AmVets Post 550
Zephyrhills, Florida
By-Laws approved on May 3, 2014

BY-LAWS WERE APPROVED ON MAY 3, 2014









POST CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

 

AMVETS Post # 550

4645 Airport Road

Zephyrhills, FL  33542

813 780-8180

 

CONSTITUTION

 

PREAMBLE

 

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

 

ARTICLE I. NAME

 

The name of this organization shall be AMVETS, Post No. 550 in the city of Zephyrhills, FL and it shall be hereinafter referred to as the Post.

 

ARTICLE II. AIMS

 

The aims and purposes of this organization are as follows:

 

  1. To serve our country in peace as in war; to build and maintain the welfare of the United States of America toward lasting prosperity and peace for all its inhabitants.

 

2.         To encourage, in keeping the policies of our Government, the establishment of a concrete plan to secure permanent international peace and to assist in the maintenance of international peace.

 

3.         To inspire in our membership a sense of responsibility and to develop leadership for the preservation of our American democratic way of life.

 

4.         To help unify divergent groups in the overall interest of American democracy.

 

5.         To train our youth to become purposeful citizens in a democracy with full knowledge of the responsibilities as well as the privileges of citizenship.

 

6.         To cooperate with all duly recognized existing veterans organizations in the furtherance of the aims of the American veterans who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during and since World War II.

 

7.         To ensure the orderly return of the veterans to civilian life by protecting their rights as individuals while still in uniform.

 

8.         To expedite and assist in the rehabilitation of the veteran by maintenance of employment services, sponsoring educational opportunities, providing counsel of insurance, housing, recreation, personal problems, hospitalization, and veterans benefits.

 

9.         To act as a liaison agent between the veteran and the Government.

 

10.        To provide an organization to encourage fellowship among all American veterans who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during and since World War II.

 

11.        To keep the public forever reminded that 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 of their Nation.

 

ARTICLE III. 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 September 15, 1940 is eligible for regular membership in AMVETS provided such service, when terminated by discharge, or release from active duty, be by honorable discharge, honorable separation or general discharge under honorable conditions.

 

Section 2.         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 September 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.

 

Section 3.         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.

 

Section 4.         All United States reservists and national guardsmen who are now serving, or have been honorably discharged since September 15, 1940, are eligible for regular membership in AMVETS provided such service—when terminated by discharge or release—is by honorable discharge or separation.

 

Section 5.         Honorary membership shall not be granted.

 

Section 6.         No person shall be a member of more than one post at any one time.

 

Section 7.         No person expelled from one post shall be eligible for membership in any other post without the consent of the expelling post, or consent of the State Executive Committee (SEC) after hearing an appeal.

 

Section 8.         This Post shall be the judge of its own membership, subject to the provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws of the national and department organizations.

 

Section 9.         Membership shall be on a calendar year basis and shall run from January 1 through December 31.

 

 

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Section 10.       Eligibility for membership and the rights and privileges of members shall be as provided in the Constitution and Bylaws, and the terms of membership and requirements for

holding office within AMVETS shall not be discriminatory on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS


 Section 1. A Commander, 1st Vice Commander of Membership, 2nd Vice Commander of Programs, Finance Officer, Provost Marshal, Judge Advocate and at least three (3) or more trustees shall be elected annually. An Adjutant,'Chaplain, Sons of AMVETS Coordinator, Assistant Finance Officer and Public Relations Officer may be appointed annually by the newly elected Commander with the approval of the Executive Committee.

Section 2.         Nomination of officers shall be at the March and April meetings annually. Election of officers shall be at the annual meeting in May. No nominations shall be made from the floor at the annual meeting.

ARTICLE V. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

The elected and appointed officers of the Post, and the designated past post commander shall constitute

the Executive Committee which will be charged with the administrative affairs and property of the Post.

The Executive Committee shall formulate the policy of the organization for approval by the members.

ARTICLE VI. POST ORGANIZATION

 

Section 1.  This Post shall be governed by the officers chosen in accordance with this Constitution and Bylaws and will annually revalidate its charter prior to July 15. Such revalidation shall be evidenced by the issuance of a Revalidation Certificate issued by the National Department upon satisfactory completion of all requirements. Aside from any other requirements imposed by the Department or National Constitution

and Bylaws, this Post shall:

 

(a)    Furnish National and its Department Headquarters with a certified list of current Post officers not later than July 15;

 

(b)        Provide a written statement to the national organization that the post has/has not filed an IRS Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service for the fiscal year.

 

(c)        Furnish National Headquarters with a copy of the Post’s current Constitution and Bylaws or certify on the Change of Officers Form that the copy on file has not been altered, changed or amended.

 

(d)        Be fully paid up in all accounts with National Headquarters.

