SAME Omaha Post History

General History

The 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. Despite the loss of four Post officers to active duty service during World War II, the 100-member milestone was reached during 1942. In 1945, the 200-member milestone was first reached. Interest waned in the late 1940s and bottomed out at 88 members in 1949, 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 membership again picked up. The 200-member milestone was again achieved during 1954.

Growth of the Post: In 1966 the 200 mark was achieved for good. In 1977, membership topped 300. The Post reached 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 but has remained in the 500 range through current times.

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, 2006, 2009, and 2012. The Omaha Post was honored in 2001 to be a Top Three Post and in 2012 was part of Missouri River Region’s being named the Top Region in the U.S.

Special Dates

1950 - 224 members, wives and guests toured the Missouri River.

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.

1995 - The Omaha Post hosted the SAME annual conference.

1995 - The Omaha Post held their first Student Mentoring Program awards ceremony, in conjunction with the National Conference.

2001 - Roger Wozny, PE, of the Omaha Post, named as the SAME President, one of only a few civilians to be honored with this position.

2005 - Omaha Student Post out-going President Sarah Nieves was recognized for her contributions as the first-ever Student Post award winner.

2006 - Omaha submitted proposal to host 2011 National Conference – although ultimately was not chosen.

2006 - Jeanne LeBron Elected as First Woman President of the Omaha Post

2006 - Mr. Roger J. Wozny, P.E., FSAME, LEED® AP, at the 2006 National Joint Engineering Education and Training Conference in New Orleans May 31, was awarded the Society of American Military Engineer’s Walter O. Bachus Gold Medal in recognition of his outstanding leadership and dedicated service.

2006 - Establishment of the Doug Plack memorial scholarship.

2007 - Matt Harvey received the Academy of Fellows Mentoring Award.

2007 - Adam McIntyre is the recipient of the Society of American Military Engineers 2007 Student Certificate of Achievement

2008 - Missouri River/TEXOMA Regional, LaVista, NE. The first ever Fellow/Young Member Event, which has since become a Society tradition.

2008 - Brook Valley School Outdoor Education Area renovation – SAME members giving back to community.

2008 - NASA Astronaut speaks at SIMP program.

2009 - Black Hills Post was integrated into a Field chapter of the Omaha Post.

2009 - First annual Omaha Post holiday and awards event.

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