Noncommissioned officers are now eligible to join the Reserve Officers Association under a change in the 91-year-old groupís bylaws approved over the weekend.
ďThis vote marks the end of a vigorous debate and signals the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for the Reserve Officers Association,Ē said retired Army Brig. Gen. Michael Silva, ROAís national president, in a statement to members.
The professional organization for officers and spouses now has about 60,000 members.
Silva called the expansion ďboth strategically necessary and morally right,Ē and said he believed the move would strengthen the associationís voice in Washington on reserve-related matters.
Dues for NCOs will be lower than for officers, who pay between $50 and $125 for a one-year membership, depending on rank, and between $250 and $560 for a five-year membership.
For NCOs, annual dues are $20 for E-4s; $40 for E-5s, E-6s and E-7s; and $55 for E-8s and E-9s. Five-year memberships are priced at $100 for E-4s; $180 for E-5s, E-6s and E-7s; and $250 for E-8s and E-9s.
Silva said some administrative details are still being worked out on membership applications. The groupís website is www.roa.org.