Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Guest Post: USSVI Convention

Another guest post from Trim Pump:
One of the things that USSV”I” does is hold a convention. This year’s Convention is in Cincinnati and in 2011 in the Springfield/Branson area and Norfolk in 2012. In some regards the Convention and the American Submariner magazine is about 90% of what the organization does. Each year’s Convention is hosted by the Base (another word I don’t like) who submits a bid for it 3-4 years previous. Last year’s event was in San Diego at an overpriced resort. USSVI gets 10% of the profits from a Convention. Guess what? That % was “0” in 2009. I don’t know if the Base is solvent or in deep arrears because of it. I don’t know if the Base gets a cut from all events/tours/luncheons, etc. But it does appear to me that the more the Saturday Banquet costs, the smaller the plate of food. They also pay for a band. 75% of the people leave after dinner and only 20 couples or so dance and the rest just sit around drinking and doing the NTINS thing.

The Vendor arrangement is strange. Vendors include submarine book authors, clothing/caps/patch sellers, models, coins, jewelry and others. This is a drawing card and the vendors should be charged minimum. Not so. This year the table (6’ table) rent is $50 for one and $40 for each additional. One vendor estimated he could buy new 25 tables for what they ask. For a large vendor that’s $300 real quick. Then they charge for power, internet connection, and handling merchandise if needed. Add to that the room charge of $95/night ($570-6 nights), meals $175, Banquet ($35), other events from $20 to $65 each, plane tickets ($450 avg), $500 to get merchandise there and back,($100 gift for the Mrs.), much much more if she is with you and you come up with roughly $2300 and you haven’t sold a thing yet! You have to sell $7500 worth of “stuff” just to break even!

LATE BREAKING NEWS: I just heard (not supposed to be divulged until Saturday’s Annual Business Meeting for all members) that the two-year Convention amendment passed!

ALSO LATE NEWS: Figures about 2010 Convention in Cincinnatti Aug 30-4. As of 8-17 there are only 479 registries! 152 are single. The rest are bringing a guest. Of the 806 people signed up, 8 want to play golf!, Only 80 are taking the “Grand Tour” of the city, 25 are taking the Horse Park tour, 25 are visiting the museum, 92 are hitting the Air Force base tour and only 125 are doing the riverboat gambling thing. And only 63% are attending the major event which is the Saturday night banquet and Awards ceremony.

Was it well planned and advertised? Your call!
Trim Pump's first guest post can be found here.


Blogger Curt said...

Been a member for a few years. Lots of weird aspects of the group. Some good guys, though...

The local group:

Mostly old guys getting older, so fewer and fewer able to 'get out.' They're set in their smokeboat ways, and we Fast Attack guys just end up pissing them off, mostly...

9/02/2010 4:21 AM

Blogger John said...

I joined USSVI earlier this year. I qualified in '78, served on four boomers and two tenders. I still don't feel a sense of connection with USSVI. I've been trying to figure out why and I still don't know. You'd think there'd be a natural connection there.

9/02/2010 6:47 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

I recently joined USSVI this earlier this summer. I retired in Oct 2008. I am near Salt Lake City, UT. Was surprised to find out there is the Harder Base and there is even a Submarine Memorial at the State VA Memorial Park/Cemetary.

What does USSVI do for me? Nationally, not alot. I get their magazine and that's about it and they take my $20 a year! Locally, I get to enjoy some time with many WWII and after submariners. Share sea stories and just talk. The cohesiveness is amazing, almost like being on a boat. We have have retirees, one or two termers; officers and enlisted. Its great. I look forward to our monthly meetings.

As for the conventions, haven't been to one and not really impressed with what I read and hear. Will I ever go to a National Convention? Only if someone pays me to.


9/02/2010 8:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a member, here in San Diego, for a few years but stopped going to the meetings due to all the arguments.

I don’t feel that they did very much that was productive except march in a few parades and handed out a few scholarships and I didn’t feel that I had anything to offer them.

The WWII Vets would argue with everybody. The DBF’s would argue with the Nuc boat sailors and there didn’t seem to be any middle ground. The attitude seemed to be that the DBF’s were superior to the Nuc’s.

While I appreciate the sacrifices and the history of the WWII and DBF Vets, it may be time to move on from the Tolling of the Bell and form an organization that did something other than just remember.

