Department & Camp Job Descriptions

For ease of viewing, the Department and Camp job descriptions of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War have been broken into the following smaller documents. The entire document is available in PDF form and may be downloaded here.

The purpose of the office of Commander is to direct and to provide oversight of Camp/Department operations in order to foster and promote the goals and objects of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Camp Commander. The activities of the Camp Commander should include: (1) Presiding at all meetings of the Camp; (2) Appointing the appointed officers and all committees; (3) Become familiar with all SUVCW forms that are utilized for conducting the business of the Camp, especially those that require the Commander’s signature, and ensure that all reports are submitted to the Department by the specified time; (4) Ensuring that the Camp officers and committees do their jobs; (5) Representing the Camp at community functions; (6) Becoming familiar with the Camp’s and Department’s Bylaws and the Order’s Constitution and Regulations; (7) Keeping the membership informed by issuing “Camp Orders”, attested to by the Camp Secretary; (8) Consulting with Past Camp Commanders for advice on Camp matters; (9) Becoming familiar with the duties of the office as set forth in the Order’s Ritual and Ceremonials; (10) Serving as liaison between the Camp and Department.

Department Commander. The activities of the Department Commander should include: (1) Presiding at all meetings of the Department; (2) Appointing all appointed officers and committees; (3) Become familiar with all SUVCW forms that are utilized for conducting the business of the Department, especially those that require the Commander’s signature, and ensure that all reports are submitted to the National Organization by the specified time; (4) Ensuring that the Department officers and committees do their jobs; (5) Representing the Department at state functions; (6) Becoming familiar with the Department’s Bylaws and the Order’s Constitution and Regulations; (7) Keeping the membership informed by issuing “Department Orders”, attested to by the Department Secretary and bearing the Department’s seal; (8) Consulting with Past Department Commanders for advice on Department matters; (9) Providing assistance to Camps in need of help; (10) Attempting to visit each Camp in the Department at least once per year; (11) Becoming familiar with the duties of the office as set forth in the Order’s Ritual and Ceremonials; (12) Serving as liaison between the Department and the National Organization.

The purpose of the office of Senior Vice Commander is to assist the Commander, promote the Order and preside at Camp/Department meetings in the absence of the Commander.

Camp Senior Vice Commander. The activities of the Camp Senior Vice Commander should include: (1) Presiding at Camp meetings in the absence of the Camp Commander; (2) Acting as a personal representative upon the request from the Camp Commander; (3) Gathering appropriate data about Camp activities and forwarding to the Department Senior Vice Commander; (4) Promoting Camp activities in the local media; (5) Publishing a Camp newsletter; (6) Scheduling informative programs for Camp meetings; (7) Carrying out other responsibilities delegated to the position by the Camp Bylaws, Camp and Camp Commander.

Department Senior Vice Commander. The activities of the Department Senior Vice Commander should include: (1) Promoting Department activities in the media; (2) Preparing a Department newsletter; (3) Presiding in the absence of the Department Commander at the Department Encampment; (4) Acting as personal representative upon the request of the Department Commander; (5) Forwarding information about Department and Camp activities to the Editor of the BANNER; (6) Carrying out other responsibilities delegated to the position by the Department Bylaws, Department Encampment and Department Commander.

The purpose of the office of Junior Vice Commander is to assist with the recruitment and retention of Brothers (Members, Associates, and Juniors).

Camp Junior Vice Commander. The activities of the Camp Junior Vice Commander should include: (1) Contacting prospective Brothers whose names are supplied to the Camp by the Department Junior Vice Commander; (2) Supplying prospective Brothers with membership materials including two membership applications, a copy of a SUVCW organization descriptive leaflet, and an invitation to the next Camp meeting; (3) Keeping track of applicants’ progress in completing membership applications; (4) Encouraging delinquent Brothers to remain in the Order; (5) Presiding at Camp meetings in the absence of both the Camp Commander and Senior Vice Camp Commander; (6) Carrying out other responsibilities delegated to the office by the Camp Bylaws, Camp and Camp Commander.

Department Junior Vice Commander. The activities of the Department Junior Vice Commander should include: (1) Contacting prospective Brothers whose names are supplied to the Department by the Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief, within two weeks of receipt of said names; (2) Providing prospective Brother names and addresses to the Junior Vice Commander of the Camp nearest to the prospective Brother for follow up; (3) Presiding at the Department Encampment in the absence of both the Department Commander and Department Senior Vice Commander; (4) Carrying out other responsibilities delegated to the office by the Department Bylaws, Department Encampment and Department Commander.

