A group of 20 officers who served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I are the men who are credited with organizing The American Legion. The American Expeditionary Forces headquarters asked these officers to suggest ideas on how to improve troop morale. One officer, Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., proposed an organization of veterans. In February 1919, those officers formed a temporary committee and selected several hundred other officers who had the confidence and respect of the army.
When the first organization meeting took place in Paris in March 1919, about 1,000 officers and enlisted men attended. The meeting, known as the Paris Caucus, adopted a temporary constitution and the name The American Legion.
The Legion held a second organizing caucus in St. Louis, Mo., in May 1919. It completed the constitution and made plans for a permanent organization of The American Legion. It set up temporary headquarters in New York City, and began its relief, employment, and patriotism programs.
The United States Congress granted The American Legion a national charter in September 1919. The first national convention, held in Minneapolis, adopted a permanent constitution and elected officers to head up the organization.
Until 1942, membership in the Legion was limited to American soldiers, sailors, marines, and nurses who had served on active duty during World War I. In 1942, the Legion amended its charter to allow World War II veterans to join the organization. Korean War veterans became eligible in 1950, Vietnam War veterans in 1966, and Persian Gulf War veterans in 1991. Veterans of the actions in Grenada, Lebanon, and Panama became eligible in 1990.
The American Legion currently has about 3 million members that are organized into 58 departments and about 16,000 local posts. The American Legion holds a convention each year to determine policies and programs and to elect national officers, including a national commander. The national adjutant heads the national headquarters staff at 700 N. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204. The Legion also has a national office in Washington, D. C.
Today the legion is involved in community projects, serves a social function in hundreds of small towns in the USA along with being a supporter of our military veterans. Consider joining if you are a veteran - you'll enjoy the experience.
American Legion Post 134 Constitution
VALLEY POST NUMBER 134
For God and Country, we associate ourselves together 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 one hundred
percent Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of our
associations in the Great Wars; to inculcate a sense of individual obligations
to the community, state and nation; to combat the autocracy of the classes and
the 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 comradeship by our
devotion to mutual helpfulness.
1. The name of this organization shall be Shades Valley Post Number 134. The
American Legion, Department of Alabama.
1. The objects and purpose of this post shall be to promote the principles and
policies as set forth in the foregoing preamble, and Alabama departmental
constitutions of The American Legion.
ARTICLE III -
1. This post is a civilian organization and membership therein does not affect
or increase liability for military or police service.
2. This organization shall be absolutely non-political and shall not be
used for the dissemination of partisan principles nor for the promotion of the
candidacy of any person seeking public office or preferment. No candidacy
for nomination or election to, or no incumbent of any remunerative elective
public office, shall hold any elective office or any appointive remunerative
office in this post of The American Legion, provided that members of standing
or special committees shall not be affected.
3. Rank does not exist in The American Legion: no member shall be addressed by
his military or naval title in any meeting of this post.
ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. Any person shall be eligible for
application for membership in this post who was a member of the Army, Navy,
Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Air Force of the United States and assigned to
active duty at some time during any of the following periods: April 6, 1917,
to November 11, 1918; December 7, 1941 to September 2, 1945, June 25, 1950 to
July 27, 1953; all dates inclusive, or who, being a citizen of the United
States at the time of his entry therein, served on active duty in the armed
forces of any of the governments associated with the United States during any
of said periods; provided, however, that such service shall have been
terminated by honorable
discharge, or honorable separation, or continued honorably after either of
said periods; provided further, that no person shall be entitled to membership
who, being in such service during either of said periods, refused on
conscientious, political or other grounds to subject himself to military
discipline or unqualified service.
2. Application for membership shall be made in writing under such regulations
as may from time to time be prescribed by the post Executive Committee.
3. No person who has been expelled by a post shall be admitted to membership
in Shades Valley Post Number 134, without the consent of the expelling post,
except where such consent has been asked for and denied by such post, he may
then appeal to the State Executive Committee of the department of the
expelling post for the permission to apply for membership in this post, and
shall be ineligible for membership until such permission is granted.
ARTICLE V - OFFICERS
1. The officers of this shall be: Commander, First Vice-Commander, Second
Adjutant, Finance Officer, Historian, Chaplain, Service Officer, Two (2)
Sergeants-at-Arms, and Judge Advocate, all of whom except the Adjutant and
Service Officer shall be elected. The Adjutant and Service Officer shall be
appointed by the Commander-Elect, and further, they shall be appointed prior
to the time of installation of officers.
