New By-Laws and Constitution for the
Sons of The American Legion (SAL) Post 274,
listed below, will be voted on for approval, at the SAL
meeting scheduled for Tuesday January 7 at 6 p.m.
Sons of the American Legion
Melvin Cowart Post 274
899 Buttonwood Drive
Fort Myers Beach, Florida 33931
(239) 463-6591 Post274.0rg
Constitution And By-Laws
Article I Name
Article II Object
Article III Nature
Article IV Organization
Article V Membership
Article VI Executive Committee
Article VII Duties of Officers
Article I Nomination and Election of Officers
Article II Standing Committees
Article III Meetings
Article IV Quorum
Article V Finances
Article VI Rules of Order
Article VII Delegates
Article VIII Amendments
Proud possessors of a priceless heritage, WE, male descendents of veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, associate ourselves together as “Sons of The American Legion” 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 true spirit of Americanism; to preserve the memories of our former members and the associations of our members and forefathers in the Great Wars; to inoculate a sense of individual obligation to community, state and nation; to combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and goodwill on earth; to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principals of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our friendship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness; to adopt in letter and spirit all of the great principals for which the American Legion stands; and to assist in carrying on for God and Country.
Constitution of The
Sons of the American Legion
Melvin Cowart Squadron #274
ARTICLE I - NAME
The Name of the organization shall be The Sons of the American Legion Melvin Cowart Squadron #274, Detachment of Florida.
ARTICLE II - OBJECT
The objects and purpose of this squadron shall be to promote the principals and policies as set forth in the foregoing preamble, and the national and detachment Constitutions of the American Legion.
ARTICLE III – NATURE
Section 1. The Sons of the American Legion Melvin Cowart Squadron #274, attached to Melvin Cowart Post #274, Department of Florida, is a civilian organization. Membership therein does not affect nor increase liability for military or police service.
Section 2. The Squadron shall be absolutely non-political and shall not be used for dissemination of partisan principals or for the promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking public office.
Section 3. The Squadron shall be absolutely non-sectarian.
Section 4. Each member shall perform his full duty as a citizen according to his own conscience and understanding, in accordance with the law.
ARTICLE IV – SQUADRON ORGANIZATION
Section 1. The Sons of The American Legion Squadron shall be organized under the jurisdiction and sponsorship of a local Post of the American Legion and shall bear the name of such sponsoring Post as follows: “The Sons of the American Legion Melvin Cowart Squadron #274, Detachment of Florida.”
Section 2. There shall be no more than one (1) Squadron of the Sons of the American Legion for each Post of The American Legion in the Department of Florida. The Squadrons sponsored by the Posts in the Department of Florida shall be organized into the Detachment, Area and Districts as set forth in this Constitution and shall not conflict with the Department of Florida Constitution and By-Laws.
Section 3. No person may be a member at any one time of more than one Squadron.
Section 4. Each Squadron shall be the judge of the qualifications of its members, provided such members are eligible for membership in the Sons of The American Legion and eligibility is certified by the Post Adjutant.
Section 5. No person who has been expelled by a Squadron shall be admitted to membership in another Squadron without consent of the expelling Squadron, except that where such consent has been asked for and denied by such Squadron, he then may appeal to the Detachment Executive Committee for permission to apply for membership in another Squadron, and shall be ineligible for membership until such permission is granted.
Section 6. Where only one Squadron has received a charter within a Municipality or other political subdivision, for which it is chartered it shall have executive jurisdiction therein in all matters pertaining to the work of the Sons of The American Legion. Where more than one Squadron is chartered for a Municipality or other political subdivision, a division of territory shall be arranged by the sponsoring Posts as set forth in the Department Constitution of The American Legion, Department of Florida, Article X, Section 10.
Section 7. Such charter may be suspended or revoked by the Detachment Executive Committee for the reasons and in the manner provided in Article VII under Detachment Executive Committee.
Section 8. Each Squadron in the Detachment of Florida shall have its own Constitution and By-Laws, provided that it shall not conflict with the Constitution and By-Laws of the Sons of The American Legion, Detachment of Florida, the National Constitution and By-Laws of the Sons of the American Legion and the Constitution and By-Laws of the American Legion, Department of Florida. The Squadrons Constitution and By-Laws together with any subsequent Amendments, shall be approved by the Detachment Judge Advocate, such approval confirmed by the Department Judge Advocate and the Detachment Commander, and a copy filed with the Department Adjutant and the Detachment Adjutant, with certification of approval issued to the Squadron before becoming effective.
Section 9 The Squadron officers of the Sons of the American Legion shall consist of a Squadron Commander, Squadron Vice Commanders (as many as may be required), Squadron Finance Officer, Squadron Sergeant-At-Arms, Squadron Historian, Squadron Chaplain, Squadron Adjutant and the Squadron Judge Advocate.
