SAL Constitution and Bylaws

Sons of The American Legion
National Constitution


PREAMBLE

Proud possessors of a priceless heritage, we male descendants of veterans of the Great Wars, 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 our forefathers 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 masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles 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 principles for which The American Legion stands; and to assist in carrying on for God and Country.

ARTICLE I - NAME

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the "Sons of The American Legion."

Section 2. The National Headquarters of the Sons of The American Legion shall be located at the site of the National Headquarters of The American Legion in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana.

ARTICLE II - NATURE

Section 1. The Sons of The American Legion is a civilian organization. Membership therein does not affect nor increase liability for military or police service.

Section 2. The Sons of The American Legion 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 or group seeking public office or preferment.

Section 3. The Sons of The American Legion shall be absolutely nonsectarian.

Section 4. Each member shall perform his full duty as a citizen according to his own conscience and understanding in accord with the law.

ARTICLE III - ORGANIZATION

Section 1. The local unit of the Sons of The American Legion is the Squadron and one (1) Post of The American Legion may sponsor not more than one (1) Squadron. With the approval of the Department of The American Legion having jurisdiction, Squadrons sponsored by the Posts of that Department may be organized in Detachments.

Section 2. The organization of Detachments and Squadrons shall conform to regulations of the Department of The American Legion having jurisdiction, with regulations of the National Executive Committee of The American Legion, and with the National Constitution and By-Laws of the Sons of The American Legion.

Section 3. The National Executive Committee of The American Legion may establish Detachments in territorial possessions of the United States and in foreign countries provided such territories and foreign countries presently are organized as American Departments and provided further that the appropriate American Legion Department recommends their formation.

Section 4. 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: "Sons of The American Legion Squadron of ______________ Post No. _______Department of ______________________.

Section 5. Detachments, when organized shall have jurisdiction over the Squadrons within the Detachment's geographic area, subject to such limitations as may be prescribed by the Department of The American Legion having jurisdiction over the Detachment.

Section 6. The Sons of The American Legion shall be governed by such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the National Executive Committee of The American Legion.

ARTICLE IV - ELIGIBILITY

Section 1. All male descendants, adopted sons and stepsons of members of The American Legion, and such male descendants of veterans who died in service during World War 1, World War 11, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, and the Persian Gulf War, during the delimiting periods set forth in Article IV, Section I., of the National Constitution of The American Legion, or who died subsequent to their honorable discharge from such service, shall be eligible for membership in the Sons of The American Legion.

Section 2. There shall be no form or class of membership except an active membership.

ARTICLE V - LEGISLATIVE BODY

Section 1. The legislative body of the Sons of The American Legion shall be the National Convention, to be held annually in conjunction with the National Convention of The American Legion. All acts of the National Convention are subject to ratification by the National Executive Committee of The American Legion.

Section 2. The National Headquarters of The American Legion shall issue a
Call to the National Convention to each Detachment Headquarters no less that sixty (60) days prior to the opening day of the National Convention.

Section 3. In the National Convention, each Detachment shall be entitled to three (3) delegates and one (1) additional delegate for each Five Hundred (500) Members, or major fraction thereof, whose current dues have been received by the National Treasurer of The American Legion, thirty (30) days prior to the meeting of said National Convention, and whose registration fees, as fixed by the National Executive Committee, for its total authorized delegate strength, have been paid, and to one alternate for each delegate.

Section 4. Each duly registered delegate shall be entitled to one (1) vote. The vote of any registered delegate absent and not represented by an alternate shall be cast by the majority of the registered delegates of registered delegates except that of voting. A registered delegate is one who has received his credentials and has paid such registration fee as may be required.

Section 5. Delegates from five (5) Detachments shall constitute a quorum.

Section 6. The National Executive Committee of the Sons of The American Legion shall provide a Uniform Code of Procedure for the orderly organization and operation of National Conventions with continuing power of revision, and said Code shall be applicable at all National Conventions unless it is amended, suspended, or repealed by a two-thirds vote of the registered delegates at a National Convention. The National Executive Committee of the Sons of The American Legion may establish in the Uniform Code a registration fee to be paid by delegates to a National Convention and may determine the amount of said fee.

Section 7. All Past National Commanders of the Sons of The American Legion shall be delegates to the National Convention with vote to be exercised with their respective Detachments. The National commander, National Vice Commanders, and National Chaplain of the Sons of The American Legion shall be delegates to the National Convention with vote to be exercised with their respective Detachments.

ARTICLE VI – NATIONAL OFFICERS

Section 1. The National Convention shall elect a National Commander, five (5) National Vice Commanders, who shall serve without seniority; and a National Chaplain. No person shall be eligible for re-election to the office of National Commander, National Vice Commander or National Chaplain. There shall be one Vice Commander from each of the following areas:

   A. EAST: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, France, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.

