Are you a new VFW District commander? Did you realize the Order of Business is different from a Post? It was news to me too (MOP 112). Below is a meeting step-by-step for commanders based on the 2019 VFW Podium Edition with the Manual of Procedure and Ritual. It has been slightly modified because our colors are posted, there is no color guard, and there is no bugler to play “To the Colors.” [Although I’ve use my iPhone at my post.] I also consolidate Roll of Posts with post reports and limit report lengths according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
2018 MOP Sec. 1003 – Order of Business-Districts
Opening in due form: OPENING CEREMONIES (Ritual 14)
The hour of opening having arrived, the Officer of the Day displays the Flag of the United States and Bible on the altar, leaving the Bible closed, after which the Commander takes station and gives one rap for attention.
- Commander: (One gavel rap) “The officers will take their respective stations. All persons not members of the VFW will kindly retire, and the guard will close the doors.”
- Commander: “By the power and authority vested in me, I am about to open VFW Department of Connecticut District No. 2 for the transaction of business that may lawfully come before it (two gavel raps). (All rise.)
“Officer of the Day, satisfy yourself that all present are entitled to remain.”
- All: VFW card visual inspection, standing. Those passing take seats. [Ritual 14].
- (The Officer of the Day will examine each comrade, assisted as directed by the Commander. Those found in possession of official VFW dues receipts for the current calendar year take seats. Officer of the Day then advances to the alter, salutes the Commander and says):
- Officer of the Day: “Comrade Commander, I find all, except those standing, in possession of official VFW dues receipts for the current calendar year.”
- Commander: (Instructs the Quartermaster to determine the status of members standing. Those who have not paid their current dues will be required to pay said dues or leave the meeting room. Quartermaster will report his findings to the Commander.)
- Commander: (flag positioned, no color bearers) “Officer of the Day, you will prepare the room for the salute to the colors.” (Two gavel raps.)
- Officer of the Day: [Please face the flag of our nation] Present, Arms! … Order, Arms!
- Commander: “Parade, Rest!”
- Chaplain: (Chaplain proceeds to altar, taking his station between it and Senior Vice Commander’s station. Chaplain faces altar and opens Bible. Chaplain decides headgear.)
- Let us bow our heads. O, Sovereign Ruler of the Universe who art the Lord of Hosts and God of Peace, without Thee our efforts are vain. Continue Thy blessings upon us and our families, we pray Thee, and guide us during our deliberations.
- We beseech The, O God, to bless the dependents of our departed comrades, and to comfort all who gave their loved ones to our nation’s cause.
- Bless and strengthen the sick, the needy and the afflicted. Bless, we ask Thee, the children, families, and staff of our National Home and help us to fulfill our duty toward them. Continue Thy favor upon our order, and help us practice the spirit of true comradeship, both in our councils and with the world at large. Enable us to better the community in which we live through our devotion to duty as citizens. We now have a moment of silent prayer for our departed comrades and for those missing in action and those held as prisoners of war. (Short pause.)
- These and all other necessary blessings we ask of Thee, Mighty Ruler of the Universe. Amen.
- ALL: “Amen.” (Chaplain takes his regular station) (Ritual 16).
- Commander: “District, Attention! Comrades, you will join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Present, Arms!”
- ALL: “I, pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
- Commander: “Order, Arms!” (One gavel rap). (Please, be seated. No color guard.)
- Commander: “Comrades, we are assembled again to transact business of mutual benefit. Do not let petty jealousies or trivial personalities influence our deliberations. Let us uphold always the obligations of unselfish comradeship and loyalty to our organization and to the government of the United States of America.”
- Commander: “I now declare VFW Department of Connecticut District 2 duly opened for the transaction of business. Guard, you will admit any in waiting who may be worthy.”
- Commander: VIP & GUESTS. (If distinguished guests enter, or are in the room the Commander will accord them the proper honors, after which a brief recess may be granted to welcome them informally. If none is present, or, after the recess, the Commander raps for order. All present take stations and seats to resume business.) (Ritual 17)
ORDER OF BUSINESS
- Opening Ceremonies (detailed above)
Charter Recitation: Omitted in District Order of Business.
- Roll of officers:
Commander: “Comrade Adjutant, roll call of officers please.” (Titles | “here”)
- Roll of Posts:
[“The chair requests ranking officers to rise, salute the chair, state their rank, their name, how many comrades present from the post, and to restrict their report to less than one minute.”] Comrade Adjutant, roll call of posts.”
