The American Legion
CONSTITUTION & BY LAWS
PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE AMERICAN LEGION
THE AMERICAN LEGION
WHITEHURST-WARE POST 539
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
For God and Country we associate ourselves together for the following purposes: To up-hold and defend the Constitution of the United States; To maintain law and order; To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars; To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; To combat the autocracy of both the classes and masses; To make right the master of might; To promote peace and good will on earth; To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.
WHITEHURST-WARE POST 539
THE AMERICAN LEGION
DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA
ARTICLE I - NAME
Section 1. The name of the organization shall be the Whitehurst-Ware Post 539, The American Legion, Department of North Carolina.
ARTICLE II - PURPOSES
Section 1. The objects and purposes of this American Legion Post shall be to promote the principles and policies as set forth in the foregoing preamble, and the national and departmental Constitutions of The American Legion.
ARTICLE III - NATURE
Section 1. This Post shall be a civilian organization with no member being addressed by his/her Service, or Civilian title in any Post meeting with membership herein not effecting liability for Po-lice or Military Service.
Section 2. This organization shall be absolutely non-political and shall not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles nor for the promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking political office or preferment.
Section 3. Rank does not exist in the American Legion; no member shall be addressed by his military or naval title in any meeting of this American Legion Post.
ARTICLE IV - ELIGIBILITY
Section 1. Eligibility for membership shall be as set forth in the National Constitution of the American Legion.
ARTICLE V - OFFICERS
Section 1. All Officers, except for the Adjutant, Judge Advocate and Service Officer shall be elected annually. All Officers shall be certified to the Department Adjutant not more the thirty (30) days nor less than ten (10) days prior to the Annual Department Convention. Such Officers shall be responsible for upholding the principles of the American Legion and effecting the Post alignment to decisions and regulations set down by duly constituted bodies of the American Legion.
ARTICLE VI - EXECUTIVE COMMITEE
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall consist of all officers of Post 539, Executive Committee Members-at-Large and the immediate Past Commander (Ex officio)
ARTICLE VII - FINANCE
Section 1. The revenues of this Post shall be derived from annual dues of membership and from such other sources as may be approved by the Post Executive Committee.
Section 2. The amount of such membership or initiation fees and the amount of such annual Post dues shall be determined by the Post Executive Committee.
Section 3. National and Department membership dues shall be transmitted to the Department as prescribed by the National and Department regulations.
ARTICLE VIII - AUXILIARY UNITS
Section 1. The Post recognizes the auxiliary organization known as the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 539.
Section 2. The Post recognizes the auxiliary organization known as the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 539.
ARTICLE IX - AMERICAN LEGION RIDERS
Section 1. The Post recognizes the auxiliary organization known as the American Legion Riders Chapter 539.
ARTICLE X - AMENDMENTS
Section 1. This Constitution is adopted subject to the provisions of the National Constitution of the American Legion and the Department of North Carolina. Any amendment to said National or Department Constitution which is in conflict with any provision hereof shall be regarded as automatically repealing or modifying this Post Constitution to the extent of such conflict.
Section 2. This Constitution may be amended at any regular Post meeting in accordance with the rules set forth in the Post By-Laws, ARTICLE XIX.
ARTICLE XI - OMISSIONS
Section 1. Any questions of procedure not otherwise provided for in this Constitution or By-Laws, will be governed by the National or Department of North Carolina Constitution of the American Legion or by Roberts Rules of Order.
(This area left blank to allow notations of future amendments.)
WHITEHURST-WARE POST 539
THE AMERICAN LEGION
(As amended May 20, 2015)
ARTICLE I - MANAGEMENT
Section 1. The management of this post will be entrusted to the Officers of this Post, hereinafter named the Executive Committee.
Section 2. The Post Executive Committee shall consist of the following:
Executive Committee Member(s)-at-Large
Immediate Past Commander (Ex officio)
Section 3. All Officers of this Post will be elected by the Post as prescribed herein, with the following exceptions: Adjutant, Judge Advocate, Recording Secretary, Member(s)-at-Large and the Service Officer who will be appointed by the Post Commander-elect and their names submitted to the Executive Committee for discussion following their appointments and prior to installation into office. An elected Officer may also hold an appointive office, but may not concurrently hold more than one elected office.
