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318 Donelson Pike, Nashville, TN

The American Legion Department of Tennessee

PREAMBLE

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 association 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 guard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.

When used in this  Constitution and By-Laws, the words “he, him and men” represent both the masculine and feminine genders.

CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE I

NAME

 

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be THE AMERICAN LEGION, Department of Tennessee.

Section 2. Department Headquarters of THE AMERICAN LEGION, Department of Tennessee is located 215 Eighth Avenue – North Nashville, Tennessee (37203).

 

ARTICLE II

NATURE

 

Section 1.  THE AMERICAN LEGION, Department of Tennessee, is a civilian organization; membership therein does not affect nor increase liability-for military or police service. Rank does not exist in the Legion; no member shall be addressed by his military or naval title in any convention or meeting of the Legion.

 

Section 2.  THE AMERICAN LEGION, Department of Tennessee, shall be absolutely nonpolitical 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   AMERICAN   LEGION, Department of Tennessee, shall be organized in Posts, as-hereinafter provided.

 

ARTICLE IV

ELIGIBILITY

 

Section 1. Any person shall be eligible for membership in  THE AMERICAN LEGION who was a member of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Air Force of the United States and assigned to federal active duty at some time in accordance with the eligibility dates consistent with the National Constitution and By-Laws of the American Legion; or who, being a citizen of the United States at the time of his entry therein, served on active duty in the armed forces of any of the governments associated with the United States during either of said eligibility periods; provided, however, that such service shall have been terminated by honorable discharge separation, or continued honorably after either of said periods; provided further, that no person shall be entitled to membership who, being in such service during either of said periods, refused on conscientious, political or other grounds to subject himself to military discipline or unqualified service.

 

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. The person expelled may appeal to the Department Executive Committee for permission to apply for membership in another Post. The person shall be ineligible for membership until such permission is granted.

 

ARTICLE V

DEPARTMENT CONVENTION

Section 1. The legislative body of this organization shall be a Department Convention, to be held annually at a place to be fixed by vote of the preceding convention. In the event that the preceding convention does not fix a place therefore, the Department Executive Committee hereinafter provided for shall decide upon the meeting place and set the dates for said convention The Department Executive Committee shall fix the time for said convention.

Section 2. At the Department Convention, each chartered Post of THE AMERICAN LEGION in the state shall be entitled to five delegates and five alternates; provided the   Post has in good standing the fifteen members required for Charter. One additional delegate and alternate is authorized for each additional fifteen members or major fraction thereof. No delegate shall be seated until annual dues to the state organization are paid.  Delegates shall be chosen at Post meetings not less than one week before the Department Convention.

Section 3. Each registered delegate shall be entitled to one vote. The vote of any registered delegate absent and not represented by an alternate shall be cast by majority of the registered delegates from his Post, there shall be no unit rule. Alternates for registered delegates shall have all the privileges of registered, except that of voting.

Section 4. A quorum shall exist at a Department Convention when Posts representing one thousand delegates are present and qualified to vote, regardless of whether the Posts represented have all of the delegates or alternates to which they are entitled present or only a fraction part thereof.

Section 5. The rules of procedure at the annual Department Convention shall be those set forth in Roberts’ Rules of Order.

Section 6. All resolutions to be considered at a Department Executive Committee Meeting, or a Department Convention shall be submitted to the Department Adjutant at least twenty (20) days in advance of the meeting or convention at which they are to be considered, and to the Chairman of the Resolutions Committee at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the meeting or convention at which they are to be considered, unless these time limits are waived by a majority vote of the Resolutions Committee. The Resolutions Committee may initiate a resolution with the Department Executive Committee or Department Convention as a Committee Resolution.

Section 7. All resolutions presented to the Convention Resolutions Committee must have the approval of the respective Posts submitting the resolution or of the Post delegation. Such resolutions must be signed both by the Chairman and Secretary of the Post delegation submitting such resolution.

Section 8. All convention resolutions must be submitted to the convention through and by the Resolutions Committee.

 

ARTICLE VI

NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEMAN

The National Executive Committeeman and an Alternate National Executive Committeeman shall be elected by the Department Convention at the convention next preceding the expiration of the terms of the present elected incumbents, the National Executive Committeeman and the Alternate National Executive Committeeman shall be elected biennially by the Department Convention at the convention next preceding the expiration of the terms of the present incumbents. In case of the death, resignation or removal of the National Executive Committeeman, the alternate shall serve for the unexpired term, or until the next succeeding Department Convention; in case of the death, resignation or removal of both the Committeeman and the Alternate Committeeman, the Department Commander shall appoint a successor to the office of National Committeeman, who shall serve until the next meeting of the Department Convention and/or until his successor be elected.

ARTICLE VII

DEPARTMENT OFFICERS

Section 1. At the Department convention there shall be nominated and elected a Department Commander, who cannot serve until properly installed at the same Department Convention. The Department Commander will be limited to one term in office. At the Division caucus conducted during the annual Department Convention, there shall be a Vice-Commander for each of the three grand divisions nominated and elected, who cannot serve until properly installed at the same Department Convention. The Department Commander shall be nominated and elected by the convention as a whole but each Department Vice-Commander shall be nominated and elected by a caucus of the delegates from each respective Grand Division.

