MILITARY ORDER OF THE COOTIE
The Military Order of the Cootie of the United States is a non-profit Veterans Service Organization. We are known as “The Honor Degree of the VFW” and our members are comprised of the officers and leadership of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
Membership in the MOC is recognition of outstanding service to the VFW and its programs.
Founded in New York City on September 17, 1920, the MOC is based on the principals of good humor and fun. Over the past ninety years, the Cooties have provided social and entertainment programs to members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. as an Ancillary unit within the organization. Since 1923, our first year as a part of the VFW, the Cooties have worked hard to further the aims of the VFW while adding to it the frivolity known as Military Humor to the serious work of our parent organization. What would ultimately become known as the VFW National Home for Children, a sprawling campus of homes located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, started out as the brainchild of the MOC. We firmly believe in caring for the widows and children of our Armed Forces. Literally millions of dollars have been raised and donated to help “our kids” over our history; starting with the library, the swimming pool, the Fire Department, and a host of other projects designed to make life fun and educational for the children during their stay at the National Home.
With the outbreak of World War Two, the Cooties recognized a need to entertain hospitalized troops and veterans during their confinement and rehabilitation at Veterans Administration facilities throughout the country. Our service program is described as a directive to “Keep ’em Smiling in Beds of White.” Our distinctive red hat and unusual uniform sets us apart and draws attention to the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves. We sacrifice a little of ourselves to bring a smile or a laugh during what is normally a difficult time for our heroes.
We seek others like us to join and help us help them in their times of stress and anxiety.
The MOC is a distinction reserved for “active” members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; those who have succeeded as an officer on any level, or who have demonstrated ability as a leader of a major Post committee or function. These Comrades-in-arms have a special place reserved for them in the MOC; a place of recognition for efforts made by those who want to make a difference in the world around them. Our local units or “Pup Tents” as they are commonly known, recruit thousands of new VFW members each year.
Though small in number, we raise thousands of Dollars for our local Post programs; thousands more for the National Home, and literally Millions of Dollars in volunteer credits at VA Medical Centers each year. You probably already know some Cooties, since nearly every officer on every level of the VFW is also a member of this elite society.
The prime directive of the Military Order of the Cootie is to Have Fun. It is the Preamble of our Supreme By-Laws. It is the glue that holds us together and makes us special. It is what helps us to hang on and give that last push to get us over the top for a program when things get tough. Our hat, our uniform, even our name is designed to bring a smile to those who come in contact with us.
Within Nevada, there are five local units, or pup tents.