2. Election of officers shall be held annually at the regular post meeting
preceding the annual Department Convention, and such officers shall be
installed and take office at the first regular post meeting immediately after
the Department Convention.
3. Nominations of officers shall be made at the first regular post meeting
preceding the post meeting at which the election of officers is to be held.
Nominations shall be made by a nominating committee appointed by the
Commander. Additional nominations from the floor shall be in order. Further,
nominations from the floor shall be in order on the date of the elections
immediately preceding the ballot for each office.
4. Each office shall be balloted on separately and by secret ballot, unless
the secret ballot shall be waived by a majority of the membership present.
5. The elected officers shall be elected annually, and those appointments
provided for shall be made annually. The elected officer and appointees shall
hold office until their successors are duly installed, or as otherwise
provided for elsewhere in this constitution and By-laws.
6. Every member of this post in good standing shall be eligible to hold office
unless otherwise prohibited by this constitution and By-laws.
7. The duties of the Officers shall be those usually appertaining to such
officers and as further provided for in the By-laws.
1. The revenue of this post shall be derived from membership or initiation
fees, from annual membership dues and from such other sources as may be
recommended by the post executive committee and approved by the membership
present and voting at any regular post meeting.
2. The amount of such membership or initiation fee and the amount of such post
dues shall be determined by the Executive Committee, subject to the approval
of two-thirds of the membership present and voting at any post meeting.
3. This post shall pay to the departmental headquarters the national and
departmental annual membership dues for every member of the post.
1. Members who joined this post prior to the issuance of the charter shall be
known as the charter members.
1. This post recognizes the need for an Auxiliary Organization to be known as
the Auxiliary Unit of Shades Valley Post Number 134 of The American Legion.
Department of Alabama, and shall promote and support the organization of such
2. Membership in the Auxiliary shall be as prescribed by the national
constitution of the American Legion Auxiliary.
ARTICLE IX - AMENDMENTS
1. This constitution is adopted subject to the provisions of the national
constitution of the American Legion and the constitution of the Department of
Alabama, of The American Legion. Any amendment to the said constitution which
is in conflict with any provision hereof shall be regarded as automatically
repealing or modifying the provisions of this constitution to the extent of
2. This constitution may be amended at any regular post meeting by a vote of
two-thirds of the members of this post attending such regular meeting,
providing that the proposed amendment shall have been submitted in writing and
read at the prior regular meeting of said post, and further provided that
written notice shall have been mailed to all members at least twenty (20) days
in advance of the date when such amendment is to be voted upon notifying said
members that at such meeting a proposal to amend the constitution is to be
and Approved by this Committee for the Preparation of the Constitution and
Horace Harvey, Chairman
Jim Connor, Commander (Ex
Adopted by the post on
James B. Molleson
American Legion Post 134 By-Laws
SHADES VALLEY POST NUMBER 134
DEPARTMENT OF ALABAMA
THE AMERICAN LEGION
AS AMENDED, MAY 20, 2004
SECTION 1. The post existing under these By-Laws shall be known
as Shades Valley Post Number 134, The American Legion, Department of
2. The objectives and purpose of this post are set forth in the
SECTION 1. The government and management of this post is entrusted to a
committee to be known as the Executive Committee, which shall consist of
fourteen (14) members who are: Commander, First Vice-Commander, Second
Vice-Commander, Adjutant, Financial Officer, Historian, Service Officer,
Chaplain, two (2) Sergeant-at Arms, Judge Advocate, and three (3) Executive
Committeemen, who shall be appointed by the Commander subject to approval of
the other members of the Executive Committee. The Commander shall serve as
chairman of the Executive Committee. The term of office of this committee
shall run concurrently with the term of office of the officers of the post.
2. The Executive Committee is charged with the responsibility of maintaining
a sound financial position and of maintaining a good and respectable image
in the community, and in so assigning this responsibility, any additional
authority not specifically set forth in the constitution and these by-laws
that may be required to effectively coordinate the affairs of this post is
herewith assigned and delegated to the Executive Committee, subject to the
provisions of Section 3 of this article.