  B. SOUTH: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

  C. CENTRAL: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

  D. MIDWEST: Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

  E. WEST: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Philippines, Utah and Washington.

Section 2. Such officers shall serve until the adjournment of the succeeding National Convention following their election and thereafter until their successors are chosen. Vacancies in these offices, occurring between National Conventions, shall be filled by election by the National Executive Committee of the Sons of The American Legion, and for this purpose a mail ballot may be taken. Any member of the Sons of The American Legion, in good standing, shall be eligible for election to such vacancy.

Section 3. The National Commander by and with the approval of the National Executive Committee of the Sons of The American Legion shall appoint a National Adjutant, Assistant National Adjutants, National Judge Advocate, National Historian, National Sergeant-at-Arms, and such Assistant National Sergeant-at-Arms as are deemed necessary and/or desirable. Such officers shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing power.

Section 4. The Sons of The American Legion shall recognize an individual or individuals designated by the National Commander of The American Legion as National Advisor or Advisors to the Sons of The American Legion, and he or they shall be ex-officio members of all committees or commissions of the National Organization of the Sons of The American Legion.

Section 5. The National Commander and the National Adjutant of The American Legion, and the staff members of The American Legion at the National Headquarters responsible for the routine administrative work for the Sons of The American Legion, shall be recognized as ex-officio Advisors to the National Organization of the Sons of The American Legion.

Section 6. In fulfilling their duties and responsibilities the National Officers of the Sons of The American Legion shall be responsible to the National Executive Committee of The American Legion, or to a subordinate body by it designated.

ARTICLE VII - NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1. The National Executive Committee of the Sons of The American Legion shall meet at least twice each year. It shall meet immediately preceding the National Convention to establish the agenda for that National Convention, and immediately following the National Convention to approve the National Commander's appointments. Between National Conventions the administrative power shall be vested in the National Executive Committee of the Sons of The American Legion, the membership of which shall be composed of the National Commander, National Vice Commanders, National Chaplain, the immediate Past National Commander or Chairman, and one (1) National Executive Committeeman and one (1) Alternate National Executive Committeeman from each Detachment, to be selected as such Detachments shall determine. The Alternate National Executive Committeeman may act only in the absence of the National Executive Committeeman from his Detachment. All Past National Workshop Chairmen and all Past National Commanders shall be nonvoting members of the National Executive Committee Actions of the Sons of The American Legion shall be subject to ratification by the National Executive Committee of The American Legion.

Section 2. The National Executive Committee of the Sons of The American Legion without meeting may transact business by mail, telegraph or telephone on matters or urgency not involving new policy and on which action cannot be delayed until the next regular meeting. Thirty (30) days shall be allowed for the return, by mail or telegraph or telephone, of the votes thereon by the National Adjutant. The National Adjutant shall notify the National Commander of the results of the vote taken. The National Executive Committee may also meet on the call of the National Commander of the Sons of The American Legion or on the written request of at least five (5) Detachments, at any time during the year for sufficient reason to it appearing.

ARTICLE VIII - DETACHMENT ORGANIZATION

Section 1. Detachments shall be comprised of the Squadrons within their respective geographic areas, which shall coincide with the boundaries of the appropriate Department of The American Legion.

Section 2. Each Detachment shall have a Detachment Commander, one or more Detachment Vice Commanders, a Detachment Adjutant, and a Detachment Executive Committee, and may have a Chaplain and such other officers, as the Detachment shall determine.

Section 3. Detachments shall have authority to create intermediate bodies between the Squadrons and Detachment to act as a liaison between such organizations and for the purpose of promoting the program of the Sons of The American Legion. Such intermediate bodies shall conform to the framework within The American Legion Department in which the Detachment is geographically located.

Section 4. The Detachment Executive Committee shall define the powers of such intermediate groups, but in no event shall such powers invade the prerogatives now vested in Squadron or Detachment or National Organization.

ARTICLE IX - SQUADRON ORGANIZATION

Section 1. Those who desire to form a Squadron of the Sons of The American Legion shall make application for a charter to the Post Commander of the local Post of The American Legion in the area in which they reside. Upon approval by the Post Commander the application shall be forwarded to the Department Commander of The American Legion, and upon his approval it shall be forwarded to the National Headquarters of The American Legion, where the charter may be issued by the National Commander and the National Adjutant of The American Legion in the same manner as prescribed for the issuance of charters for Posts of The American Legion.

Section 2. The minimum membership for the formation of a Squadron of the Sons of The American Legion shall be ten (10).

Section 3. There shall be no more than one (1) Squadron of the Sons of The American Legion for each Post of The American Legion. Squadrons may be organized into sections based upon age.

