AMVETS National/Department/Post Constitution

PREAMBLE

We, the American Veterans who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during and since World War II, fully realizing our responsibility to our community, to our state and to our nation, associate ourselves for the following purposes: to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States; to safeguard the principles of freedom, liberty and justice for all; to promote the cause of peace and goodwill among nations; to maintain inviolate the freedom of our country; to preserve the fundamentals of democracy; to perpetuate the friendship and associations of these veterans; and to dedicate ourselves to the cause of mutual assistance, this by the grace of God.


ARTICLE I: NAME

The name of this organization shall be AMVETS (American Veterans), and it shall be hereinafter referred to as AMVETS.


ARTICLE II: AIMS

The aims and purposes of this organization are as follows:
(1) To serve our country in peace as in war; to build and maintain the welfare of the United States of America toward lasting prosperity and peace for all its inhabitants.
(2) To encourage, in keeping with policies of our government, the establishment of a concrete plan to secure permanent international peace and to assist in the maintenance of international peace.
(3) To inspire in our membership a sense of responsibility and to develop leadership for the preservation of our American democratic way of life.
(4) To help unify divergent groups in the overall interest of American democracy.
(5) To train our youth to become purposeful citizens in a democracy with full knowledge of the responsibilities as well as the privileges of citizenship.
(6) To cooperate with all duly recognized existing veterans organizations in the furtherance of the aims of the veterans who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during and since World War II.
(7) To ensure the orderly return of the veteran to civilian life by protecting the rights of individuals while the servicemember is still in uniform.
(8) To expedite and assist in the rehabilitation of veterans by maintaining employment services; sponsoring educational opportunities; providing counsel on insurance, housing, recreation, personal problems, hospitalization and veterans benefits.
(9) To act as a liaison agent between the veteran and the government.
(10) To provide an organization to encourage fellowship among all American veterans who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during and since World War II.
(11) To keep the public forever reminded that the American veterans who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during and since World War II fought and served to preserve peace, liberty and democracy for their nation.


ARTICLE III: MEETINGS

Section 1

At all general, special and the annual meeting at least five (S) elected officers and five (5) members shall be present to constitute a quorum. A quorum at Executive Committee meetings shall consist of five (S) elected officers. A quorum of the Board of Trustees shall consist of five (5) elected officers.


Section 2

There shall be 3 types of meetings. General monthly meetings, special meetings and the annual meeting. The annual meeting will be held the third Tuesday in May. Post members will be notified in advance of all meetings by newsletter.


Section 3

The order of business shall be prescribed by the Executive Committee but may be changed when necessary. The Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee will meet at 6:30 pm on the third Tuesday of each month prior to the regular meeting at 7:00 pm.

Section 4

Nomination of officers shall be entertained at the regular meetings in March and April preceding the annual meeting. You must be present at either the March or April regular meetings in order to be nominated providing that you have enough meetings accumulated in order to run for office. You must be a member of Post #11 for a minimum of one year and have attended a minimum of six (6) meetings to be eligible to run for office other than Commander. To run for Commander you must have held an elected office and attended six (6) meetings from June 1st till the meeting in April.

Section 5

All business meetings of this post shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised.


ARTICLE IV: ELECTION AND APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS

Section 1

A Commander and not more than three vice commanders designated as First, Second, and Third Vice Commanders, Adjutant, Finance Officer, Judge Advocate, Provost Marshall, and three (3) Trustees shall be elected annually by the members of the post. A Chaplain, Historian, Service Officer, and Public Relations Officer (PRO) shall be appointed annually by the newly elected Commander with the approval of the Executive Committee. These appointed officers shall have no vote on the Executive Committee. The immediate Past Commander will have a voice and a vote on the Executive Committee.

Section 2

The election of officers shall be held Saturday following the annual meeting of the post in May. The election is to be held at the post home in Connersville, Indiana with the polls open from 11:am till 6:00 pm. Sufficient paper ballots will be prepared in advance by the Adjutant. Members must display their current membership card to vote. The Provost Marshall and/or the Judge Advocate shall supervise, distribute, collect and with an Election Committee of three (3) count the ballots and shall there after make the announcement of the results. Members of the Election Committee cannot be running for office. In case of a tie vote the winner will be determined by the flip of a coin by the Judge Advocate. Only members in good standing shall be allowed to vote. National and Department Headquarters shall be notified of the election of new officers by the Post Adjutant within thirty (30) days after the said election has been completed. Members must vote in person.

Section 3

The newly elected and appointed officers shall be sworn in and shall take office at the next regular meeting of the post but in no event sooner than two weeks after such election nor later than June 1st thereafter.