Section 10. All officers of Squadrons, except the Squadron Adjutant and the Squadron Judge Advocate, shall be elected and certified to the Department Adjutant and Detachment Adjutant, not more than fifty (50) days, nor less than ten (10) days prior to the Annual Detachment Convention, certification to be made on forms furnished or prescribed by the Department Adjutant. The Squadron Adjutant and the Squadron Judge Advocate shall be appointed by the Squadron Commander-elect on election day and their names placed before the Squadron for conformation, at the first meeting following their appointment. A majority vote by all members, present at the meeting, is required for conformation. Squadron Officers shall be installed by the District Commander or his designated representatives, take office and enter upon their duties at a date to be fixed by the Squadron or Post, which date shall be subsequent to, but not later than sixty (60) days after the adjournment of the Annual Detachment Convention. In the event of a vacancy caused by death, resignation or removal from office, the name and address of the successor shall be reported to the Department Adjutant and the Detachment Adjutant within one week after such vacancy has been filled.
Section 11. Members may be reprimanded, suspended or expelled from the Sons of the American Legion only upon proper showing of Cause. Charges shall be based upon disloyalty, neglect of duty, dishonesty and conduct unbecoming a member of the Sons of The American Legion. 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 trial by the elective officers and Executive Committeeman of the Squadron in which he is a member.
Section 12. Any member who has been suspended or expelled from the Sons of the American Legion shall have the right to appeal to the Detachment Executive Committee or to the Detachment Convention. The decision of the Detachment shall be final. The provisions of Sections 11 and 12 do not apply to disciplinary procedures carried out in compliance with any state or local law, not affecting the right of the member to attend Squadron meeting. House rule violations are not subject to appeal, except through the Post Legion Executive Committee or the SAL Executive Committee.
Section 13. Any member in good standing may transfer to another Squadron willing to accept him, subject, to provisions of Section 7 Article X of the Detachment of Florida Constitution. Such member shall be entitled to a certificate of membership from his Squadron upon transfer and acceptance by another Squadron. The transfer shall be effective upon notice sent to the Detachment Adjutant.
Section 14. Any Squadron in this Detachment shall have full power and authority to remove from the membership roll the name of any member not paying his annual dues, as provided in the Sons of The American Legion National Constitution and By-Laws.
Section 15. Officers of the Squadron may be reprimanded, suspended or removed from office upon charges based on disloyalty to the Sons of The American Legion, The American Legion or to the National Government, neglect of duties, dishonesty, and conduct unbecoming a member or officer of the Sons of The American Legion. All charges shall be made in writing by an accuser and no officer shall be reprimanded, suspended or removed from office until given a fair trial. The procedures to follow are as in The American Legion Department of Florida Constitution, Article X, and Section 18.
Section 16. Each Squadron shall use and follow the Sons of The American Legion Squadron Handbook in conducting its meetings, initiation of members and other ceremonies prescribed therein. Squadron meetings shall be held no less then once a month, or in accordance with the ritual of the organization.
Section 17. All SAL members shall conduct themselves in accordance with current posted house rules.
ARTICLE V – Membership
Section 1. Applications for membership shall be made in writing on forms prescribed by the National Organization.
Section 2. All applications for membership shall be acted upon at the next regular scheduled meeting following the filing of such application. The First Vice Commander shall present the application to the Squadron at its next regular meeting with its recommendation for acceptance or rejection. If one-third or more Squadron members cast their vote against acceptance of such applicant, then such applicant shall be recorded as rejected.
ARTICLE VI – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. Between Squadron meetings, the administrative power of the Squadron shall be vested in the Squadron Executive Committee, which shall consist of the following elected officers for the current year. Commander, First Vice Commander (s), Finance Officer, Adjutant, Sergeant at Arms, Chaplin, Judge Advocate and immediate past Commander) Three officers present will constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE VII - DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. Commander: The Sons of The American Legion Commander is the executive head of the organization at his level with full power to carry out the mandates and policies of the Son of The American Legion as approved by The American Legion. He shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office, and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
Section 2. Vice Commander: The Vice Commander or Vice Commanders shall act as representative of the Commander on all matters referred to them by him, and shall, on his request, preside over meetings and perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office. The First Vice Commander shall specifically be the chairman of the Membership Committee. The Second Vice Commander shall be responsible for developing programs for patriotic observances. He will be responsible for the social and entertainment activities of the Squadron. Any other Vice Commanders must have a specific assignment or position.
Section 3. Adjutant: The Adjutant, who corresponds to the secretary of an organization, shall be charged with the usual duties of an adjutant or secretary. He is the administrative officer of the policies and mandates of the organization.
Section 4. Finance Officer. The Finance Officer shall be the custodian of the funds of the organization. He shall be charged with the receiving and disbursing of the funds of the Squadron, and shall make reports on the condition of the treasury at each regular meeting, and when called for by the Commander or Executive Committee. He shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office.