Section 2. The Department Vice Commanders and the District Commanders shall be eligible if the person is a member of an American Legion Post in good standing within his respective Division or District from to be elected.

Section 3. District Commanders shall be nominated and elected at their respective District Convention held in their respective divisions at least 30 days prior to the Annual Convention, but cannot serve until properly installed at the immediate Department Convention. All elections conducted for Department Commander, National Executive Committeeman, Alternate National Committeeman, and District Commanders will be held on a delegate basis, with voting strength based on current paid membership as of the day of the nomination and election.

Section 4. The term of office for all department officers shall begin at the adjournment of The Department Convention, at which they were installed and shall end upon the adjournment of the next succeeding Department Convention, or until their successors are duly chosen and installed. Upon the death, resignation, or removal of the Department Commander, the Department Vice-Commander of the Division from which the Department Commander was elected shall act as Department Commander until the Department Executive Committee meets or until the Department Convention, whichever comes first, and elects or appoints a successor Department Commander. All vacancies in other Department offices not otherwise provided for shall be filled by the Department Executive Committee.

Section 5. Each Legion District may, if it so desires, elect a District Adjutant, a District Finance Officer, District Sergeant at Arms and/or a District Chaplain, and said elected officials shall be officially recognized by the Department as District Officers.

Section 6. (a) All Past Department Commanders and all Past Department Adjutants, while in good standing in their respective Posts, shall be members for life of the Department Executive Committee, without vote; and shall be life delegates to all Department Conventions, with vote, to be exercised with the vote of their respective Posts.

(b) All Past Department Commanders with voice and no vote on the Department Executive Committee and in good standing with their respective Post, and not serving on the      Department Finance Committee, Constitution Committee or Resolution Committee, and who are present for roll-call and are present for the entire called Department Executive Committee meeting will be allowed expense round trip mileage from respective Posts within the Department of Tennessee, based on the rate authorized by the Department Executive Committee.

Section 7. (a) A Department Adjutant and Finance Officer shall be elected by The Department Executive Committee.  Such Adjutant and Finance Officer shall serve a probationary period of not more than two (2) years, after which such Department Adjutant and Finance Officer shall serve without tenure.  The Department Adjutant and Finance Officer shall serve subject to removal only when two-thirds, of the members of the Department Executive Committee determines it to be for cause and in the best interest of The American Legion. Vacancies occasioned by death or resignation or such removal as designated above shall be filled in the same manner as original appointment was made.

(b) The Department Executive Committee and the appointed Department Adjutant and Finance Officer may by contract delineate the duties, responsibilities and compensation of such Department Adjutant and Finance Officer provided that no term of such contract shall be in conflict with, or in derogation of, the duties and responsibilities of the Department Adjutant and Finance Officer and same are set forth in the Constitution and By-Laws of The American Legion Department of Tennessee.

(c)  All persons having the custody of funds shall give adequate bonds which shall be approved by the Department Executive Committee.

Section 8. The Assistant Department Adjutant/Programs Director hereafter shall be referred to as Assistant Adjutant, and he shall be elected by the Department Executive Committee.

Section 9. The Department Commander shall, following his election, appoint a Department Chaplain, a Department Judge Advocate, a Department Historian, a Department Service Officer, and a Department Sergeant-at-Arms, such officers to hold office at the pleasure of the appointing authority.

Section 10. (a) The Department Commander shall, following his election, appoint members, to the Department Finance Committee (consisting of five members) for a three year term as terms expire. The Department Commander will name one of the members of his choice to serve as a Chairman during his administration.

(b) It shall be the duty of said Department Finance Committee to consider all matters pertaining to and appropriations and all such appropriation requests and make a careful study thereof, and any and all matters pertaining to the finances of the Department Tennessee; to advise with the Department Adjutant and Finance Officer with reference to Department funds; and to check all receipts and expenditures, and submit recommendations to the Department Executive Committee for final action.

(c) There shall be a Personnel Committee to review and hear grievances of the full time employees of the Department of Tennessee. Before any employee shall be terminated, said employee shall have the right of appeal to the Personnel Committee and ratified by the Department Executive Committee. The Committee shall be composed of the Commander, Immediate Past Commander and the Department Judge Advocate. The Department Judge Advocate shall be Chairman and a permanent member of the Committee.

 

ARTICLE VIII

DEPARTMENT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1.  Between Department Conventions, the administrative power shall be vested in the voting members of the Department Executive Committee, which shall be composed of nineteen members, which include the Department Commander, the three Department Vice-Commanders, the National Executive Committeeman, the Alternate National Executive Committeeman, the three immediate Past Department Commanders, and the ten District Commanders. Upon receiving a formal call-in from the Department Headquarters, the expense of the voting members of the Department Executive Committee, Department Judge Advocate, Department Sergeant-at-Arms, Chairman and four members of the Department Finance Committee, and Chairman and two members of the Department Resolution Committee, and Chairman and two members of the Department Constitution Committee, shall be based on the mileage rate, or the best airline rate, or the least expensive of the two, from the individual’s Tennessee American Legion Post, as authorized by the Department Executive Committee and will be allowed per diem rate authorized by National Headquarters for one day(s), as authorized by the Department Headquarters Call, in actual attendance. Individuals must be present for roll-call and remain for the  entire length of their respective Called meeting in order to be eligible for claiming expenses and a copy of motel/hotel bill must be presented in order to claim the authorized daily lodging per diem.