The purpose of the office of Secretary is to keep the minutes of the meetings and to carry on necessary correspondence for the Camp or Department.

Camp Secretary. The activities of the Camp Secretary should include: (1) Taking minutes of each Camp meeting; (2) Maintaining a book or file of minutes of past meetings; (3) Reading the minutes of the preceding Camp meeting; (4) Processing and responding to Camp correspondence; (5) Notifying Brothers of meeting dates and location; (6) Preparing Form 22, “Report of Camp Installing Officer”, in duplicate and sending both copies to the Department Secretary; (7) Reviewing for accuracy the annual “Life Member Reimbursement Form” (Form 10) that can be prepared by a Camp’s Commander, Treasurer or Secretary; (8) In conjunction with the Camp Treasurer, prepare and submit a “Camp Annual Report” (Form 27) in duplicate to the Department Secretary on or before April 30 of each year, with check for per capita and application fees, plus two copies of the membership application for each new Brother; (9) Preparing and submitting a “Camp Status Report” (Form 30) in duplicate to the Department Secretary by the 15th day of the next month following any change in a Camp’s membership after the annual report is filed. A check for per capita and application fees, plus two copies of a new Brother’s membership application must be enclosed; (10) Maintaining Camp membership applications and supporting documentation; (11) Preparing credentials for those serving as Camp delegates and alternates to Department Encampments; (12) Maintaining the Camp seal and affixing it to Camp documents as needed.

Department Secretary. The activities of the Department Secretary should include: (1) Processing and responding to Department correspondence; (2) Supplying Camp related report forms to Camp Secretaries who do not have access to the National Web site; (3) Forwarding one copy of the completed Form 22 to the National Secretary and retaining one copy for Department records; (4) Supplying the current version of the “Life Member Reimbursement Form” (Form 10) to Camp Secretaries or Treasurers who do not have access to the National Web site. An updated form is to be used after the beginning of a new calendar year and received by the National Treasurer no later than March 31 of each year. Consult the “C&R” for details on Life Member Reimbursement; (5) Preparing Past-Department/Department Commander, delegate, and alternate credentials to the National Encampment; (6) Maintaining a supply of Department letterhead stationery; (7) Preparing and sending Form 49, “Certificate of Election of Department Officers”, to the National Secretary immediately after the annual Department Encampment; (8) In conjunction with the Department Treasurer, prepare and submit a “Department Annual Report” (Form 35) to the National Executive Director on or before May 31 of each year with check for per capita and application fees, plus one copy of each new Brother’s membership application; (9) After the Form 35 has been filed, one Form 30 for each affected Brother shall be forwarded to the National Executive Director by the 15th day of the next month after receipt from a Camp Secretary. Payment of per capita due the National Organization for a new Brother or reinstated Brother must accompany a Form 30. A copy of a new Brother’s membership application must also be attached; (10) Preparing minutes/proceedings of annual Department Encampments; (11) Maintaining copies of annual Department Encampment meeting minutes/proceedings; (12) Maintaining a copy of the Order’s Constitution and Regulations, the Department’s Bylaws and a copy of the Bylaws of each Camp within the Department; (13) Maintaining the Department seal and affixing it to Department documents as needed.

The purpose of the office of Treasurer is to serve as custodian of Camp or Department monies and property, to keep accurate financial records and to prepare periodic financial reports.

Camp Treasurer. The activities of the Camp Treasurer should include: (1) Keeping the financial records of the Camp; (2) Preparing a financial report to be presented at each Camp meeting; (3) Preparing and sending dues notices to Brothers at least one month before the end of the Camp’s fiscal year; (4) Issuing membership cards to Brothers upon receipt of annual dues; (5) Serving as custodian of Camp property not otherwise provided for; (6) Maintaining a bank account in the Camp’s name for Camp funds; (7) Preparing a report on the financial condition of the Camp for review and approval by the Camp Council; (8) In conjunction with the Camp Secretary, prepare a “Camp Annual Report” (Form 27) with check for per capita and application fees, to be submitted to the Department Secretary on or before April 30 of each year; (9) Preparing and submitting a “Life Member Reimbursement Form” (for those Brothers who qualify) before March 31 of each year; (10) Notifying a Brother who is in arrears for dues or fines, no later than March 31 of each year; (11) Preparing and transmitting any and all financial reports as may be required by applicable state law.

