The Chapter, an extension of the National and/or Region Headquarters, is the nucleus and the most important organizational element in the USAWOA structure. It is the chapter that builds the Association.
A strong and properly managed chapter has active officers and members who are interested in achieving the goals established by the Association. At chapter meetings, selected legislation, regulations and policies are openly discussed; committees are formed to effectively administer the chapter and to act on USAWOA objectives; social, fraternal and benevolent functions are planned. The Standard Chapter Bylaws (Attachment 2) cover the overall operation of a chapter, but the remaining portion of this manual will elaborate more explicitly on each phase of operation and provide general information. However, it must be remembered, these Bylaws are only a guide and chapters should prepare their Bylaws to suit their individual operation and pattern them after the USAWOA Bylaws.
- a. Chapters play a most important role in advancing the primary objectives of the Association. They may be small or large. No restriction exists on the number of chapters that may be established within the geographical boundaries of a region.
- b. Chapters prepare and submit proposals covering inequities, irritants and other matters on which they want action taken by USAWOA Headquarters. These proposals are submitted to the Executive Committee of the National BOD. The committee reviews each proposal and presents those considered valid to the National BOD. Proposals may be submitted at any time. Proposals shall be covered further on in this manual.
2. OATH OF OFFICE.
All chapter officers, whether elected or appointed, are required to take an oath of office.
- a. The Chapter President, currently in office, may decide who they deem appropriate to administer the oath.
- b. The oath should be administered as soon as possible after the officers are elected/appointed. This may be a simple, informal affair or in conjunction with a moreformal function.
- c. After the oath has been taken, each officer will sign it; using USAWOA Form 300-4. The signed oaths will be retained in Chapter files.
- d. Chapters will submit a change of officials form, using USAWOA Form 300-7 (“Directory of Chapter Officials”) to National Headquarters, together with duplicate copies of the signed Forms 300-4 referenced in subparagraph c, above.
3. INSTALLATION FUNCTION.
If a chapter elects to install the newly elected officers at a formal Installation Function, it should be held as soon as possible after the election.
- a. Procedures for conducting an Installation Function may vary, but one of the first things to be accomplished is the appointment of a Committee
- b. The Chairperson should be an individual with expertise in such functions since this committee will make all of the arrangements.
- c. If a representative from USAWOA Headquarters is to be invited to participate in the Installation Program, a request should be forwarded to Headquarters approximately 60 days in advance.
4. CHAPTER SECRETARY.
GUIDANCE ON PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF MEETING MINUTES
Chapter bylaws require that the USAWOA home office receive a copy of the minutes of all meetings, financial reports, and audit records. USAWOA operating manuals specify that regions and chapters will receive a rebate, on a (calendar) quarter basis, from the dues paid by their members during the quarter, providing minutes are submitted in a timely manner. There are three important facts to know about this subject: Minutes do not need to be approved or signed before submission. Minutes and/or memorandums may be sent by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), mail (USAWOA, 462 Herndon Pkwy Suite 207, Herndon, VA 20170-5235), facsimile (703-742-7728), or hand delivery.
A memorandum must be prepared and submitted in situations when a region or chapter attempts to hold a meeting but cannot due to insufficient attendance such as lack of quorum, deployments, OPTEMPO, PERSTEMPO or weather. This will serve in lieu of official minutes. To receive a rebate the USAWOA home office must receive minutes or memorandums according to the following schedule:
- When minutes are received: rebate that will be paid is:
- • Not later than the 5th working day after the end of the quarter = 100%
- • Not later than 30 calendar days after the end of the quarter = 75%
- • Not later than 45 calendar days after the end of the quarter = 50%
- • Later than 45 calendar days after the end of the quarter = 0%
- To assist region and chapter leadership, the USAWOA home office will:
- • Accurately record receipt of minutes/memorandums to official USAWOA records.
- • Advise region/chapter leadership of such receipt.
- • Advise region/chapter leadership when a region or chapter rebate is in jeopardy due to non-receipt of minutes or memorandums.
- • Accurately record new members and renewals in USAWOA membership records.
- • - Accurately calculate earned rebates based on the membership records.