SECTION 3. Any action of the Executive Committee, the authority for
which is not specifically set forth elsewhere in the constitution and these
By-Laws, but taken with respect to the discretionary power granted to said
body in Article II, Section 2 of these By-Laws, shall be nullified by a vote
carried by a three-fourths majority of those members present and voting at
any post meeting.
4. The Executive Committee shall meet for such post business as may come
before it, at the call of the
post Commander prior to the next post meeting following the installation of
officers, and thereafter at least every sixty (60)days, but as often as the
Commander may deem necessary.
SECTION 5. The Commander shall call a meeting of the Executive Committee
upon the written request of three (3) or more members of the Executive
6. Five (5) members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum
SECTION 7. The Executive Committee shall authorize
the hiring of such employees and the engagement of such services for the
benefit of the post as may be deemed necessary. The post Commander shall be authorized to approve
expenditures of the post not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00). Authorization and approval of the Executive Committee shall
be required on all expenditures of the post exceeding one hundred dollars
($100.00), except as previously approved by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE III -
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
1. Duties of the Post Commander: It shall be the duty of the Post Commander
to preside at all meetings of the post and to have general supervision over
the business and affairs of the post, and such officer shall be the chief
executive officer of the post. He shall make an annual report covering the
business of the post for the year ending and recommendations for the ensuing
year, which shall be read at the annual meeting, and a copy thereof
immediately forwarded to the department Adjutant. He shall perform such
duties as directed by the post.
2. Duties of the Vice Commanders: The First Vice- Commander shall assume and
discharge the duties of the office of the Commander in the absence of,
disability of, or when called upon by, the Post Commander. In the absence of
the Commander and First Vice-Commander, the Second Vice-Commander shall
assume such duties and in addition thereto, perform such other duties as may
be assigned to him by the Commander or the Executive Committee.
3. Duties of the Post Adjutant: The
Adjutant shall have charge of and keep a full and correct record of all
proceedings of the post and Executive Committee meetings, keep such records
as the department and national organizations may require, render reports of
membership annually or when called upon at a meeting, and under the
direction of the Commander handle all correspondence of the post, and notify
the members of all special and regular meetings.
The Adjutant shall be in charge of all monies collected as membership
dues, see that they are safely deposited in some local bank, and he, as well
as the Commander, shall be authorized to issue checks against such fund.
The Adjutant shall furnish a report to the Finance Officer each month
on the condition of the membership dues bank account(s) so that the Finance
Officer will include such information in the monthly written financial
report to the Executive Committee.
SECTION 4. Duties of the Finance Officer:
The Finance Officer shall have charge of all finances and monies,
except those monies received as membership dues, and see that they are
safely deposited in some local bank, and shall report once a month to the
Executive Committee the condition of the finances of the post, with such
recommendations as he may deem expedient or necessary for the raising of
funds with which to carry on the activities of the post.
He shall sign all checks disbursing the monies of the post, except
monies received as membership dues.
checks shall be countersigned by the Post Commander, the First
Vice-Commander or the Second Vice-Commander.
In the absence of the Finance Officer, any two of the above named
officers are authorized to countersign and issue checks against such funds.
He shall keep in sufficient written detail a record of receipts and
disbursements as required for making tax reports and proper auditing, to be
reported to the Executive Committee.
5. Duties of the Post Historian: The Post Historian shall be charged with
the individual records and incidents of the post and post members, shall
keep a scrapbook relating to the activities of the post, and shall perform
such other duties as may properly pertain to the office as determined by the
post Executive Committee.
6. Duties of the Post Chaplain: The Post Chaplain shall be charged with the
spiritual welfare of the post comrades and will offer divine but
non-sectarian service in the event of dedications, funerals, public
functions, ect., adhering to such ceremonial rituals as are recommended by
the national or department headquarters from time to time.
7. Duties of Sergeant-at-Arms: The Sergeant-at-Arms shall preserve order at
all meetings and shall perform such other duties as may be, from time to
time, assigned to them by the post Executive Committee.
8. Duties of Judge Advocate: It shall be the duty of the Judge Advocate to
supply advice as to the conduct of post meetings, or to procure professional
counsel. The Judge Advocate shall rule at post meetings on matters of
parliamentary procedure, and is charged with the duty of auditing the
postís financial accounts annually and at other times as the Commander or
Executive Committee may direct.
