Omaha Post HistoryThe Omaha Post had its beginning in discussions among the military engineers assigned to the U.S. Engineers Office in Omaha, NE, during late 1938 and early 1939. The first recorded interest is a letter (dated January 11, 1939) from Lt. Edwin A. Bedell to the National Headquarters requesting information and assistance in forming a Local SAME Post.
Just over one year later, March 12, 1940, a formal meeting, under the chairmanship of Lt. Col. W. M. Hoge, met in the conference room of the U.S. Engineers Office. By agreement of those present, a committee was appointed to submit a report on the activities and services that could be performed by a local post. This committee consisted of Lt. Edwin A. Bedell, Jack A. Gardner, and Will H. Noble. The Organizational Committee presented their report at a follow-up meeting on March 19 and received direction to establish a Petition for Charter.
The Petition for Charter, containing 28 member signatures, was signed on March 26, 1940. During the March 26 meeting, the following officers were elected to serve pending the granting of a local charter creating a permanent organization:
- Lt. Col. W. M. Hoge, Temporary President
- Jack A. Gardner, Temporary Secretary
- Lt. Edwin A. Bedell, Temporary Treasurer
As recommended by the Organizational committee, the Constitution and By-laws of the Rock Island Post were used as a basis for the Constitution and By-laws of the proposed Omaha Post.
The National Society recognized the Omaha Post petition on May 6, 1940, and officially chartered the Post effective March 26, 1940. The Omaha Post charter was signed by Brig Gen. G. B. Pillsbury, President, and William Bowie, Secretary.
The Omaha Post began with 38 Charter Members. Membership has fluctuated over the years, but the Post has always remained strong. Despite the loss of four Post officers to active duty service during World War II, the 100-member milestone was reached during 1942. Membership during the war remained at the 100 mark until 1945, when the 200-member milestone was first reached. Interest waned in the late 1940s and bottomed out at 88 members in 1949, but picked up again in 1950 as 224 members, wives and guests toured the Missouri River. The 100- member mark was again reached during 1950.
In the early 1950s, with the affiliation of the Omaha Post with the Nebraska Engineering Society on April 4, 1953, membership again picked up. The 200-member milestone was again achieved during 1954. In 1956, the Historical Committee was appointed to research the record, write a Post history to date, and destroy all records that appeared to have no future value. During 1957, 1958, 1961, and 1965 membership slipped below 200, but in 1966 the 200 mark was achieved for good. In 1977, membership topped 300. In 1979- 80, the Post entered the SAME Top "20" club. Membership reached 323 in 1980. The growth of the Omaha Post steadily increased from 1966 to 1987, topping the 400 mark in 1982, the 500 mark in 1985, and ending the 1987 calendar year at 673 members (the all-time high). With the elimination of the Strategic Air Command at Offutt AFB in 1991, membership began to decline from 620 members in 1991, reaching 512 in 1992, 489 in 1993, and 474 in 1994. In April of 1995 the Omaha Post had 466 individual and 72 sustaining members. As of January 1, 2003, the Omaha Post had 558 individual and 62 sustaining members. The Omaha Post has achieved Distinguished Post Status in the following years: 1961, 1966, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1985 through 2002. The Omaha Post was honored in 2001 to be a Top Three Post. In 2002 the Post earned every Streamer but one, that of Membership.