Women Veterans of America
Women Veterans of America
PO Box 121884
Nashville, TN 37212
Constitution and Bylaws of
Women Veterans of America – Chapter 20
Table of Contents:
Line # Article Page #
1 I – Name 2
5 II – Purpose 2
28 III – Nature 2
46 IV – Governing 3
53 V – Membership 3
163 VI – Meetings 5
175 VII – Officers 5
225 VIII – Duties By Office 6
346 Finance Officer
461 IX – Member Uniforms 10
511 X – Disciplinary Matters 11
539 XI – Committees 12
546 XII – Amendments 12
ARTICLE I – NAME
1.01 The name of this organization shall be Women Veterans of America (W.V.A.), Chapter # 20, in Nashville, TN.
ARTICLE II - PURPOSE
2.01 The objects and purposes of this Chapter shall be:
2.01.01 To provide information and support to Women Veterans.
2.01.02 To establish a liaison between Women Veterans and proper governmental sources of help.
2.01.03 To focus on the health care needs of Women Veterans who use the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.
2.01.04 To supply personal items necessary for the comfort of hospitalized female veterans.
2.02 The WVA will adhere to the general rules set forth by the Volunteer Office of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and to make our Volunteer Service one of excellence.
2.03 The needs of female veterans shall be our primary concern; however, the WVA shall also be concerned with helping underprivileged women and children in our community.
ARTICLE III – NATURE
3.01 This is a civilian organization and membership therein does not affect or increase liability for military or police service. Rank does not exist in the Women Veterans of America; no member shall be addressed by her military or naval title in any meeting of the Chapter.
3.02 This organization shall be absolutely non-political and non-partisan, and shall not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles or for the promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking public office or preferment. No candidate for nomination or election to, or no incumbent of any remunerative office in the Chapter; members of standing or special committees shall not be affected.
3.03 Each member shall perform her full duty as a citizen according to her own conscience and understanding.
ARTICLE IV - GOVERNING
4.01 The Constitution and Bylaws of this organization shall be the guide for the conduct at all meetings
4.02 In cases not covered, Robert’s Rules of Order, current edition, shall be followed
ARTICLE V – MEMBERSHIP
5.01 Any female who served in the service of the military of the United States of America, the Allied Forces of the United States, Active Duty US Forces, The US Reserve Forces and she has not been dishonorably discharged or separated from such service, is eligible for membership in the Women Veterans of America. Proof of eligibility (DD Form 214 or the equivalent) shall be submitted and/or verified by one elected Officer and one member in good standing at the time of application for membership. If member submits any documentation with SSAN annotated, such document(s) will be shredded by an elected Officer and witnessed by one member of good standing.
5.02 At least 75% of the members are past or present members of the U. S. Armed Forces and that at least 97.5% of the members of the organization are past or present members of the U.S. Armed Forces, cadets (including only students in college or university ROTC programs or at armed services academies) or spouses, widow, or widowers of any of those listed here
5.03 Classes of Membership
5.03.01 Regular Membership
5.03.01.01 Regular membership is open to all women who have been honorably discharged from one of the branches of the United States Armed Forces or United States Reserve Forces, or a qualifying National Guard member (Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors, Chapter 8, Reserve and National Guard, Eligibility for VA Benefits)
5.03.01.02 Active Duty Personnel
5.03.01.02.01 Active duty personnel are invited to become members as they are the future of this organization and thereby need a voice in that future
5.03.01.02.02 We welcome the insight into the current conditions and needs of our active duty personnel so the welfare of our future women veterans, especially health issues, will be met
5.03.01.03 Any member recognized as part of the “World War Special Group Veteran”
5.03.02 Associate Members
5.03.02.01 Total number of associate members must not comprise more than 25% of the membership body
5.03.02.02 Associate membership eligibility
5.03.02.02.01 Cadets (including only students in college or university ROTC programs or at Armed Services academies)
5.03.02.02.02 Spouses, widows, widowers, ancestors, or lineal descendants of individuals referred to in Section 5.02 by two degrees of consanguinity, to include male members
5.03.02.02.03 Any woman or man that does not enjoy a qualifying relationship with any member in good standing
5.03.02.03 Total number of associate members that do not qualify under Section 5.03.02.02 must not comprise of more than 2.5% of the total membership body
5.03.02.04 Associate members are eligible to vote
5.03.02.05 Associate members are not eligible to hold an office
5.03.02.06 Associate members are eligible to chair a standing committee
5.03.03 Inactive Membership
5.03.03.01 All members must attend one (1) monthly meeting within six (6) months of acceptance unless living outside the range of 50 miles of the nearest local WVA Chapter. Those who are physically unable can contact the organization for information and/or minutes of the monthly meetings.
