Department Of Maine Constitution & Bylaws

DEPARTMENT

OF

MAINE

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

ADOPTED June 7, 2015__

(Signature on file)                                                                   (Signature on file)

J. E. “Gene” Foster David Connors                              Dept. Judge Advocate Dept. Commander

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Constitution

Preamble – – – – – – – – – – – – 4

Article I: Name – – – – – – – – – – – 4

Article II: Aims – – – – – – – – – – – 4

Article III: Organization – – – – – – – – – – 5

Article IV: Membership – – – – – – – – – – 6

Article V: Department Organization – – – – – – – – – 6

Article VI: Post Organization – – – – – – – – – 9

Article VII: Department Convention – – – – – – – – – 13

Article VIII: Department Officers – – – – – – – – – 14

Article IX: Discipline – – – – – – – – – – 14

Article X: Post Transfers – – – – – – – – – – 14

Article XI: Subordinate Organizations – – – – – – – – 15

Article XII: Ladies Auxiliary – – – – – – – – – – 15

Article XIII: Sad Sacks – – – – – – – – – – 17

Article XIV: Service Foundation – – – – – – – – – 17

Article XV: Department Convention Corporations – – – – – – – 17

Article XVI: Junior AMVETS – – – – – – – – – 17

Article XVII: Sons of AMVETS – – – – – – – – – 19

Article XVIII: AMVETS Riders – – – – – – – – – 20

Article XIX: Publications – – – – – – – – – – 21

Article XX: Amendments – – – – – – – – – – 21

Bylaws

Article I: Charters – – – – – – – – – – – 22

Article II: Department Officer Duties – – – – – – – – 23

Article III: Discipline of Posts and Post Members – – – – – – – 25

Article IV: Membership – – – – – – – – – – 26

Article V: Monies and Collections – – – – – – – – – 27

Article VI: Definitions- – – – – – – – – – – 30

Article VII: Restricted Use of Organization – – – – – – – – 30

Article VIII: Meetings – – – – – – – – – – – 30

Article IX: National Flower – – – – – – – – – – 30

Article X: National Motto – – – – – – – – – – 30

Article XI: National Song – – – – – – – – – – 31

Article XII: Accounting for Monies – – – – – – – – – 31

Article XIII: Policy – – – – – – – – – – 31

Article XIV: Resolutions – – – – – – – – – – 31

Article XV: Amendments – – – – – – – – – – 31

Article XVI: Department Self Audit Process – – – – – – – – 32

Appendix A: Revocation, Cancellation, or Suspension of Post Charters – – – – 33

Appendix B: Suspension or Expulsion of Members – – – – – – – 35

Appendix C: Procedures National Grievance Committee – – – – – – 37

Appendix E: AMVETS Uniform Department Constitution – – – – – – 38

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 Department of Maine and it shall be hereinafter referred to as AMVETS (American Veterans).

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;
  1. 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;
  1. To inspire in our membership a sense of responsibility and to develop leadership for the preservation of our American democratic way of life;
  1. To help unify divergent groups in the overall interest of American democracy;
  1. To train our youth to become purposeful citizens in a democracy with full knowledge of the responsibilities as well as the privileges of citizenship;
  1. 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;
  1. To ensure the orderly return of the veteran to civilian life by protecting the rights of individuals while the service member is still in uniform;
  1. 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;
  1. 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; and

  1. 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: Organization

Section 1. AMVETS shall be organized with a national headquarters located in Maryland, a department in each state, District of Columbia, United States territories, and at such other places and countries as authorized by the national convention or an intervening National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting. Local posts shall be formed within these entities, and intermediate administrative groups may be created by the National Executive Committee and department executive committees to function within their respective jurisdiction where such action is deemed advisable.

No fees shall be charged by any entity of AMVETS for the initial issuance of Post or Department charters other than membership dues as prescribed by this Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 2. The national department shall be composed of national officers – both elected and appointed – and the members of the National Executive Committee. It shall be the duty of the national officers to advance the cause of AMVETS, to carry out its aims and purposes, and to provide for realization of the plans and policies established by the mandates of the national convention and the National Executive Committee.

Section 3.

(a) AMVETS is a congressionally chartered membership corporation created by act of Congress under U. S. Code Title 36, Subtitle 1.2.2, Chapter 227, 23 July 1947. In accordance with that legislation, AMVETS has issued charters to subsidiary organizations, departments and other units, including posts. Pursuant to their charters, those units are bound to pursue the purposes set forth in the Congressional Charter and abide by the Charter and Bylaws of AMVETS. However, each organization is a separate unincorporated association or corporation under the laws of the jurisdiction in which each is located.

(b) AMVETS is a federally-chartered, patriotic, member corporation created by an act of Congress. AMVETS does not own an interest in any clubroom, canteen, facility, or any fund-raising activity operated for or on behalf of the AMVETS national organization, and said organization does not derive any profit from such facilities or activities. Therefore, AMVETS shall not be responsible for the negligent or wrongful acts or omissions, nor the contractual obligations or debts of any post, county council, district, or department. Nor shall AMVETS be responsible for the negligent or wrongful acts or omissions or contractual obligations or debts of any activity, clubroom, holding company, or unit, or post, sponsored, conducted, or operated by and for the behalf of any post, county council, district, or department which shall be at all times under the direct control of such post, county council, district, or department. All funds derived there from shall be at all times under direct control of such post, county council, district, or department.

(c) All monies, property, or assets of any kind or nature, as well as all books and records, owned, held, or used by any activity, clubroom, holding company, or post which may be sponsored, conducted, or operated by, or on behalf of any post, county council, district, or department shall be the property of such post, county council, district, or department, and must be placed in the care and custody of the respective finance officers.

Section 4. The AMVETS National Department, all state Departments, all Posts, and all subordinates thereof shall operate as not for profit entities.

Article IV: Membership

Section 1. Any person who served or is currently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America at any time after Sept. 15, 1940, is eligible for regular membership in AMVETS, provided such service – when terminated by discharge or release from active duty – is by honorable discharge, honorable separation or general discharge under honorable conditions.

Any American citizen, as an American citizen, who served in the Armed Forces of an Allied nation of the United States at any time after Sept. 15, 1940, and before May 8, 1975, is eligible for regular membership in AMVETS, provided such service – when terminated by discharge or release from active duty – is by honorable discharge or honorable separation.

No person who is a member of, or who advocates the principles of, any organization believing in, or working for the overthrow of the United States government by force, and no American citizen or permanent resident alien in the United States, one of its territories, possessions or the District of Columbia who refuses to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States shall be privileged to become, or continue to be, a member of this organization.

All United States reservists and national guardsmen who are now serving, or have been honorably discharged since Sept. 15, 1940, are eligible for regular membership in AMVETS, provided such service – when terminated by discharge or release is by honorable discharge or honorable separation.

Section 2. Honorary memberships shall not be granted. In lieu thereof, certificates of merit may be awarded, or a suitable inscribed award given, to those rendering distinct service to the community and to the American veterans who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during and since World War II.

Such awards may be made by posts, intermediate administrative groups, state departments, the National Executive Committee, the national department or the national convention. Awards by posts and intermediate administrative groups must be approved by department executive committees.

No member of AMVETS shall be entitled to receive a certificate of merit.

Section 3. No member shall be a member of more than one post at one and the same time.

Section 4. Any member of AMVETS classified as a member-at-large (MAL) may not hold an elected or appointed office at any level in the AMVET organization.

Section 5. Membership shall run from September 1 through August 31. Eligibility for membership and the rights and privileges of members shall be as provided in the constitution and bylaws of AMVETS and the terms of membership and requirements for holding office within AMVETS shall not be discriminatory on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin.

Section 6. There shall be but one type of membership as described in Section 1 of this article.

Article V: Department Organization

Section 1.

(a) Each state or territorial area of the United States shall constitute a department and shall be chartered as such, provided it has a minimum of five chartered posts and a minimum of 300 members.

Within two years, the department must attain a minimum of 500 members. Maintenance of this minimum requirement is mandatory. Failure of a department to maintain these minimum requirements shall result in automatic suspension of its charter and privileges for a period not to exceed six months, after which, if the minimum requirements are not met, the charter will be administratively revoked.

(b) When a department charter is revoked, the national department shall have full authority to take possession, custody and control of all records, property and assets of the department.

Said department shall not be eligible to reapply for charter status for a period of two years from the date of revocation unless it has a minimum of five posts and 500 members.

After two years, the department may apply for a charter, provided it has met the minimum requirements of five posts and 300 members.

(c) To determine eligibility for the spring NEC meeting/national convention, the department membership shall be that of record on the end of month membership printout prior to the meeting.

For the fall NEC meeting, the August 31 end-of-month membership report shall be used.

(d) New departments shall be chartered by and on written request to the national commander and shall be ratified by the National Executive Committee at the next scheduled meeting.

Section 2. Prior to July 15, each department shall submit a current and complete copy of its department constitution and bylaws, if revised and amended, to the national judge advocate for approval of all amendments or revisions. Such amendments or revisions shall be clearly identified by underlining or italicizing.

Section 3. Each department shall conduct its convention, to be held annually, between May 15 and June 30, at which time it shall elect department officers and its delegate and alternate to the national convention and its national executive committeeman and alternate.

(a) Elected department officers shall assume office not later than July 15 for a term of one year at a time with the exception of the Department Commander who will serve a term of two years at a time. The Department Commander’s 2-year term will coincide with the Department’s elected National Executive Committeeman’s term.

(b) National executive committeemen and alternates shall assume office in accordance with Article VII, Section 4, of the national constitution.

Section 4. It shall be the duty of each department to aid in the organization of local posts and to carry out the plans and policies delegated to it by the national department in adherence to the provisions of this constitution.

Section 5. No fund-raising activities shall be undertaken by or on behalf of any department or any subordinate thereof within the geographical confines of any other department without the express permission of the affected department.

Section 6. Any provisions of the constitution or bylaws of a department or subordinate organization of AMVETS found to be in conflict with or contrary to the provisions of the national constitution are null and void. Officers of departments shall use the equivalent titles provided for national officers in the constitution.

