The Mayport Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America , MOAA (formerly
The Retired Officers Association, TROA) was organized in early 1970 largely as a
result of the enthusiasm, motivation and leadership of CAPT J. H. Burgess USPHS/Ret
and Mr. Paul Bennetheun, the Club Manager of the Commissioned Officers Open Mess
on the US Naval Station, Mayport, Florida.
At the first regular meeting held Feb 9, 1970, there were 27 prospective members
present. COL Charles A. Worthington USA/Ret was elected President. Meetings were
held frequently but not on a regularly scheduled basis. Membership gradually increased
and then on May 10, 1972, the Mayport Chapter became affiliated with and received
its official charter from National Headquarters.
Over the years, the Mayport Officers Open Mess, commonly referred to as the O'Club
and now is know as the Ocean Breeze Conference Center, continued as the meeting
location for the Chapter Board of Directors and for general chapter membership events.
The chapter grew steadily until in the mid-1980's membership reached over 200 officers
and/or their spouses.
Moving into the late 1980's and 1990's, the potential member base expanded to about
1400 eligible officers because of downsizing and/or retirements from the Armed Forces.
New member recruitment comes from this latter group plus widower(s), active duty
officers and former officers living or moving into our designated zip code areas.
We often solicit this base through direct mailing of a Membership Application Brochure.
Active duty officers are solicited by person-to-person contacts largely on the Naval
Station and the Naval Air Station, Mayport. Additional recruitment has been done
at other Armed Services Facilities in the Greater Jacksonville Area. In 2005
the chapter experience exceptional growth and at the end of the year had more then
Maintaining and expanding our chapter membership continues as a major effort within
the Chapter. In recent years, the retention of members has posed difficulties because
of the aging of WWII and Korean veterans. Generally, current officers are retiring
or leaving active duty in their mid-40's or 50's seeking a full-time second career
in the civilian world. The chapter is alert to and emphasizes the need to recruit
younger new members. Our Membership Committee attempts to reach the widest possible
audience of these personnel with an attractive recruitment package.
All our members join together to conduct service oriented, professional, cultural
and social activities at the local community level. The Mayport Chapter is considered
Florida's First Coast Chapter. A large portion of our membership resides in the
Beaches Communities of Ponte Vedra Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and
Atlantic Beach. Membership boundaries extend South of Mayport to State Road 16 and
all Zip Codes East of the St. Johns River and East of Interstate 95; then from Mayport,
North to the St. Marys River in Georgia.
There are two MOAA chapters serving the Greater Jacksonville Area: Mayport
Chapter; and the Northeast Florida Chapter whose membership
covers areas West of the St. Johns River, Jacksonville, and the North areas of Clay
County including Orange Park and other communities to the South and West of Interstate