Section 4. The Squadron officers of the Sons of The American Legion shall consist of a Squadron Commander, Squadron Vice Commander or Vice Commanders, Adjutant, Finance Officer, Chaplain, Sergeant-At-Arms Historian, and such other officers as may be required.

Section 5. Officers of the Squadron shall be elected annually, and the date of such election should conform if possible with the annual election of Post officers of The American Legion. Squadron officers elected shall be subject to the approval of the sponsoring American Legion Post. This sponsoring may be delegated by the Post to a Post Supervisory Committee or other designated body.

Section 6. Squadron meetings shall be held not less than one month in accordance with the ritual of the organization.

ARTICLE X - FINANCES

Section 1. The revenue of the Sons of The American Legion shall be derived from annual membership dues and from such other sources as may be approved by the National Executive Committee of The American Legion.

Section 2. The amount of such annual National dues shall be $2.00 per member and shall be payable October 20 of each year and for the succeeding year.

Section 3. The amount of annual Detachment dues shall be determined by the Detachment organization of the Sons of The American Legion under such procedures as The American Legion Department having jurisdiction over the Detachment provides; such funds shall be transmitted to the officer charged with the custody of Department funds and shall be held and accounted for separately from other funds of such Department.

Section 4. The Squadron shall determine the amount of such annual Squadron dues.

Section 5. The annual National dues shall be collected by each Squadron and transmitted through the Department Headquarters of The American Legion in which the Squadron is geographically located and then to the National Treasurer of The American Legion.

ARTICLE XI - DISCIPLINE

Section 1. A Detachment Headquarters may suspend, cancel or revoke the charter of any Squadron of the Sons of The American Legion over which it has jurisdiction in the event it violates the provisions of this Constitution, subject, however, to the approval of the Department Executive Committee of The American Legion Department in which the Squadron and Detachment are geographically situated.

Section 2. Upon the cancellation or revocation of the charter of any Squadron of the Sons of The American Legion, the property and assets belonging to such Squadron shall thereupon become the property of the Post of The American Legion to which such Squadron is attached.

ARTICLE XII - AMENDMENTS

Section 1. This Constitution may be amended at any National Convention by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the registered delegates thereat, subject to ratification by the National Executive Committee of The American Legion.

Sons of The American Legion
National By-Laws

ARTICLE I - 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.

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.

Section 3. Adjutant: The Adjutant, who corresponds to the secretary of an organization, shall be charged with the usual duties on 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, intermediate level, or Detachment and shall make reports on the condition of the treasury at each regular meeting, and when called for by the Commander or Executive Committee; provided, however, that all disbursements shall first be approved at the appropriate level of The American Legion. 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. All officers of the Sons of The American Legion in the performance of their duties shall be governed by The American Legion at the appropriate level. All actions of the Sons of The American Legion at the Squadron level, intermediate level, and at the Detachment level shall be subject to review and ratification at the appropriate level of The American Legion.

ARTICLE II - SQUADRON AND DETACHMENT CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

Section 1. Each Squadron, intermediate group and Detachment may adopt a Constitution and By-Laws.

Section 2. In the formation of the Constitution and By-Laws referred to in Section I hereof there shall be no conflict with the National Constitution and By-Laws governing the Sons of The American Legion.

ARTICLE III - EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1. The Constitution of a Squadron or Detachment may create an Executive Committee and define the powers and composition thereof.

ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Membership in the Sons of The American Legion is membership in the National Organization of the Sons of The American Legion by affiliate with a Squadron.

Section 2. Each Squadron shall be the judge of its own membership, subject to the restrictions of this Constitution and By-Laws.

Section 3. Members may be suspended or expelled under the same procedures provided for the suspension or expulsion of a member of The American Legion.

ARTICLE V - MEMBERSHIP AND ARREARS IN DUES

Section 1. Applications for Squadron membership shall be verified by the designated officials of the sponsoring Post of The American Legion having jurisdiction over the Squadron.

Section 2. A member whose dues for the current year have not been paid by January first shall be classed as delinquent. If his dues are paid on or before February first, he shall be automatically reinstated. If he is still delinquent after February first, he shall be suspended from all privileges.

If he is still under such suspension on June thirtieth of such year, his membership in the Sons of The American Legion shall be forfeited. A member so suspended or whose membership has been so forfeited may be reinstated to active membership in good standing by vote of the Squadron and payment of current dues for the year in which reinstatement occurs. Provided, however, that the Squadrons, Detachments, and the National Organization may waive the provisions hereof, upon payment of dues for the year in which reinstatement occurs, with reference to former members who have been prevented from the payment of dues by reason of active military service.

ARTICLE VI - AMENDMENTS

Section 1. These By-Laws may be amended by any National Convention by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the registered delegates thereat, subject to ratification by the National Executive Committee of The American Legion. This Constitution and By-Laws have been amended and brought up to date as of October 5, 2005.

 

 

 

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