OMSA President’s Message

September-October 2017

Borch, Mr. Fred

Mr. Fred Borch

Dear Fellow OMSA members:

Join OMSA video. If you have not seen our new “Join OMSA” video, check it out here. The video is only a few minutes long and explains that the convention, website and JOMSA are the three pillars of your society. There are great photographs and many familiar faces.


New Digital Membership Option. After considerable discussion, your Board voted to offer an OMSA digital membership beginning in 2018. As I explained at our business meeting in Grand Rapids, this basically means that an individual who does not wish to receive a paper copy of the JOMSA, but otherwise wants to be an OMSA member, will be able to join as a “digital member” starting in January. The new membership will cost $19.95 a year and the member will receive an electronic version of the JOMSA via email. Only those who continue to join or renew at $49 per year (US bulk mail ($59 first class)) and $65/75 (airmail to Canada & Mexico/worldwide) will receive the six yearly issues of JOMSA in paper.


Why are we doing this? For three reasons. First, while my guess is that the vast majority of our members, including me, will continue to want to receive a printed JOMSA, your Board believes that OMSA may attract new members with this digital membership. Our website, for example, has medal rolls, back-issues of JOMSA, and forums and blogs on Austro-Hungarian, German, French, British, U.S. and “international” medals. There may be an individual who wants to join OMSA because he wants access to the website more than he wants the JOMSA; $19.95 versus $49.00 might make a difference. Second, the Orders and Medals Research Society (OMRS), our sister society in the United Kingdom, began offering a digital membership some years ago. Your Board decided that, as some OMSA members have taken advantage of the OMRS digital membership, it was time to offer a similar “electronic” membership. Third (and finally), your Board recognized that given the increasing popularity of digital books and magazines, especially among younger men and women, OMSA should see if there is interest in a digital subscription to the JOMSA at a reduced rate. The November-December JOMSA will contain additional information on the digital membership as will our website. But do not interpret this digital membership as indicating that the JOMSA is going away in paper. It is not. After all, the OMRS Journal is still being printed (despite and OMRS digital membership); the JOMSA likewise will be in paper because that is what our members want and it is the JOMSA that ties our Society together.


Update on the Purple Heart Legislation. As I write this message to you, H.R. 544, “The Private Corrado Piccoli Purple Heart Preservation Act,” is still “in committee” in the House of Representatives. Whether or not is “voted out” of committee and emerges in national defense legislation remains to be seen. As of now, however, there is no prohibition on buying or selling the Purple Heart.


New OMSA e-monograph. Treasurer Tim Bartholow has written a monograph on the history of OMSA members’ exhibits at our conventions since 1960. It lists exhibits, exhibitors, standards, and judges. There also are photographs of many exhibits, plus commentary and analysis. The e-monograph will be updated annually with each convention’s additions. Access it on the OMSA website,, under the RESEARCH tab, on the AMERICAN RESEARCH link.


Membership 2018 OMSA Convention in Denver. By the time you read this, our get-together in Michigan will be in the past. But it is not too early to think about attending our 2018 OMSA Convention in Denver. This is the first time we will gather in Colorado and the dates are August 9 (Thursday) through August 12 (Sunday), 2018.


Best wishes to all, Fred


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