Rules for Conducting an American Legion Meeting

by Cassandra Cochrun

Each American Legion post has its own bylaws, which vary from post to post but are all based on the American Legion constitution and will affect the way you conduct your meeting. At a meeting, your chapter may handle any number of business issues, which affects the way you conduct a meeting.

First Meetings

If you include it in your bylaws, your chapter may hold meetings in person, over conference call or even in a live-chat room. However, if that is not included in the bylaws, you must hold meetings in person. Always begin by officially calling the meeting to order. At the first meeting, introduce the chairperson and other organizing members. Discuss what your chapter's purpose and goals are, then adopt a chapter constitution after reviewing the national version. If you're not ready to draw up an entire constitution, you can tackle one section at each meeting until the constitution is complete. Remember you can amend the constitution at meetings. Determine a method of voting, such as raising hands, and always vote that way at subsequent meetings.

People Who Lead

You need to nominate and vote on an executive committee, which consists of a commander, a vice-commander, an adjutant, a treasurer, a post historian, a post chaplain and a sergeant at arms. This committee runs the meetings. The commander presides over all the meetings and generally is in charge of the chapter's business affairs. The adjutant keeps the meeting minutes. The sergeant at arms is responsible for determining which members are up to date on their membership cards, and therefore, who is allowed to vote at meetings and who is not.

Voting

All American Legion posts adhere to the book "Robert's Rules of Order" for voting procedures. "Robert's Rules of Order" states that majority always rules, and the majority is anything more than half. No current member of the American Legion can be compelled to refrain from voting at a meeting, even if there is a conflict of interest or other extenuating circumstances. There can't be any absentee ballots for your votes; "Robert's Rules of Order" states only members present at the meeting can vote on issues.

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