To provide members of the Military community with all the knowledge, experience, and passion, needed to be fully operational as hunters and anglers in the forest, on the water, and as conservation stewards for habitat and wildlife as engaged advocates in the legislative process.
At BHA we recognize that members of the North American Armed Forces are a critical constituency when it comes to the defense of our wild public lands and waters. The men and women who have bravely served are to thank for the freedoms that allow North American sportsmen and women to enjoy our outdoor opportunities and traditions.
Service is and always has been core to BHA’s mission, and the values that guide us are heavily influenced by a military mindset and the men and women of the military community. Currently multiple military members have helped BHA become the largest stronghold of public land advocates in the continent.
BHA’s Armed Forces Initiative strives to ensure that those on Active Duty, in the National Guard, Reservists, Veterans, and Gold Star Families continue to take active roles as public landowners while providing a constructive outlet for current or transitioning service members to continue their selfless service and enjoy the camaraderie of likeminded individuals. Patriotism and selfless service carries on in our new mission to protect public land and water access along with the ethical chase of wildlife.
Commanders’ intent serves to provide a basis of thought to be considered when encountering a situation or opportunity not specifically covered by the mission or vision, “If you are acting within the commander’s intent you are not wrong”:
-Instill within the Military Community, a knowledge of conservation practices and theory, a love of wild places, and a desire to elevate Americas public wild places as fundamental components of American Freedom.
AFI Coordinator - Trevor J Hubbs ([email protected])
Installation Leader - LtCol Andrew Ruszkiewcz
AFI Liaison Leader - Ryan Burkert
Treasurer - DJ Zor
Operations/Communications - Justin Townsend
Policy/Education/Partnerships - Justin Spruiell
Installations: We are building a national network of military installation clubs. These clubs will operate as NFE’s (non federal entities) directly on, and with, the specific military installation. The installation clubs serve to solve the problem of lowering the barrier of entry of hunting and fishing to military members on or around the installation, educate and empower, and build grassroots community. As mil members PCS from one duty station to the next, our hope is they either fall into an already established club or build a new one as their duty station changes.
AFI Liaisons Leader: Works to engage with veterans on the national and state level. This includes veteran skill camps and building relationships with state chapters for leadership engagement opportunities. These opportunities could include leading restoration projects, utilizing veteran voice in legislation issues with state chapter leadership direction, and other highlighted opportunities.
Treasurer: Manages the AFI Funding and coaches Installation club Treasurer on proper funding options and management.
Operations/Communications: Responsible for approving BHA Journal Articles, blog posts, and podcast appearances. Manages the operational functions of the AFI Program creating procedures and protocols.
Policy/Education/Partnerships: Allows for deeper engagement for veterans to use their voice in conservation. From town halls to congressional level discussion, we want our vets engaging here. Through this engagement, we’re looking to provide veterans a leadership pipeline. This includes education aspects of public speaking, understanding legislation, and providing a platform for veterans to utilize BHA as a launchpad.
BHA’s Armed Forces Initiative offers the Military Community:
- We want to give the Military community a new mission, and that mission is conservation
- We take the military community to Americas public wild places and show them great experiences but more than that we teach them why these wild places exist and how they as veterans can ensure there continued existence.
- An opportunity to engage in BHA’s core work to enhance public access and opportunity, conserve our public lands, waters and wildlife, and defend our fair chase hunting and fishing traditions
- A better quality of life through exposure to backcountry experiences
- The chance to experience and enjoy the mental and physical benefits of backcountry experiences
- The resources to share their backcountry experiences with other servicemen and women