CONSTITUTION OF THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT
OF THE AMERICAN LEGION, INC.
REVISED – JULY 8, 2005
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For God and Country, We associate ourselves together for the following purposes;
To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America;
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 the masses;
To make right the master of might;
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
ARTICLE I – NAME
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Idaho Department of The American Legion Inc.
Section 2. The Headquarters of the Idaho Department of the American Legion Inc. shall be Boise, Idaho.
ARTICLE II – NATURE
Section 1. The Idaho Department of The American Legion Inc. is a civilian organization; membership therein does not affect or increase liability for military or police reserve. Rank does not exist in the American Legion; no member shall be addressed by his or her military or naval title in any convention or meeting of the American Legion.
Section 2. The American Legion 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 public office or preferment.
ARTICLE III – ORGANIZATION
Section 1. The Idaho Department of the American Legion Inc. shall be organized into Posts.
Section 2. The said Posts shall be organized into Districts, the boundaries of which shall be determined and fixed by the Executive Committee of the Department. Each District organization shall have advisory and supervisory powers over the Posts included within its District under a District Constitution and By-Laws to be prescribed by the District, subject to the approval of the Department Executive Committee.
ARTICLE IV – ELIGIBILITY
Section 1. Any person shall be eligible for membership in the Idaho Department of the American Legion Inc., who meets the eligibility requirements as set forth in Article IV of the National Constitution of the American Legion.
Section 2. There shall be no form or class of membership except an active membership, and dues shall be paid annually, or for life.
Section 3. No person may be a member at any one time of more than one Post.
Section 4. No person who has been expelled by a Post shall be admitted to membership in another Post without the consent of the expelling Post, except where such consent has been asked for and denied by such Post, he may then appeal to the Department Executive Committee for permission to be admitted in another Post, and shall be ineligible for membership until such permission is granted, subject to the receiving Post’s approval.
ARTICLE V – DEPARTMENT CONVENTION
Section 1. The Legislative body of the Idaho Department of The American Legion Inc. shall be the Department Convention, to be held annually at a place to be fixed at the preceding Department Convention; and between conventions the legislative power shall be vested in the Department Executive Committee, provided, however, that said Department Executive Committee may not reverse, modify or change the expressed will or action of the Department Convention.
Section 2. In the Department Convention each Post shall be entitled to one delegate and one additional delegate for each fifty members or fraction thereof, whose Department and National dues have been received by the Department’s Finance Officer, at least fifteen days prior to the meeting of said Convention, Each Post shall be entitled to one alternate for each delegate. The delegates shall be chosen at the Post meeting not less than fifteen days before the Department Convention.
Section 3. Each Post is entitled to a number of votes equal to the number of delegates to which it is entitled, and shall be represented at conventions by those delegates or official alternates in person. Consistent with this section no Post shall be permitted to grant, hold or exercise any proxy votes at any convention. An official alternate shall have all the privileges of a delegate in the absence of a delegate. The vote of any delegate absent and not represented by an alternate shall be cast by the majority of the delegates present from his or her Post.
Section 4. The last Past Department Commander shall have all the privileges as a delegate-at-large to the Department Convention, including the right to vote, and all other Past Department Commanders shall have only the privilege of the floor.
Section 5. A quorum shall exist at a Department Convention when there are represented twenty percent (20%) of the total of all votes as defined in Section 3 of this article, to which all of the Posts of the Department are entitled.
Section 6. It shall be the responsibility of the host Post to supply and assume the financial obligations for routine operation of the Department Adjutant’s convention activities And to provide such facilities to include office or hotel space, telephone needs and essential office equipment for efficient function of the Department Secretary’s responsibilities.
Section 7. The Post delegate lists and Post delegate fees shall be received in the Department Headquarters no later than fifteen (15) days prior to the Department Annual convention.
ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS
Section 1. The officers of the Department shall be as follows: Department Commander, three (3) Department Vice Commanders, a District Commander from each District, Adjutant/Finance Officer, Chaplain, Historian, Sergeant-at-Arms, Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms, Judge Advocate, National Executive Committeeman, Service Officer, and Alternate National Executive Committeeman.
All of said officers with the exception of the District Commanders, the Adjutant/Finance Officer, Service Officer, and the Judge Advocate shall be elected by the Department Convention. The District Commanders shall be elected, one by each District not later than the 15th of June each year, and said District Officers shall also be the Commanders of the respective District from which they are elected and are to be sworn into office the last day of the Department Convention, with the other Department Officers, and at that time assume District Commanders responsibilities. The Judge Advocate shall be appointed by the Department Commander and with the advice and consent of the Department Executive Committee.
The Department Executive Committee shall appoint the Adjutant/Finance Officer. All Department Officers shall hold office for a period of one year, or until such time as their successors are duly elected or appointed and qualified. The National Executive Committeeman and the Alternate National Executive Committeeman shall hold office for a period of two-years, or such time as their successors are duly elected and qualified.
One Department Vice Commander’s Area shall compose Districts 1 and 2 and be known as Area “A”; one Department Vice Commander’s Area shall compose Districts 3, 4, 5, and 9, and shall be known as Area “B”; one Department Vice Commander’s Area shall compose Districts 6, 7, and 8 and be known as Area “C”.