Section 2. Ten members shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Committee.

Section 3. The Department Judge Advocate shall be present in an advisory capacity at all meetings Department Executive Committee, on the same basis as members of the Executive Committee.

Section 4. “The newly elected Department Commander shall Call the newly elected Department Vice-Commanders and District Commanders to its first meeting immediately following the adjournment of the Department Convention.”   Therefore; the newly elected Department Commander,  the three Department Vice Commanders and the ten District Commanders, who are elected and installed during most recent Department Convention for the ensuring year and who are present for the entire first meeting and orientation session will be allowed one-way mileage from the location of the Department Convention to the member’s respective Tennessee American Legion Post Home of record, and the lodging per diem of one day at the Department Convention Motel/Hotel, if a night was spent and a motel/hotel receipt can be presented.

 

ARTICLE IX

POST ORGANIZATION

Section l. Those who desire to form a Post shall make application for a temporary charter to the Department Commander or the Department Adjutant. When such application, properly executed, is approved by the Department Commander or by the Department Executive Committee, the temporary charter will be issued by the National Commander and the National Adjutant.

Section 2. The minimum membership of a post shall be fifteen members.

 Section 3. A temporary charter shall be granted and shall state that it is granted on the recommendation of the     Department and on the following terms and conditions:

     (a)  All acts heretofore duly and properly taken for the formation of the above named post are recognized confirmed by the National Executive Committee.

       (b) The above named post shall uphold the declared principles of THE AMERICAN LEGION and shall conform to and abide by the regulations and decisions of the Department and of the National Executive Committee, or other duly constituted national governing body of THE AMERICAN LEGION.

      (c)  This charter is subject to revocation by the National Executive Committee on the recommendation of the Department.

Section 4. After a temporary charter has been in effect for a probationary period of at least ninety days application for a permanent charter may be made. Such probationary period shall not exceed one year upon the termination of which the Department shall determine whether a permanent charter shall be issued or denied and the action of the Department shall be final.

Section 5. All charters shall be countersigned by the Department Commander and the Department Adjutant.

Section 6. Permanent charters may be suspended, cancelled or revoked by the Department Executive Committee as provided hereafter in Article XI and as in the National By-Laws.

Section 7. No Post shall be organized or chartered by THE AMERICAN LEGION Department of Tennessee which is named for any living person, political party, or-any business or industrial corporation, profession, firm, partnership, fraternal or religious society or business association, and whose membership shall be derived from, confined or restricted to, membership of such parties, societies, partnerships, professions, political parties, or employees of such business or industrial corporations.

Section 8. The officers of the local Post shall be:

(a) Post Commander.

  (b) One or more Post Vice-Commanders.

  (c) One or more Post Adjutants and a Finance Officer.

  (d) Post Service Officer.

  (e) Post Membership Chairperson.

  (f) Post Sergeant-at-Arms.         

  (g) Post Historian.

  (h) Post Chaplain

  (i) Such other officers as the Post shall deem necessary.

  (j) A Post Executive Committee composed of such number of members as is provided in the Constitution and By-Laws adopted by such Post, and in addition thereto the Post Commander, Post Vice-Commander, and the Post Adjutants, who shall be ex-officio members of said Committee.

Section   9.   Roberts’   Rules   of   Order   shall   supplement the Constitution and By-Laws in any area of procedure not covered by the Constitution and By-Laws.

Section 10. All officers of the Post for the ensuing shall be elected and certified to the Department Adjutant not later than five days prior to the announced dates of the Department Convention. Certification to be made on forms furnished or prescribed by the Department; provided that no delegate of any Post shall be seated until such election and certification.

Section 11. (a) ALL Post Homes shall be properly identified with appropriate signs; preferably with Legion emblem.

(b) Except that as provided in Article XI. Section 3(b), no Post Home or other real property owned by a Post shall he encumbered or sold, except by majority vote at a regular or special meeting of the Post, upon ten days written notice of such proposed action, to the entire membership of said Post.

 

ARTICLE X-A

FINANCE

The Walton D. Griffin Memorial Trust.

Section 1. (a) History.  The American Legion Department of Tennessee has conducted its business in a frugal and conservative manner, and accumulated for its corporate purposes substantial cash assets.

 (b) Under the leadership of the late Walton D. Griffin, of Post #7 Clarksville, The Deparment of Tennessee saved and accumulated these extensive cash assets to the end that basic programs of The American Legion, including, but not limited to, Boys State, American Legion Baseball, Oratorical Programs, children and youth Programs, Scholarships, School Awards, Veterans Affairs, Rehabilitation, and Public Welfare Programs, might be adequately funded into the distant future even after the unyielding toll of time has decimated the ranks of those war veterans privileged to claim membership in The American Legion.

(c) With the foregoing objectives in mind, the Department of Tennessee on June 25, 1982, conveyed in Trust to The Northern Bank of Tennessee, assets of a value $500,000.00 as the initial Corpus of what forth to be known as the Walton D. Griffin Memorial Trust.

