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  • Writer's pictureDon Milne

Looking for a General Patton to Direct SBTS


General George S. Patton is one of the most famous figures of World War II. Many people are not aware that he was not a first choice for a key early command - he was a replacement. That replacement made history and General Patton became a successful, if controversial, historic military commander.


During the 45 months the United States was engaged in World War II, it was rare for a unit commander to serve for the duration. Units lost their leaders and others took over.


After three and a half years it is time for a change in the directorship of Stories Behind the Stars.


To find out more about the reason we need a replacement read this blog post here.


The role of Stories Behind the Stars Director is to advance this project toward the completion of stories of all 421,000 US WWII fallen. It is a unique opportunity to do something historic with worldwide impact, but to quote Churchill, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."


How does that sound? Anyone up to the challenge?


Here is a list of the duties that have involved the director in the past. The new director may want to do more delegation. Many hands make light work.


Creating and managing website content

  • WIX platform

  • Volunteer information and contact form

  • Pages for all completed projects

  • Blog for news

  • List of past news stories

  • Links to training resources

  • Links to noteworthy stories and podcasts


Creating and managing social media content

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • YouTube

  • LinkedIn

  • Other? (Instagram)?


Oversee channels for adding stories

  • By state

  • By cemetery

  • By unit

  • By battle


First ever complete database of all WWII fallen

  • Standardized common fields for all states

  • Special project databases (Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Arlington National Cemetery)

  • Location of all completed stories (Fold3)

  • Smartphone app


Volunteer Focus

  • Story writers

  • State directors

  • Special project (e,g., ANC) directors

  • Database experts

  • Data entry

  • First Story Reviewers

  • Network For Good CRM onboarding

  • New volunteer phone support

  • Quality assurance

  • Researchers

    • Genealogy

    • Military research

    • Photo researchers (local historical societies, newspapers, American Legion, VFW, etc)


Media networking and communication

  • Engaging journalists

  • Preparing press releases

  • Preparing infographics

  • Sharing blog posts

  • Attracting new volunteers


Google Suite volunteer management

  • SBTS emails

  • Google Chat / Spaces


VPN management

  • NordVPN platform

  • Managing usernames and passwords

  • Assigning VPN access to new volunteers

  • Troubleshooting VPN user problems


WWII remembrance organization networking and communications

  • Fold3 / Ancestry / Newspapers.com

  • Together We Served

  • JustServe

  • MyHeritage

  • FamilySearch

  • Arlington National Cemetery

  • VA / Veterans Legacy Memorial

  • ABMC


Creating and managing training material

  • Podia platform

  • Fold3 training

  • TWS training

  • Online Zoom training (not used)


Managing Customer Relationship Management platform

  • Network For Good platform

  • Tracking volunteer participation

  • Communicate updates via targeted email blasts


Manage fundraising efforts

  • Network for Good

  • Go Fund Me

  • Contacting major donors (extremely limited success)

  • Grant writing (not used yet)

  • Other


Strategic Issues

  • Completing all fallen stories in as many states as possible by September 2, 2025

  • Cleaner and more robust smartphone app

  • Easier option to VPN to access research sites

  • Acknowledgement of volunteer achievements

  • Nonprofit status


Hard Costs (annualized)

  • Network For Good - $3,600

  • VPN - $2,000

  • WIX - $500

  • Podia - $500


Quality Control (inactive)

  • Improving content of existing stories


Newsletter (inactive)

  • Not started


Podcast (inactive)

  • More than 50 completed


If you are interested in helping in this area, send me an email at don@storiesbehindthestars.org and we can set up a time for a phone call to discuss this further.


I will be providing whatever long term support is needed to the new director, as my more limited time available will allow.


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