MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- The Combat Center color guard, along with Maj. Gen. David H. Berger, Combat Center Commanding General, and his wife, Mrs. Donna Berger attended a Military Officers’ Association of America’s luncheon at the Desert Springs Resort clubhouse in Palm Desert, Calif., Feb. 21, 2014.
MOAA is made up of retired military officers from all different branches of service and plays an active role in military personnel matters and especially proposed legislation affecting the career force, the retired community, and veterans of the uniformed services.
Senior members of the Palm Springs chapter of MOAA invited Berger and his wife to attend the lunch to speak on present and future military matters.
“We all spent a lot of time in the military, and are still very much interested in which direction it is going,” said William Bester, retired Army brigadier general. “We feel particularly close to the base at Twentynine Palms, and are extremely thankful to have Maj. Gen. Berger and his wife take time out of their busy schedules to speak at our luncheon.”
Also in attendance were Marine and Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from various high schools in Palm Springs and Twentynine palms.
“It is great to meet military members currently serving as well as those retired who came before us,” said Brian Schick, 17, 12th grader at La Quinta High School. “Maj. Gen. Berger gave us a great insight into a lot of things I wasn’t aware of. It was good to hear it from someone who is currently serving and not from someone on the news.”
During the luncheon, senior members of MOAA introduced the Marines as well as the JROTC cadets before everyone began with their meal. After everyone finished with lunch, Berger began with his presentation.
The general spoke on various topics related to the Marine Corps including Afghanistan, various weapon systems, the MV-22 Osprey, the importance of the Asia-Pacific Region, the down-sizing of forces and more.
“You don’t need a Marine Corps, unless it can give you something that no one else can,” Berger said. “That is what is unique about us. On any notice, or even no notice, we are ready to have forces on the ground, and planes in the air, because that is what we do best.”
MOAA was founded in L.A, Calif., on Feb. 23, 1929. Today, MOAA has grown to a membership of more than 380,000 members and is the country’s largest military officers association. Its purpose has also grown to include career transition assistance, improved member products, military benefits counseling, educational assistance to children of military families, to include enlisted members, and strong involvement in military professionalism activities.