Section 7. No public fund-raising project or program of any kind or character shall be undertaken by or on behalf of any national district, state department or subordinate thereof, unless the contract, agreement or other arrangement under which such project is to operate has first been submitted for prior approval of a standing committee that shall be composed of the president of the National Service Foundation, the national judge advocate and the national commander. The national executive director and the executive director of the National Service Foundation shall be ex-officio members of this committee.

A public fund-raising project is defined as any project or program involving a solicitation or request to nonmembers of AMVETS for a donation or pertaining to the sale of merchandise, goods, tickets or advertising matter of any kind or character. The committee shall render a decision within three weeks on all matters submitted to it. In the event of an adverse decision of this committee, an appeal may be made to the National Executive Committee at its next session.

All federal or state reports required to be filed by said the department or subordinate thereof, including the department service foundation, pursuant to federal or state legislation or administrative regulations pertaining to the fundraising or the disposition of any of the assets of said department or subordinates thereof, including the department service foundation, shall, at least 14 days prior to filing with any federal or state agency, be submitted to the aforesaid standing committee for preliminary review and recommendations concerning preparation and filing thereof.

Failure of a department or subordinate thereof to adhere to the provisions of this section shall be considered grounds for disciplinary action.

Section 8.

(a) Every department shall be required to revalidate its charter annually prior to July 15. Such charter revalidation shall be evidenced by an appropriate device to be issued by National Headquarters.

In order to revalidate such charter and to receive a Certificate of Revalidation of its charter, each department, aside from any other requirements imposed in this constitution and bylaws, shall:

(1) furnish National Headquarters with a certified list of current department officers;

(2) file Internal Revenue Form 990 for the department calendar or fiscal year with the Internal Revenue Service, and indicate on the officer’s form that a 990 form has been sent to the IRS;

(3) furnish National Headquarters with a copy of the department’s current constitution and bylaws or a certification stating that the copy previously submitted has not been amended;

(4) be fully paid up in all department accounts with National Headquarters; and

(5) if required, have complied with Article IX, Section 8(c), of the AMVETS National Constitution.

(b) All departments shall carry public liability insurance, including personal injury and property damage coverage with a minimum single limit of $300,000.

All Departments will carry liquor liability insurance.

Departments will carry workers compensation insurance in accordance with the law of the state in which the department headquarters is located.

National Headquarters shall be included in each and every policy as an additional insured and a certificate of said insurance shall be furnished to National Headquarters.

(c) All departments shall be incorporated in accordance with the laws of their respective states. A filed copy shall be furnished to the national department.

(d) No department shall have its representative seated or his expenses paid by National at any meeting of the National Executive Committee or any national convention if it fails to conform to Sections 8(a), (b) and (c) of this article.

(e) All departments shall comply with local, state and federal laws and statutes in the operation of said department and its facilities. Each department shall certify to National headquarters yearly that it is in compliance with this section of the AMVETS National Constitution.

Section 9.

(a) A bordering department state may adopt a non-department state for the purpose of assisting in its development. The adopting department shall continue to provide administrative assistance and advice to the adopted state for a period not to exceed one year after the adopted state obtains department status.

(b) Fifty percent (50%) of the non-department escrow shall be held in escrow by the national department until the non-department state meets department criteria as outlined in AMVETS National Constitution Article IX, Section 1.

The remaining fifty percent (50%) of the non-department escrow amount may be utilized by the adopting department to offset administrative expenses in support of the adopted non-department state and its members.

Non-department posts and their members shall enjoy the full rights/privileges of department posts and be subject to the provisions of the adopting department’s constitution and bylaws.

Section 10. A Uniform Department Constitution shall be promulgated and shall be known as Appendix E to the AMVETS National Constitution and By Laws. Amendments to Appendix E may only be made by a majority of the delegates voting at a National Convention.

Article VI: Post Organization

Section 1. Local posts may be formed by 10 eligible individuals, by making application to their department, and if there be no organized department, by making application directly to National Headquarters. If the department approves, the application shall be forwarded to National Headquarters.

Section 2. Posts shall be governed locally by their own officers chosen according to their own constitution and bylaws, except that election of officers shall be held annually between May 1 and June 30 and said officers shall be installed by an AMVET in good standing who has attained at least the rank of post commander, or a department or national officer, and assume office no later than July 15 thereafter.

The posts, however, shall be subject and subordinate to the jurisdiction of the national and department headquarters; any provisions of a post constitution found to be in conflict with or contrary to the provisions of this constitution shall be null and void. Officers of posts shall use the equivalent titles provided for national officers in this constitution.

Section 3. Every post shall be required to revalidate its charter annually prior to July 15. Such charter revalidation shall be evidenced by an appropriate device to be issued by National Headquarters. In order to revalidate such charter, and to receive a Certificate of Revalidation of its charter, each post, aside from any other requirements imposed in the constitution and bylaws, shall:

(a) furnish National and its department headquarters with a certified list of current post officers;

(b) file Internal Revenue Form 990 for the post calendar or fiscal year with the Internal Revenue Service, and indicate on the officers’ form that a 990 form has been sent to the IRS.

(c) furnish national headquarters with a copy of the post’s current constitution and bylaws or a certification stating that the copy previously submitted has not been amended;

(d) be fully paid up in all post accounts with national headquarters;

(e) if required, have complied with Article VII, Section 3(c), of the AMVETS National Bylaws;

(f) have at least 10 members in good standing at the time of revalidation; and

(g) provide National Headquarters through the Department headquarters a copy of the chartered post articles of incorporation if required by AMVETS National Bylaws Article VII Section 3(d) and, if required by state law, certificates of good standing.

Section 4.

(a) All posts shall comply with local, state and federal laws and statutes in the operation of the post and its facilities. Each post shall certify to National Headquarters yearly that it is in compliance with this section of the constitution.

(b) On compliance with all the above requirements, National Headquarters shall issue to such post a Certificate of Revalidation.

(c) On or before August 1 of each year, the national commander, through National Headquarters, shall furnish each organized department a list of the posts within such department that have not complied with the above requirements, directing that such posts be disciplined.

By September 1, each department notwithstanding – and in addition to any other provisions of the constitution and bylaws – shall suspend the charter of such posts until they comply with such requirements, unless they have complied with such requirements prior to such suspension.

Any charter so suspended shall remain suspended until such post shall have complied with such requirements and shall have received a Certificate of Revalidation to the charter from the national department.

Any post whose charter remains in a state of suspension for six consecutive months for any of the foregoing reasons shall, on March 1, have its charter automatically revoked without any further action being necessary either by the state department or national department.

No department shall have its representatives seated or their expenses paid at any meeting of the National Executive Committee unless it has been certified in writing that all posts in the department have complied with the aforesaid requirements or written evidence is furnished that appropriate disciplinary action has been taken against all posts not so complying.

(d) Action against posts in unorganized departments shall be taken by the national department.

All post constitution and bylaws at inception or as being amended shall be sent to the department judge advocate for review and/or recommendations. If the department judge advocate accepts the constitution and bylaws as submitted, the department judge advocate shall direct same – reflecting the department judge advocate’s acceptance – immediately to National Headquarters for filing with the department judge advocate’s approval attached thereto.

Section 5. Voting members of the Department Executive Committee shall be delegates to the department convention, each entitled to one vote, proving their respective post have complied with all the provisions of the department constitution and bylaws.

Section 6. The management of the Department budget as approved at the state convention shall be under the control of the Department Executive Committee, which shall delegate sufficient general and specific authority to the Department Finance Committee, as authorized by the Department Bylaws, to carry out the usual duties of such committee. The Department Finance Committee, with the approval of the Department Executive Committee, shall have the authority to retain the independent investment experts as needed for consultation in supervising any and all AMVETS funds.

(a) The Finance Committee shall consist of members as prescribed in the Department bylaws.

(b) The Finance committee shall meet prior to each DEC meeting, or at other times as set for in the Department bylaws.

(c) The Finance committee shall make an annual report to the department convention. Revenue shall be derived from annual dues and such other sources as may be approved by the Department Executive Committee.

(d) The Finance Committee shall submit a provisional annual budget as prescribed in the Department Bylaws.

Section 7. The following provisions shall govern the establishment and administration of the budget of the Department Headquarters:

(a) The Finance Committee has the sole fiduciary responsibility to prepare and present a budget that is fiscally sound.

(b) In determining the budget, revenue that provides funding for the operations and programs approved by the Finance Committee, Department Executive Committee, and department convention.

(c) In the full execution of approved programs within the budget, expenses shall be budgeted as realistically as possible to ensure overall spending integrity.

(d) A contingency budget line shall be developed solely to address unexpected expenses during the operating fiscal year and included in the budget.

(e) In no case shall the Department Finance Committee or any other body of the department organization be permitted to adopt or approve a budget in which the expenses, provisions for capital expenditures and provisions for debt reduction exceed the income established above. Under no circumstances, however, shall the aggregate budget as approved by the department convention be over-expended. Violation of any of the foregoing provisions by any person shall constitute cause for disciplinary actions, including removal from office or dismissal from employment.

(f) Any person who willfully violates any provision of this section shall, in addition to any other disciplinary action taken, be personally financially liable for any amount spent that exceeds the budget appropriations unless such excess had prior approval of the Department Finance Committee. Any salary or expense money due to become due to such person may be retained by the organization to offset all or any part of the unauthorized over expenditure.

Section 8. The Department Finance Committee shall have the power and authority to designate the depository banks or other financial institutions to receive deposits into various accounts belonging to the Department and to disburse such funds on checks signed by two or more persons designated by the Department bylaws.

Section 9. The fiscal year shall be designated in the Department Bylaws.

Section 10. Any resolution emanating from a department convention involving the expenditure of funds or any financial commitment shall be referred to the Department finance Committee for approval in reviewing resolutions adopted at a department convention, the Department Finance Committee shall have three options:

(1) provide funding from the newly adopted department budget,

(2) defer funding pending appropriate planning by the department staff as part of the next fiscal year or

(3) deny funding based on current and projected funding levels.

If a resolution is denied or deferred because of want of available funds within the meaning of Section 14 hereof, the Department Finance committee shall report such decision to the Department Executive Committee at its next meeting.

Section 11.

(a) The Department Executive Committee after notice and hearing, may cancel, suspend or revoke the charter of any post for good and sufficient cause. Procedure for any such action shall be as prescribed by AMVETS National Bylaws, Appendix A.