Section 4

In the event the office of the Commander is vacated, the Vice Commanders in order of their numerical designation shall succeed to the office of Commander for the unexpired term.

Section 5

Should any other office be vacated the Commander is empowered to appoint a successor for the completion of the term subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

Section 6

Any elected officer who misses three (3) consecutive regular meetings without prior consent shall be removed from office without any further action, notification or hearing. The vacated position shall be filled within the guidelines prescribed herein.


 

ARTICLE V: DELEGATES TO THE CONVENTION

At least thirty (30) days prior to the Department and National Conventions, delegates and alternates shall be chosen to attend said convention. The number of delegates will be in accordance with the National and Department delegate strength guidelines. The Post Commander shall constitute one delegate. The immediate Past Commander shall constitute one delegate. Other delegates may be elected with instructions governing their duties. See appendix A.


ARTICLE VI: FINANCE

Section 1

The total annual dlues of this post shall be set at $25.00 of which $13.00 $hall be remitted to the National, $7.00 to the Department, and the Post shall retain $5.00.

Section 2

Life member dues are $150.00 of.which $75.00 shall be remitted to thee National Headquarters, $37.50 is forwarded to the Department and $37.50 placed in the post membership account.

Section 3

All fund raising activities must be approved in advance by the Post Executive Cormnittee and the Department Judge Advocate. If a fund raising activity requires a contract or it's anticipated gross revenues are expected to exceed $2,500.00, a copy of the proposed fund raising program must be submitted through the Department to National Headquarters for approval.

Section 4

An annual budget shall be prepared by the Finance Officer and submitted to the Executive Committee for approval. Accurate books and records of account activities maintained by the Finance Officer shall be subject to inspection and regulation by the Executive Committee at all reasonable times.

Section 5

The Finance Officer shall render a report of receipts and disbursements at each meeting of the post. The office is also responsible for filing an IRS Form 990 with the District Director of the IRS or a certificate in lieu thereof where the 990 is not required on or before the 15th day of the fifth month following the close of the annual account period. A statement as to whether a 990 has or has not been filed with the IRS must be given in writing to the Department and National Headquarters. The Post's fiscal year shall end May 31st.

Section 6

If post club rooms are maintained and operated for the convenience and pleasure of the members of this post in the name of AMVETS, or it's insignia are displayed or used a Board of Trustees shall be elected from among the members of this post to supervise it's activities,  operation, and finance. The post shall also secure at least the minimum liability insurance coverage prescribed by the National Constitution and By-Laws which names the Department and National Headquarters as additional insured and file a copy of the Certificate of Insurance with the Department and National offices.

All guests of the post shall sign the guest book, must be signed in by a member and must leave when that member leaves. Guests cannot purchase alcohol except on open house days as per Indiana Excise laws.

Section 7

Post officials handling AMVETS funds shall be properly bonded with a good and solvent bonding surety company, acceptable to the U.S. Treasury, as surety to cover the average amount of AMVETS funds handled by said individuals in a single year.


 

ARTICLE VII: BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The Board of Trustees shall be comprised of the Post Commander,  immediate Past Post Commander, Finance Officer, Judge Advocate and Adjutant along with three trustees elected by the Post members. The First, Second and Third Vice Commanders shall also be members of the Board of Trustees with a voice but no vote. The Board of Trustees can only spend $1,500.00 annually on the building and grounds. Any expenses above $1,500.00 will need Executive Committee approval, excluding emergencies in the club room or to the building.


 

ARTICLE VIII: RESOLUTIONS

Section 1

All resolutions adopted by this Post shall be forwarded to Department Headquarters.

Section 2

A simple majority of members present is required to pass any resolution other than amendments to the By-Laws.


 

 

ARTICLE IX: RESTRICTED USE OF ORGANIZATION

AMVETS or any component part thereof, shall not be used to promote the interest of any individual who is a candidate for public office or to promote otherwise any individual, organization, political party, faction or product. Any violation of this provision shall be sufficient cause for disciplinary action against the offending member.


ARTICLE X: DISCIPLINE OF POST MEMBERS

Section 1

Discipline of members resulting from incidents in the clubroom (canteen) or on Post #11 property will be the responsibility of the Board of Trustees. Discipline of members of the Post will be the responsibility of the Executive Committee.

The Board of Trustees may suspend club privileges of any person(s) committing an incident in the clubroom or on Post property. The Board of Trustees shall schedule a meeting between them and the person(s) involved in the incident within 72 hours of the incident being reported. The Judge Advocate will investigate and report his findings to the Executive Committee. If in the opinion of the Board of Trustees the incident is of such a nature to affect the Post in a legal situation the incident will be turned over to the Executive Committee.