The following elected officers may not hold that office for more than 3 consecutive years and must vacate that office for a period of 2 consecutive years before being reelected to the same office.
Post 1st Vice Commander
Other elected officers may continue to serve indefinitely as long as they continue to be elected and perform the duties their offices in a satisfactory manner.
ARTICLE II - DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. The Post 539 Executive Committee shall meet each month on a scheduled basis prior to the regular membership meeting or at the discretion of the Post Commander.
Section 2. Each year, during the 5 year period of the Strategic Plan, the Executive Committee will determine the priorities for that year through an annual Business Plan, consistent with the strategic goals, objectives and activities identified in the Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan is a living document and will be reviewed as needed, but no less than annually, by the Executive Committee.
Section 3. The Post Financial Officer shall present an annual proposed budget to the executive committee within sixty (60) days from the date of the installation of officers and the Executive Committee shall review and approve the proposed annual budget and amendments thereto submitted by the Finance Committee before presentation to the Post for final approval. They shall approve proposed expenditures for all unbudgeted items over two hundred ($200.00) dollars prior to presentation to the Post for final approval. The only individuals of this Post who shall have custody of Post funds are the Post Commander, Post Adjutant and Post Finance Officer and these individuals shall be bonded.
Section 4. Minutes of the Executive Committee meeting shall be read at each general Post meeting.
Section 5. The Executive Committee shall recommend the removal of any Post Officer to the membership for approval. (See Article 3, section 5 or Article 8, section 1)
Section 6. The Executive Committee has the authority in all matters affecting the maintenance of discipline and good conduct among the members of the Post.
Section 7. Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the Post Commander or on written request of at least three (3) members of the Executive Committee. The Post Commander must schedule and conduct such a meeting within seven (7) days.
Section 8. A simple majority of the Executive Committee present shall constitute a quorum and a simple majority vote of those present at a meeting shall carry any motion presented.
Section 9. Delegation of these authorities and/or functions to the Post Executive Committee shall not be intended to usurp the powers of the membership through general Post meetings.
Section 10. All meetings of the Executive Committee shall be open to all members of Post 539. The meetings shall be closed only when personnel matters come before the committee.
ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. There shall be no form or class of membership except an active membership, whose dues, except for PUFL (Paid Up For Life) members, shall be paid annually. A “member in good standing” is defined as a member whose dues are paid for the current year. No person may be a member of more than one Post at the same time.
Section 2. Post membership shall coincide with the period covered by the member’s most recent dues. A candidate for new membership in Post 539 must submit an application for membership together with his/her annual dues to the Post Adjutant, who will verify eligibility requirements. The Post Adjutant will submit the application for a vote at the next regular Post meeting. A majority vote of the membership present is required for a candidate to be elected to membership. A rejected candidate may appeal to the Executive Committee, which will investigate and render its decision at the next regular Post meeting.
Section 3. Members in good standing of other Posts may transfer their membership to Post 539, subject to the same membership requirements as those stated above for a new member. There will be no additional cost for this transfer during the current year. Any member in good standing in this Post is entitled to a Certificate of Transfer.
Section 4. New members and transfer members will immediately have the same duties, privileges, and responsibilities of current Post members.
Section 5. Members may be suspended or expelled from the Post only upon a proper showing of cause. Charges shall be based upon disloyalty to the American Legion or the National Government; neglect of duty, dishonesty, or conduct unbecoming a member of Post 539. All charges must be made under oath in writing by the accusers, and no member in good standing shall lose his membership until given a fair hearing by the Post in such manner and form as the Department By-Laws and Constitution prescribe. Any member who has been suspended or expelled has the right to appeal to his Department Executive Committee, or to the Department Convention, according to the provisions in the By-Laws of the Department of North Carolina. The decision of the Department shall be final.