 

(e)        Comply with applicable liability insurance and bonding mandates; and

 

(f)         Have a minimum of ten (10) members in good standing at all times.

 

Section 2.         Within 30 days of notice to surrender its charter resulting from disciplinary or voluntary action, the Post will close all bank accounts and deliver to the State Department or National organization all Post records, property and assets.

 

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ARTICLE VII. SUBORDINATE ORGANIZATIONS

 

Section 1.         (a) A subordinate organization of this post may be established only by a provision of

the post’s Constitution, and in keeping with the National Constitution and Bylaws.

 

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

 

Section 2.         All AMVETS subordinate organizations shall follow the same membership year and pay membership dues in concert with the parent organization.

 

Section 3.         All subordinate organizations shall be under the jurisdiction of the AMVETS Post whose name it bears and shall carry the corresponding number of the Post.

Section 4.

 

(a) A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the AMVET members present at a stated meeting is

required to approve and form a subordinate organization.

 

(b) AMVETS Post members must be given written notice of such meeting a minimum of 15 days prior to the proposed formation.

 

(c) Where no Post exists, a subordinate organization shall not be formed, nor continue to operate as an independent entity. The subordinate’s charter must be surrendered along with any property it may possess to the duly recognized subordinate officer in accordance with the Constitution of the national subordinate organization.

 

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

Section 5:  In order to be elected to the office of Commander of AMVETS Post 550, the following criteria must be met:

a..Must have been elected or appointed to a position within Post 550 and have fulfilled all duties required of that position.

b. Resignation for other than personal health reasons will not constitute having fulfilled the criteria for the office of Commander.

 

Section 5.         No fund raising activities can be sponsored by any subordinate organization without the approval of the AMVETS Post Executive Committee and the prior approval of the AMVETS Department and National organizations in compliance with National Bylaws Article VII, Section 3 (a).

ARTICLE VIII. AUXILIARY

 

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

 

Section 2.         (a) Membership eligibility in the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary is limited to the mothers,

wives and grandmothers, regardless of age, and to the daughters, sisters and granddaughters not less than 18 years of age of regular members of AMVETS, and to

(b) Mothers and widows, regardless of age, and daughters, sisters and granddaughters not less than 18 years of age of deceased veterans who would have been eligible for membership in AMVETS.

(c) 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 criteria.

(d) Any Auxiliary member who qualifies and joins as a member under the criteria in Section 2 (a), (b) or (c) shall be allowed to remain an Auxiliary member so long as she remains a member in good standing.

 

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                                    ARTICLE IX. SAD SACKS, SACKETTES, AND JUNIOR AMVETS

 

Section 1. AMVETS Post 550 does not recognize the subordinate organizations known as AMVETS Sad Sacks, Sackettes and Junior Amvets of American Veterans who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during and since World War II.

 

ARTICLE X. AMVETS RIDERS

 

Section 1. AMVETS Post 550 does recognize a subordinate organization known as AMVETS Riders.

 

Section 2.  Membership is limited to all members in good standing of AMVETS Post 550, AMVETS Post 550 Ladies Auxiliary, or Sons of AMVETS Post 550.

 

ARTICLE XI. SONS OF AMVETS

 

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

 

Section 2. Membership is limited to all male descendants, grandsons, adopted sons and stepsons, fathers, husbands, widowers and brothers of members of AMVETS and deceased members of AMVETS, or service personnel who died and would have been eligible for membership in the parent AMVETS organization.

 

Section 3. The Applicant for the Sons of AMVETS must be at least 18 years of age and cannot be a member of nor be eligible for

 membership in the parent organization of AMVETS.

ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS

 

This Constitution may be amended by resolution at the annual meeting. Proposed amendments shall be

submitted in writing to the Executive Committee for its review and presentation at the next annual

meeting. Copies of proposed amendments shall be distributed electronically via Post 550 web site and a copy will be posted on the Post 550 bulletin board to all Post members at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the vote. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present shall be required to amend this Constitution. Copies of all adopted amendments shall be forwarded to the Department for review by the department judge advocate within thirty (30) days after their adoption. The department judge advocate will forward the approved copies to the National Headquarters for placement in the permanent Post file. 

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BYLAWS

               ARTICLE I. QUORUM

 

Section 1. At all regular and special meetings at least ten (10) members present shall constitute a quorum, providing at least one elected officer is present to preside.

 

Section 2. A Quorum at Executive Committee meetings shall consist of five (5) members of the committee. 

 

Section 3.   A quorum for the Board of Trustees shall consist of two (2) members of the Board.  