5.03.03.02 If a member fails to attend at least one (1) monthly organization meeting six (6) months after acceptance into the Chapter, OR if any current member does not attend (1) monthly organization meeting within a 6 month time period, they will be considered an inactive member and will not be counted to establish a quorum. A member can be returned to "active status" with the approval of the Executive Committee, OR by attending one (1) monthly organization meeting. At that point, the 6-month period begins again.
5.04 Member Dues
5.04.01 WVA National Headquarters sets Dues for all WVA Chapters. Members have the option to pay dues annually or become a lifetime member. Annual membership renewal is due on the one year anniversary of the date they joined. Members have a one (1) month grace period. Members are required to pay their annual dues prior to midnight on last day of the one (1) month grace period; if their dues are not paid at this time, they are not a member.
5.04.02 The annual dues for local membership is twenty dollars ($20) and 20% ($4) of the dues will be paid to the National Organization
5.04.03 Lifetime dues with forty percent (40%) forwarded to the National Organization are as follows: $150 ($60) for those under 40, $120 ($48) for 41-65 years old, $100 ($40) for those over 65 years old.
5.04.04 Any fees incurred by the Chapter (i.e. returned checks, insufficient funds, etc.) will be assessed to the issuer of the check.
5.04.05 All membership dues and updated membership rosters will be received by the National Vice-Commander quarterly: Feb, May, Aug, Nov
ARTICLE VI - MEETINGS
6.01 Regular Chapter monthly meetings shall be held on the second Saturday of each month starting at 10am at a location announced at the previous meeting.
6.02 1/10th of total active Chapter membership must be present to make a quorum to conduct business of a regular monthly meeting. If a quorum is not present – a meeting can be considered as convened but no business can be conducted.
ARTICLE VII - OFFICERS
7.01 The administration of the Chapter's affairs before its first election of officers was conducted by officer(s) appointed from WVA National. The first officer(s) were the governing body of this WVA Chapter and were known as the Constituting Committee. Until the election of new officers: Commander, Vice-Commander, Adjutant, Finance Officer and Sergeant-At-Arms, appointed officers served for a term of no less than two (2) years.
7.02 The elected officers of this chapter shall be a Commander, Vice Commander, Adjutant (Secretary), Finance Officer (Treasurer), Sergeant-At-Arms, and Chaplain. The Chapter may elect or appoint such other officers or assistant officers as may be needed to operate the Chapter. Original Officers (Constituting Committee) and Past Commander(s) shall be known and serve as an Executive Committee to oversee the Chapter and ensure it is following WVA National Guidelines and Chapter bylaws.
7.03 The Commander and the Finance Officer must be bonded at no less than $5000. The bonding fees will be paid by the local chapter.
7.04 Nominations for elected office will be taken from the floor at the October and November meetings. The Commander may select a nominating committee at least three months prior to the election of officers. If a nominating committee is established, all applicants for office must be presented to this committee in advance of the November meeting so that the committee can insure that the nominee is willing to serve in the office.
7.05 Election of officers will be held annually at the November meeting and the elected officers will assume their duties at the first meeting of the next month. All documents and documentation being held by outgoing Officers will be turned over to the (new) incoming Officers, no later than the first business meeting of the Chapter following the election. All documents will be surrendered in their original form and at no expense to the Chapter and/or incoming officers.
7.06 In the case of removal of the Commander from her office because of death, resignation, or inability to discharge the duties of her office, the same shall devolve upon the Vice-Commander. If in the case above both the Commander and the Vice-Commander, the duties of the office shall devolve upon the office of successive officers. The inability, whether she is sufficiently recovered to resume such duties, shall be determined by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Committee.
