The Civilian Movement.
Sort of an editorial by Mark Tully

Just in case all of you haven’t gotten the word yet, the NWTA made a fairly significant change in it’s presentation at the Board of Director’s Meeting last March.

The concept of creating a new civilian encampment was presented and approved.* In addition, the NWTA Mission statement was changed as is indicated below. The bold emphasis on word “civilian” is mine, but it is an appropriate treatment as by inserting that one word into our mission statement we have made a bold step in a new direction.

The whole civilian movement started, in part, as a result of the Membership Survey distributed in the March/April 1998 Courier. Shortly after this a new committee was formed to look into the possibility of expanding civilian roles in the NWTA, and Mario Balewah and his committee spent a great deal of time and effort laboring over various ideas for creating an area appropriate to civilian activities. Commander Joan’s column in the May/June Courier offers some great ideas and insights into this whole concept and the change to our Mission Statement is a good first step toward encouraging the implementation of some of these ideas.

Recognition and encouragement of the NWTA’s civilian members has been a long time coming. As was pointed out in several past articles,† the NWTA membership is almost 50% women and children and the new civilian area offers them a place to experiment with civilian activities and impressions. It also offers our soldiers a place to develop skits and scenarios and to interact with our civilian members. Some ideas along these lines will be presented in future issues, but in the mean time, with the re-enacting season well under way, we might start thinking about ways to encourage and assist our civilian contingent in developing this new concept.
I’m sure we will soon be hearing some criticism of this civilian movement–either through these pages or around the campfire at events–but I would hope we would be patient and allow this whole concept some time to develop. Better yet, if you like the idea, why not chip in and help encourage it along? If you are already doing a civilian impression or have had ideas about starting one, why not wander over to the civilian encampment at the next event and see what’s going on?

After all, as Ghandi once said: “We must be the change we want to see in the world!”

*I personally think that a major shift in focus like this one should have been treated as a change to the NWTA Bylaws and, as such, required a 3/4 majority vote of the membership. However, even though most organizations use their Mission Statement as the preamble to their constitutions, the NWTA does not, so the change would appear to be perfectly legitimate and by-the-book. Perhaps we need to take the next step by making it
official and adding similar verbiage to our preamble?

†See “As Accurately as Possible” in the Summer 1998 issue of The NWTA SPY, and related articles in the November/December Courier and Winter 1999 Spy.