Department Treasurer. The activities of the Department Treasurer should include: (1) Keeping financial records of the Department; (2) Preparing an annual financial report for review and approval by the Department Council at the annual Department Encampment; (3) Assuring that Camp related report forms that require input from a Camp Treasurer are made available to those who do not have access to the National Website; (4) Serving as custodian of Department property not otherwise provided for; (5) Maintaining a bank account in the Department’s name for Department funds; (6) In conjunction with the Department Secretary, prepare a “Department Annual Report” (Form 35) with check for per capita and application fees, to be submitted to the National Executive Director on or before May 31 of each year; (7) Preparing and transmitting any and all financial reports as may be required by applicable state law.

The purpose of the three-member Council is to devise and recommend measures to help ensure the financial stability of the Camp or Department and to fill vacancies which may occur in elected Camp or Department offices.

Camp Council. The activities of the Camp Council should include: (1) Devising and recommending measures for preserving and increasing the funds of the Camp; (2) Making the Camp’s investments, leases, and other contracts; (3) Settling and disposing of all disputed accounts between the Camp Treasurer and Brothers of the Camp; (4) Examining the books, vouchers and other financial papers of the Camp; (5) Reviewing and passing upon a quarterly financial report of the Camp; (6) Filling for the unexpired term by of a majority vote of the Council any vacancy which may occur in an elected Camp office.

Department Council. The activities of the Department Council should include: (1) Devising and recommending such measures as will enable the Department to meet all its necessary expenditures; (2) Auditing the annual receipts, expenditures and books of account of the Department; (3) Making a report of the Council’s findings to the Department Encampment; (4) Filling for the unexpired term by a majority vote of the Council any vacancy which may occur in an elected Department office.

The purpose of the office of Patriotic Instructor is to educate and provide Brothers and the general public with information that will help to foster patriotism among the membership and the populace in general.

Camp Patriotic Instructor. The activities of the Camp Patriotic Instructor should include: (1) Presenting at each Camp meeting information on such items as – (a) Civil War military, civilian and other great American leaders, (b) National and state holidays, (c) The United States Flag, (d) Duties of citizenship such as voting, (e) Great Civil War battles and battles of other wars, and (f) Great American artifacts and sites; (2) Providing public displays and orations on patriotism as called upon; (3) Providing awards of recognition to deserving individuals as deemed necessary or ordered by the Camp.

Department Patriotic Instructor. In addition to the duties of Camp Patriotic Instructor, the activities of the Department Patriotic Instructor should also include: (1) Sending information to each Camp Patriotic Instructor on topics which should be stressed at Camp meetings; (2) Writing items for the Department newsletter as desired by the Department Commander.

The purpose of the office of Chaplain is to conduct such devotional services as directed by the Camp or Department.

Camp Chaplain. The activities of the Camp Chaplain should include: (1) Conducting prayer at all meetings; (2) Conducting grave site services for Brothers and important dignitaries; (3) Conducting memorials for grave dedication or rededication ceremonies of veterans – especially Union veterans; (4) Serving as custodian of the Camp Bible unless assigned to another Camp officer; (5) Preparing an annual necrology of Camp Brothers and submitting the list to Department Chaplain; (6) Serving as coordinator for the Camp’s Memorial Day ceremony; (7) Becoming familiar with the duties of the office as set forth in the Order’s Rituals and Ceremonials.

Department Chaplain. In addition to the duties of the Camp Chaplain, the activities of the Department Chaplain should also include: (1) Conducting annual memorial service at Department Encampment for deceased Brothers; (2) Providing each Camp Chaplain with information pertinent to their position; (3) Composing articles for Department newsletters as desired by the Department Commander; (4) Preparing an annual necrology of Department Brothers and submitting the list to National Chaplain; (5) Conducting memorial services for current and past officers of the Department; (6) Becoming familiar with the duties of the office as set forth in the Order’s Ritual and Ceremonials.

The purpose of the office of Historian is to collect and preserve all historical and biographical material pertaining to the Civil War, to members of the Grand Army of the Republic, and to members of the Order.

Camp Historian. The activities of the Camp Historian should include maintaining and cataloging all historical, biographical and/or photographic material given to or developed by the Camp regarding the Civil War, Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW). Such material would include but not be limited to the following: newspaper articles, Post/Camp membership records, Post/Camp meeting minutes, old Post/Camp financial records, photographs, and donated memorabilia.

Department Historian. The activities of the Department Historian would be the same as those for the Camp Historian but carried out on a Department level.

The purpose of the office of Counselor is to serve as a legal advisor to the Commander and to the Camp or Department.

