General Order # 2
: Per Section 213 of the National By-Laws, Posts that have not submitted a properly completed Post Election Report by June 1 are in arrears and will be suspended in accordance of the National by-laws.
District Commanders will submit their meeting schedules, locations and any other functions which are known into the state house NLT 10 July 2019 (which means that they are already past due). We need this information so that we can formulate our schedules accordingly.
ELECTED & APPOINTED OFFICERS
: Per section 216 of the National by-laws, all Posts must have all positions filled. Please note that no member can hold two (2) elected positions. In addition: Post Trustees shall not be eligible to serve as an elected officer or adjutant.
POST OFFICERS DUES
: Pursuant to the provisions of Section 215 of the National By-Laws: Post officers who failure to pay current year’s dues will be removed from office and will have forfeited their eligibility to hold any office for the remainder of the administrative year. Please ensure that your officers who are annual members, pay their dues thru 6/30/2020.
: Attention of commanders is directed to section 703 of the National By-Laws which requires that each accountable officer be bonded with an indemnity company in the sum at least equal to the amount of the liquid assets for which they may be accountable.
: Attention of Post Commanders is directed to section 218(a) (11)(b), Manual of Procedure, Trustees, which states that Post Trustees shall prepare and submit quarterly,
through their Post Commander, a Post Trustees’ Report of Audit to the Department Quartermaster. The first report is due at the close of June.
: Every Post and District must be incorporated. Incorporation papers must be filed every year. No Exceptions. This is for your protection. Incorporation forms and website links can be found on the state website
Attention is directed to the provision of Section 222 (d) of the National By-Laws, “Each Post will pay, in advance, a national convention
registration fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) which shall entitle the Post to a packet of convention information and materials and one identified registered delegate for the National Convention. Each additional delegate attending the national convention will pay a ten dollar ($10) delegate fee.” Post Quartermasters are encouraged to register their delegate(s) online through the Online Membership System (OMS).
Posts failing to comply with this provision will be considered delinquent and in arrears.
: Section 518 provides that the Department Inspector shall require that each Post be inspected in accordance with Department and National guidelines. The purpose of the inspection is to assure that the Post operates in a manner that supports the purposes set forth in the Congressional Charter, complies with the By-Laws, preserves the financial integrity of the Post and protects the interest of the member. Every Post is expected to be inspected at least once each year. It is the duty of the District Inspector to notify the Post Commander, Quartermaster, Adjutant and Trustees of the date and time that the inspection is scheduled. The inspector should allow you enough time to prepare for the visit. The Post inspection will go a lot smoother if it is conducted at some time other than a Post meeting night. If, for any reason, a Post cannot be inspected thoroughly, a report stating the facts must be submitted. It is the responsibility of the Post Quartermaster and Post Adjutant to provide the records necessary to complete the duties of Inspector. When the inspection of a Post is completed, the Post Inspection Form will be made out in triplicate. A copy will be provided to the Post Commander, District Commander, and State Inspector.
: Attention of Post Commanders is directed to section 1001(25) of the Manual of Procedure concerning alcoholic beverages in the Post meeting room during the Post meeting: “The presence, dispensation, and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages in VFW meeting rooms during VFW meetings is unacceptable and is prohibited.”
: The operation, management and control of clubs and/or canteens were not envisioned in the purposes of our organization as described in our Congressional Charter, National By-Laws, Manual of Procedure and Ritual. The first and foremost consideration of Posts shall be to the objects of the VFW. VFW clubs and/or canteens should be of secondary interest and concern and compatible with our stated purposes.
The operation, management and control of any club or canteen, or any other facility operated by a Post, is wholly within the authority of the Post. It is the Post’s responsibility to see that its club, canteen or other facility is operated in a way that benefits its members and does not harm the reputation of the Post and those members.