9. Duties of Service Officer: The Post Service Officer shall be responsible
for assisting the members of this post and all veterans, and their
dependents, who desire such assistance in matters dealing with veteransí
rights and benefits granted them by law, by bringing to the attention of
such persons information dealing with such rights and benefits.
1. Delegates and alternate delegates to the Department Convention shall be
elected by the post at the meeting at which post officers are elected. Such
election shall be by secret ballot unless such procedures shall be waived by
a majority of the members present and voting.
2. The chairman of the delegation shall be selected by the delegates and
alternate delegates elected to attend the Department Convention.
SECTION 3. In the event the number of
delegates to the Department Convention allocated to this post by the
Department of Alabama, or the alternate delegates, are unable
ARTICLE V -
1. All applications for membership shall be reviewed by the post Membership
Committee. An application rejected by the Membership Committee shall be
submitted to the next regular post meeting for discussion and vote. If one
or more negative votes are cast, the Legionnaire casting such vote shall be
given the opportunity of explaining grounds for so voting, and the
application held open until the next regular post meeting, at which time
another vote shall be taken. If then, there are no more than four (4)
negative votes, the applicant shall be accepted for membership. If there are
five (5) or more negative votes, such applicant shall be regarded as
rejected. A rejected application shall not again be considered until after
the expiration of six (6) months from the date of such rejection. Voting
shall be by secret ballot unless such procedures shall be waived by a
majority of the members present and voting.
2. Any member of this post may be expelled or suspended from this post for
cause by a two-thirds vote of the post Executive Committee after charges are
preferred under oath in writing, and a fair hearing had upon same.
3. Expulsion or suspension of a member from The American Legion shall be in
accordance with the Constitution of the American Legion and Department of
4. A member who has been expelled or suspended from this post for any cause
may be reinstated to membership by a two-thirds vote of the members present
at any regular post meeting, providing, however, that he shall make payment
of any arrears in his dues between the time of expulsion or suspension, and
SECTION 5. To be eligible to be nominated and elected to an office of
this post, it shall be necessary to have been a member in good standing of
this post for a period of at least three (3) months prior to the election.
SECTION 1. An office of this post shall be considered vacant upon death, resignation from the office, expulsion or suspension of membership, transfer of membership, or when an officer is absent from his duty for a continuous period of ninety (90) days, or because of neglect of duty, unless otherwise determined by a majority of the membership present and voting at the post meeting at which the question of such absence or neglect of duty is raised.
SECTION 2. All vacancies existing in the Executive Committee, or in any office of the post from any cause other than the expiration of term, shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Executive Committee, and a person so appointed shall hold office for the unexpired term of the member of the committee or officer whom he succeeds, except that in the case of a vacancy in the office of Commander. The First Vice-Commander shall succeed the Commander and if the offices of Commander and Vice-Commander are vacant concurrently, the Second Vice-Commander shall assume the office of Commander for the unexpired term. When the offices of Commander, First Vice-Commander, and Second Vice-Commander are concurrently vacant, a special election, by the post membership, shall be held to fill those three offices for the unexpired term. The post Adjutant shall cause notice of such special election to be given at least two (2) weeks prior thereto.
1. The Commander shall appoint a Membership Committee, which shall have
charge of all matters pertaining to the membership of the post, including
the procuring of new members, reinstatement, and eligibility of members. The
First Vice-Commander shall be the chairman of this committee.
2. The Commander shall, from time to time, appoint other such committees as
may be needed to coordinate and accomplish various post activities and
projects, in accordance with existing national and departmental manuals.
SECTION 3. All activities, actions, and resolutions of committees shall
be under supervision of the Executive Committee, and the committee chairman
shall make their reports to the Executive Committee.
4. The Commander shall appoint a House Committee chaired by a
commander appointed house officer who will be responsible for all aspects of
the day-to-day operations of the post club.
1. Any person not eligible for membership in the American Legion may
petition the Membership Committee for post privileges. The Membership
Committee shall then post notice of application on the post bulletin board
for seven (7) consecutive days. If no objection is made by any post member
to the granting of such privileges to the applicant, post privileges shall
be granted upon remittance of the prescribed fees as authorized in the
constitution, and that person shall be issued, by the Membership Committee,
a certificate suitable for identification. If an objection is made to the
granting of such privileges, the applicant may petition, through a member of
this post acting as his representative, the post membership at any regular
post meeting, the procedure under which such petition shall be considered
and accepted or rejected, will be that as set forth in Article V, Section 1
of these By-Laws.