Section 6. Members of the Executive Committee will, either jointly or individually, inform members of the PUFL (Paid Up For Life) membership plan by National and make available the appropriate application forms.
ARTICLE IV - CHARTER MEMBERS
Section 1. Members who joined this Post on or before April 2, 2011 shall be known as charter members.
ARTICLE V - DUES
Section 1. The initial dues of the Post will be established by the Executive Committee. Annual membership dues may be increased or decreased as established by the Executive Committee and approved by the Post membership. Active duty military personnel shall be exempt from paying annual Post dues during their first year of membership (not to include reservists unless activated). In succeeding years, active duty members will pay the portion of annual Post dues which are paid to the Department and National.
Section 2. Post membership shall be for the annual period from July 1st to June 30th. Dues are payable on or before July 1st of the current year. If dues are not paid prior to August 31st, the member is classified as delinquent in the Post. If dues are still delinquent on February 1st, the member is suspended in the Post. A member has until June 30th to pay his/her back dues or be dropped from the roll by National Constitution mandate and his membership is terminated.
Section 3. The fiscal year of the Post is July 1st to June 30th.
ARTICLE VI - MEETINGS
Section 1. All regular and special meetings will be open to all members in good standing of Post 539.
Section 2. The regular monthly meeting will commence at a time and date as specified by the Executive Committee.
Section 3. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Commander, or by a majority vote of the Executive Committee, provided that notice of such meeting is communicated throughout the Post at least forty-eight (48) hours before the meeting.
Section 4. A quorum for regular business meetings will consist of no less than eleven members, at least six of whom must be Post Officers. A quorum for Executive Committee meetings will consist of the majority of the committee members.
Section 5. The Officers will follow the American Legion Manual of Ceremonies while conducting Post meetings and ceremonies.
ARTICLE VII - VISITORS AND GUESTS
Section 1. Any member of any American Legion Post in good standing may visit a post meeting. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall examine the member’s card and ascertain whether that person is entitled to a seat.
Section 2. An official guest of the Post may address the membership within the framework for which they were invited. No visiting member of another Post shall have the right to vote in this Post, but may be allowed to address the membership by a majority vote of those members present. The visiting member shall not speak for or against any motion, nomination or election of officers. Violation of this section shall render the motion, nomination or election null and void.
Section 3. All visitors must abide by the House rules.
Section 4. Any non-member may visit the Post as a guest of a Post member in good standing, who shall be referred to as the sponsor, within the limitation of the North Carolina ABC laws. The sponsor will be responsible for ensuring that all guests conduct themselves in accordance with the House rules. The applicable ABC rules regarding guests shall be posted in the Post social quarters.
Section 5. Any Post Officer presiding over an Executive Committee or General membership meeting may ask any visitor to leave the meeting area for any reason.
ARTICLE VIII - RECORDS
Section 1. All records of the Post will be kept in the office of the Adjutant in the Post Headquarters. They are subject to inspection at any reasonable time by any Post member in good standing. No permanent record (s) of this Post will be removed from Post Headquarters without the approval of the Commander or the Executive Committee.
Section 2. The names and telephone numbers of the Executive Committee will be prominently displayed in the Post.
ARTICLE IX - ELECTIONS
Section 1. A nominating committee, consisting of three members, only one of which can be a cur-rent sitting officer, will be appointed by the Commander sixty days preceding the date for nominations for election. They will present a qualified slate of nominees willing to accept the position for which they are nominated. Nominating Committee member (s) may also be a nominee.
Section 2. Names of the nominees will be presented to the floor at the May regular business meeting. Nominations will remain open to receive additional nominees from the floor at the May meeting and by any other means of contact, following the May meeting but before the June meeting, with the chairperson of the nominating committee appointed by the Post Commander. The election will then be held at the May June regular business meeting. In no case will the election of officers occur less than 10 days, nor more than 45 days before the Annual Department Convention.
Section 3. Notice of election meetings and results will be prominently displayed in the Post.