“In adopting rules and regulations for the operation, management and control of clubs and/or canteens, posts must adhere to the following provisions of the national by-laws: any activity, clubroom, holding company or unit sponsored, conducted or operated by, for or in behalf of a post, incorporated separately from the post or unincorporated, shall be at all times under the direct control of the post and all funds derived therefrom shall be at all times under the direct control of the post. all money, property or assets of every kind and nature, as well as all books and records owned, held or used, by any such activity, clubroom, holding company or unit sponsored, conducted or operated by, for or in behalf of a post shall be the property of the post and must be placed in the care and custody of the post quartermaster. no post and no activity, clubroom or holding company or unit sponsored, conducted or operated by, for or on behalf of any post, may own any property jointly or in common with any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation or other business or charitable entity, including veterans organizations nor may they participate in any arrangement whereby the funds of such post, or activity, clubroom, holding company or unit sponsored, conducted or operated by,
for or in its behalf are expended on property held by another entity for the joint use of such post, and other individuals, firms, partnerships, associations, corporations or other business or charitable entities, including veterans organizations”.
One of the responsibilities of Post Quartermaster is to notify the National Headquarters when you become aware that a Post member has passed away. It is not only an administrative duty, it is a solemn task that we must take charge of with integrity and dignity.
When a VFW member is marked Deceased in the database, the National Headquarters sends out a notice of sympathy to the member’s family to honor that veteran’s service to our country and to the VFW. So you can imagine the pain and confusion that results when a VFW member or their family receive a letter offering our condolences when their loved one is still alive.
This happens most often when a Post cannot contact a member and in an attempt to “clean up the roster”, they mark them as Deceased without actually having confirmation that the member has indeed passed away. This causes not only a significant amount of wasted time at the National Headquarters when records need to be corrected, but the disturbance it causes to our veterans and their families is not something we can excuse.
Do not report a member as Deceased unless you know this to be true; either you’ve heard from their family, or you’ve seen their obituary in the paper, or you knew them personally. If there is an instance where a member just cannot be contacted, let the National Headquarters know and we will find a solution but it must be reiterated – do NOT mark members as Deceased unless you know that they have indeed passed away.
DUES NOTICE SCHEDULE:
Annual members will receive a mailed renewal notice five months, three months, and one month prior to their subscription end date. Annual members with a valid email address will also receive an emailed renewal notice six months, four months, and two months prior to their subscription end date. Annual members will receive a mailed lapsed notice one, three, and five months following their subscription end date.
Encourage annual members to take advantage of the Life member installment plan and annual members to take advantage of the automatic payment option. Life Memberships is the way to go.
The Commander’s Special Project this year is: Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall at Fall River's Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park. The committee in charge of this is a tax-exempt 501C (3) nonprofit organization. The wall being built is only one of four being authorized around the country. All donations should be made to: Massachusetts VFW Foundation Inc. 24 Beacon Street Room 546-1 State House, Boston, MA 02133. Be sure to put in the Memo Line: CDR's Special Project.
: Membership Training will be held on Saturday, September 28th, 2019 from 9AM-3PM at the Doubletree by Hilton-Leominster 99 Erdman Way Leominster, MA. This training is being provided by the
National Membership Director
and is open to all members in good standings. Space is limited so please confirm your attendance by email to
or by calling the state headquarters at 617-727-2612.
COMMANDER’S TESTIMONIAL DINNER
: You are cordially invited to the State Commander’s testimonial Dinner on Saturday, September 28th, 2019 starting at
5:00PM with cocktails and dinner at 6:00PM. More to follow in monthly mailings.
HOTEL: For those who are attending the Commander’s Testimonial Dinner on Saturday, September 28th, 2019, Hotels Rooms are available at the Doubletree- Leominster 978-534-9000 (USE CODE VFW) or Hilton Garden Inn Devens Common 978-772-0600.
COUNCIL OF ADMINISTRATION (COA) MEMBERS
: District Commanders are reminded that in case you are unable to attend the COA meeting, you must have a representative present in your place. All COA members are advised that you must notify both the State Commander and the State Adjutant if you are unable to attend a Council of Administration (COA) meeting.
COUNCIL OF ADMINISTRATION MEETING
: The Next Council of Administration Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 29th 2019 at 10:30 AM at the Doubletree by Hilton-Leominster, 99 Erdman Way, Leominster, MA. Council of Administration meeting is open to any member in good standings. The COA meeting will begin at 10:30AM.