(b) In the event of cancellation, suspension or revocation of any charter of any Post, the suspended body shall have the right of appeal to the next department convention.

Section 12. As prescribed in the Department bylaws, the department commander, after notice, may invoke and formulate a trusteeship to take over the operation of a post for good and sufficient reasons and for the well being of the AMVETS organization.

Section 13. From among the voting membership of the Department Executive Committee, the department commander shall appoint a Department Grievance Committee, consisting of three members to hear grievances and appeals as are provided for in this constitution and bylaws and to report its finding and recommendations to the Department Executive Committee. The department commander shall designate the chairman. This committee shall function during the department convention, meeting of the Department Executive Committee, and upon the call of the department commander or Department Executive Committee. Such appointees shall serve at the pleasure of the department commander with the advice and consent of the Department Executive Committee.

The department commander and department judge advocate shall serve as ex-officio members of this committee without a vote.

Article VII: Department Convention

Section 1. Department Conventions shall be held annually between May 15 and June 30 but usually the first week of June, at a time and place selected by the Department Convention Corporation and voted upon by delegates at the department convention not more than three years in advance.

In the absence of a selection of a convention site by a convention body, or in the event the date or place selected by a convention body becomes unavailable or any provision of the convention bid is withdrawn, or if bids are not received in advance, then the Department Executive Committee shall select the time and place of such convention. The Department Convention Corporation shall decide in all other situations.

The Department Convention Corporation shall constitute the governing body of AMVETS.

Section 2. The Department Convention shall be comprised of the following:

Each local post shall be entitled to two delegates and two alternates for its first 50 members or fraction thereof. Thereafter, the post shall be entitled to one delegate and one alternate for each additional 50 members. The number of delegates or alternates to which each post is entitled shall be computed by National Headquarters as of July 1 each year and reported to the post as soon thereafter as may be possible. Posts must be chartered prior to May 1 to be eligible to vote at the national convention;

Example: 10-50 Members = 2 delegates and 2 alternates

51-100 Members = 3 delegates and 3 alternates

101-150 Members = 4 delegates and 4 alternates

151-200 Members = 5 delegates and 5 alternates, etc.

Section 3. Each delegate shall be entitled to one vote. Alternates shall have all the rights and privileges of their delegates except they shall vote only in their delegate’s absence.

No delegate or alternate, however, shall be seated at the Department Convention unless all the individual’s accounts with national headquarters are fully paid up.

Section 4. Any person who transfers from one post to another must be a member of the post to which the person has been transferred for at least six months before becoming eligible to represent said post as a delegate or alternate at department convention.

Section 5. No delegate of an accredited post shall be seated at the department convention unless the respective post shall be fully paid up in all its accounts with National Headquarters and national districts and their accounts and membership shall be certified as of 30 days prior to the opening date of the department convention.

No post delegate or alternate shall be permitted to register as such unless the delegate or alternate shall have been a member in good standing on the national rolls for at least 30 days prior to the opening of said convention and possesses a membership card or other satisfactory evidence identifying the delegate or alternate as a member of the post from which the individual is registering. Further, no post shall seat its delegates at a department convention unless it shall have complied with the requirements to renew its charter for that year, as in Article X, Section 3 hereof, and shall have received a Certificate of Revalidation to the charter for that year.

Article VIII: Department Officers

Section 1.

(a) The department convention shall elect a Department Commander, a Department First Vice

Commander, a Department Second Vice Commander, a Department Finance Officer, a Department Provost Marshal and a Department Judge Advocate.

(b) No member shall be eligible for any department office unless the individual is fully paid up in all accounts with the national headquarters 30 days prior to the opening date of the convention.

(c) No member shall be eligible for any department office unless proof of eligibility for membership has been presented to the Credentials Committee of that convention.

(d) To qualify as a candidate for the office of Department Commander, the individual must have served at least 2 consecutive years as an elected department officer in one or multiple offices.

Section 2. The procedure for removal from office of elected officers shall be prescribed by the National Executive Committee on recommendation of the national judge advocate in accordance with the Uniform Code of Procedure for the Suspension or Expulsion of a Member (AMVETS National Bylaws, Appendix B)

Article VIX: Discipline

Section 1.

(a) Disciplinary rules relative to posts are prescribed by Appendix A.

(b) A department executive committee may suspend or expel any department member for misappropriation of AMVET department funds.

Section 2. The National Executive Committee, after notice and hearing before a subcommittee, may cancel, suspend or revoke the charter of any department for good and sufficient cause. Procedure for any such action shall be prescribed by the national judge advocate.

In the event of the cancellation, suspension or revocation of any charter of any department, the suspended body shall have the right of appeal to the next national convention.

Section 3. With the approval of the National Executive Committee, the national commander, after notice, may invoke and formulate a trusteeship to take over the operation of a department and/or post for good and sufficient reasons and for the well being of the AMVET organization.

Article X: Post Transfers

Section 1. Any member in good standing may change membership in a post or a department and join a new post without repaying the current dues.

Section 2. Such transfer shall be subject to the approval of the posts and departments involved.

No transfer shall be denied by the post or department from which transfer is requested without just cause.

Section 3. The losing post or department has 30 days to either approve a request for transfer or show just cause why the transfer should not be executed.

Failure to respond to the requesting (gaining) post or department in writing, by either approving and returning the request for transfer, or providing just cause for denial of requested transfer, within 30 days, will be taken as approval for the requested membership transfer.

Article XI. Subordinate Organizations

Section 1.

(a) A subordinate organization of AMVETS may be established only by a provision of this constitution.

(b) All subordinate organizations’ membership qualifications must be consistent with the aims and purposes of AMVETS.

Article XII: Ladies Auxiliary

Section 1. AMVETS recognizes a subordinate organization known as the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary.

Section 2.

(a) Eligibility for membership in the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary shall be limited to the mothers, wives and grandmothers, regardless of age, and to the daughters, stepdaughters, sisters and granddaughters, not less than 18 years of age, of regular members of AMVETS; and to the mothers and widows, regardless of age, and to the daughters, stepdaughters, sisters and granddaughters, not less than 18 years of age, of deceased veterans who would have been eligible for membership in AMVETS, and female veterans who served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States after Sept. 15, 1940, or as an American citizen in the Armed Forces of Allied countries after Sept.15, 1940, and before May 8, 1975, who maintain their AMVET membership unless they meet the established eligibility criteria.

The term mother shall be construed to include any female member of the family, or any female guardian of such person or deceased veteran, who has exercised or is exercising the care and responsibility for the rearing of such person or deceased veteran.

(b) Any member of the ladies auxiliary who has been duly recognized as a member of the auxiliary under the provisions of 2(a) herein shall be allowed to remain a member of the ladies auxiliary so long as she remains a member in good standing.

Section 3.

(a) The ladies auxiliary shall be under the control of the national commander and the National Executive Committee, provided that nothing contained in this section shall in any way remove the jurisdiction given to the national organization and to departments over corresponding units of the ladies auxiliary.

(b) Each department ladies auxiliary shall be under the jurisdiction of the department whose name it bears. Each department ladies auxiliary shall be identical in geographical limits to its respective AMVETS department and be known and identified by the same name.

Section 4.

(a) Each ladies auxiliary shall be affiliated with an AMVET post and carry the corresponding number of that post.

(b) No ladies auxiliary to any post shall be formed until approved by two-thirds vote of the members present at a stated meeting, with due notice of the proposed formation having been given the entire membership of said post 15 days prior to such meeting.

(c) Each local ladies auxiliary shall be under the jurisdiction of the post whose number it bears.

(d) Where no post exists, a ladies auxiliary shall not be formed.

(e) Any ladies auxiliary not affiliated with an existing AMVET post shall not be recognized and shall surrender its charter and such properties it may possess to the duly recognized ladies auxiliary officer or officers in accordance with the constitution of the National Ladies Auxiliary.

Section 5.

(a) A post may, by a vote of two-thirds of its members present at a meeting, following a printed or written notice mailed or delivered to each member of the post in good standing at least 10 days before said meeting, vote to disband its ladies auxiliary.

Such notice shall show contemplated action and be certified to and forwarded through the state department of AMVETS with proper notice in writing to the National Ladies Auxiliary liaison officer, the department ladies auxiliary president, and to the national commander, who shall direct the cancellation of the charter of the ladies auxiliary only after investigation by him that it is in the best interest of AMVETS to do so.

(b) In the case of the discontinuance of a post by voluntary surrender of its charter or by a forfeiture or revocation of the charter, its ladies auxiliary, if any, shall continue in being for a period of not more than one year.

(c) The national commander may direct a suspension or cancellation of the charter of any ladies auxiliary on recommendation of the department commander having jurisdiction, when it is shown that the ladies auxiliary has become a detriment to the post.

Section 6. In the event of the surrender, cancellation or forfeiture of a ladies auxiliary charter to a post, all monies, official records, property and other paraphernalia shall be surrendered to such officer or officers as the rules and regulations of the National Ladies Auxiliary provide. In case such ladies auxiliary is reinstated or reorganized within a period of three years, such monies, papers, etc., originally forfeited by such ladies auxiliary, shall be delivered to such reorganized or new ladies auxiliary in connection with the charter.

Section 7.

(a) The national president of the ladies auxiliary, within 30 days after the national president’s induction to said office, shall transmit to the national commander for the national commander’s information and that of the National Executive Committee a complete itemized report of the financial standing of the National Ladies Auxiliary.

(b) All books and records of the National Ladies Auxiliary shall be made available on request to the national commander or National Executive Committee for either examination or audit.

Section 8. AMVETS recognizes a subordinate organization known as Sackettes, a fun and honor organization of the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary.

Section 9. No national fund-raising activities can be sponsored by the National Ladies Auxiliary or any of its subordinates without prior approval of the National Executive Committee.

Article XIII: Sad Sacks

Section 1. AMVETS recognizes a subordinate organization known as AMVETS Sad Sacks of American veterans who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during and since World War II.

Section 2. Sad Sacks shall be governed by a constitution and bylaws approved by the National Executive Committee.

Section 3. Membership in Sad Sacks shall be limited to AMVET members in good standing.

Section 4. No national fund-raising activities may be sponsored by the national Sad Sacks organization or any of its subordinates without prior approval of the National Executive Committee.