Section 5. Sergeant-at-Arms: The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be charged with the responsibility of preserving order at all meetings and shall be given the custody and responsibility of the colors of the organization. He shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office.
Section 6. Chaplain: The Chaplain shall perform such divine and nonsectarian service, as shall be necessary adhering to the ceremonial rituals as may be prescribed.
Section 7. Historian: The Historian shall collect from year to year all records and data of value and interest to the Sons of The American Legion and The American Legion, and shall compile during his term of office a complete history of the year's activities.
Section 8. Judge Advocate: The Judge Advocate shall advise the officers and Executive Committee on all legal matters, interpretation of the Constitution and By-laws, and shall perform other such duties as required.
The Sons of the American Legion
Melvin Cowart Squadron 274
ARTICLE I – NOMINATION & ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Section 1. At the regular meeting in April the Commander shall appoint a nominating /election committee of three members who will, acting together with and under the advice of the Supervisory Committee of the Post, present to the regular meeting in May a list of one or more candidates for each office required to be elected under the Constitution of this Squadron.
Section 2. At the conclusion of the report of the nominating committee, any Squadron member may present the name of any other Squadron member for nomination to any office for which such Squadron member is not nominated by the nominating committee, and upon such nomination being seconded and the position excepted by the nominee the same shall be considered as though contained in the report of the nominating committee after said report has been accepted and adopted by the Squadron.
ARTICLE II – STANDING COMMITTEES
Section 1. Upon nomination of the Squadron Commander, the Executive Committee shall annually appoint such standing committees as it shall deem advisable for the benefit of the membership of the Squadron as a whole.
ARTICLE III – MEETINGS
Section 1. The regular membership meeting of this Squadron shall be held on the first Tuesday of each month, at 6 p.m.
Section 2. Special meetings shall be called on a majority vote by the Executive Committee, or upon the written request of five Squadron members.
Section 3. Every member shall furnish to the Adjutant his address, to which all notices and documents may be sent, and the same shall be held to have been duly sent or served upon a member if mailed to such address as furnished. In default of an address having been furnished by a Squadron member, any notice or documents will be held to have been duly served upon such member five days after the same shall have been deposited in the local post office addressed to such member at such post office address. The posting of official notices on the Legion Bulletin Board, Informational Television or the Post website, www.post274.org, shall constitute proper notice.
Section 4. Notice of all special meetings of the Squadron shall be posted on the bulletin board. Any special meetings shall state the object and purpose thereof, and no business shall be transacted at such special meeting except for such business as is contained in the notice thereof.
Section 5. Elected officers, appointed officers and committee chairman who miss three consecutive meetings may be subject to termination unless officially excused.
Section 6. Any officer or committee position of Squadron #274 that is not filled or becomes vacant for any reason the Commander may appoint a member in good standing to that office. Such appointment shall be for the remaining term of the vacancy. The appointment must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the SAL Executive Committee.
Section 7. A member in good standing will be defined as a member that does not owe any money to any Legion Organization and is not at any stage of disciplinary action, suspension or othe phase, at the Post 274 in its entirety (Post
ARTICLE IV – QUORUM
Section 1. Two Officers and three voting members shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the Squadron.
ARTICLE V – FINANCES
Section 1. All funds of this Squadron shall be deposited in a bank by the Finance Officer. Withdrawals shall only be made upon draft or check signed by the Finance Officer or the SAL Squadron Commander. Any amount above $1,000 must be approved by the Post 274 Commander.
ARTICLE VI – RULES OF ORDER
Section 1. Roberts Rules of Order, revised unless otherwise written, shall govern the proceedings of this Squadron except when they may be in direct conflict with the 13th District, Department of Florida or National Constitution and By-Laws of The American Legion.
ARTICLE VII – DELEGATES
Section 1. Delegates must be elected by the SAL general membership, and attend the appropriate meetings at the convention or conference to be reimbursed for their room expenses.
ARTICLE VIII – AMENDMENTS
Section 1. These By-Laws are adopted, subject to the provisions of the National By-Laws and the Detachment By-Laws, of which this Squadron is a subordinate member. Any amendment to the National or Detachment By-Laws which is in conflict with any provision hereof shall be regarded as automatically repealing or modifying the provisions of these By-Laws to the extent of such conflict.
Section 2. These By-Laws may be amended at any regular Squadron meeting by a vote of two-thirds of the members attending such regular meeting, provided that the proposed amendment shall have been submitted in writing and read at the immediate preceding Squadron meeting, and provided further, that notice shall have been given to all members at least thirty days in advance of the date when such amendment is to be voted upon, notifying said members that at such meeting a proposal to amend the By-Laws is to be voted upon.