Camp Counselor. The activities of the Camp Counselor should include: (1) Advising the Commander and the Camp on such legal issues as may come before them; (2) Upon request of the Commander, providing advice and interpretation of the Camp’s and Department’s Bylaws, the Order’s Constitution and Regulations, and on parliamentary questions.

Department Counselor. The activities of the Department Counselor should include: (1) Advising the Commander and the Department on such legal issues as may come before them; (2) Upon request of the Commander, providing advice and interpretation of the Department’s Bylaws, the Order’s Constitution and Regulations, and on parliamentary questions.

The purpose of the Guide is to assist the Commander in the floor work of the Ritual during the Camp or Department meeting and to follow any orders given by the Commander.

Camp Guide. The activities of the Camp Guide should include: (1) Ensuring that the Camp room is proper order and that the altar and stations are properly arranged; (2) Instructing candidates for membership per the instructions of the Order’s Ritual and Ceremonials; (3) Acting as an escort for all visitors; (4) Ascertaining if everyone present is entitled to remain for the Camp meeting; (5) Becoming familiar with the duties of the office as set forth in the Order’s Ritual and Ceremonials.

Department Guide. The activities of the Department Guide would be the same as those for the Camp Guide but carried out at the annual Department Encampment.

The purpose of the office of Color Bearer is to care for the Camp/Department colors and to assist the Camp/Department Guide during the Camp/Department meeting.

Camp Color Bearer. The activities of the Camp Color Bearer should include: (1) Placing the altar cloth and an unopened Bible on the altar prior to the opening of the Camp; (2) Placing station banners at the stations prior to the opening of the Camp; (3) Assisting the Guide in ascertaining if everyone present is entitled to remain for the Camp meeting; (4) Presenting the United States Flag during the Pledge of Allegiance by the Camp; (5) Attending to the altar and stations by removing altar cloth, Bible and station banners following the close of the Camp; (6) Becoming familiar with the duties of the office as set forth in the Order’s Ritual and Ceremonials.

Department Color Bearer. In addition to the duties listed for the Camp Color Bearer, the activities of the Department Color Bearer should also include: (1) Encouraging each Camp to obtain and use at all Camp meeting the United States Flag, an altar cloth, Bible and station banners; (2) Encouraging each Camp to display the United States Flag at all Camp ceremonies; (3) Encouraging each Camp to maintain its United States Flag and the ritualistic equipment in a clean and appropriate condition.

The purpose of the office of Guard is to secure the door to the Camp or Department meeting and to admit only those Brothers and visitors who are qualified or entitled to enter.

Camp Guard. The activities of the Camp Guard should include: (1) Securing the door of the Camp meeting; (2) Checking dues receipts or cards of Brothers and admitting only qualified Brothers and authorized visitors; (3) Allowing no one to enter during the opening or closing of the Camp; (4) Allowing no one to enter during the initiation of candidates; (5) Becoming familiar with the duties of the office as set forth in the Order’s Ritual and Ceremonials.

Department Guard. The activities of the Department Guard would be the same as those for the Camp Guard but are carried out at the annual Department Encampment.

The purpose of the Graves Registration Officer is to locate, record, ascertain the condition of and bring to the attention of proper authorities the need for repair or replacement of the grave markers/memorials of Civil War veterans buried in the jurisdiction of the Camp or Department.

Camp Graves Registration Officer. The activities of the Camp Graves Registration Officer should include: (1) Conducting an inventory of the cemeteries located within the confines the Camp’s geographical boundaries and documenting the presence of Civil War veteran grave markers and memorials; (2) Bringing to the attention of appropriate governmental agencies the existence of grave markers/memorials in need of rehabilitation or replacement; (3) Assisting private parties and governmental agencies in the completion of applications for new federal grave markers for Civil War veterans; (4) Providing documentation of location and condition of Civil War veteran grave markers/memorials to the Department Graves Registration Officer.

Department Graves Registration Officer. The activities of the Department Graves Registration Officer would include the same as described for the Camp Graves Registration Officer but carried out on a Department level.

The purpose of the Camp or Department level Civil War Memorials Officer is to coordinate the locating, physical examination of, and recording of all memorials dedicated to Union Civil War soldiers and sailors (outside the care of the National Military Parks, and the U. S. Departments of Defense, or Veterans’ Affairs) within their respective geographic boundaries. This includes all sizes of monuments (with or without sculpture), those with Civil War era cannon and inert ammunition, memorial fountains, memorial buildings, memorial windows (stained glass), historical markers, and even small plaques.