Section 4. Members eligible under the provisions of the Department Constitution may vote or hold an elected or appointive office. Officers may be re-nominated.
Section 5. The Commander, under the provisions of the Department Constitution, will appoint two non-nominee Post members to be the Judges-of-Election; said Judges will be announced at the election meeting immediately prior to the voting.
Section 6. Officers will be elected one office at a time, in the order listed in Department By-Laws.
Section 7. In order to vote, a member must show their current membership card, be a post member in good standing and sign the official roster, at which time they will receive an official ballot.
Section 8. No ballots will be mailed except those Post members currently on active duty and/or members physically handicapped and unable to attend. An e-mail or faxed ballot will be deemed acceptable and legal.
ARTICLE X - INSTALLATION
Section 1. All Post Officers will be installed by the District Commander, or his designated representative. The installation will be on a date fixed by the Commander-Elect and agreeable to the outgoing Commander. This date will be subsequent to, but not later than 30 days after adjournment of the Annual Department Convention.
Section 2. All elected and/or appointed Officers unable to attend the Official Installation will be sworn in by the Post Commander, or his designated representative, before entering upon their du-ties of Office.
ARTICLE XI - DELEGATES
Section 1. Delegates and Alternates to the District meetings, Division caucus and Department conventions shall be appointed by the Post Executive Committee. Expenditures to offset expenses incurred by the delegates attending said meetings, caucus’s or convention shall be delineated in the annual budget. The Post Commander shall appoint the Delegation Chairman from those members present.
Section 2. The Chairman of the Post delegation shall make a report to the Post Executive Committee meeting and general membership of the Post.
ARTICLE XII - DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. The Commander presides at all meetings of the Post. He/she is the Chief Executive Officer of the Post responsible for all operations of the Post. He/she will make an annual report covering the affairs of the Post during his term in office, together with any recommendations he/she may have for the ensuing year. A copy of his/her report will be inserted in the Post minutes and a copy forwarded to the Department Adjutant.
Section 2. The 1st Vice-Commander will assume the duties of the Commander in his absence and make membership his primary concern. He/she may counter-sign checks in the absence of the Commander or the Finance Officer.
Section 3. The 2nd Vice-Commander is responsible for creating and maintaining an atmosphere in the Post that encourages members to enjoy Legion activities. He/she is also responsible for fund raising and patriotic activities.
Section 4. The Adjutant will keep a full and accurate record of the proceedings of all Post meetings. He/she is also responsible for correspondence and secretarial work of the Post under the direction of the Commander and will keep such records as the Post Commander and National and Department Headquarters requires. To further aid in the communication of the Post, the Adjutant is authorized to update and maintain the internet e-mail and or website address of those members who consent to provide on request.
Section 5. The Finance Officer is in charge of all Post finances and will see that funds are deposited in an approved institution and will prepare a statement of financial disbursements and balances at each regular Post meeting. He/she will sign all checks disbursing Post funds, except as previously noted in Section 2. He/she will assist in preparing a summary of Post expenditures for the preceding year.
Section 6. The Chaplain is responsible for the spiritual welfare of the Post membership. He/she will perform non-sectarian services for funerals, dedications, or public functions and will adhere to the guidelines prescribed by National and Department headquarters.
Section 7. The Historian will maintain a record of Post activities and prepare a book, which at the end of the year will be given to the Post Adjutant for filing as a permanent Post record. He/she will submit a report each year to the Department Historian and perform other duties as requested by the Post Commander.
Section 8. The Judge Advocate is the Posts’ legal authority. When necessary he/she will secure competent advice in the conduct of Post business. He/she is the guardian of the constitutional form for Post meetings and government. He/she is part of the auditing of the Posts’ financial ac-counts.
Section 9. The Sergeant-At-Arms will preserve order at all Post meetings, set up the meeting room, take charge of the Colors, and perform other duties as assigned by the Commander.