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa

9/02/2010 10:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own fifty acres along a dirt road in the middle of Kansas. I'd gladly offer it up for a minimal fee for use by the USSVI as a possible site in which to hold their convention.

Twenty of the fifty acres is tick infested woods, but most of the rest is manicured fescue. There's a large pond for bathing, a ditch for pissing in (shovels are available for digging poop holes) and a retired and somewhat dilapidated Airstream camper trailer that don't go no more, but could be used by couples on a timeshare basis to satisfy their carnal interests.

The land's available throughout the year except during January when I'm moving livestock across the state line to avoid Missouri's personal property tax on cows, goats, pigs, and best of all, sheep (my carnal interest).

So if any of you bigshot USSVI people are interested in a central location for cheep, and if you members are willing to pitch a tent in the middle of God's country, then go ahead and comment back with your email address (I don't want to share mine because of those earlier addmissions).

Son of Mulligan

9/02/2010 11:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Been a lifemember of USSVI for over 15 years, associate member of USSVWII for 20. Always made welcome in Fresno, bay area and current membership with Cuttlefish Base in Redding CA. We have WWII, post war, DBF'rs and NBF'rs as members. My experience social activites are important to functioning of base. It helps a lot to have a museum boat (USS Pampanito SS-383)for docent and work parties, and we get the boat for a night with breakfast onboard next morning, followed by colors topside and lighting off two main engines. Sorry for you guys that don't seem to have anything going for your bases.

My two cents re: American Submariner, don't care for current editorial policies and lack of "submarine stories". It's saying something when you find better stories in the Submarine Review, the Journal for the Naval Submarine League. I just toss American Submariner when done.

I've only attended one USSVI Convention in 1995. Will not attend another. I was in San Diego last year for reunion of SSBN 619 which coincided with the convention. I was one of 13 Plank Owners that attended. It was great!!

My concern is that USSVI National will try to organize like national VFW--Not good to much politics and BS.

Keep a zero bubble.........


9/02/2010 2:40 PM

Anonymous submarines once... said...

DBFTMC(SS) and That Damn Good Looking Aganger from Iowa are on target. The average age of a USSVI member is 67 years. So, unless you qualified before 1963 (on a swag) you don't get it. Those laps of the sun mean that more eligible members are from Nuc boats and don't get the DBF wannabe preservation theory. Besides, given about 10% of the submarine service are O'gangers, they feel more at-home with the Naval Submarine League. Its' time to embrace the great Satchel Paige theory of survival; "Don't look back, somethin' might be gainin" on ya!"
Just one perspective...

9/02/2010 6:34 PM

Anonymous Retired Submariner said...

Agree with most comments on the generational gap between the submariners of yesterday and today.

A bunch of grumpy old guys who disagree with everything today's submariner does. Just go over to Rontini's BBS to get a taste.

Anyway, I know a few submariners in my area who rode the bold boats and they are great to talk to one on one.

I am 46 now. Maybe I will give a few more years and give the USSV another chance.

9/02/2010 6:56 PM

Blogger DDM said...

I have been a member of Subvets since 2001. I enjoyed going to the club and having a couple of beers with the boys(except you smelled like an ashtray when you left). During the most recent national election I voted on line and received at least 10 e-mails reminding me to vote. I even got a video from a candidate via e-mail. In my reply to the e-mail I told the candidate that I detested the "mafia" mentality while I was active duty and that it seemed to me that Subvets was becoming an extension of that mentality. Guess what? The person called me on Sunday night to discuss my e-mail. Turns out Subvets has received a large sum of money from a benefactor so the business side of the organization is a little more than printing a newsletter and running a convention. Subvets does some great charitable work that I hope to support once my initial quals are completed. Hopefully I'll find a group that puts rank aside and we can sit around drinking beers and tell sea stories. Ironically this year's convention is in my hometown area but I have a family wedding the same weekend.

9/03/2010 6:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trim Pump says:
Do not ask what can USSVI do you. Instead the idea is to do things for USSVI.

I have a list 3 pages long of what USSVI individually do around the country.

I've tried to get it listed on the USSVI page so other bases might get some ideas. Not happening.

9/06/2010 8:05 PM


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