Maybe you’ve heard or read a little about the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC), but what do they really do? I recently spoke with Anthony Hernandez, President/CEO of DCUC, to find out more about this interesting organization. I’m a veteran and credit union geek, so I was more than happy to talk with Tony!
First and foremost, DCUC is a specialized membership association that represents all credit unions on military installations around the world.
Why have a special association?
DCUC has a close working relationship with the Department of Defense to ensure members of the United States Armed Forces and their families are provided financial services in the finest traditions of the credit union philosophy.
For example, DCUC helps credit unions abide by the special operating agreement to be on the military base, which is more complicated than typical operating agreements. Similarly, the association helps credit unions understand and comply with the Military Lending Act or advocate for changes on their behalf.
Additionally, DCUC helps DoD recognize how member credit unions support military missions. For instance, credit unions are often asked to quickly provide up to $250,000 in cash for disbursement in austere locations.
There are also strict rules on maintaining a no-cost land lease, but it does help that typically 95% of the business conducted inside the on-base branch is done by the military.
What other type of work does DCUC do?
DCUC advocates on behalf of its members with the Department of Defense. They also work to protect the military credit union’s no-cost land lease. This is critical as brick and mortar branches are very important on the bases, as well as ATMs. DCUC also helps ensure the right process is followed with mergers and acquisitions. Any issues such as changes in utility rates, leases or anything that will affect credit union operations on base, DCUC wants to know so it can advise the credit union leadership.
DCUC helps facilitate financial education for service members and encourages sponsorships and donations from member credit unions to give back to the military community. For example, if a military credit union supports something such as for the local parent teacher association (PTA), this saves the military family’s precious time, so they don’t have to fundraise themselves. It’s a small dollar amount for the credit union, but has a huge impact in their community.
Similarly, DCUC encourages credit union staff to know military commanders and leadership – officers and enlisted leaders – on base, which helps build stronger relationships in the community.
How can non-military credit unions support the work of the military?
First, there are a number of veteran service organizations that need support, such as this year’s DCUC Charity — Purple Heart Homes.
Additionally, credit unions probably have a lot of military or veterans among their staff and members, which could be an untapped resource. When you look at the values that military members have instilled through training and experience, such as discipline, honor, selfless service, loyalty, respect, and so on, these things all help build a better America and better connected credit unions.
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