- Adjutant: Reads roll of Posts. (Post Number Town)
- Read minutes of last meeting:
Commander: Comrade Adjutant, please read the minutes of the last meeting.
- Adjutant: Reads minutes or… [“The minutes were distributed via email before the meeting in lieu of reading into the record.]
- Commander: Are there any corrections to the minutes? (Silent Consent). There being no corrections, the minutes will stand (approved | as amended | redrafted for future submission) as submitted.”
- Report of Quartermaster in detail:
Commander: “The quartermaster shall read his report.”
- Quartermaster: Disbursements & Receipts. “That ends my report (salute).”
- Comrade: “Comrade Commander, I move to accept the Quartermaster’s Report, subject to audit (or as presented).”
- Comrade 2: “Comrade Commander, I second the motion.”
- Commander: “A motion has been properly made and seconded to accept the Quartermaster’s Report subject to audit” (viva voce).
- Read communications:
Commander: Comrade Adjutant, please read communications.
- Adjutant: Reads communications or…[In lieu of reading, communications are available for inspection on the communications table.]
- Reports of committees: (“Commander, thank you for the appointment.”)
- Membership: (Legacy, Life, Membership)
- Youth & Education: (VOD, PP, Teacher, Youth Activities)
- Americanism & Administration: (Bylaws and Resolutions; Budget and Finance; Convention, Investment; Insurance; Auxiliary Liaison; Legislative Personnel, POW/MIA, Testimonial)
- Community Service: (National Military Service, Public Relations, Safety)
- NOTE: Motions of committees shall not require a second when moved for adoption by the committee directly. MOP 1001.21
- “It is moved and seconded to adopt/accept/receive the committee’s recommendation. Is there any discussion? Hearing none, those in favor of the motion will say Aye. Opposed, No.”
- Read bills:
Commander: “Comrade Quartermaster, please read the bills.”
- Quartermaster: “Commander I will now proceed to read the outstanding bills for this month.” “That ends my report (salute).”
- Comrade: “Comrade Commander, I move to accept the bills as presented.”
- Comrade 2: “Comrade Commander, I second the motion.”
- Commander: “A motion has been properly made and seconded to accept these bills as presented” (viva voce).
- Unfinished business (Reading of unfinished business communications).
- New business (Reading of new business communications).
- Comrade: “I move that…”
CMD: “Is there a second to the motion? The motion is not seconded.”
CMD: smooth wording, substitute wording, require in writing, maker modify PRIOR to state question; (RONR 40).
- CMD: “It is moved and seconded that [states the question on the motion].” CMD: (tabled (place | take from); postponed indefinitely; placed in committee; grant leave to withdraw;
- CMD: “Those in favor of the motion will say aye; opposed will say no.” “The ayes have it and the motion is carried. The noes have it and the motion is lost.” (Voice or rising)
- Comrade: “I move that…”
- Election and installation of officers
- Good of the Order (Reading of communications associated with good of the order.)
[Thank host post, awards, VIP speakers in order, School of Instruction].
- Closing in due form: CLOSING CEREMONIES
- Commander: There being no further business, we will have our closing ceremony. (Two raps). All rise. [Attention!]
Commander: Officer of the Day, prepare to retire the colors. Officer of the Day: (flag positioned, no color bearers) Present, Arms! Order, Arms!
- Commander: Comrade Chaplain, you will deliver the closing prayer. Parade, Rest!” Chaplain determines headgear.
- Chaplain: (Takes position at altar).
- “Almighty God, the hour has come when we must part.
- We commit ourselves to Thy care. Thou, Who are our strong tower of defense and our protection, grant that in life’s battles we may be strong and brave, living such lives of stainless integrity as shall reflect honor upon our country and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and glorify Thy great and Holy Name.
- May Thy good providence shield us from all harm, watch over those who even now guard the gates of freedom, and bring us together again in true comradeship and peace. Amen.”
- All: “Amen” (Chaplain closes Bible).
- Commander: (flag positioned, no color bearers)
“District, Attention!” [Bugler, sound “To the Colors” or “Present, Arms. Order, Arms.”]
- Commander: Comrades, I now declare this business session of VFW Department of Connecticut District No. 2 closed. Our next regular meeting will be: _________ at 2:00 p.m. at VFW Post # _________ in __________ (town). (Gavel)