Like any mission, planning a reunion requires a team.
The Reunion Planning Leadership Team should be independent of the command. Consider including individuals who have best contact with the military installation. Be sure to include different ranks, geography, companies, sections, and MOSs. Look to include, members of local Veteran Service Organizations chapters, and similar people with connections to community opportunities, including fundraising and resources.
Each member of the leadership team works with the other members of the team. Each member of the leadership team should consider soliciting additional help. None of these roles is a small job.
Reunion Planning Leadership Team Roles
- Communications/Marketing - The person in this role serves as the primary POC and agent for creating and implementing the communication strategy.
- Communications/Marine Locator - The person in this role serves as the primary POC and agent for locating the target population.
- Swag Logistics - The person in this role serves as the primary POC and agent for ordering, selling, and fulfilling swag orders.
- Nonprofit Liaison - The person in this role serves as the primary POC and agent for interfacing with nonprofits (potential supporting agents).
- Treasurer - The person in this role serves as the primary POC and agent for collecting and disbursing the funds used and generated in the planning and execution of the reunion.
- Venue & Ceremony Coordinator - The person in this role serves as the primary POC for agent for working with the venue(s) as well as planning and executing the ceremony.
Now that you have identified who needs to be involved, what do they do? Do Joint Ethics Regulations apply? Am I liable if I sign a contract? Veteran Service Organizations? Review this checklist and the major lines of effort.
Convene Reunion Planning Leadership Team Meeting (12-14 months prior to event)
- As a group, determine what you want to do
- How formal or informal?
- What is the primary purpose of the event?
- What are the desired components of your event? (A memorial ceremony? A guest speaker? A round of golf? A meal? Time set aside for visiting?)
- Who are the target attendees? The Marines only, the Marines and their spouses, or the Marines and their families?
- Assign roles
- Communications/Marine Locator
- Swag Logistics
- Nonprofit Liaison
- Venue & Ceremony Coordinator
- Create your battle rhythm
- How often will your leadership team meet?
- How will the team meet?
- How will the team collaborate?
- Tentatively select your reunion’s date
- Select your reunion’s location
- Do you want to be on or near a specific installation?
- Is traveling to or from the potential location easy?
- Consider brainstorming possible venues
- Direct team members to check out AARs from recent reunions
- Reunion Planning Leadership Meeting Due-outs:
- Design branding for reunion
- Develop swag intent and strategy
- Develop communication strategy
- Determine ticketing platform
- Identify potential supporting agents (including your fundraising sponsor)
- Engage fundraising sponsor
- Research reunion locations and venues
- Designate a Gold Star contact
- Begin ceremony design