearing face masks, and handwashing. Our biggest challenge is that we don’t lose our “Battle Rhythm” as an organization.

As prior service members, we remember the definition of Battle Rhythm as being “a deliberate daily cycle of command, staff, and unit activities intended to synchronize current and future operations.” Whether at the Department or Chapter level, we must maintain a semblance of continuing to be in the fight, making a difference in the lives of veterans and moving forward despite the presence of COVID-19.

As your Commander, I’m pleased that my calendar is getting blocked out with visits to Chapters. When I meet with Chapter members, I find myself getting inspired and invigorated. I’ve also witnessed the ingenuity of Chapter leaders in adjusting to COVID-19. I have seen some Chapters are conducting “hybrid” meetings, whereby members are meeting, but the discussion is also being streamed on social media platforms such as Facebook. This way of staying informed allows for those members who a high risk to COVID-19 still getting timely DAV information while not putting themselves at risk. 

As was passed along last month, the DAV/Auxiliary State Conference in Stevens Point was canceled due to COVID-19. I can’t deny it broke my heart as we experience a wonderful fellowship at State Conference while receiving superb training that is brought back to Chapter membership and local communities.

Recently Adjutant Hill and I hosted an Executive Committee meeting to see if we can’t “readjust fire” and still conduct that valuable training. We are currently exploring the development of a webinar series whose instruction will be conducted by your Department leadership team. More information will follow, so; please monitor your email traffic or the Department website.

In closing, I remain excited about the future possibilities for the coming year. Together, we will write an inspiring Chapter in our organization’s existence.

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