- • - Pay rebates to qualifying regions/chapters within 60 days after the end of the quarter.
NOTE: Rebate amounts can be found in USAWOA Manual 400-6, Chapter 9, Dues Rebates to chapters.
Army Regulation 210-22, Private Organizations on Department of the Army Installations contains specific for private organizations organized on or meeting on Army Installations including the ARNG and USAR.
- • Paragraph 2-1c requires that copies of by-laws, minutes, financial reports, names & addresses of officers and copies of audit reports be submitted to the installation commander's designee.
- • Paragraph 3-1 contains restriction of the letterhead and heading of minutes or memorandums.
- • Paragraph 4-2a (4) restricts Army employees from using their titles, offices, or positions in connection with their private organization. Therefore it is strongly recommended that ranks not be used in minutes or on forms used in USAWOA operations. It is important that the first time an individual is mentioned that their full name be used for identity and historical purposes.
- • AR 210-22 is available for downloaded at www.usapa.army.mil/pdffiles/r210-22.pdf.
You are also requested to send copies of your minutes to the Webmaster at usawoaonline@ verizon.net, email@example.com and to your Region Director so they stay abreast of your Chapter activities and keep the website and Region records up to date.
The Chapter Secretary is considered to be one of the most important positions in the Chapter. Although the duties are briefly explained in the Standard Bylaws, it is deemed important to expand further on these responsibilities since this position is so critical. The Secretary:
- a. Is a major link between the Chapter and the region and/or National Headquarters and is responsible for presenting communications to the Chapter for appropriate action and keeping Headquarters informed on chapter activities.
- b. Prepares and distributes notices about the Chapter general membership meetings, prepares (after consultation with the president) the agenda to be covered, maintains a record of attendance and prepares the minutes of meetings. The preparation of comprehensive and well-written chapter minutes is most important. Review of the information contained in the minutes allows the national headquarters to determine the activities of the chapter. Minutes should discuss the chapter’s professional development activities; community benefits activities, charitable donations, etc. The USAWOA National Awards Committee reviews chapter minutes to determine which chapters should receive award recognition for their activities. The submission of minutes shall be accomplished after each meeting by completing the USAWOA Form 300-10R, Minutes Transmittal Form, (available at www.usawoa.org/downloads.htm#forms) attaching minutes thereto and forwarding them to the region director and USAWOA Headquarters as soon as possible.) Minutes may be transmitted electronically. A copy of the complete package should be forwarded to region and USAWOA Headquarters NLT seven days after the meeting.
- c. Is responsible for the maintenance of an up-to-date record of the names and addresses of all chapter members and for notifying region and USAWOA Headquarters of any changes.
- d. Is usually responsible for the addressing of envelopes and for all types of announcements to be distributed to members.
- e. Informs region and USAWOA Headquarters of the results of chapter elections and any other changes of members by utilizing USAWOA Form 300-7R, Directory of Officials. (available at www.usawoa.org/downloads.htm#forms).
5. CHAPTER TREASURER.
- a. Shall receive and disburse the funds of the chapter and shall keep and preserve proper vouchers and books of account which shall be open to inspection by the BOD and subject to audits at any time by an Auditing Committee duly appointed by the President.
- b. Immediately after opening an account for the chapter, the Treasurer shall complete USAWOA Form 400-3R, Record of Checking account ((available at www.usawoa.org/downloads.htm#forms), reflecting with what facility an account had been established and forwards same to region and National Headquarters.
- c. Will present all bills against the chapter to the BOD. Upon approval of the BOD and authorization by the President, the Treasurer will pay such bills by check drawn on the chapter account. Checks shall be signed by the Treasurer and one other elected official unless the Chapter/Region Bylaws specifically allow the issuance of checks with only one bonded official's signature.
- d. Will present a financial report at every meeting of the General Membership to the Chapter secretary for recording in the meeting’s minutes that will be forwarded to their region and USAWOA Headquarters.
- e. Shall assist the region and USAWOA Headquarters in cases of delinquent dues.
- f. A group tax ruling received from IRS requires the Treasurer to file an annual financial report with USAWOA Headquarters prior to March 15th of each year.