2. The granting of post privileges to any person not eligible for
in the American Legion shall in no way imply that such person shall have the
right to participate in post meetings, and in no case shall be allowed to
vote or hold office.
3. Extension of post privileges of this post to individuals not eligible for
membership in the American Legion shall be limited to a maximum number of
persons not to exceed fifteen (15) percent of the membership of this post
during the preceding year.
4. The Commander shall have the authority to approve the use of the post
meeting hall by civic and other such worthy organizations as he may deem
ARTICLE IX -
1. All resolutions of state or national scope presented to this post by a
member, or reported to this post by a committee, shall merely embody the
opinion of this post on the subject, and a copy of the same shall be
forwarded to the Department headquarters for approval before any publicity
is given, or action other than mere passage by the post is taken.
ARTICLE X -
SECTION 1. The regular meeting of this post shall be held at a time and
place designated by the Post Commander once each month.
Thirty (30) days written notice shall be required to the membership
for all regular meetings, at which business may be transacted as properly
presented for action. Such
meetings may be converted to entertainment meetings as may be deemed
appropriate by the Executive Committee.
2. The post Commander, or a majority of the Executive Committee, shall have
the power to call a special meeting of the post at any time. Upon written
request of ten (10) members, the Executive Committee shall call a special
meeting of the post. Each member shall be notified by mail of any such
special meeting, such notification to state the purpose of the meeting.
SECTION 3. Fifteen (15) members shall constitute a quorum at any post
SECTION 1. Every member shall keep the Adjutant informed of his or
her current address for mailing purposes.
2. The Post Adjutant shall cause a notice of the annual election to be given
at least two (2) weeks prior thereto, and notice of post meetings as set
forth in the constitution and these By-Laws.
XII Ė RULES OF ORDER
1. All proceedings of this post shall be conducted under and pursuant to
Robertís Rules of Order. The order of business shall be as set out in the
manual of ceremonies of the American Legion.
1. Before any property belonging to this post can be sold or mortgaged, it
shall be necessary for a majority of the total membership as of records in the
Department Headquarters on January 1st, next preceding, to give consent.
1. The conservators of the assets and properties of this post shall be a board
of trustees consisting of five (5) members.
The board of trustees will also serve as the Audit Committee of the
post. The members of the board of
trustees shall be nominated and elected at the same time as the officers of
the post. The Judge Advocate shall chair the board of trustees.
2. At the first election, after the passage of Article XIV, as amended, the
trustees shall be elected by place number. Place one (1) shall be elected for
a term of five (5) years. Place two (2) shall be elected for a term of four
(4) years. Place three (3) shall be elected for a term of three (3) years.
Place four (4) shall be elected for a term of two (2) years. Place five (5)
shall be elected for a term of one (1) year.
3. At subsequent elections as the place terms expire then each trustee will be
elected for a full 5 year term. If a trustee position is not elected for any
reason, the most immediate past commander will be automatically elected and
will serve the full term of that position.
4. The trustees shall, upon authorization of the majority of the total
membership as of records in the Department Headquarters on January 1st, next
preceding, execute all papers for purchase or sale of real or other property
of this post.
ARTICLE XV -
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
1. Election of officers shall be as set out in the post constitution Article
2. Balloting: In election of officers, there being more than two (2)
candidates for any office, and no candidate receiving a majority of votes, the
candidate receiving the least number of votes shall be dropped, and balloting
shall proceed in a like manner on the remaining candidates until one shall
have received a majority.
SECTION 3. In case of a tie vote for three consecutive ballots, the
candidates shall cast lots for the office.
1. These By-Laws may be amended at any regular meeting by a vote of two-thirds
of the members of this post attending such regular meeting, providing that the
proposed amendment shall have been submitted in writing and read at the next
preceding regular meeting of said post, and provided, further, that written
notice shall have been given to all members at least twenty (20) days in
advance of the date when such amendment is to be voted upon, notifying said
members that at such meeting a
to amend the By-Laws is to be voted upon.
by the Committee for the Preparation of the Constitution and By-Laws:
Connor, Commander (Ex
Approved and Adopted by this post on this 22 day of May 1964.