OFFICER RECEPTION/MEET & GREET
: Massachusetts VFW & Auxiliary Officers’ Reception/Meet & Greet is scheduled for Sunday, September 29th, 2019 at 12 Noon at the Doubletree by Hilton Leominster, 99 Erdman Way Leominster, MA. It will be held directly after the VFW Council of Administration Meeting.
Please Come out and meet your 2019-2020 Department Officers. Refreshments and Hors d’oeuvres will be provided.
VFW BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
: National VFW Day is observed annually on September 29, honoring the men and women devoted to this valuable organization and those members who have served our nation. Consider holding an event to mark this occasion.
STATE COMMANDER VISIT REQUEST
: Any Posts/Districts wishing to have the State Commander attend functions (This includes any type of functions, i.e., cook outs, awards presentations, etc.) are to contact the State Adjutant Office at least four (4) weeks in advance to give time for the invitation to be scheduled for the State Commander.
NEW VOICE OF DEMOCRACY AND PATRIOT’S PEN THEMES
themes have been chosen by Commander-in-Chief Doc. Schmitz. Both contests will use the same theme, “What makes America Great?”
VOICE OF DEMOCRACY AND PATRIOT’S PEN NATIONAL AWARDS
: Every Voice
of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen first place Department winner will now receive a National scholarship or award. The new amount for the Voice of Democracy National Awards now total
$154,000 and the Patriot’s Pen National Awards total is now $54,500.
VOICE OF DEMOCRACY AND PATRIOT’S PEN DEADLINE DATE:
update all websites, publications, announcements, etc. with the new student entry deadline for the 2019-2020 program year. It will now be October 31, 2019, for both the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen contests. The updated entry forms are up on the VFW website and are available in the VFW Store.
NEW SMART/MAHER VFW NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION TEACHER
AWARD DEADLINE DATES:
The VFW wants to recognize the nation’s top elementary, junior high and high school teachers (teaching at least half of the school day in a classroom environment) who teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote
America’s history, traditions and institutions effectively through the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award program. Now is the time to begin locating exceptional teachers for your Post to nominate for the next competition. Nominations can be submitted by fellow teachers, VFW Posts, supervisors or other interested individuals (not relatives). Self-nominees are not eligible. Please update all websites, publications, announcements, etc. with the new teacher award entry deadlines for the 2019-2020 program year. The dates are now October 31, 2019.
NATIONAL COMMUNITY SERVICE VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION PROGRAM: This
program is designed to provide recognition and awards to VFW members who volunteer their time to outside organizations. Recognition is in the form of certificates and/or lapel pins which are given to volunteers who have completed the number of hours prescribed for those awards. For more information, see the VFW Community Activities and Citizenship Education Chairmen’s Manual or contact Tammy at 816- 756-3390, ext. 6287 in the VFW Programs Department for a nomination form.
: If you are not already an Action Corps Advocate, we urge you to sign up to receive our VFW Action Corps Weekly which will keep you informed about the work we are doing on your behalf on Capitol Hill. By staying connected, you will be the first to know what is happening in Washington regarding legislation that impacts the lives of veterans and their families, and you will be able to assist in our grassroots efforts by responding when we send out any Action Alerts.
VFW TRAINING AND SUPPORT
: In an effort to better serve the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, tools are available at "VFW Training & Support." There you will find Member & Officer Training, Forms and Templates; training material relating to Membership Recruiting and Retention; Community Service & Youth Programs; Communications & Public Affairs; Post Service Officers;and Veterans & Military Support. To utilize these valuable training guides,
videos, forms and templates, please login at
proceed to “My VFW” and click the link “VFW Training & Support” under Member Resources. The online “Document Repository” is a system of managing documents utilized primarily by
Department Officers and members of the National Council of Administration.
: Make sure you ‘like’ and ‘share’ the VFW Department of Massachusetts Facebook page. We post updates, links, contest reminders, events, etc. for you. Share the good news of the VFW:
Veterans of Foreign Wars
“Always Do the Right Thing!”