(d) By actions of the The Department Executive Committee, since June 25, 1982, additional sums been deposited as Corpus for said trust to the e that the trust Corpus, as presently constituted, $1,000,000.00.

(e) In 1986, for the first time, the Department Executive Committee determined to implement the purposes of the Walton D. Griffin Memorial trust by committing portions of the income from the trust Co the support of the basic American Legion programs.

(f) The Department Executive Committee and the membership of the American Legion Department of Tennessee, in furtherance of the purposes set forth above, have now determined to further isolate and protect the Corpus of the Walton D. Griffin Memorial Trust by the implementation of actions which forbid encroach-ment upon the Corpus of the trust without affording an opportunity for the Blue Cap Legionnaires to have their collective votes heard. (6-27-87 Amend. Sec. 1.)Section 2. The Trust herein established shall be known as the Walton D. Griffin Memorial Trust. (6-27-87 Amend. (2).)

Section 3. AmSouth Wealth Management, the investment management and trust affiliate of AmSouth Bank Asset Management Group, of Nashville, Tennessee, successor by corporate merger of First American Bank of Nashville, successor by corporate merger to The Northern Bank of Tennessee, is designated as Trustee of The Walton D. Griffin Memorial Trust. (6-25-82 Agreement Para. 1.)

Section 4. As the sum of $1,250,000.00 is declared to be the Corpus of this Trust, this declaration being in lieu of specific designation of assets and to be held as Corpus of the Trust in accordance with the provisions of this Trust as may be from time to time amended. (6-25 X2 Agreement ( I .),6-27-87 Amend. (3).)

Section 5. The Trust may accumulate income from the Corpus to be held and distributed in accordance herewith. (6-26-82 Agreement ( 1 ); Mod. 6-27-87 Agree.)

Section 6. Additional Property: Either Trustor or any other person, firm, corporation or Trust, by will or otherwise, with consent of the Trustee, may add other property of any type, nature or kind, tangible or intangible, to the corpus herein referred to, and all of such property shall be covered by the provisions of this Agreement if originally included hereunder. (6-25 82 Agreement 2.)

Section 7. Investments: The Trustee shall have continuing, absolute and discretionary power to with the corpus of this Trust, exercising such power independently and without prior or subsequent approval any Court or judicial authority. Persons dealing Trust may rely entirely upon the representations Trustee with regard to its actions. Notwithstanding above, however, the Trustee shall be limited with to investments to:

(a) Obligations of the Federal Government of the United States of America:

(b) Obligations of an Agency of the United States of  America,

(c) Instutitions whose deposits and/or contractural obligations are insured by an agency of the United States of America,  including obligations of the Trustee bank herein, which are so insured; all such investments shall be in an amount not in excess of such insurance. (6-25-82 Agreement 3.)

Section 8. INCOME The income from such Trust shall be used to finance programs of the Trustor, including, but not limited to, BOYS STATE, AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL, ORATORICAL PROGRAMS, CHILDREN AND YOUTH PROGRAMS, SCHOLARSHIPS, SCHOOL AWARDS, VETERANS AFFAIRS, REHABILITATION, EXTERNAL PUBLIC WELFARE PROGRAMS, and other programs and purposes of the Trustor, including but not limited to, increasing the trust corpus, as may be duly adopted by its governing body, and as well as other activities approved by the finance committee and the Executive Committee of the trustor. No withdrawals from the income of this Trust shall be made or expenditures charged thereto other than by a written certification by the Department Commander and Finance Committee Chairman of the Trustor, setting forth the amount to be withdraw, the purpose for same, and the certification of approval of the appropriate authorities as set forth herein. Upon receipt of such written instructions, the Trustee shall have the absolute right to rely upon the property of same, and there shall be no obligation upon the Trustee to follow the appropriate application of such funds by the trustor or its duly authorized officers. (6-26-82 Agreement 4; 6-27-87 Amend. 3.)

Section 9. ENCROACHMENT UPON CORPUS: The Corpus, or any portion thereof, may be withdraw from the Trust only in accordance with the following procedure; such encroachment upon Corpus must initiated by resolution of the Department Exe Committee, adopted at regular or special meet occurring not less than 90 days prior to the Department convention of the American Legion Department of Tennessee. Such resolution shall the purposes and amounts of such proposed encroachments, and such resolution shall be published in its entirety in the issue of the authorized Tennessee Legionnaire publication next preceding the convening of the ensuing annual Department convention. Such resolution shall then lay over first regular or special meeting of the new Department Executive Committee selected at such ensuing Department convention, occurring more than 30 days after the adjournment of such ensuing Department Convention. Said laid-over resolution will then be put to a vote of the New Department Executive Committee without alteration or amendment, and if such laid-over resolution receives the approval of two-thirds (2/3) of the total membership of the new Department Executive committee, then such encroachment upon the Corpus shall be authorized for the purposes and in the manner set forth in said resolution. Duly certified copies of the separate actions of two (2) consecutive elected Department Executive Committees authoring such withdrawal, accompanied by the request of the Department Commander, may be utilized in lieu of the written approval of the Department Executive Committee members themselves, and such encroachment shall be limited to the authorization set forth in said resolution. Upon receipt of such documentation, the Trustee shall make disbursements as directed in said resolution and shall have no obligation to follow the application of the funds by the Trustor, its Agents, Officers, and Designees. (6-25-82 Agreement 4 (2); 6-27-87 Amend. 4A)