Section 10. The Service Officer will render aid and assistance to veterans and their dependents. He/she will maintain contact with the State Service Officer and the National and Department Re-habilitation Commission so that he/she is kept informed of laws regarding aid to veterans and their dependents. He/she may request disbursement from the Welfare Fund, under supervision of the Commander, and will report all expenditures from said Fund to the Post membership at the next regular meeting. He/she will submit a year-end report to the Department Rehabilitation Commission Chairperson.
Section 11. The Executive Committee Member-at-Large will assist in the management and general supervision of Post affairs. Not charged with specific duties, he/she will represent the member-ship and may, from time-to-time, be asked by the Commander to perform other assigned duties.
Section 12. The Recording Secretary shall be responsible for the taking of the minutes of all Executive Committee and Post’s general meeting and shall read the minutes of the most recent Executive Committee meetings as well as the minutes of the last general meeting at each Post general meet-ing.
Section 13. All Committee Chairs shall be assigned and report to and through the appropriate elected officer as prescribed by the respective definition of “Duties of Officers” for direction and reporting of the respective committee’s actions, activities and results. Elected and appointed officers should avoid taking and holding the position of a committee chair. Committees shall be as-signed as following:
Americanism – 2nd Vice Commander
Building and Grounds – Sgt. at Arms
Children and Youth – Service Officer
Constitution and By-Laws – Adjutant
House – Sgt at Arms
Membership – 1st Vice Commander
Sons of American Legion – At Large
Ways and Means – 2nd Vice Commander
Public Relations – At Large
Finance – Financial Officer
Auditing – Judge Adjutant General
ARTICLE XIII - REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Section 1. A Post Officer can only be removed from office for disloyalty, neglect of duty, dishonesty, or conduct unbecoming a member of the American Legion.
ARTICLE XIV - VACANCIES
Section 1. When a vacancy occurs on the Executive Committee, the Commander will appoint a member in good standing to fill the vacancy. The Adjutant will, within seven days of the appointment, report the name and ad-dress of the new officer to the Department Adjutant.
ARTICLE XV - STANDING COMMITTEES
The Post Commander, immediately upon taking office each year shall appoint the following Standing Committees: (The Post Commander may fill any/all of the chairs of any committee except the finance and auditing committee(s), should Post membership not be available).
Section 1. Americanism Committee – The Americanism Committee shall be responsible for promoting patriotism and good citizenship by arranging for proper observance of patriotic occasions, encouragement of patriotic and civic phases of instruction in the schools, Americanization of aliens, combating anti-American propaganda by educating the general public in American ideals through public forums and other activities for community and civic betterment.
Section 2. Building and Grounds Committee – The Building and Grounds Committee shall be responsible for the maintenance and preservation of the building and grounds of the Post.
Section 3. Children and Youth Committee – The Children and Youth Committee shall ensure that any child of a veteran in need of care and protection shall receive that service and aid. They shall organize the Legion’s strength in our community in the interest of children in general, and shall assist the community in the re-education on the subject matter of juvenile delinquency and other children and youth problems.
Section 4. Constitution and Bylaws Committee – The Constitution and Bylaws Committee shall be charged with reviewing the Post Constitution and Bylaws annually to determine their adequacy and to assure that they conform to the National and Department Constitution and Bylaws and Standing Rules of the American Legion. They shall make a report of their findings together with any proposed amendments to the Post Executive Committee. All proposed amendments shall be referred first to this committee.
Section 5. House Committee – The House Committee shall be responsible for all matters pertaining to the care and operation of the Post social quarters including maintaining social quarter rules and regulations.
Section 6. Membership Committee – The Membership Committee shall have charge of all matters pertaining to the membership program of the Post, including the receiving of membership and dues and applications for membership, requests for transfer or requests for reinstatement. These shall be presented to the Post membership for approval. If appropriate, they may be referred to the Executive Committee. Establishment of eligibility shall be determined by the Membership Committee.
Section 7. Sons of the American Legion Committee – The Sons of the American Legion Committee shall have supervision over the operation of the Post’s Squadron of the Sons of the American Legion and shall act as a supervisory committee for this Squadron in connection with its organization, proper functioning, activities, recreational programs and educational programs.