When a vacancy occurs in the office of Department Adjutant, the Department Commander shall activate a screening committee to select a candidate for the office. The committee shall be composed of the Department Commander, the Chairman of the Finance Commission and the immediate last three Past Department Commanders, and they shall submit their choice to the Department Executive Committee for action. A two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of the Department Executive Committee shall be required for approval of appointment.
Each Department Vice Commander Area shall nominate its candidate or candidates for Department Vice commander. The candidate’s membership shall be from the area they will be representing and Voting for Department Vice Commanders shall be on a Department-wide basis.
Section 2. The executive power shall be vested in the Department Commander acting with the advice and counsel of the Department Executive Committee. The Department Executive Committee shall be composed of the following officers: Department Commander, the Immediate Past Department Commander, three Department Vice Commanders, all District Commanders, National Executive Committeeman, Department Adjutant/Finance Officer, Judge Advocate and Finance Commission Chairman. The Department Commander and Department Adjutant/Finance Officer shall be chairman and secretary respectively of the Executive Committee. Any vacancies occurring at the Department Executive Committee shall be filled by the said committee except vacancies of the officer of the District Commanders, which shall be filled by the District in which the vacancies occurred.
Section 3. The Executive Committee shall meet at the place of the Department Convention within 24 hours after the final adjournment of the Department Convention and thereafter, at the call of the Department Commander, or a majority of its members. The Department Commander shall call a meeting upon the written request of three or more members of the Executive Committee.
A Department Service Officer may be appointed assistant to and under the direction of, the Department Adjutant. The Service Officer may be appointed by the Department Executive Committee at their first meeting following the Department Convention.
Section 4. Any elected or appointed Department Officer or Post Officer of the Idaho Department of the American Legion, Inc., may be removed from office for inefficiency, conduct unbecoming an officer of The American Legion, or for failure to work for the best interest of The American Legion, by the Department Executive Committee after a proper hearing and by two thirds (2/3rds) of the members of the Department Executive Committee voting in favor of dismissal, following the procedure set by the National Organization.
ARTICLE VII – NATIONAL CONVENTION
Section 1. The representation of the Idaho Department of The American Legion to the National Convention of The American Legion shall be vested in a Board of Delegates which shall consist of at least five members and one additional member for each one thousand members of said Department or major fraction thereof, whose current dues have been received by the National treasurer thirty (30) days prior to the meeting of said National convention, further, that when the number of delegates to the said National convention is an even one, one-half thereof shall be elected from each of the Congressional districts of the state of Idaho, the Department at large, and the remainder equally from said Congressional Districts.
Section 2. The respective members of the Board of Delegates of the Idaho Department to the National convention shall be required to perform their duties as members of committees to which they are appointed to the satisfaction of the chairman of the Board of Delegates, and to be present at all sessions of the committee of which they are members unless excused for reasonable cause by the chairman of the Board of Delegates.
ARTICLE VIII – POST ORGANIZATION
Section 1. Those who desire to form a Post shall make application for a charter to the Department Commander. The charter will be issued by the National Commander and the National Adjutant upon receipt of the application properly executed by the charter members of the projected Post, but only when such application is approved by the commander of the Department Executive Committee. Post charters shall be countersigned by the Commander and the Adjutant of the Department.
Section 2. The minimum membership of a Post shall be as determined by the Department Executive Committee.
Section 3. Post charters may be canceled or revoked by the Executive Committee with the approval of the National Executive Committee. Post charters may be suspended, as provided in the By-Laws.
Section 4. No Post shall be named after any living person.
Section 5. No Post shall publish any resolution, memorial or statement, or circulate any bulletin or writing, regarding or pertaining to any action or procedure of any other Post.
Section 6. An up-to-date slate of Post Officers; Commander, Adjutant, Vice Commander and Service Officer must be submitted to Department Headquarters fifteen (15) days prior to Department Convention for that Post to be eligible to vote at said Convention. Furthermore, all duly elected Post Commanders shall, upon their election, be automatically elected as a delegate to the Department Convention occurring during said commander’s term of office.
ARTICLE IX – FINANCE
Section 1. The revenue of The American Legion shall be derived from annual membership dues and from such other sources as may be approved by the Department Executive Committee.
Section 2. The amount of the annual dues shall be determined by the Department Convention for the ensuing year, and shall be payable July 1st of each year. These dues will include Department and National dues.
ARTICLE X – CHANGE OF RESIDENCE
Section 1. Any member is good standing in a Post moving from his/her Post shall be entitled to a certificate from his Post stating his/her membership and duration of thereof.
ARTICLE XI – AUXILIARIES
Section 1. The American Legion Department of Idaho recognizes all Auxiliaries as currently recognized by the National Organization.
ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS
Section 1. This constitution may be amended at any Department Convention by a vote of two-thirds of the total authorized representation thereat, provided that the proposed amendment shall have been submitted by the Department Adjutant to the Posts and members of the Department Executive Committee by mailing the same to them at least thirty days prior to the convening of the next Department Convention. The Constitution may also be amended by unanimous vote of any Department Convention without notice.
Section 2. Any Article of Section of the Constitution that is in conflict with the National constitution shall be null and void, and the Department shall automatically change any article or section to conform to the National Constitution.