Section 5. A copy of the constitution and bylaws, and any amendments thereto, shall be transmitted to the national judge advocate for approval by September 30 of each year.

Section 6. The national saddest, within 30 days after induction to said office, shall transmit to the national commander for the national commander’s information and that of the National Executive Committee a complete itemized report of the financial standing of the Sad Sacks.

Article XIV: Service Foundation

Section 1. AMVETS recognizes a subordinate organization known as the AMVETS National Service Foundation. Said service foundation shall report on its activities at each NEC meeting and convention.

Section 2. Authority is hereby given each state department to authorize and create a subordinate organization known as the AMVETS Department of (state) Service Foundation. Each foundation so created shall adopt a constitution and bylaws, which shall be submitted within 30 days thereafter to the national judge advocate for approval.

No service foundation may be created by any post of AMVETS.

Section 3. A copy of the constitution and bylaws, and any amendments thereto, shall be transmitted to the national judge advocate for approval by September 30 of each year.

Article XV: Department Convention Corporations

Section 1. Authority is hereby given to each state department to authorize and create a subordinate organization known as the AMVETS Department of (state) Convention Corporation.

Section 2. A copy of the constitution and bylaws, and any amendments thereto, of each said convention corporation shall be transmitted to the national judge advocate by Sept. 30 of each year.

Article XVI: Junior AMVETS

Section 1. AMVETS recognizes a subordinate organization known as Junior AMVETS.

Section 2. Eligibility for membership in the Junior AMVETS shall be limited to sons and daughters, stepchildren, brothers and sisters, and grandchildren of AMVETS, deceased members of AMVETS, members of the Auxiliary, and members of the Sons of AMVETS, and a servicemember who died and would have been eligible for AMVETS membership, including all children that they may be legal guardian of from the age of 5 to and including 17 years.

Section 3.

(a) The Junior AMVETS shall be under control of the national commander and the National Executive Committee, provided that nothing contained in this section shall in any way remove the jurisdiction given to the national organization and to departments over corresponding units of the Junior AMVETS.

(b) Each department Junior AMVETS shall be under the jurisdiction of the department whose name it bears. Each department Junior AMVETS shall be identical in geographical limits to its respective AMVET department and be known and identified by the same name.

Section 4.

(a) Each Junior AMVETS shall be affiliated with an AMVET post and carry the corresponding number of that post.

(b) No Junior AMVETS to any post shall be formed until approved by two-thirds vote of the members present at a stated meeting, with due notice of the proposed formation having been given the entire membership of said post 15 days prior to such meeting.

(c) Each local Junior AMVETS shall be under the jurisdiction of the post whose number it bears.

(d) Where no post exists, Junior AMVETS shall not be formed.

(e) Any Junior AMVETS not affiliated with an existing AMVET post shall not be recognized and shall surrender its charter and such properties it may possess to the duly recognized Junior AMVETS officer or officers in accordance with the constitution of the National Junior AMVETS. A Junior AMVETS unit organized under a department district at the time of the adoption of this amendment is authorized to continue operating as such.

Section 5.

(a) A post may, by a vote of two-thirds of its members present at a meeting, following a printed or written notice mailed or delivered to each member of the post in good standing at least 10 days before said meeting, vote to disband its Junior AMVETS.

Such notice shall show contemplated action and be certified to and forwarded through the state department of AMVETS with proper notice in writing to the National Junior AMVETS coordinator, the department Junior AMVETS president, and to the national commander, who shall direct the cancellation of the charter of the Junior AMVETS only after investigation by him that it is in the best interest of AMVETS to do so.

(b) In the case of post discontinuance by voluntary surrender of its charter or by charter forfeiture or revocation, its Junior AMVETS, if any, shall continue for a period of not more than one year.

(c) The national commander may direct a suspension or cancellation of the charter of any Junior AMVETS on recommendation of the department commander having jurisdiction, when it is shown that the Junior AMVETS has become a detriment to the post.

Section 6. In the event of the surrender, cancellation or forfeiture of a Junior AMVETS charter to a post, all monies, official records, property and other paraphernalia shall be surrendered to such officer or officers as the rules and regulations of the National Junior AMVETS provide.

In case such Junior AMVETS is reinstated or reorganized within a period of three years, such monies, papers, etc., originally forfeited by such Junior AMVETS, shall be delivered to such reorganized or new Junior AMVETS in connection with the charter.

Section 7.

(a) The national president of the National Junior AMVETS, within 30 days after their induction to said office, shall transmit to the national commander for the national commander’s information and that of the National Executive Committee a complete itemized report of the financial standing of the National Junior AMVETS.

(b) All books and records of the National Junior AMVETS shall be made available on request to the national commander or National Executive Committee for either examination or audit.

Article XVII: Sons of AMVETS

Section 1. AMVETS recognizes a subordinate organization known as Sons of AMVETS.

Section 2.

(a) Eligibility for membership in the Sons of AMVETS shall be limited to all male descendants, grandsons, stepsons, fathers, husbands, widowers and brothers of members of AMVETS, not less than 18 years of age, or of deceased veterans who would have been eligible for membership in AMVETS, and not eligible for membership in the parent organization. In-laws are excluded from membership in the Sons of AMVETS.

(b) Any member of the Sons of AMVETS who has been duly recognized as a member of the Sons of AMVETS under the provisions of 2(a) herein shall be allowed to remain a member of the Sons of AMVETS so long as the member remains a member in good standing.

Section 3.

(a) The Sons of AMVETS shall be under the control of the national commander and the National Executive Committee, provided that nothing contained in this section shall in any way remove the jurisdiction given to the national organization and to departments over corresponding units of the Sons of AMVETS.

(b) Each department Sons of AMVETS shall be under the jurisdiction of the department whose name it bears. Each department Sons of AMVETS shall be identical in geographical limits to its respective AMVETS department and be known and identified by the same name.

Section 4.

(a) Each Sons of AMVETS squadron shall be affiliated with an AMVET post and carry the corresponding number of that post.

(b) No Sons of AMVETS squadron of any post shall be formed until approved by two-thirds vote of the members present at a stated meeting, with due notice of the proposed formation having been given the entire membership of said post 15 days prior to such meeting.

(c) Each Sons of AMVETS squadron shall be under jurisdiction of the post whose number it bears.

(d) Where no post exists, a Sons of AMVETS squadron shall not be formed.

(e) Any Sons of AMVETS squadron not affiliated with an existing AMVET post shall not be recognized and shall surrender its charter and such properties it may possess to the duly recognized Sons of AMVETS officer or officers in accordance with the constitution of the National Sons of AMVETS.

Section 5.

(a) A post may, by a vote of two-thirds of its members present at a meeting, following a printed or written notice mailed or delivered to each member of the post in good standing at least 10 days before said meeting, vote to disband its Sons of AMVETS squadron.

Such notice shall show contemplated action and be certified to and forwarded through the state department of AMVETS with proper notice in writing to the National Sons of AMVETS Commander, the department Sons of AMVETS Commander, and to the national commander, who shall direct the cancellation of the charter of the Sons of AMVETS only after investigation by the national commander that it is in the best interest of AMVETS to do so.

(b) In the case of the discontinuance of a post by voluntary surrender of its charter or by a forfeiture or revocation of the charter, its Sons of AMVETS squadron, if any, shall continue for a period of not more than one year.

(c) The national commander may direct a suspension or cancellation of the charter of any Sons of AMVETS squadron on the recommendation of the department commander having jurisdiction, when it is shown that the Sons of AMVETS squadron has become a detriment to the post.

Section 6. In the event of the surrender, cancellation or forfeiture of a Sons of AMVETS charter to a post, all monies, official records, property and other paraphernalia shall be surrendered to such officer or officers as the rules and regulations of the Sons of AMVETS provide.

In case such Sons of AMVETS squadron is reinstated or reorganized within a period of three years, such monies, papers, etc., originally forfeited by such Sons of AMVETS squadron, shall be delivered to such reorganized or new Sons of AMVETS in connection with the charter.

Section 7.

(a) The national commander of the National Sons of AMVETS, within 30 days after induction to said office, shall transmit to the national commander for the national commander’s information and that of the National Executive Committee a complete itemized report of the financial standing of the National Sons of AMVETS.

(b) All books and records of the National Sons of AMVETS shall be made available on request to the national commander or National Executive Committee for either examination or audit.

Section 8. AMVETS recognizes a subordinate organization known as Sons of Fun, a fun and honor organization of the Sons of AMVETS.

Article XVIII: AMVETS Riders

Section 1. AMVETS recognizes a subordinate organization known as AMVETS Riders.

Section 2. Eligibility for membership in the AMVETS Riders shall be limited to members in good standing of AMVETS, AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary and Sons of AMVETS.

Section 3.

(a) AMVETS Riders shall be under the control of the national commander and the National Executive Committee, provided that nothing contained in this section shall in any way remove jurisdiction given to the national organization and the departments over corresponding chapters of the AMVETS Riders.

(b) Each AMVETS Riders chapter shall be under the jurisdiction of the department whose name it bears. Approval must be obtained from the Department Executive Committee before an AMVETS Riders chapter can be formed. Each chapter of AMVETS Riders shall be identical in geographical limits to its respective AMVETS department and be known and identified by the same name.

(c) Where no AMVETS department exists, an AMVETS Riders chapter may be formed by a post under the jurisdiction of the National Headquarters.

(d) Each AMVETS Riders chapter shall formulate a Constitution and Bylaws within 30 days of formation. Said Constitution and Bylaws shall contain no less language than contained in the generic AMVETS Riders Constitution and Bylaws provided by National Headquarters.

Section 4. All books and records of the AMVETS Riders shall be made available on request to the corresponding department commander of State Executive Committee for either examination or audit.

Article XIX: Publications

Section 1. All publications bearing the name AMVETS, published by the national organization, departments, posts, subordinates or any other branch or affiliate of AMVETS, shall be under the supervision of the National Executive Committee, which shall delegate sufficient general and specific authority to the National Communications Director to carry out the necessary duties. Copies of all such publications shall be sent to National Headquarters.

Article XX: Amendments

This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the delegates present at any AMVETS national convention. Proposed amendments for action of the national convention must be submitted by a Department convention, Department Executive Committee, the National Executive Committee, or a Standing National Committee to the National Commander, and by the National Commander and/or the proposing body to the several Departments and members of the National Executive Committee, by mail, postmarked at least 30 days prior to the opening date of the next National Convention.