Section 8. Ways and Means Committee – The Ways and Means Committee shall be responsible for raising funds necessary for the efficient operation of the Post and its programs.
Section 9. Public Relations Committee – The Public Relations Committee shall be responsible for promoting public awareness and support of the Legion’s Programs and presence in the community through publicity on Post activities. The Post Commander and/or Executive Committee shall approve Public Relation issues.
Section 10. Finance Committee – The Finance Committee shall consist of the Finance Officer, the 2nd Vice Commander, House Committee Chairman, the Post Adjutant, the Judge Advocate and others as appointed by the Post Commander.
The Finance Committee shall be charged with the preparation of an annual budget and the handling of the Post funds, however appropriated. The budget shall cover the period from July 1 to June 30 of the fiscal year. Each committee chairman and appointed officer shall submit estimates to the Finance Committee no later than May 1. The Finance Committee shall submit the proposed budget to the May Executive Committee meeting for approval prior to presenting the budget to the Post for final approval. The Finance Committee shall have the authority to recommend any unbudgeted Post expenses that exceeds two hundred ($200) dollars. Any expenditure over two hundred ($200) dollars must be submitted in writing to the Finance Committee for consideration prior to its recommendation to the Executive Committee.
Section 11. Auditing Committee – The Post Commander will appoint an audit committee of three (3) members subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. This Committee shall by July 15th of each year, arrange for an audit to be performed by qualified persons and said audit to be completed no later than September 30th of each year.
Section 12. All committee chairmen shall make reports to the Executive Committee and to the general membership.
Section 13. Special committees may be established as deemed necessary by the Post Executive Committee. The Commander shall appoint and charge special committees with their specific du-ties at the time of their creation. Special Committees shall meet upon the call of their Chairman. Reports shall be given upon the request of the Commander or the Executive Committee. If a special committee has not completed their assignment by the close of the administrative year, they shall continue as appointed into the new administrative year only with the approval of the incoming Executive Committee.
Section 14. Additional Standing Committees may be established as deemed necessary by the Executive Committee and shall be appointed by the Post Commander.
ARTICLE XVI - ASSETS AND LIABILITIES
Section 1. No member of this Post, individually, as an Officer or otherwise, will at any time create, incur, or authorize any indebtedness or liability against this Post without the prior consent or authorization of the Post membership or the Commander.
Section 2. No property of the Post will be sold, transferred, conveyed, or otherwise disposed of without approval of the Executive Committee and the Post membership. The Commander may at his sole discretion, dispose of non-functioning Post equipment whose value does not exceed $200.00 per item.
ARTICLE XVII - RESOLUTIONS
Section 1. All resolutions of State or National scope presented to this Post by a member or re-ported to this Post by a committee, merely express the opinion of this Post on the subject. A copy of same will be forwarded to the Department Headquarters for its approval before any publicity is given or action taken other than passage by the Post floor
ARTICLE XVIII - RULES OF ORDER
Section 1. All proceedings of this Post will be conducted under the latest edition of Roberts Rules of Order. In case of conflict, the By-Laws of this Post will prevail.
ARTICLE XIX - AMENDMENTS
Section 1. These By-Laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Post by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership present and voting, a quorum being present. Proposed amendments will be read at three consecutive regular meetings, at which hard copies will be available. After the third reading the amendments will be voted upon. No motion will be accepted to delay, postpone, table, or otherwise kill any proposed amendment properly presented.
ARTICLE XX - MISCELLANEOUS
Section 1. The selling of any kind of raffle ticket or other matters not pertaining to the American Legion activities shall not be permitted at any meeting or social affair of this Post.
Section 2. Immediately upon learning of the death of a member of this Post, the Commander or Adjutant shall notify the membership of the death of one of their comrades stating the time and place of the funeral and any other pertinent information.
Adopted, signed and witnessed this date: _________________________
Post 539 Commander Judge Advocate
Executive Committee, Chair Constitution & By-Laws, Chair