6. FILES AND RECORDS.
Chapters shall maintain a file (record) or correspondence which reflects the transactions pertinent to the chapter’s operation. It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary or a designated representative to maintain and account for all chapter records, current and non-current.
- a. Current records are defined as those required to operate day-to-day business. Noncurrent records are those records created that reflect the development of the chapter and are necessary to maintain for historical purposes.
- b. Chapter records shall be maintained in a central location readily accessible to chapter officials requiring their use.
- c. Non-current records of historical value shall be removed from active files and stored accessible for future reference.
- d. Outgoing chapter officials shall ensure that all chapter records, current and noncurrent, are transferred to newly elected officials. Chapter records are the property of the United States Army Warrant Officers' Association, Inc.
- e. When a chapter is deactivated, chapter officials shall ensure that all records and property of the chapter are forwarded to USAWOA Headquarters. Bank accounts will be closed and all monies and pertinent records will also be forwarded to USAWOA Headquarters along with a final financial report.
7. FORMS AND PUBLICATIONS.
Forms and publications are available on the USAWOA Web Site as needed. http://www.usawoa.org/downloads.htm
8. "THE CHAPTER PRESIDENT'S ROLE".
As a final note in the Chapter Management portion of this manual, the following is a "personal message" to the Chapter President:
"You probably did not accept the invitation to serve as President just for the sake of being President. Your selection came as the result of recognition of leadership abilities, a record of accomplishment and demonstrated interest in serving your chapter. If you are typical, you would like to move your chapter and its members a few steps ahead, on a path you feel is important, during your term in office. First of all, there is a need to identify what you must want to accomplish early. Consider these few suggestions:
- • "Take time to reflect on a few of the most compelling needs and the most earnestly sought objectives confronting your chapter. Get your own thoughts in order, creatively and constructively, and identify and refine a few underlying convictions which have real meaning to you and which have an apparent potential for accomplishment.
- • Create the opportunity and atmosphere for a solid, meaningful exchange of ideas and convictions with your chapter officers, away from the telephone and interruptions of daily routine. Share your own conclusions with them and absorb what they have to say. These are the first tangible steps toward building an eventful year ahead.
- • Recognize that you simply cannot DO IT ALL. There is never enough of the all important resource of time, money and member involvement, regardless of how fine your chapter, how capable the executive council, or how sound its finances. The biggest part of your chapter's program in the year ahead will be continuity of established activities, meeting needs as they arise and contending with patterns of change. Streamline and tighten down those original and tentative objectives to a manageable few, recognizing the fallacy of attempting to juggle too many balls at the risk of dropping them all. Beware of the temptation to change course overnight unless there is commonly recognized immediate danger.
- • Your role from this point is not for us to suggest or advocate. Your chapter has a pattern, a personality, a structure and traditions of its own. Your forte may be in front of a microphone or it may be in earnest and convincing discussion behind the scene. In your public and internal communications you may write your own scripts for columns or they may be scripted by your committee chairpersons. You may work out a technique to do it together in consultation. Regardless who takes the lead; do not overlook pitching the bouquets, the deserved compliments and the morale building recognition wherever it is earned. It is an important role of a Chapter President and pays dividends many times over.
- • One important responsibility which you have is to personally answer criticisms regarding the policy or performance of the association.
- • However you serve as President, it is bound to be a rewarding experience and advance planning will have played a vital part in your success. Incidentally, it will not be a perfect term of office, but it will be interesting, exhilarating, informative and unforgettable. As President, you will learn more about people and human nature, thoughtfulness, hospitality, kindness and dedication and, on rare occasions, just the opposite. Take it in stride, do not be a worrier or a pessimist. Take inventory as the year goes on to see if your fellow Warrants detect a change in your personality for better or worse. If you catch your jaw jutting out a little further, your stride lengthening, or your responses getting a little lengthier and more positive before a microphone, it may be all to the good; or, you may be contracting “president-itis”, a dreaded disease that has befallen many an elected official. Recognize it for what it is; it rarely proves fatal. Your family will also be involved in the presidency.
- • To assist you in your task, you should draw upon the important sources of assistance which are available. These include the people with whom you will work during your term of office, your National BOD Executive Committee and National Headquarters Staff."