This constitution may be amended by any national convention without notice, by unanimous vote.

No amendment, however, may be adopted unless the same is referred to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, considered by it and reported on to the national convention.

Amendments to this constitution shall take effect immediately upon adoption, unless otherwise specified by the adopted resolution.

Department of Maine AMVETS Bylaws

Article I: Charters

Section 1.

(a) A department executive committee may suspend, cancel or revoke a post charter in accordance with the Uniform Code of Procedure for the Revocation, Cancellation or Suspension of Post Charters (Appendix A).

In the event that an appeal is taken by a post from the action of the department executive committee, the national commander at personal discretion – on application properly made to the national commander and for just cause – is hereby authorized to allow the post to continue to operate, pending a final decision of the appellate body.

If the decision of the appellate body sustains the suspension, cancellation or revocation of the post charter, then the post shall be required to cease operation, pending determination of the appeal to the next higher level.

(b) A post charter that has been thus suspended may be reinstated by action of the department executive committee if that post purged itself of the offense within 60 days of its suspension.

If the delinquency is not cleared to the satisfaction of the department executive committee within 60 days, appropriate action shall be taken by the committee to affect revocation or cancellation of the charter.

(c) In the event a department fails or refuses to discipline a post after the national commander has requested such action, it is violating the rules of the constitution and bylaws.

After demand has been made on said department for action, the national commander may suspend the charter of such post by notice, accompanied by written notice, a copy of which shall be forwarded to the department and the National Executive Committee.

The determination of whether the charter shall be suspended or revoked shall be considered at the next meeting of the National Executive Committee.

Section 2. Any post failing to meet the obligations imposed on it by the constitution and Bylaws, or ceasing to function for six months as a post of AMVETS or voluntarily ceasing to function as a post, or merging with one or more other posts, or refusing or failing to pay the department and national per capita dues within 60 days after collection by the posts, shall, on order of the department executive committee, surrender its charter.

Section 3.

(a) On revocation or cancellation of the charter of a post in any department of AMVETS, said post shall immediately cease operation and, on revocation or cancellation, turn over its charter and assets to its department commander or department executive committee.

The department executive committee is authorized, empowered and directed by and through its duly authorized agent to take possession, custody and control of all records, property and assets of said post.

So much of the said assets as are required for the purpose shall be applied to any indebtedness of said post, provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall be construed as requiring any department to take over or to assume any financial responsibility of such post.

Assets are to be held in trust for a period of 12 months and in the event the post charter is not reissued within the 12-month period, said property, money and effects shall become the absolute property of the state department.

(b) Provisions of this section shall apply to posts in unorganized departments, except that the national department shall take possession and control of all records, assets and property of said post.

(c) When the charter of a post or department is canceled or revoked for any reason, said charter shall be returned to National Headquarters and/or the department respectively, within 30 days.

(d) If the charter of a post is suspended, the post may operate only to address the issues which caused the suspension.

When the issues have been corrected and approved by the suspending authority a revalidation certificate will be issued, at which time the post can resume full operation.

Section 4. The National Executive Committee shall provide a uniform code of procedure to be followed in the revocation, cancellation or suspension of post charters, and a method of appeal to the national convention and National Executive Committee (Appendix A).

Section 5. On appeal of disciplinary actions, all pertinent moving papers, including transcripts and other supporting documentation of said hearings, shall be directed to National Headquarters for review by the national judge advocate.

Article II: Department Officer Duties

Section 1. All elected and appointed officers shall be administered the Oath of Office at the end of the Department Convention and shall take office on July 1, serving until June 30 of the following year.

Section 2: Department Commander.

The Department Commander shall be the executive head of Department of Maine AMVETS, with full power to enforce the provisions of the Department Constitution, the Department Bylaws and the will of the Department convention and Department Executive Committee. The Department Commander shall serve as an ex-officio member without right to vote on all committees. The Department commander shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office.

Section 3: Department Vice Commanders.

The Department Vice Commanders shall act as representatives of the Department Commander in all matters referred to them by the Department Commander and, on the Department Commander’s request, preside over sessions of the Department Convention or the Department Executive Committee.

(a) Department First Vice Commander: The Department First Vice Commander shall be primarily responsible for the membership of the organization and shall coordinate with all post membership directors or vice commanders in charge of membership. The Department First Vice Commander shall also:

(1) correlate the convention mandates on membership between the state department and posts;

(2) review and reevaluate current membership programs and report his recommendations to the Department Commander, the Department Executive Committee and the Department Convention;

(3) endeavor to create and present new membership incentives to the Department Commander and the Department Executive Committee;

(4) be informed as to the membership strength of the department and all posts within the Department of Maine.

The Department First Vice Commander shall be responsible for seeing that this information is circulated monthly to all posts and to all Department officers. The Department First Vice Commander shall perform such other duties in connection with membership as the Department Commander shall direct.

(b) Department Second Vice Commander: The Department Second Vice Commander shall be primarily responsible for the programs of the Department of Maine and shall coordinate all department program chairmen. The Department Second Vice Commander shall also:

(1) review and reevaluate the existing programs and convey recommendations to the Department Commander, the Department Executive Committee and the Department Convention;

(2) coordinate all programs between Department and post levels;

(3) be responsible for studying and recommending new programs to the Department Commander and the Department Executive Committee for consideration;

(4) be indoctrinated on all programs instituted by the Department of Maine, especially those involving contact with the general public.

The Department Second Vice Commander shall perform such other duties in connection with AMVETS programs as the Department Commander shall direct.

Section 4: Department Adjutant. The Department Adjutant shall serve as the secretary of the Department and perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office. The Department Adjutant shall serve at the pleasure of the Department Commander and Department Executive Committee.

Section 5: Department Finance Officer. The Department Finance Officer shall be custodian of the funds of the Department. All checks disbursing the funds of the Department organization shall be signed by two or more persons as designated by the Department Executive Committee, and the Department Finance Officer shall make reports on the condition of the department treasury when called for by the Department Commander or Department Executive Committee. The Department shall provide a surety bond for said position. The Department Finance Officer shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office.

Section 6: Department Judge Advocate. The Department Judge Advocate shall advise department officers and the Department Executive Committee on all legal matters, including the construction and interpretation of the National and Department Constitution and Bylaws, and shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office. The Department Judge Advocate shall review all contracts prior to execution by the organization and serve as an ex-officio member without right to vote on all committees.

Section 7: Department Provost Marshal. The Department Provost Marshal shall maintain order at the Department Convention, DEC meetings and such other ceremonies/functions as directed by the Department Commander.

Section 8: Department Chaplain. The Department Chaplain is an appointed position by each incoming department commander before the first DEC meeting in July and shall serve at the pleasure of the Department Commander. The Department Chaplain shall perform such religious and nonsectarian services as may be necessary, adhering to the appropriate ceremonial rituals, and discharge of other duties incident to the office.

Section 9: Department Inspector General. The Department Inspector General is an appointed position by each incoming department commander before the first DEC meeting in July and shall serve at the pleasure of the Department Commander. The Department Inspector General shall be the department’s investigating officer. By direction of the Department Commander or Department Executive Committee, the Department Inspector General shall make any necessary investigations pertaining to grievances, disciplinary cases, fraud or dishonesty within the department and charges of conduct unbecoming an AMVET, and shall be empowered to have access to all records, financial and otherwise, of all posts, post officers or members when necessary for the discharge of the Department Inspector General duties. In making such investigations, the Department Inspector General shall report to the Department Commander who shall, in turn, review the findings with the Department Judge Advocate and, if warranted, report to the Department Executive Committee. The Department Inspector General serves at the pleasure of the Department Commander and Department Executive Committee.

Section 10: Department Executive Director. The Department Executive Director office is an appointed position by each incoming department commander before the first DEC meeting in July. The Department Executive Director selection will normally be a past department commander knowledgeable in and of the requirements of the position. The Department Executive Director shall serve at the pleasure of that Department Commander. Assignments and duties include:

(a) administration of the policies and mandates of the Department Commander,

(b) issuance of such directives as may be necessary to posts,

(c) staying in contact with the Department Commander during the Department Commander’s absence, (d) performing such other duties as are usually incident to the office.

Article III: Discipline of Posts and Post Members

Section 1. Each post of AMVETS shall be the judge of its own membership, subject to the provisions of the constitution and bylaws of the national and department organizations.

(a) When the conduct of any member of AMVETS is such that it in any way will reflect discredit on, or invite criticism of, the organization, or [any member] who belongs to or joins any group, organization or party that is not compatible with the aims and principles of AMVETS, the department commander shall immediately bring the matter to the attention of the post of which the individual is a member.

If the post fails to act and protect the name of AMVETS, the department commander may suspend the charter of the post involved, pending a hearing by the executive committee that shall be conducted within thirty (30) days of the notice thereof to an offending post, officer, or member relative to any infringement or breach of the rules established in the AMVETS National Constitution or in the Uniform State Constitution and bylaws.

(b) In the event the department executive committee fails to act in accordance with paragraph (a) of this article, the National Executive Committee may suspend the charter of the post involved, pending a hearing and final action by the National Executive Committee.

Section 2.

(a) Members may be suspended or expelled by a post, a state executive committee or the National Executive Committee on a proper showing of cause.

Written charges, which shall be furnished the member involved at least 30 days prior to the date set for the hearing, shall be based on disloyalty, neglect of duty, dishonesty or conduct unbecoming a member of AMVETS.

(b) The National Executive Committee shall provide a uniform code of procedure to be followed in effecting the suspension or expulsion of members, and said code of procedure shall establish a method of appeal (Appendix B).

(c) The National Executive Committee shall provide a uniform code of procedure for the National Grievance Committee to be known as (Appendix C).

Section 3. Any member who has been suspended or expelled in accordance with Section 2 hereof has the right of appeal.

In the event the suspension or expulsion is imposed by the post, the appeal shall be to the department executive committee.

In the event the suspension or expulsion is by the department executive committee, the appeal shall be to the National Executive Committee.

In the event the suspension or expulsion is by the National Executive Committee, the appeal shall be to the national convention.

The decision of the appellate body shall be final.