ARTICLE II. COMMITTEES

 

Section 1. The following standing Committees shall be appointed by the commander, with approval of the Executive Committee: Membership, Finance, Programs, Legislation, and Entertainment. The post commander shall appoint a chairman and such members of AMVETS to each committee as are necessary to accomplish its objective. The Post Commander directs and supervises the activities of all elected and appointed officers and committees.  The Post commander will serve as an ex-officio member of all committees.

 

Section 2. Temporary committees may be appointed by the commander, with the approval of the Executive Committee,  to expedite projects for the good and welfare of the Post.

ARTICLE III. MEETINGS

 

Section 1. This Post shall meet on the first Wednesday of every month at the Post Home unless otherwise directed by the Commander.  The Executive Committee will meet prior to the regular meeting at a time so designated by the Commander. 

 

Section 2. There shall be three types of meetings; the general monthly meeting, special meetings and the annual meeting. Post members will be notified in advance of all meetings.

 

Section 3. The order of business shall be prescribed by the Executive Committee, but may be changed when necessary.

 

Section 4. Nominations for officers and trustees shall be entertained during the general monthly meetings in March and April.  There will be no nominations from the floor at the annual meeting.

 

Section 5.  A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Commander each February to determine/nominate qualified members to become Post Officers and Trustees.  The Commander and two (2) members of his/her choosing will make up the Nominating Committee.  Each prospective officer or trustee must show proof of eligibility to at least two (2) members of the Nominating Committee in the form of a DD Form 214 (the discharge must be Honorable or under Honorable conditions) or an Active or Retired Military ID card before they can accept a nomination to any office.  Such evidence may be submitted at any time prior to the annual election.  Any member who resigns from an elected office for other than health related reasons or fails to complete his term may not be a candidate for any elected office for the two succeeding business years.  The office of Finance Officer may be filled only by a full time Florida resident.

 

Section 6. All business meetings of this Post shall be conducted in accordance with “Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.”

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ARTICLE IV. ELECTION AND APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS & TRUSTEES




Section 1. A Commander, 1st Vice Commander of Membership, 2nd Vice Commander of Programs, Finance Officer, Provost Marshal, Judge Advocate and at least three (3) or more trustees shall be elected annually. An Adjutant,'Chaplain, Sons of AMVETS Coordinator, Assistant Finance Officer and Public Relations Officer may be appointed annually by the newly elected Commander with the approval of the Executive Committee
 

Section 2.         The duties of the elected officers and committees shall be performed, basically as prescribed in Department bylaws, and with the National Officers Manual, but not limited to them. 

 

Section 3.   (a)  The election of officers and trustees shall be held at the annual meeting in May.  Only members in good standing shall be entitled to vote.

 

(b)   The Commander shall appoint two (2) members to assist the Provost Marshall in counting the ballots.  The count may be witnessed by representatives of the nominees.  The Provost Marshall or his representative shall make the announcement of the results.

(c)   Sufficient ballots will be prepared in advance by the Adjutant.

(d)   If any Officer or trustee on the ballot is unopposed, the Post Adjutant will cast one vote for the candidate and he/she will stand elected.  The Adjutant will notify national and Department Headquarters of the election results within seven days of the annual meeting.

 

Section 4.   The newly-elected and appointed officers and trustees shall be sworn in and shall take office at the next regular meeting of the Post, but in no event sooner than two weeks after such election, nor later than the June 1.

Section 5:  In order to be elected to the office of Commander of AMVETS Post 550, the following criteria must be met:

a..Must have been elected or appointed to a position within Post 550 and have fulfilled all duties required of that position.

b. Resignation for other than personal health reasons will not constitute having fulfilled the criteria for the office of Commander.

Section 6.  The office of Post Commander is limited to two (2) consecutive terms.

 

Section 7.   In the event that the office of the commander is vacated, that office will be offered to the Vice-Commanders in the order of their numerical designation until one of the Vice-Commanders accepts the position.  In the event that none of the Vice-Commanders accepts the position it shall be offered to the next officers(s) in line until someone accepts the position.  Once an officer succeeds to the office of Post Commander it will be for the remainder of that term.  If an elected officer succeeds to the office and serves honorably in both positions, this will constitute fulfilling the criteria for the office of Post Commander.

 

Section 8.   Should any other office be vacated, the commander is empowered to appoint a successor for the completion of the term subject to the approval of the Executive Committee and general membership.

 

 

 

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Section 9. Any elected officer or trustee who misses two (2) consecutive regular meetings or three( 3) meetings within a year without prior consent may be removed from office without any further action, notification or hearing. The vacated office shall be filled at the Post Commander’s discretion subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.  If this is an elected office, this term will not count towards eligibility for the office of Post Commander.