Section 10. This Trust is revocable by action of the Trustor accomplished by following the same procedures and requirements set forth in Section 9 above, relative to encroachments upon the Corpus of the trust. Upon receipt by the Trustee of such resolution of termination passed in accordance with the requirements set forth in Section 9, the Trustee shall be authorized to terminate the Trust, and to disburse sums, income, and Corpus, in accordance with terms, conditions, and provisions of such resolution of revocation. (6-25-82 Agreements 5 (1); 6-27-8 Amend. 5.)

Section 11. The Trustee, in compliance with provisions of such resolution of termination in the manner above set forth shall be exonerated and held harmless from any liability to the Trustor or otherwise in the termination of the Trust and the disbursement of the funds in accordance with said resolution of termination, the Trustee shall have the perfect right to rely the representations received in such resolution termination. (6-25-82 Agreement 5 (2); 6-27-87 A6.)

Section 12. RESIGNATIONOF THE TRUSTEE: The Trustee shall have the right to resign as Trustee by giving written notice to the Trustor by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Tennessee Department of American Legion, 215 Eighth Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee  37203, or at such other address as the Trustor may in writing designate. Such notice shall state the resignation and allow thirty (30) days for the Trustor to name a Successor Trustee. Upon the naming of such Successor Trustee, the said-original Trustee shall have an additional thirty (30) days within which to give final accounting to the Successor Trustee and the Trustor, and effectuate a transfer of assets held pursuant to the terms of this Trust. If the Trustor fails, neglects, or refuses to designate a Successor Trustee within the time designated, then the Trustee may, within the time reference stated, tender a final accounting to the Trustor, together with all assets held by it. (6-25-82 Agreement 6.)

Section 13: ACCOUNTING:  It shall be the obligation of the Trustee to give periodic accounting to the Trustor’s Finance Committee, on request, and no less frequently than annually. Trustee shall further file all necessary tax returns and reports required in connection with such funds. (6-25-82 Agreement 7.)

Section 14. Upon the termination of programs and activities as set forth in this Trust Agreement or when the Legion shall have ceased to function, the Trustee, or its successors in trust, shall act in reference proceeds of said fund for purposes a newly an to the purposes now existing as can then be f said Trustee to the end of the Walton D. Griffin Memorial Trust shall be a perpetual memorial THE AMERICAN LEGION. (6-27-87 Amendment 7, 8.

ARTICLE X-B

FINANCE

Section 1. The revenue of THE AMERICAN LEGION, Department of Tennessee, shall be derived from annual membership dues and such other sources may be approved by the National and Department Executive Committees.

Section 2. The amount of such annual dues shall be determined by each National Convention and Department Executive Committee for the ensuing year.

Section 3. The annual dues shall be collected by each Post and forwarded to the Department Adjutant and Finance Officer, who shall retain the Department dues and transmit to the National Treasurer the National dues.

Section 4. Annual membership dues shall be paid by October 20, of each year prior to the start of the next calendar year. Legion membership is annual. The Legion year beingfrom January 1 to December 31. Department and National dues shall be paid for the full year, irrespective of the month in which the member shall join the local Post. Membership dues collected at a local Post include Department and National dues. Membership dues are three fold; Post, Department and National. Membership is not considered current until paid and transmitted to all three levels. If membership dues have not been paid by January 1 of each calendar year, the member becomes delinquent. If dues have not been paid by February 1, the member is suspended, but nevertheless as a member with no privilege to vote, or hold office except that of reinstatement by vote of the Post and payment of dues; and dues not being paid, such membership continues without privileges for a period of five months, to June 30, at which time the member is dropped from the roll by Constitutional mandate and the membership forfeited.

 

ARTICLE XI

DISCIPLINE

Section 1. The Department Executive Committee may, after fifteen days notice and a hearing if requested; suspend, cancel, or revoke a Post Charter.  The action taken by the Department Executive Committee shall be final and conclusive unless an appeal is taken to the National Executive Committee within thirty days from the date of said suspension, cancellation or revocation.  The action taken by the National Executive Committee upon appeal shall be final.

Section 2. Any post failing to meet the obligations imposed upon it by the Constitution and By-Laws, or ceasing to function for six months as an American Legion Post, or voluntarily ceasing to function as a post, or merging with one or more other Posts, or refusing to pay the Department and National capita dues, or under such other conditions as might make such action necessary shall upon order of the Department Executive Committee, surrender its charter for cancellation. Upon failure to surrender such charter, immediate steps may be taken for its revocation, suspension or cancellation.

Section 3. (a) Upon revocation, cancellation or suspension of the charter of a Post in the Department of Tennessee of THE AMERICAN LEGION, said post shall immediately cease operations and upon revocation or cancellation shall surrender its charter to the Department Commander or Department Executive Committee, and the Department Executive Committee is authorized, empowered and directed by and through its duly authorized agents to take possession, custody and control of all the records, property and assets of said Post; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed as requiring the Department of Tennessee to assume any financial responsibility as to such property. Said Department Executive Committee may provide for the transfer of the members in said Post to other Posts of their choice, subject to the approval of such other Post, and shall take all necessary and proper steps and proceedings to wind up and close the affairs of such Post.