Section 4. Any member resigning, being suspended or whose membership is revoked shall have that member’s name directed to the state and the national headquarters.

Section 5. Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to limit in any way the powers conferred by Article IV, Section 1, of the national bylaws.

Article IV: Membership

Membership in AMVETS constitutes membership in the national organization of AMVETS through post affiliation or membership-at-large.

All AMVETS shall, prior to their acceptance as members, pledge allegiance to the United States of America and its Constitution and certify that they have read, or have had read to them, The Principles of AMVETS, and that they accept and subscribe to same, and that they shall not advocate or belong to any group or organization advocating the overthrow of the United States government by force.

The requirement of pledging allegiance to the United States and its Constitution does not apply to foreign nationals who are not permanent residents of the United States, one of its territories, possessions or the District of Columbia.

Article V: Monies and Collections

Section 1. All national, department and post officials handling AMVET funds shall be properly bonded with money handled over $5000 with a good and solvent bonding and surety company, acceptable to the U.S. Treasury, as surety to cover the average amount of AMVET funds handled by such individual in a single year.

In case of delinquencies in the payment of accounts due the department or National Headquarters, action shall be taken at once by the proper officials to bring about an immediate and complete settlement.

The bonds provided by national officials shall be approved by the National Executive Committee, and those provided by department and post officials shall be approved by the department executive committee.

The National Executive Committee shall provide a uniform code of procedure to outline the AMVETS investment policies to be known as Appendix D.

Section 2.

(a) No contracts involving expenditures in excess of $5,000 of national AMVET funds shall be negotiated without inviting a reasonable number of competitive written bids and where the required products are of equal quality, the contract shall be awarded to the lowest bidder.

(b) All contracts to be executed by the national department shall be approved by the National Executive Committee and signed by the national commander and attested to by the national executive director after said contract has been reviewed by the national judge advocate.

Section 3.

(a) No public fund-raising project or program of any kind or character shall be undertaken by or on behalf of any post or combination of posts or subordinate thereof unless the contract, agreement or other arrangement under which such a project or program is to operate has first been submitted for the prior approval of the department judge advocate and then to a standing committee of the national organization composed of the president of the National Service Foundation, the national judge advocate and the national commander. The national executive director and the executive director of the National Service Foundation shall be ex-officio members of this committee.

The committee shall render a decision within three weeks on all matters submitted to it. In the event of an adverse decision by said committee, an appeal may be made to the National Executive Committee at its next session.

A public fund-raising project is defined as any project or program involving a solicitation or request to nonmembers of AMVETS for a donation or pertaining to the sale of merchandise, goods, tickets, or advertising matter of any kind or character.

In the event of an adverse decision by the department judge advocate, an appeal may be made at the next state executive committee meeting. Its action shall be final.

Any fund-raising project or program conducted by a post or any combination of posts or subordinates thereof in which there is no other person, firm or corporation involved, and in which such fund-raising project or program is conducted solely by the post, shall not be deemed to be within the purview of this section, provided that the anticipated gross receipts from such fund-raising project or program do not

exceed the sum of $10,000; in the event it is anticipated that the gross receipts will exceed $10,000 in any fiscal year, then said project or program shall be submitted as described above. Failure of a post or combination of posts or subordinates thereof to adhere to the provisions of this section shall be considered grounds for disciplinary action.

(b) Wherever a post clubroom is maintained and operated for the convenience and pleasure of its members and the name of AMVETS or its insignia is displayed or used, a board of at least three trustees shall be elected by and from among the members of the post to supervise its activities, operation and finances.

(c) Any post operating a clubroom as mentioned in Section 3(b) hereof shall be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance (in accordance with the law of the state in which the post is located and public liability insurance, including product liability and personal injury coverage, with a minimum single limit of $500,000.

Posts that maintain a building primarily for meeting purposes shall be required to carry public liability insurance, including product liability and personal injury coverage with a minimum single limit coverage of $300,000 or the minimum local amount prescribed by state law.

The AMVET state department and the national department shall be included as additional insured in all policies and a certificate of said insurance shall be furnished to the state department and to National Headquarters.

(d) Upon renewal of insurance policies which either incorporate liquor liability coverage within general liability coverage or have stand-alone liquor liability coverage, a copy of the new policy will be forwarded to AMVETS National Headquarters, care of the membership department, within 30 days of the renewal date.

If not received within that timeframe, a notice of non-receipt will be forwarded to the affected Department Executive Director/Adjutant.

If a renewal confirmation is not received within 45 days of the renewal date, the Post becomes suspended until such time as the confirmation is received.

(e) Any post operating a clubroom as stated in Section 3(b) hereof shall be mandated to incorporate under a business not-for-profit corporation law, in accordance with existing state statutes.

All post clubrooms desiring to be included in the AMVETS group tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Service Code as a 501(c)(19) organization shall provide, on incorporation, a point of contact, employer identification number, mailing address and letter of authorization to AMVETS National Headquarters.

(f) Any post failing to comply with these provisions shall be deemed to have violated the National Bylaws and the charter of said post shall, in accordance with adopted procedure, be subjected to suspension or revocation.

Section 4. All post and department accounts shall be kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting procedures.

Section 5. The minimum annual membership dues, effective with the beginning of membership year 2015, shall be $23.00 payable to the post, of which sum $15.00 shall be forwarded to National Headquarters and $8.00 to the department headquarters.

Dues above the minimum set forth here shall be fixed by the post and/or department.

Where no department exists, $17.00 shall be forwarded to National Headquarters. Of the $17.00 sent to National Headquarters, $2.00 shall be set-aside in a separate fund, pending the establishment of a department.

Members-at-large will remit the minimum dues to their respective department headquarters, from which sum the national department will be paid the minimum national dues.

Where no department exists, National Headquarters will set aside $2.00 for return, when a department is formed.

Any monies received for dues from an unorganized department shall be held until the end of the fiscal year and if the department is not organized at that time, such monies shall be held in a special fund for use in developing unorganized departments.

Section 6.

(a) (1) Life membership dues, effective January 1, 2012, shall be not less than $250, nonrefundable and payable to the post, of which 50 percent shall be forwarded to National Headquarters and 25 percent to the state department.

Dues above the minimum set forth herein shall be fixed by the post and/or department. Where no department exists, 75 percent shall be forwarded to National Headquarters. Of the 75 percent sent to National Headquarters, the department’s 25 percent share shall be delivered into the unorganized department fund for development of future departments.

Monies sent to the national department shall be held in a life membership designated fund to be invested only in securities protected by the full faith and credit of the United States, and only the income derived from said fund shall be transferred to the general fund for budget use.

Notwithstanding the above, the National Finance Committee, with the approval of the National Executive Committee, shall have the power to invest up to 30 percent of the life membership designated fund in high-grade equities.

(2) Monies sent to the national department shall be held in a life membership designated fund to be invested only in securities protected by the full faith and credit of the United States, and only the income derived from said fund shall be transferred to the general fund for budget use.

Notwithstanding the above, the National Finance Committee, with the approval of the National Executive Committee, shall have the power to invest up to 30 percent of the life membership designated fund in high-grade equities.

(b) All investments of the life membership designated fund established in Section 6(a) shall be managed, supervised and directed by the National Finance Committee, which is designated as the board of trustees of this life membership designated fund.

Section 7. Annual members who paid their annual dues between September 1 and August 31 may convert to life membership and receive credit for their prepaid annual dues at any time during that period.

Section 8. For each annual member who joins through the national website, direct mailing or piggyback as a member-at-large in a recognized department the minimum dues shall be $30.00. National Headquarters will retain $15.00, and the remaining $15.00 will be placed in a special fund for each recognized department.

Section 9. For each life member who joins through either direct mailing or piggyback as a member-at-large in a recognized department, National Headquarters will retain its share of the life membership, and the remaining department share will be forwarded to the department.

Section 10. National Headquarters will, within thirty (30) days of receipt, disburse the proper amount of funds ($15.00 for annual and $125.00 for life) from the special account for each new annual and each new life member who joined as a member-at-large, through the national website, direct mailing or piggyback during the past fiscal year, to each respective department.

Section 11. Life member dues requirements are not applicable to Annual national charter members, 1947 and prior, who shall automatically be listed as life national charter members with no dues to be remitted to the Post, State or National Department, unless the annual national charter member declines Life membership.

Article VI: Definitions

The word he, wherever it shall appear in either the Constitution or Bylaws of AMVETS, shall be construed as referring to both sexes.

Article VII: 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, political party, or faction.

The endorsement of an organization or product is prohibited unless specifically approved by the NEC.

Any violation of this provision shall be sufficient cause for disciplinary action against the offending member, post or department.

Article VIII: Meetings

Section 1. At all levels of AMVETS, all meetings and all matters and proceedings not otherwise provided for herein shall be conducted pursuant to the current edition Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section 2. At all meetings of the AMVETS National Convention or the AMVETS National Executive Committee, or of duly constituted committees thereof voting electronic, mechanical, or written methods, shall be prohibited.

Article IX: National Flower

The national flower shall be the four-leaf white clover meaning “Think of Me.”

Article X: National Motto

The national motto of AMVETS shall be We Fought Together; Now Let’s Build Together For a Better America.

Article XI: National Song

The national song shall be “The AMVETS Family.”

Article XII: Accounting for Monies

All monies received by this organization shall be strictly and accurately accounted for and a report shall be made available annually to all members, showing the sources of all such income and expenditures thereof. All posts, departments and national accounts shall be kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting procedures.

Article XIII: Policy

Section 1.

(a) The policy of AMVETS shall be determined by:

(1) The national convention, as reflected in the resolutions adopted;

(2) The National Executive Committee, when not in conflict with national convention mandates; and

(3) The compilation of the results of periodic polls of posts on current issues.

(b) Departments, posts, subordinates and auxiliaries shall be notified by National Headquarters of policy so adopted.

Section 2. No member of AMVETS shall represent or purport to represent any department, post, or subordinate of AMVETS in opposition to, other than in complete consonance with, policy so determined and notified.

Section 3. AMVETS shall not be discriminatory on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin.

Article XIV: Resolutions

Each department is responsible for submitting national resolutions to the AMVETS National Headquarters after the department state convention.

Resolutions may also be submitted by a department executive committee, and National Committees as authorized by the Constitution and Bylaws, or the National Executive Committee.