7.07 Any officer missing four (4) meetings, without just cause, shall be brought before the Executive Committee for neglect of office.
7.08 No officer will hold more than one (1) elected office at a time. In the event of resignation or disciplinary removal of an Officer, the slot will remain unfilled until the next election, unless the Commander and Executive Board deem it necessary to hold a Special Election to fill the Vacancy. A Special Election will follow the same rules of a general election with the exception of it being held out of normal sequence. This officer(s) tour of duty will expire at the normal election time.
7.09 The term of office shall be one year.
ARTICLE VIII – DUTIES BY OFFICE
8.01.01 Preside over all meetings, regular or special meetings, of the organization and its Executive Board
8.01.02 Be vested with all the administrative powers of the organization
8.01.02.01 To sign all official documents
8.01.02.02 The ability to sign all vouchers and checks drawn on WVA Chapter 20 funds
8.01.02.03 Appoint a Chair of each standing committee
8.01.02.04 Appoint an ad-hoc committee and its chair when deemed necessary
8.01.02.05 Serve as an ex-officio member of all committees except the nominating committee during the subsequent term
8.01.02.06 To be the official spokeswoman for the organization in all public relations activities as well as dealings with the public or any veteran entity, unless otherwise delegated by the Executive Board
8.01.02.07 Additional duties as needed by the organization
8.01.02.08 The Commander shall see that all other officers perform their duties
8.01.02.08.01 In case of disability, has the power to temporarily suspend/reassign the responsibility of the office
8.01.02.08.02 In case of non-performance of duties or incompetence, has the power to remove such officer, with such removed officer having the right to appeal to the Executive Board
8.01.02.09 All acts and decisions by the Commander shall be reviewable by the Executive Board
8.02.01 Perform the duties of the Commander in her absence
8.02.02 In the event of the Commander’s death, resignation, removal from office for cause, or inability to perform her duties, the Vice-Commander shall become the Commander for the remainder of the unexpired term
8.02.03 Assist the Commander in the discharge of her official duties in such manner as she may direct and shall have such other powers and duties as from time to time may be specifically delegated to her by the Executive Board
8.02.03 Coordinate all outreach and recruiting activities
8.02.04 Shall perform other duties at the request of the Commander.
8.03.01 Records the minutes of all proceedings and preserve all important papers regarding the Women Veterans of America Chapter 20 and its Executive Board
8.03.02 Copies of all minutes will be made available to any member upon request to ensure the integrity of the organization to be accomplished within fifteen (15) days of initial request
8.03.03 Conduct and maintain the general correspondence and files of the organization
8.03.04 Be responsible for all duties and records involving the membership of the organization including an updated membership database to include:
8.03.04.01 Personal contact information
8.03.04.03 Expiration Date
8.03.05 Mail membership cards, copy of dues receipt, and a copy of the current local Constitution and Bylaws to members as needed
8.03.06 Will notify annual members when their renewal is due
8.03.07 Will send quarterly membership reports to the National Vice-Commander when due
8.03.08 Ensures appropriate Associate Membership category is open before accepting an application with the assistance of the Vice-Commander and Sergeant-At-Arms
8.03.08.01 Ensures Associate Membership is less than or equal to25% of the membership population
8.03.08.02 Ensures the “general public” Associate Membership is less than 2.5% of the Associate Membership
8.03.09 Serves as Credentialing Officer for the election of Local Officers
8.03.09.01 Ensures each voter is a member in good standing and entitled to vote
8.03.09.02 Serves as the Chair of the Credentialing committee
8.03.09.02.01 Ensures that all nominees are members in good standing
8.03.09.02.02 Ensures nominee is willing to accept office if elected before placing their name on the slate
8.03.09.02.03 Oversees election tellers while counting the vote
8.03.09.02.04 Presents the Credentialing Committee’s Election Report before the Membership body
8.03.10 Should a special meeting of the membership be called, notice will be published by letter to be received by the membership no later than two full weeks prior to the date of the meeting
8.03.11 To furnish committees with whatever documents are required for the performance of their duties, and to have on hand a list of all existing committees and their members
8.03.12 To sign all certified copies of acts of the society, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution and Bylaws
8.03.13 Make sure the official Constitution and Bylaws, special rules of order, standing rules, and minutes are entered, with any amendments to these documents properly recorded, and to have the current minute book available for reference at all meetings