(b) Said Post shall immediately cease operation and shall surrender its charter to the Department Commander or Department Executive Committee, and the Department Executive Committee is authorized and empowered to take control of such assets as may exist to be held, however for the benefit of Department or the posts in the area as their rights may appear.

(c) Should any post, as a result of internal problems, fail to have a minimum compliment of officers either by resignation, neglect or refusal to serve, for carrying on the Post business, the Department Commander or Department Adjutant shall be authorized to appoint temporarily the necessary officers for the  purpose of conducting the affairs of the Post until such time as officers may be duly elected.

Section 4. Each Post of THE AMERICAN LEGION, Department of Tennessee, shall be the judge of its own membership, subject to the restrictions of National and Department Constitutions and By-Laws.

Section 5. The Department Adjutant and the Executive  Committee, who are the custodians of lists of Commandersand Adjutants, are prohibited from furnishing such lists to individuals or members of the organization for political or commercial purposes. This provision also applies to local Posts in the handling of their Post records.

ARTICLE XII

CHANGE OF RESIDENCE

Section 1. Any member in good standing desiring to change his membership shall be entitled to a certificate from his Post stating his membership and the duration thereof.

ARTICLE XIII

AUXILIARIES

Section 1.  THE AMERICAN LEGION, Department of Tennessee, recognizes an auxiliary organization known as "The American Legion Auxiliary," organized in accordance with the regulations of the National Constitution, and other organizations recognized by the national organization of THE AMERICAN LEGION.

 

ARTICLE XIV

AMENDMENTS

Section 1. This Constitution may be amended or revised at the Department Convention by a two-thirds vote of the duly qualified delegates thereto, provided that any proposed amendment or revision shall be read at the Mid-Winter Conference preceding the annual convention, and published in "The Tennessee Legionnaire" prior to being voted upon at the convention.

Section 2. The Department Executive Committee is empowered and authorized to amend or revise this Constitution by a two-thirds vote of the membership thereof, to conform to any changes made at any time in the National Constitution of THE AMERICAN LEGION when said amendments or revisions cannot, in the opinion of a majority of the Department Executive Committee, be deferred to the next annual convention of the Department of Tennessee. The action of said Committee shall be placed before the next annual Department Convention held thereafter for ratification according to the provisions of Section 1 of this Article.

Section 3. In the event of any conflict between the provisions of the National Constitution and By-Laws and the Department Constitution and By-Laws, the National Constitution and By-Laws shall prevail.

Section 4. All proposed amendments shall be submitted through the Department Adjutant to the members of the Department Constitution and By-Laws Committee and then to the Department Executive Committee. Proposed amendments shall be in the hands of the Department Adjutant forty (40) days prior to the Mid-Winter Conference. The Department Adjutant shall forward the proposed amendments to the Department Constitution and By-Laws Committee at least thirty (30) days in advance of the Mid-Winter Conference. After review, the Department Constitution and By-Laws Committee will report the proposed amendments, with a recommendation, to the Department Executive Committee at the Mid-Winter Conference. It may be amended by a unanimous vote at any Department Convention without prior notice.

Section 5. No proposed amendment shall be submitted through the Department Adjutant to the members of the Department Constitution and By-Laws Committee and then to the Department Executive Committee and then considered by the Department Convention, unless the proposed amendment shall have first received the formal endorsement of a Post. Proposed amendments, received from a Post, must receive the formal endorsement of the Department Executive Committee prior to being presented to the Department Convention for consideration.

 

BY-LAWS

 

ARTICLE I

 

DEPARTMENT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

Section 1. It shall be the duty of the Department Executive Committee to pass upon all matters relating to the administration of this organization; to review, pass upon, accept or reject all audits of reports of the business and accounts of the Department Adjutant and Finance Officer as to proper and safe investment of the Department funds; and the said Department Executive Committee may at any time during its term of office call upon the said Department Adjutant and Finance Officer for a report of accounts and of all business transacted by him in the execution of his office. The Department Executive Committee shall have power to remove for cause any officer from office, but said officer shall not be removed unless two-thirds of the members of the said Committee shall vote in favor of such removal.

Section 2. The Department Executive Committee shall meet in business session at least once each year, and at any time upon call of the Department Commander or of any seven voting members of the Department Executive Committee.

Section 3. Any matter relating to the business of this organization not specified in these By-Laws shall be referred to the Executive Committee for the determination and adjustment thereof.

Section 4. The Department Executive Committee shall elect the Department Adjutant and Finance Officer. The election of the said Department Adjutant and Finance Officer shall take place at the annual convention at which the Executive Committee, whose duty it shall be to elect a Department Adjutant and Finance Officer shall have been elected; and it shall be the duty of the Department Executive Committee to hold such election immediately following its own election and qualification. After the initial election of the Department Adjutant and Finance Officer, officer will serve without tenure.