The National Headquarters shall also send out resolutions, emanating from national headquarters, on national issues of concern to be considered at state conventions by May 1.

When a legislative resolution is passed by the body at the annual national convention, it becomes AMVETS legislative agenda for two years (from September 1 to August 31).

All resolutions shall bear the name of the originator.

Article XV: Amendments

These Bylaws may be amended at any AMVETS National Convention by a majority vote of the delegates present at any AMVETS National Convention.

Proposed amendments for action of the National Convention must be submitted by a Department convention, a Department Executive Committee, the National Executive Committee, or a Standing National Committee to the National Commander and by the National Commander and/or the proposing body to the several Departments and members of the National Executive Committee, by mail, postmarked at least 30 days prior to the opening date of the next National Convention.

These Bylaws, however, may be amended by any National Convention without notice by a two-thirds vote.

No amendment, however, may be adopted unless the same is referred to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, considered by it and reported on at the National Convention.

Amendments to these Bylaws shall take effect immediately upon adoption, unless otherwise specified by the adopted resolution.

Article XVI: Department self audit process

The AMVETS mission is to enhance and safeguard the entitlements for all American Veterans who have served honorably and to improve the quality of life for them, their families, and the communities where they live through leadership, advocacy and services.

The values inherent in a successful and vibrant veteran’s nonprofit, 501-C-19, organization, (to include all affiliated 501-C-3’s) are:

  • Commitment to those who have served and are serving;
  • Transparency, integrity and honesty;
  • Commitment beyond the law;
  • Responsible stewardship of resources; and
  • Commitment to excellence and maintaining the public trust.

Given its mission and stated values, AMVETS has adopted a Department Biannual Self Audit Process to guide its Department Executive Committee in carrying out this responsibility.

The process contains minimal expectations and may be augmented with additional steps appropriate to specific Departments programs and/or state and federal grantors.

Appendix A: Revocation, Cancellation or Suspension of Post Charters

Uniform Code of Procedure for the Revocation, Cancellation or Suspension of Post Charters

(Adopted Pursuant to Article IV, Section 4, of AMVETS National Bylaws)

Section 1. In addition to the provisions of Article X, Section 3, of the AMVETS National Constitution, post charters may be suspended or revoked for any one or more of the following reasons:

(a) failure to comply with any of the provisions of Article X of the Constitution;

(b) failure to comply with Article V, Sections 1(a) and (b), of the AMVETS National Bylaws;

(c) any violation of law that reflects unfavorably on the name AMVETS, in which case the department commander may seize the post charter prior to the hearing provided herein;

(d) any misconduct unbecoming an AMVET post; or

(e) violation of any other provisions of the AMVETS National Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 2. Any post charter may be canceled if it was obtained by fraud or deception.

Section 3. Any member in good standing may prefer charges against an offending post.

These charges shall be made under oath, alleging the time and place of the offense and signed by the accuser.

Section 4. All charges and specifications shall be filed with the department executive director or judge advocate who shall without delay send a notice by mail to all members of the state executive committee of the filing of said charges and the date and place of the meeting to be held, not less than five days nor more than 20 days after the date said notice was mailed.

At such meeting, the charges shall be read and their acceptance or rejection acted on, but the name of the accused or the accusers shall not appear in said notice.

Section 5. When the charges have been presented and read, the state executive committee shall decide by majority vote whether they shall be accepted and the accused post placed on trial.

If the state executive committee accepts the charges, the department commander shall set a time and place for a hearing.

A notice thereof shall be sent by registered mail to the commander of the offending post together with a copy of the charges and specifications.

The date of the hearing shall not be less than 15 days from the date of the acceptance of the charges by the department executive committee.

Section 6. If, after notice has been duly served, the offending post is not represented at the time and place of the hearing, the state executive committee may conduct the hearing to a final conclusion.

Section 7. The state judge advocate shall prosecute the charges. The offending post shall be entitled to counsel. The attendance of a court reporter shall be permitted.

Section 8. The department commander shall decide all questions as the relevancy of the evidence and the regularity of the proceedings.

Section 9. At the conclusion of the hearing, the commander shall immediately put the question of “guilty” or “not guilty” on each charge and specification.

Section 10. It shall require a vote by ballot of two-thirds of the state executive committee members present to sustain any charge or specification.

Section 11. If any charge or specification is sustained, the post shall be declared guilty and the commander shall put the question of the degree of punishment, beginning with charter revocation.

If that not be sustained, then indefinite suspension and if that not be sustained, definite suspension and if that not be sustained, reprimand shall follow without further vote.

Section 12. With the exception of reprimand, which must follow a finding of guilty unless a more severe penalty be imposed, a vote of two-thirds of the members of the state executive committee present at the hearing shall be necessary to decide the degree of punishment.

Section 13. Any post whose charter is revoked or suspended may appeal to the National Executive Committee by notifying the national executive director within 15 days by certified mail of its desire to appeal.

The action of the National Executive Committee shall be binding, pending appeal to the next national convention.

Section 14. Procedures for the handling of any such appeal shall be prescribed by the national judge advocate.

Appendix B: Suspension or Expulsion of Members

Uniform Code of Procedure for the Suspension or Expulsion of a Member

(Adopted Pursuant to Article V, Section 2, of AMVETS National Bylaws)

Section 1. In addition to the provisions of Article XII, Section 1(b), of the AMVETS National Constitution and Article V, Section 2, of the AMVETS National Bylaws, members may be suspended or expelled for any one or more of the following reasons:

  1. failure to comply with any obligation imposed on members under the constitution and bylaws;
  1. any violation of law that reflects unfavorably on the name AMVETS;
  1. any other conduct unbecoming an AMVET;
  1. ineligibility for membership at time of acceptance into membership; or

(e) procurement of membership by fraud or deception.

Section 2. Any member of AMVETS may prefer charges against any other member, alleging any of the foregoing 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.

Filing of charges determined by the hearing authority to be frivolous shall constitute conduct unbecoming an AMVET.

Section 3. All charges and specifications shall be filed with the post commander of the post to which the member complained about belongs or if said member be a member-at-large, then with the department commander.

On receipt of said charges and specifications, said respective commander shall, within five days, send a copy thereof by certified mail to the member complained about, together with a notice fixing a date, place and time of a hearing to be held not less than 30 days after said date of mailing.

Section 4. Said charges and specifications shall be heard by the executive committee of the post or, in the instance of a member-at-large, by the executive committee of the department, at which said hearing the member complained about shall have the right to be represented by counsel and to cross-examine the accuser or accusers and witnesses presented against the member.

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 5. The post or state judge advocate, as the case may be, shall prosecute the charges and the attendance of a court reporter shall be permitted.

Section 6. The presiding officer of said executive committee shall decide all questions as to the relevancy of evidence and the regularity of the proceedings.

Section 7. 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 none, the charges may be dismissed. If the charges are not dismissed, then a vote shall be taken on the guilt of innocence of each of the charges and each of the specifications.

A two-thirds 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 8. 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 an expulsion from membership.

Section 9. Any member whose membership is suspended or forfeited may appeal to the next highest level applicable from that which heard the charges and specifications, i.e., from post executive committee to department executive committee, from department executive committee to National Executive Committee.

Notice of appeal must be filed in writing with the appellate body not later than 15 days after the imposition of the penalty.

Section 10. In the event charges are filed against any national elected or appointed officer, such charges shall be heard by the National Executive Committee or a subcommittee appointed by it in accordance with the general outline set forth above, with the right of appeal in the event of a suspension or expulsion to the next national convention.

Section 11. The decision of the appellate body at either level shall be binding and final.

Section 12. The procedure for the handling of any appeal to be heard by the National Executive Committee or the national convention shall be prescribed by the national judge advocate.

The procedure for the hearing of an appeal by the department executive committee shall be prescribed by the department judge advocate and the procedure for the handling of any appeal to be heard by the post executive committee shall be prescribed by the post judge advocate.

No such procedure at any level, however, shall be inconsistent or in conflict with the national, department or post constitution and bylaws or this code.

Appendix C: Procedures National Grievance Committee

Uniform Code of Procedure for the National Grievance Committee

(Adopted Pursuant to Article II, Section 2(c) of AMVETS National Bylaws)

REFERENCE: NATIONAL CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE XII; DISCIPLINE BY-LAWS

ARTICLE V: DISCIPLINE OF POST AND POST MEMBERS, and;

Section 1: UNIFORM CODE OF PROCEDURE FOR THE SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION OF A MEMBER

The appellant shall forward an appeal within 15 days after the imposition of the penalty to the Executive Director of AMVETS National Headquarters.

An appeal not received in accordance within the established time will not be forwarded to the Grievance Committee.

Appeals not properly prepared in accordance with the references noted above will not be considered.

The Executive Director will notify the Department, the appellant and the duly appointed National Grievance Committee of receipt of the appeal and schedule a Grievance Committee meeting to hear said appeal prior to the next regularly scheduled National Executive Committee meeting.

The Appellant and the Department will be notified in writing of the date, time and location of the meeting.

The Grievance Committee is a subcommittee of the National Executive Committee and will report its findings to the National Executive Committee.

The National Executive Committee must either ratify or reject the findings of the Grievance Committee at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

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

The appellant may be represented by counsel at all stages of the appeal process and may cross-examine all witnesses presented against him.

The Department Judge Advocate shall prosecute the charges and the attendance of a court reporter shall be allowed at no charge to the appellant.

The presiding officer of the Grievance Committee shall decide all questions as to the relevancy of evidence and the regularity of the proceedings at that level.

The National Judge Advocate shall decide all questions as to the relevancy of evidence and the regularity of the proceedings at the National Executive Committee.

The accuser and the appellant may call witnesses and present evidence. Evidence or documents shall be properly numbered and submitted to the National Executive Director. Notarized depositions may be submitted.

The National Executive Director will be notified in writing of the number of witnesses and their order to be called. Witness statements will not exceed 10 minutes with 10 minutes allowed for cross-examination.

The accuser, the appellant or their appointed representatives may make opening and closing remarks not to exceed 10 minutes each.

The prosecuting Judge Advocate shall present opening remarks first and closing remarks last.

Each party to the appeal shall have the right to recall witnesses and re-direct questions to witnesses.