8.03.14 To have a published agenda available at all meetings
8.03.15 Shall perform other duties at the request of the Commander.
8.04 Finance Officer
8.04.01 The Finance Officer (Treasurer) shall collect and receive all dues, and other funds. She shall be accountable therefore to the Executive Committee and to the Chapter. She shall keep proper books, records, and accounts which shall at all times be open for examination by the Executive Committee, by the Chapter, and by WVA National.
8.04.02 No money shall be drawn from the treasury except for such purposes as approved by the Chapter or the Executive Committee.
8.04.03 All accounts must have two signatures. The signatures should be as follows: the Finance Officer (Treasurer) and the Commander; OR the Commander’s designated representatives. This applies to the following Chapter accounts:
8.04.04 All accounts shall have Internet access, with access code given to the Financial Officer (Treasurer), and the Commander and/or her designated representative.
8.04.05 Financial books will be present at every meeting and available for review to any member after the meeting has adjourned. If a discrepancy is noted it will be brought to the attention of the Commander as soon as possible in writing.
8.04.06 An audit committee consisting of the Financial Officer (Treasurer), and two (2) members in good standing appointed by the Commander, will complete an audit a minimum of twice a year, (November and May). The month may be changed by the Commander, with approval from the membership
8.04.07 The audit:
8.04.07.01 An audit of the financial records will be completed prior to the December meeting; so all records can be turned over to elected officers. This will be accomplished by the outgoing Financial Officer, and two appointed members in good standing, and anyone else deemed necessary by the Commander and Executive Committee. If there is a problem it will be brought to the attention of the Commander and Sgt-at-Arms, in writing as soon as possible, 21 to 25 days after the election or prior to the next business meeting.
8.04.07.02 Any additional audits may be requested by any member in good standing. Upon request and vote of simple majority of members present the Commander will appoint two members of good standing, and the Financial Officer (Treasurer), to accomplish the audit. A time limit will be determined and agreed upon by Commander and Vice Commander. If discrepancies are found they will be reported to the Commander and Vice Commander immediately. The written audit will be published and the Commander and Vice Commander will determine if it should be distributed or just discussed, at the next scheduled meeting.
8.04.08 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Requirements will be fulfilled:
8.04.08.01 IRS FEIN contact information will be updated at each change in slate of officers by December 31 as our tax year ends November 30.
8.04.08.02 The Finance Officer shall file the appropriate IRS income tax documents (including the IRS Form 990-N e-Postcard) no later than April 15 of each year
8.04.09 Shall perform other duties at the request of the Commander.
8.05.01 The Sergeant-at-Arms shall lead the Pledge of Allegiance after the Commander calls the meeting to order; keep order at the meetings; and shall enforce the laws of Robert's Rules of Order
8.05.02 Maintain an accurate inventory of all physical property belonging to the Chapter and who is in possession of the property. The Sergeant-at-Arms will update this list annually upon election of new officers and as needed during the year if property is reassigned to a different member. Physical property shall be receipted to the person in possession of the property
8.05.03 Shall be responsible for assuring that the United States flag and the WVA flag are available for all meetings
8.05.04 Shall perform other duties at the request of the Commander.
8.06.01 The duty of the Chaplain is to deliver the opening invocation at each meeting
8.06.02 She shall be informed of any sickness or distress of any member or member’s family.
8.06.03 When a death has occurred among the members of the Chapter, it becomes the immediate duty of the Chapter chaplain to call on the bereaved family and offer words of sympathy and consolation, and the services of the Chapter, if so desired.