Section 5. The Department Executive Committee shall have the power to enter into such contract with the Department Adjutant and Finance Officer for a salary or compensation for the services of the said officer, also computer and other office expenses for the faithful performance of their duties, within the limitations of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Department of Tennessee as the said Committee regard as expedient and proper. It is expressly understood that the Department Executive Committee retails the power to remove the Adjutant and Officer for cause at any time before the expiration of the contract period.

Section 6. All questions affecting the election, eligibility for office and conduct of Department officers shall be referred to and determined by the Department Executive Committee. All questions affecting the election, eligibility for office and conduct of Post Officers shall be referred to and determined by the Executive Committee of the Post involved which shall be the final authority thereon.

ARTICLE II

DEPARTMENT OFFICERS

Section1. DEPARTMENT COMMANDER: The Department Commander shall be the executive head of THE AMERICAN LEGION with full power to enforce the provisions of the Department Convention. He shall be the Chairman of the Department Convention and the Department Executive Committee. When the Executive Committee is not in session and it becomes necessary for policy decisions to be made for the immediate welfare and continuance of good order of the Department, which would normally fall within the purview of that body, the Department Commander shall have the power incident to his office as the elected Chief Executive of the Department to make such decisions and promulgate such orders necessary to carry on the purposes of the Department, insure necessary discipline, compliance with Constitutional regulations and fill vacancies of offices within the Department in his sole discretion subject to the review and approval of the Executive Committee at the next regular or special meeting of such body. The Department Commander shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office.

Section 2. (a) DEPARTMENT VICE COMMANDERS: The three Department Vice-Commanders shall act as representatives of the Department Commander on all matters so referred to them, and shall, on the request of the Department Commander, preside over meetings of the Department Convention or Department Executive Committee, and shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to said office.  In the event the Department Commander shall absent himself from the state or for any other reason be unable to serve temporarily, the Department Vice-Commander in the Division from which the Commander was elected shall assume for such the duties of the Department Commander, until Department Executive Committee meets or until Department Convention, whichever comes first, elects or appoints a successor Department Commander.

(b)  DEPARTMENT DISTRICT COMMANDERS: The Department District Commanders shall act as representatives of the Department Commander and the Department Vice-Commanders on all matters referred to them by such officers, and shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to such office.

Section 3.  DEPARTMENT ADJUTANT AND FINANCE OFFICER:

The Department Adjutant and Finance Officer shall be responsible to the Department Commander, the Department Executive Committee and the Department Convention for the proper administration of their respective policies and mandates. He shall supervise the Headquarters staff, including the Assistant Department Adjutant, secretarial, stenographical and clerical personnel.  He shall also provide functional advice to Post Officers concerning Post operations. All Department Officers and committee chairmen seeking information and services of the Department Headquarters staff (except Department Commander) will make their request to the Department Adjutant. He will be responsible for the preparing of programs, agendas and allied materials for conventions, conferences, seminars, etc. The Department Adjutant will prepare and disseminate information and reports required by the National Organization. He will act as liaison officer between the Department staff and National Headquarters staff. He shall keep a record of all current officers for the Post, Department and National Organization with correct addresses. He will also keep the same information on all Department and National Committee appointments. He will serve in a liaison capacity between THE AMERICAN LEGION, Department of Tennessee and other organizations, corporations, representatives of governmental bodies, general public and the media. The Department Adjutant shall be responsible for the editing, printing and distribution of “The Tennessee Legionnaire.”  He shall keep a record of the membership of each Post in the Department and be responsible for the collection of the annual per capita taxes for the Department and National Organization.

(b) He shall keep the Finance Chairman advised as to the status of Department investments and will invest or re-invest specified amounts of Departments funds in such types of securities and/or financial institutions as agreed upon.

(c)  He shall render to each member of the Department Finance Committee an annual record of receipts and disbursements made by him the preceding year and he shall keep all such record books in readiness at all times for inspection and auditing of all accounts. He shall sign all checks, disbursing funds of the Department and shall make periodic reports of such expenditures and the financial condition of the Department to the Department Finance Committee. He shall furnish a surety bond in the amount prescribed by the Department Executive Committee.

(d)  The Department Adjutant shall receive such compensation or salary for his services and other expenses as the Department Executive Committee may deem appropriate.

(e) The Department Adjutant shall publish a quarterly financial statement in the “Tennessee Legionnaire” listing revenues and expenditures.

Section 4. (a) ASSISTANT DEPARTMENT ADJUTANT: The Assistant Adjutant shall be under the direct supervision of the Department Adjutant and will assist him in any manner the Adjutant may deem admissible.

(b)  In the absence of the Department Adjutant, the Assistant will be in charge of the staff and perform duties as may be necessary.

(c) The Assistant Adjutant shall have completed the American Legion Extension Institute course offered by the National Organization. The Assistant Adjutant shall spend an extensive amount of time in the field working with the Posts in an effort to solve problems, create interest and develop leadership, which shall entail visiting with community leaders and attending meetings of civic, fraternal and religious groups explaining the purposes, principles and programs of THE AMERICAN LEGION.

(d) The Assistant Adjutant shall work with American Legion Boys State Chairman, Director and Staff.