Section 2

Members of the Post may be suspended or expelled for any one or more of the following reasons:

(a) Failure to comply with any obligation imposed on members under the Constitution and By-Laws;
(b) Any violation of law that reflects unfavorably on the name of AMVETS;
(c) Any conduct unbecoming an AMVETS;
(d) Ineligibility for membership at time of acceptance into membership; or
(e) Procurement of membership by fraud or deception.

Section 3

Any member of AMVETS may prefer charges against any other member alleging any of the forgoing causes for suspension or
expulsion. Such charges shall be made under oath setting forth the time and place of the offense or other basis for the charges, as near as may be practicable, and signed by the accuser.

Section 4

All charges and specifications shall be filed with the Post Commander of the Post to which the member complained about
belongs. Upon receipt of said charges and specifications the Post Commander shall within five (5) days send a copy thereof by Certified Mail to tbe member complained about together with a notice fixing the date, place and time of the hearing. The hearing shall be held no more than thirty (30) days after date of mailing.

Section 5

Said charges and specifications shall be heard by the Executive Committee the Post of which the accused is a member of.
The member who was complained about shall have the right to be represented by counsel and to cross examine his accuser or accusers and witnesses presented against him. No member against whom charges have been preferred, or who has preferred charges against another member, shall sit in judgment on any panel hearing or deciding the matter.

Section 6

The Post Judge Advocate shall prosecute the charges and the attendance of a court reporter shall be permitted. (As per AMVETS National Constitution and BY-Laws, Page47, Appendix B, Section 5).

Section 7

The presiding officer of said Executive Committee shall decide all questions as to the relevancy of evidence and the regularity of the proceedings.

Section 8

On the conclusion of the hearing a vote shall be taken first as to whether there is a basis for the charge or charges and, if by the vote hereinafter mentioned, it is determined that there is no basis, the charges may be dismissed. If the charges are not dismissed then a vote shall be taken on the guilt or innocence of each of the charges and specifications. A two thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the Executive Committee hearing the charges and specifications shall be required to sustain any charge or specification. Voting herein provided for shall be secret or open as said Executive Committee may, by majority vote thereof, determine.

Section 9

If any charge or specification is sustained then the member shall be deemed to be guilty thereof and the officer presiding at the hearing shall then put the question of the degree of punishment as to whether there shall be a suspension from the benefits of membership and if so, for how long, or whether there shall be an expulsion from membership.

Section 10

Any member whose membership is suspended or forfeited may appeal to the next highest level applicable from that which heard charges and specifications, i.e. from Post Executive Committee to State Executive Committee. Notice of appeal must be filed in writing with the appellate body not later than fifteen (15) days after !he imposition of the penalty.

Section 11

The decision of the appellate body shall be binding and final.

Section 12

The procedure for the handling of any appeal to be heard by the Department Executive Committee shall be prescribed by the Department Judge Advocate and the procedure for the handling of an appeal to be heard by the Post Executive Comtnittee shall be prescribed by the Post Judge Advocate. No such procedure at any level, however, shall be inconsistent of, or in conflict with the National Constitution, or National, State, or Post By- Laws or this code.


 

ARTICLE XI: DUTIES OF OFFICERS

See Appendix B


ARTICLE XII: DEFINITIONS

The word "he" when ever used in the By-Laws of AMVETS Post #11 shall be construed as referring to both genders.


ARTICLE XIII: AMENDMENTS

These By-Laws may be amended by the majority vote of the members present at annual meetings. Proposed amendments must be presented in writing to the Executive Committee for recommendation. The committee will instruct the Adjutant to notify the membership by mail with copies of proposed changes at least 10 days before the meeting to vote on the amendment. Copies of all adopted amendments shall be forwarded to the Department Judge Advocate for review and recommended approval. The Department Judge Advocate will forward a copy of the approved By-Laws to National Headquarters for filing. The Executive Committee of Post #11 will instruct the Adjutant to post copies of the resolutions on the Post bulletin board and include a notice of resolutions in the next newsletter to the membership who are in good standing.


 

ARTICLE XIV: RULES OF PARLIAMENTARY LAW

Section 1

Only one topic can come before the floor at one time.

Section 2

Each coming before the floor shall be freely debated.

Section 3

Each member has rights equal to those of all other members.

Section 4

The will of the majority shall be carried out yet the minority shall have the right to present its case.

Section 5

I'he desires of the membership should be brought together in such a way that the welfare of the organization as a whole is preserved.

Section 6

Parliamentary questions, when not covered by the Post Constitution and By-Laws, shall be resolved in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order (Newly revised).