8.06.04 The Chaplain shall perform other duties at the request of the Commander.
ARTICLE IX - MEMBER UNIFORMS
9.01.01 The hat shall be a Red Garrison Cap with the logo. Chapter designation will be a silver pin with the appropriate Chapter number, with the Chapter Commander having a pin with the words “Commander” Members may decorate hat with medals or insignia of military service and/or other related pins; e.g. WIMSA replica pin, Vietnam Women's Memorial Statue replica pin, P.O.W. pin, state emblem replica pins, Organizational replica pins, DAV, AL, VFW etc. The Garrison Cap is worn with complete uniform as listed in Section's 2 through 6 of Article XI and may be worn alone when not in uniform when performing WVA matters. National Officers will be designated by a silver pin “National”, with the exception of the National Commander who will have “National Commander”
9.01.02 A white, red, or blue baseball cap with the WVA logo may be worn if appropriate
9.02 Shirt or Blouse
9.02.01 For the Class A shirt or blouse it is recommended that members wear white shirt or white blouse with logo attached to the left breast of the shirt or blouse.
9.02.01 The utility uniform shirt shall consist of a polo style shirt in white, red, or dark blue with the logo attached to the left breast. White, red or dark blue crew neck sweat shirts can be worn when necessary
9.02.03 Military awarded medals, ribbons, and badges, if worn, will be above the left breast pocket or similar area if no pocket. US insignia and aiguillettes will not be worn on Class A or B uniforms. (This does not include the honor guard). The lapels of said shirt or blouse may display your service insignia
9.02.04 The WVA emblem can be embroidered or screen printed
9.03 Slacks or Skirts: Navy slacks or skirts are recommended for wear as part of the uniform.
9.04 Shoes: comfortable black shoes.
9.05 Windbreakers: White Organizational windbreakers with logo on back may be worn anytime and as an option as an additional part of the uniform, and are not decorated with the exception of the Logo imprinted on back of jacket. Member's name may be embroidered on front left breast area.
9.06 This above described Uniforms are worn for parades, funeral and burial services, and Chapter functions where uniform is needed or requested by the Commander.
9.07 Current Uniform styles may be worn until the uniform item is no longer serviceable
ARTICLE X -- DISCIPLINARY MATTERS
10.01 The Disciplinary Committee shall have original jurisdiction over all disciplinary matters and procedures. The Disciplinary Committee will consist of elected officers and a member in good standing appointed by the Commander. Members shall be subject to discipline or expulsion from the Women Veterans of America only as in Articles I through X.
10.02 Any individual may make charges against a member. They shall be in writing and shall be signed by the individual making such charges. Such charges shall specify with reasonable particularity the conduct of the accused upon which such charges are based and that the accused may be fully apprised of the nature of the charges made. The Disciplinary Committee shall examine all such charges and, if in the opinion of the majority of the Disciplinary Committee the charges do not set forth any conduct or action on the part of the accused which, if true, would constitute cause for discipline or expulsion from membership under the provision of the Articles I through X, or, if the Disciplinary Committee determines that under all circumstances, the charges are not justified, the Disciplinary Committee shall dismiss such charges on their own motion. If there is sufficient evidence to warrant a hearing, such hearing shall take place before the Disciplinary Committee.
10.03 The Disciplinary Committee should address all charges within thirty (30) days of receipt of written charges. The Committee should make a decision as soon as possible following an investigation. If there is a delay in making a decision, a report should be made to all parties concerned within thirty (30) days.
10.04 When charges are preferred against a member or officer, the accused shall not act as a member or as an officer unless and until such charges shall have been dismissed against her.
ARTICLE XI - COMMITTEES
11.01 The Commander shall designate and appoint the Chairperson of all committees with the exception of the Executive Committee.
11.02 The Chairperson of each committee will give a report to the Commander at each monthly meeting.
ARTICLE XII - AMENDMENTS
12.1 The Bylaws may be amended at any regular monthly meeting by a vote of two-thirds of the members attending such meeting, provided that the proposed amendment shall have been submitted in writing to the Chapter, and read and/or distributed for discussion at one (1) regular monthly business meeting preceding the vote.
12.2 Amendment(s) may be changed, but any proposed changes must be sent to WVA National Headquarters for review. WVA National has the right to accept or refuse any proposed changes. All proposed changes must meet Federal and Charter Requirements.
Revised and Approved 2-12-11
Approved by National 4-4-2011