(e) The Assistant Adjutant will work closely with the Chairman of American Legion Baseball and act as liaison between the Chairman and the National Director.

(f) The Assistant will visit high schools and work with principals, forensic, English or history teachers in an effort to get local participation in The American Legion High School Oratorical Contest.

Section 5.  DEPARTMENT JUDGE ADVOCATE: The Department Judge Advocate shall advise the Department Officers and the Department Executive Committee on all legal matters, including the construction and interpretation of the Department Constitution and By-Laws, and shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office.

Section 6. DEPARTMENT HISTORIAN:  The Department Historian shall collect from year-to-year all records and data of value and interest for the Department, and shall compile during his term of office a complete history of the year’s activities. He shall also assist Post Historians so as to coordinate and unify the work of these officials, and shall have such other duties as the Department Executive Committee shall prescribe.

Section 7.  SERGEANT-AT-ARMS:  The Sergeant-at-Arms shall assist the Department Commander and Department Adjutant with all Department meetings, including Executive Committee Meetings. He will take charge of the colors and all equipment and see that the auditorium or meeting room is set up in accordance with instructions from the Commander and/or Adjutant. He will make himself available for assignments during all business and social functions. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall have the authority to appoint such assistants, from time to time, as may be necessary to assist him in the performance of his duties, subject to the approval of the Department Commander.

Section 8. DEPARTMENT CHAPLAIN: The Department Chaplain shall perform such divine services as may be necessary, adhering to such ceremonial ritual as may be recommended by National and Department Headquarters from time to time.

Section 9. DEPARTMENT EDITOR:  The Department Adjutant shall be the Department Editor and will edit “The Tennessee Legionnaire,” performing all duties incident thereto.

ARTICLE III

MONIES AND COLLECTIONS

Section 1. All Department and Post Officials handling American Legion monies shall be properly bonded with good and solvent surety company as surety to cover double the average amount of money handled in a single year.

Section 2. The premium on the bond of the Department Adjutant and Finance Officer shall be paid out of the treasury of this organization.

Section 3.  (a) In case of delinquencies in the payment of amounts due Department Headquarters, actions shall be taken at once by the proper officials to bring about a speedy and complete settlement.

(b)  The bonds provided for by the Department and Post officials shall be approved by the respective Department Executive Committee and Past Executive Committee.

ARTICLE IV

DELEGATES

Section 1.  The delegates and alternates to represent this Department at the National Convention shall be elected by the Department Convention.

Section 2.  One delegate and one alternate shall be elected by each District at its caucus at the convention for each unit of members for which the Department is allowed on delegate and one alternate under the National constitution, exclusive of fractional part of the unit, upon nomination submitted to the Department Convention by each respective District caucus.

Section 3.  Any additional delegates and alternates allowed by the National Constitution and By-Laws shall be elected at large by the Department Convention; provided, however, that the Department Commander and Department Adjutant shall be delegates at large, and the Department Commander shall be Chairman of the Department delegation to the National Convention.

 

ARTICLE V

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Section 1.  At least five days written notice shall be given all members of the Executive Committee of any regular of special meeting of such committee.  Such notice shall be mailed to the address of record in the Department Adjutant’s office.  No business shall be transacted at any special or call meeting of the Executive Committee except such as shall be specifically stated in the call or business of a routine nature which may be proper to come before such meeting.

ARTICLE VI

OFFICERS CAPS

Section 1.  Department Officers authorized to wear white American Legion caps in the Department of Tennessee are:  Department Commander, Department Adjutant, Three Division Vice Commanders, Judge Advocate, Historian, Sergeant-at-Arms, Chaplain, Membership Chairman, and Service Officer.

ARTICLE VII

AMENDMENTS

Section 1.  These By-Laws may be amended or revised at the Department Convention of The American Legion by a two-thirds vote of the duly qualified delegates thereto, provided that any proposed amendment or revision shall have been read at the Mid-Winter conference and preceding the annual convention, and published in “The Tennessee Legionnaire” prior to being voted upon at the annual Department Convention.

Section 2.  All proposed amendments shall be submitted through the Department Adjutant to the members of the Department Constitution and By-Laws Committee and then to the Department Executive Committee.  Proposed amendments shall be in the hands of the Department Adjutant forty (40) days prior to the Mid-Winter Conference.  The Department Adjutant shall forward the proposed amendments to the Department Constitution and By-Laws Committee at least thirty (30) days in advance of the Mid-Winter Conference.  After review, the Department Constitution and By-Laws Committee will report the proposed amendments, with a recommendation to the Department Executive Committee at the Mid-Winter Conference.  It may be amended by a unanimous vote at any Department Convention without prior notice.

Section 3.  No proposed amendment shall be submitted through the Department Adjutant to the members of the Department Constitution and By-Laws Committee and then to the Department Executive Committee and then considered by the Department convention, unless the proposed amendment shall have first received the formal endorsement of a Post.  Proposed amendments, received from a Post, must receive the formal endorsement of the Department Executive Committee prior to being presented to the Department Conventions for consideration.

Section 4.  In the event of any conflict between the provisions of the National Constitution and By-Laws and the Department Constitution and By-Laws, the National Constitution and By-Laws prevail.

 

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