ARTICLE V. DELEGATES TO CONVENTION

 

At least thirty (30) days prior to the Department and National conventions, delegates and alternates shall

be chosen to attend said conventions. The number of delegates will be in accordance with the National

and Department delegate strength guidelines. The Post commander shall constitute one delegate. Other

delegates may be designated with the approval of the Executive Committee not to exceed the National

strength guidelines.

ARTICLE VI. FINANCE

 

Section 1. The total annual dues of the Post and their distribution shall be set at the Department Convention.  The Post’s portion shall be deposited in the Post general funds account.

 

Section 2. All fund-raising activities must be approved in advance by the Post Executive Committee. If a fund-raising activity requires entering into a contract or if anticipated gross revenues are expected to exceed $25,000, a copy of the proposed fund-raising program must be transmitted through the Department to National Headquarters for approval.

 

Section 3. An annual budget shall be prepared by the finance officer and submitted to the Executive Committee and membership for approval. Accurate books and records of account activities maintained by the finance officer shall be audited by the Trustees and Finance Committee or, if deemed necessary, others may be appointed by the Post Commander.

 

Section 4. The finance officer shall render a report of receipts and disbursements to each meeting of this Post. This office is also responsible for filing an IRS Form 990 with the District Director of the Internal Revenue Service (or a certificate in lieu thereof where the 990 is not required) on or before the 15th day of the fifth month following the close of the annual accounting period. A statement as to whether a 990 has/has not been filed with the IRS must be given in writing to the Department and National Headquarters. The Post’s fiscal year ends December 31.

 

Section 5. If Post club rooms are maintained and operated for the convenience and pleasure of the members of this Post in the name of AMVETS, or its insignia are displayed or used, a Board of Trustees supervises its activities, operation and finances. The Post shall also secure, at the least, the minimum liability insurance coverage prescribed by the National Constitution and By-laws which names the Department and National Headquarters as additional insureds and file a copy of the Certificate of Insurance with the Department and National offices.

 

Section 6. Post officials handling AMVETS funds shall be properly bonded with a good and solvent bonding surety company, acceptable to the U. S. Treasury, as surety to cover the average amount of AMVET funds handled by said individual in a single year.

 

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ARTICLE VII – BOARD OF TRUSTEES

 

The Board of Trustees shall be comprised of the trustees elected by the post members or appointed by the post commander, in accordance with Post 550 and Department of Florida Constitution and Bylaws.

ARTICLE VIII. RESOLUTIONS

 

Section 1. All resolutions adopted by this Post shall be forwarded to Department Headquarters.

 

Section 2. A simple majority vote of members present is required to pass any resolution other than amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws.

ARTICLE IX. RESTRICTED USE OF ORGANIZATION

 

AMVETS, or any component part thereof, shall not be used to promote the interest of any individual who

is a candidate for public office, or to promote otherwise any individual, organization, political party, faction

or product. Any violation of this provision shall be sufficient cause for disciplinary action against the

offending member.

ARTICLE X. DISCIPLINE OF POST MEMBERS

 

Section 1. Members of the post may be suspended or expelled for any one or more of the following reasons:

(a) failure to comply with any obligation imposed on members under the constitution and bylaws;

(b) any violation of law that reflects unfavorably on the name of AMVETS;

(c) any conduct unbecoming an AMVET;

(d) 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.

 

Section 3. All charges and specifications shall be filed with the post commander of the post to which the member complained about belongs. On receipt of said charges and specifications, the post 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, at which said hearing the member complained about shall have the right to be represented by counsel and to cross-examine his accuser or accusers and witnesses presented against him. No member against whom charges have been preferred, or who has preferred charges against another member, shall sit in judgment on any panel hearing or deciding the matter.

 

Section 5. The post judge advocate shall prosecute the charges, and the attendance of a court reporter shall be permitted at the expense of the accused.

 

 

 

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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 or innocence of each of the charges and each of the specifications. A two-thirds vote of the members of he 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, be 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, whether there shall be 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 state 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: The decision of the appellate body at either level shall be binding and final.

 

Section 11: 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.

ARTICLE XI. AMENDMENTS

 

These Bylaws may be amended by the majority vote of the members present at annual meetings.

Proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee for recommendation.

The Committee will instruct the adjutant to notify the membership, by posting on post bulletin board and

on the post web site, with copies of proposed changes at least ten (10) days before the meeting to vote

on the amendment. Copies of all adopted amendments shall be forwarded to the department judge

advocate for review and recommended approval. The department judge advocate will forward a copy of

the approved Bylaws to the National Headquarters for filing.

 

CERTIFICATION

 

This document is a true copy which was adopted by the membership of this Post.

 

_______________ _____________________________                  ________________________________

Date                      Signature of Post Judge Advocate               Printed Name

 

_______________ _____________________________                  ________________________________

Date                          Signature of Post Adjutant                                    Printed Name

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