NACVSO advocates for America's veterans. We work to ensure every veteran receives the benefits rightfully earned.


Train & educate CVSOs and veterans advocates in preparation, submission and representation of claims with Department of Veteran Affairs. Also to advocate on behalf of veterans and eligible family members to receive the benefits in which they are rightfully earned.


To have NACVSO trained CVSOs, veteran’s advocates in all 50 states.


  1. To seek diverse sources of funding for NACVSO.
  2. Reliable source of communication with all members to disseminate association data.
  3. Maintain communication efforts to identify veteran-related legislative issues.
  4. Recruit and hire staffing to manage claims and administrative tasks.
  5. Rewrite CVA and update education program.


  1. Provide appeal representation at the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA), pending cases & beyond.
  2. Create a sustainable Model for efficient operations.
  3. Continue to grow education opportunities.
  4. Continue to grow and collaboration efforts with VA and legislative efforts at all levels.
  5. Create and publish a short and long-term strategic plan.


  1. Continue promoting a progressive legislative platform.
  2. Complete an education assessment of member states to tailor progressive training for the membership.
  3. Use the member states DVA offices as an on-going training resource.
  4. Provide outreach to states from NACVSO when requested
  5. Continue the accreditation training program.
  6. Develop a National Association “Education and Training Pamphlet”.
  7. Develop MOU’s and cross-accreditation agreements with the various Veterans Service Organizations.


  1. Identify progressive steps taken by member states on behalf of veterans and their dependents and mirror those steps nationally when appropriate.
  2. Identify job openings for County Veterans Service Officers through its newsletter.
  3. Undertake a study to rate VA Regional Offices and VA Medical Centers with an emphasis on performance and services provided.
  4. Continue work to expand the interactive computer network with the VA's current computer system.
  5. Periodically assess member states’ education programs to keep the NACVSO education program up-to-date.
  6. Continue cross-accreditation agreements with the various Veterans Service Organizations.

Association History:

On September 21, 1989, County Veterans Service Officers from eight states, California, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Indiana, Iowa and Colorado, met at the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office at Fort Snelling, Minnesota; these CVSO's discussed the need to form a “National Association”. Those present elected Jack Stewart, President, Pee Wee Douthit, Secretary, Harold Novotny, Treasurer, and Dea Thorton, Marty Durray, and Lew Schulz as Executive Board members and charged them with forming the association. These officers went to work on formalizing the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers and scheduled the inaugural organizational conference for the following June.

On June 27, 1990, 14 states, California, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Oregon, were represented at the conference. Twenty-three Service Officers met at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota and wrote the association's Constitution and Bylaws thus creating the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers. At this meeting, goals and objectives emphasizing professional development of County Veterans Service Officers were written. With this objective in mind, a National Training and Business Conference was scheduled for the following year.
The 1st Annual NACVSO Training Conference and Business Meeting was held on June 26- 28, 1991, in Springfield, Ohio. It was here that professional development and continuing education became a reality. County Veterans Service Officers from 14 states were present and over 60 individuals took part in the training. The wide variations in state-to-state training levels quickly became apparent so the membership moved to create a National Education.

Committee to establish a training agenda equitable for all. Cohesiveness in the association began to blossom while membership nationwide increased dramatically.
With a firm education program in hand, the association directed itself to become fully accredited in the eyes of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. In order to accomplish this goal, an Accreditation Committee was formed; committee members distinguished themselves during many presentations to the VA Central Office Staff, and gained National Accreditation in time for the next annual conference. This became a major turning point for NACVSO which now was recognized nationally as a truly professional and accredited organization.

At the 3rd Annual Training Conference, held in Peoria, Illinois in June 1993, with an established training program and approved accreditation tests, the association was honored by the attendance of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Hershel Gober who personally congratulated attendees and distributed accreditation certificates. NACVSO's three-year struggle to gain national accreditation had been realized. At the end of the year, NACVSO had 605 members.
Three years later, in 1996 at San Diego, California, we were honored by the presence of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Jesse Brown, Deputy Secretary Hershel Gober, and General Counsel Mary Lou Keener. Secretary Brown taught a class on Special Monthly Compensation; we would come a long way.

The National Association of County Veterans Service Officers is an organization made up of local government employees. Our members are tasked with assisting veterans in developing and processing their claims. A vast amount of the claims presented to the Veterans Administration each year, originate in a county veterans service office. Our members sit across from those men and women who wish to file a claim each day. They are our friends and neighbors members of our communities whom we see often daily. We exist to serve veterans and collaborate with the National Service Organizations and the Department of Veterans Affairs to serve veterans. Our Association focuses on outreach, standardized quality training, and claims development and advocacy. We are extension or arm of government, not unlike the VA itself in service to the nation’s veterans and their dependents.
Our workforce represents approximately 2,011 members from 36 states as well as Native American Tribes available to collaborate with the Department of Veterans Affairs to help speed the process of claims development and transition of our military personnel to civilian life.

***We are an accredited Veterans Service Organization/POA with the DVA.
Outreach and claims processing improvements are essential if we are to fulfill the obligation proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln "...To care for him, who shall have borne the battle and for his widows and orphans..." This is our motivation and passion.

Past Presidents:

Year Name State Retired CVSO Deceased Remarks
1990 Jack Stewart CA Yes   Founding; Chair
1991 Jack Stewart CA Yes   1st Conference Springfield, OH
1992 Dave Thomas WI Yes    
1993 Dennis Haiser  MI Yes    
1994 Dennis Haiser  MI Yes    
1995 Dennis Haiser  MI Yes    
1996 Dennis Haiser  MI Yes    
1997 James Carra  NY Yes    
1998 Dennis Haiser MI Yes    
1999 Jim Cara NY Yes    
2000 Tom Martin IL Yes    
2001 George Hunt NC Yes    
2002 Michael Murphy CA Yes    
2003 Doug LeValley OH Yes    
2004 John Dorrity NJ No    
2005 Ann Knowles NC No    
2006 Ann Knowles NC No    
2007 Darlene McMartin IA Yes    
2008 *** - Other   Removed
2009 *** - Other   Removed
2010 Jim Young WI Yes    
2011 Jim Young WI Yes    
2012 Tom Splitgerber CA Yes    
2013 Tom Splitgerber CA Yes    
2014 Jim Golgart MN Yes    
2015 Jim Golgart MN Yes    
2016 Ed Zackery OH No    
2017 Ed Zackery OH No    
2018 Herm Breuer OH No    
2019 Herm Breuer OH No    
2020 Herm Breuer OH No    
2021 Nichole Coleman OH No    
2022 Nichole Coleman OH No