At the conclusion of closing remarks the chairman shall close the hearing. A vote shall be taken to determine if the charges and punishment on appeal shall be upheld. A two-thirds vote of the committee shall be required to sustain the charges and punishment on appeal.

The National Executive Director shall notify the appellant in writing of the results of the appeal.

Appendix E: AMVETS Uniform Department Constitution

(In accordance with Article IX, Section 10 of the National Constitution)

Section 1. Departments shall be organized with a headquarters located as authorized by the department convention or an intervening Department Executive Committee (DEC) meeting.

Local posts shall be formed, and intermediate administrative groups may be created by the Department Executive Committee to function within their respective jurisdiction where such action is deemed advisable.

This appendix to the AMVETS National constitution shall be the constitution for all departments.

Departments shall formulate By Laws to address those aspects of operation not covered in this constitution no later than July 1, 2007.

Section 2. Departments shall be composed of state officers – both elected and appointed – and the members of the Department Executive Committee.

It shall be the duty of the state officers to advance the cause of AMVETS, to carry out its aims and purposes, and to provide for realization of the plans and policies established by the mandates of the department convention and the Department Executive Committee.

Section 3. Each department shall conduct its convention, to be held annually between May 15 and June 30, at which time it shall elect department Officers and its delegate and alternate to the national convention and its national executive committeeman and alternate.

Elected department officers shall assume office not later than July 15.

National executive committeemen and alternates shall assume office in accordance with Article VII, Section 4 of this Constitution.

(a) The department convention delegation shall be comprised as prescribed by the Department Bylaws.

(b) Each post shall choose a delegate(s) and an alternate(s) at a post meeting.

(c) The department commander shall vote only in the case of a tie.

(d) Each delegate shall be entitled to one vote.

Alternates shall have all the rights and privileges of their delegates except they shall vote only in their delegate’s absence.

No delegate or alternate, however, shall be seated at the department convention unless the individual’s accounts with department headquarters are fully paid up.

(e) No delegate of an accredited post shall be seated at the department convention unless the respective post shall be fully paid up in all its accounts with department headquarters and department districts.

No post delegate or alternate shall be permitted to register as such unless the delegate or alternate shall have been a member in good standing on the department rolls for at least 30 days prior to the opening of said convention and possesses a membership card or other satisfactory evidence identifying the delegate or alternate as a member of the post from which the individual is registering.

(f) Departments shall specify convention quorum requirements in by laws or convention rules.

(g) No department convention bids shall be received on the convention floor unless they are previously submitted to the Department Finance Committee and/or the Department Executive Committee, in accordance with the rules of said committee, and in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Department Executive Committee.

(h) Convention Chairmen shall be chosen in accordance with the Department Bylaws.

(i) The Convention Rules Committee, after reviewing and making necessary changes, shall present to the Department Executive Committee at a regular DEC meeting, for its approval, the Rules of the Annual Convention following the DEC meeting at which the rules are considered.

The Department Headquarters will then circulate those rules to the posts at least 30 days prior to the Annual Convention.

The Rules of the Convention may be amended by a majority vote of the delegates assembled at the Annual Department Convention.

Section 4.

(a) The department convention shall elect a department commander, a department first vice commander, a department second vice commander, a department finance officer, a department National Executive Committeeman, a department Alternate National Executive Committeeman, a department provost marshal, a department judge advocate, and any other officers prescribed in the Department Bylaws.

(b) No member shall be eligible for any department office unless the individual is fully paid up in all accounts with the department headquarters 30 days prior to the opening date of the department convention.

Departments shall specify candidate eligibility certification procedures in the bylaws or convention rules.

The department commander, with the consent and approval of the Department Executive Committee, shall appoint and have the power to remove a department chaplain, a department inspector general and such other officers and committee chairmen as specified in the Department Bylaws. These appointments shall be made at the post-convention DEC meeting.

Section 5. All elected and appointed department officers shall be members of the Department Executive Committee (DEC).

The authority for officers to vote on the Department Executive Committee shall be prescribed in the Department Bylaws.

Section 6.

(a) An elected officer may be removed from office only by a two-thirds vote of the Department Executive Committee after written charges against such officer shall have been preferred and furnished by certified mail to the officer concerned and to the members of the Department Executive Committee.

A full hearing shall be held by the Department Executive Committee on charges preferred against an elected department officer. Such hearing shall be held not less than 30 days after the charges are referred and mailed.

(b) The procedure for removal from office of elected officers shall be prescribed by the Department Executive Committee on recommendation of the department judge advocate in accordance with the Uniform Code of Procedure for the Suspension or Expulsion of a Member (AMVETS National Bylaws, Appendix B).

Section 7. Department officers elected at a department convention shall be installed in office at a ceremony held at the Convention.

The term of office shall be as prescribed in the Department Bylaws.

Section 8. In the event of a vacancy in the office of department commander, the department first vice commander shall succeed to that office, except that the Department Bylaws may prescribe election of the department commander by the Department Executive Committee.

In the event of a vacancy in the office of the department first vice commander, the department second vice commander shall assume the office of department first vice commander.

Any additional vice commanders specified in the department bylaws shall similarly participate in succession.

Section 9. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the most junior vice commander, department finance officer, department provost marshal or department judge advocate, or other elected officer, regardless of the reason for such vacancy, the department commander shall appoint an AMVET to fill the vacant office for the unexpired term.

Such appointment shall be with the approval of the Department Executive Committee and the appointee shall be in compliance with all qualifications and restrictions regarding the holding of said office as set forth in any other article of the constitution and bylaws of AMVETS, except the requirement of election.

On approval of the Department Executive Committee, the appointee shall assume all powers and responsibilities pertaining to the office as though elected.

Section 10. The administrative power between department conventions shall be vested in the State Executive Committee, which shall be composed of the department commander, the department first vice commander and the department second vice commander, all other elected department officers, past department commanders and others as prescribed by the Department By Laws.

Each of the above members shall be entitled to one vote except the department commander, who shall vote only in case of a tie, and except that the past department commanders present may be entitled to vote as prescribed in the Department Bylaws.

Section 11. Voting members of the Department Executive Committee shall be delegates to the department convention, each entitled to one vote, providing their respective posts have complied with all the provisions of the department constitution and bylaws.

Section 12. The management of the Department budget as approved at the state convention shall be under the control of the Department Executive Committee, which shall delegate sufficient general and

specific authority to the Department Finance Committee, as authorized by the Department Bylaws, to carry out the usual duties of such committee.

The Department Finance Committee, with the approval of the State Executive Committee, shall have the authority to retain independent investment experts as needed for consultation in supervising any and all AMVETS funds.

(a) The Department Finance Committee shall consist of members as prescribed in the department bylaws.

(b) The Finance Committee shall meet prior to each DEC meeting, or at other times as set forth in the department bylaws.

(c) The Finance Committee shall make an annual report to the department convention. Revenue shall be derived from annual dues and such other sources as may be approved by the Department Executive Committee.

(e) The Finance Committee shall submit a provisional annual budget as prescribed in the Department Bylaws.

Section 13. The following provisions shall govern the establishment and administration of the budget of the Department Headquarters:

(a) The Finance Committee has the sole fiduciary responsibility to prepare and present a budget that is fiscally sound;

(b) In determining the budget, revenue shall be based on tangible assumptions and realistic and/or proven income projections to include revenue that provides funding for the operations and programs approved by the Finance Committee, State Executive Committee, and department convention;

(c) In the full execution of approved programs within the budget, expenses shall be budgeted as realistically as possible to ensure overall spending integrity;

(d) A contingency budget line shall be developed solely to address unexpected expenses during the operating fiscal year and included in the budget;

(e) In no case shall the Department Finance Committee or any other body of the department organization be permitted to adopt or approve a budget in which the expenses, provisions for capital expenditures and provisions for debt reduction exceed the income established above.

Under no circumstances, however, shall the aggregate budget as approved by the Department Convention be over-expended.

Violation of any of the foregoing provisions by any person shall constitute cause for disciplinary action, including removal from office or dismissal from employment; and

(f) Any person who willfully violates any provision of this section shall, in addition to any other disciplinary action taken, be personally financially liable for any amount spent that exceeds the budget appropriations unless such excess had prior approval of the Department Finance Committee.

Any salary or expense money due or to become due to such person may be retained by the organization to offset all or any part of the unauthorized over-expenditure.

Section 14. The Department Finance Committee shall have the power and authority to designate the depository banks or other financial institutions to receive deposits into various accounts belonging to the Department and to disburse such funds on checks signed by two or more persons designated by the Department Bylaws.

Section 15. The fiscal year shall be designated in the department bylaws.

Section 16. Any resolution emanating from a department convention involving the expenditure of funds or any financial commitment shall be referred to the Department Finance Committee for approval.

In reviewing resolutions adopted at a department convention, the Department Finance Committee shall have three options: (1) provide funding from the newly adopted department budget, (2) defer funding pending appropriate planning by the department staff as part of the next fiscal year or (3) deny funding based on current and projected funding levels.

If a resolution is denied or deferred because of a want of available funds within the meaning of Section 13 hereof, the Department Finance Committee shall report such decision to the Department Executive Committee at its next meeting.

Section 17.

(a) The Department Executive Committee, after notice and hearing, may cancel, suspend or revoke the charter of any post for good and sufficient cause.

Procedure for any such action shall be as prescribed by AMVETS National Bylaws, Appendix A.

(b) In the event of the cancellation, suspension or revocation of any charter of any Post, the suspended body shall have the right of appeal to the next department convention.

Section 18. As prescribed in the Department Bylaws, the department commander, after notice, may invoke and formulate a trusteeship to take over the operation of a post for good and sufficient reasons and for the well being of the AMVET organization.

Section 19. From among the voting membership of the Department Executive Committee, the department commander shall appoint a Department Grievance Committee, consisting of three members, to hear grievances and appeals as are provided for in this constitution and bylaws and to report its findings and recommendations to the Department Executive Committee.

The department commander shall designate the chairman.

This committee shall function during the state convention, meetings of the Department Executive Committee, and upon the call of the state commander or Department Executive Committee.

Such appointees shall serve at the pleasure of the department commander with the advice and consent of the Department Executive Committee.

The department commander and state judge advocate shall serve as ex-officio members of this committee without vote.

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