By Charles M. Pickett
UPDATE 2019: The VFW has made it even easier to start a post by reducing the new/minimum number.
As detailed in the “Starting a New VFW Post” pamphlet, the 2015 VFW Congressional Charter (Sec. 201, pg. 12) and the 2015 Manual of Procedure (Sec. 201, pg. 64) there are a number of steps a forming post must navigate.
- Complete Application for Post Charter (25 new/ 35 minimum) and submit through proper channels (District > Department > National).
- When the Application for Post Charter is sent by FedEx, the forming VFW New Haven should call for an “Organizational Meeting” to name temporary leadership and recruit more members. Additionally, an instituting officer is appointed by department.
- The Application for Post Charter approval by the Commander-in-Chief starts a 60-day clock when the approved post must be instituted.
- Each new Post shall be instituted within (60) days of the date the charter application is approved by the Commander-in-Chief. “No Post shall be instituted with less than twenty-five (25) members of the new post present” (pg. 65). “If not instituted within sixty (60) days from the date of approval, said approval may be rescinded” (pg. 12). This is should be a big event.
- After the institution, election and installation of officers, the instituting officer shall submit the report of institution to Department Headquarters.
- Once the Post has installed the officers elect, the Post Election Report must be submitted to National online (VFW.org). Also the Quartermaster must be bonded and the Post registered with the Attorney General office.
- After ninety (90) days, the Post Commander shall verify the information necessary for the issuance of a charter. In other words, “The charter shall remain open for ninety (90) days from the date of institution of the Post” (pg. 12).
To recap the timeline: submit application; receive approval; institute within 60 days; charter open for 90 days.