Camp Civil War Memorials Officer. To prevent a duplication of effort on the part of a Camp’s membership, the Camp Civil War Memorials Officer should: (1) coordinate the search for, physical examination of, photographing of, and recording of Civil War Memorials (as described above) located within the confines of the Camp’s geographical boundaries; (2) maintain observation of care and upkeep for “local” Civil War Memorials – and bring any shortcomings to the attention of the property owners and community government where the memorial is located; (3) provide documentation of location and condition of Civil War Memorials (via SUVCW Form CWM 61) to the Department Civil War Memorials Officer.

Department Civil War Memorials Officer. To prevent a duplication of effort on the part of Camps within his Department, a Department Civil War Memorials Officer should coordinate a mutually agreeable Camp assignment of Counties within the state(s) represented by his Department. He then should provide guidance to each Camp for the execution of activities described in points 1 through 3, above. It is encouraged that the Department Civil War Memorials Officer be able to maintain a computer database from the information submitted by each Camp, on the SUVCW “Civil War Memorial Assessment Form” (CWM 61). Electronic cataloging and retrieval of Civil War Memorial photo-images is also encouraged. The Department Civil War Memorials Officer will also forward this information to his Department’s liaison on the National Civil War Memorials Committee.

The purpose of the Recruiting Officer is to provide a single point of contact for potential applicants to obtain information, forms, and assistance as well as to serve as a staff officer, reporting to the Junior Vice Commander, who will maintain membership recruiting and retention statistics.

Camp Recruiting Officer. There is no provision in the Order’s Regulations for a Camp Recruiting Officer. However, Camps may establish such a position. The activities of the Camp Recruiting Officer should include: (1) providing the Commander and the Camp Council with advice and assistance on matters involving membership recruiting and retention; (2) establish recruiting booths at appropriate events and observances; (3) making necessary brochures, forms, and information available to potential applicants; (4) interviewing former members to ascertain real or imagined retention problems; (5) maintain contact with the Recruiting Officer at the higher levels of the organization; (6) establish and maintain an e-mail address for the Camp.

Department Recruiting Officer. The activities of the Department Recruiting Officer, if appointed, would include the same as described for the Camp Recruiting Officer but carried out at the Department level. In addition, he would provide assistance, where possible, to Camp Recruiting Officers and would maintain both e-mail and surface mail contact points for membership information from, and to the Department.

The purpose of the Signals Officer is to serve as the senior advisor on electronic communication technology and manage the assigned resources in such a manner as to reflect positively on the accomplishment of the goals and objectives of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Camp Signals Officer. There is no provision in the Order’s Regulations for a Camp Signals Officer. However, Camps may establish such a position. The activities of the Camp Signals Officer should include: (1) providing the Commander and the Camp Council with advice and assistance relative to matters involving communication and technology; (2) supervise or serve as the Camp Webmaster if the Camp has an Internet home-page or Web site; (3) be familiar with and comply with the National Communication Technology policy.

Department Signals Officer. The activities of the Department Signals Officer, if appointed, would include the same as described for the Camp Signals Officer but carried out at the Department level. In addition, he would provide assistance, where possible, to Camp Signals Officers and would maintain or supervise the maintenance of the Department home-page or Web site.

The purpose of the office of Camp Organizer is to organize local Camps within the jurisdiction of the Department.

The activities of the Camp Organizer should include: (1) Obtaining the names and addresses of all applicants for membership and Brothers living in close proximity of each other in those areas where no local Camp exists and ascertaining their interest in forming a new Camp; (2) Holding pre-organizational meetings with the interested parties to instruct them as to the requirements for Camp organization and chartering and to provide them information on the Order’s Constitution and Regulations and the Department’s Bylaws; (3) Obtaining a Camp number for new Camps from the Department Commander; (4) Holding Camp Organizational meetings and serving, in the absence of the Department Commander, Senior Vice Commander and Junior Vice Commander, as the installing officer; (5) Ensuring that all new Camp organization and chartering paperwork is completed and fees are submitted to the Department Secretary/Treasurer.

The purpose of the office of Department GAR Highway Officer is to ascertain the condition of the GAR designation signage of Route 6, the GAR Highway, as it passes through the state and to bring to the attention of proper authorities the need for repair of the highway and/or replacement or repair of the signage.

The activities of the Department GAR Highway Officer should include: (1) Locating and ascertaining the condition of all GAR designation signage; (2) Reporting missing or damaged signage to the appropriate state official; (3) Researching state laws and legislation affecting the highway; (4) Reporting to the National GAR Highway Officer.