1. On behalf of the National Organization, the National Officers and myself may each Brother and his family have a happy and joyous holiday season and may we each have a prosperous, productive and fraternal new year.
2. The 41st Annual Remembrance Day Activities were held November 15, 1997 in Gettysburg, PA. The event was well attended and the new format which included moving to the Angle as a group for the Confederate Ceremony was accomplished without difficulty. The net proceeds ($13,000) from the National Civil War Ball for the past three years was presented to the National Park Service in memory of the GAR. This donation will be used to repair the historic fence surrounding the copse of trees. The Remembrance Day Committee is to be congratulated for a job well done.
3. Our sincerest appreciation is extend to the Gettysburg merchants who contributed the necessary funds to pay the permit fee which was imposed by the Borough of Gettysburg. They also made a sizeable contribution to the SVR and pledged to work with the Committee and the Borough to assure we are not subjected to the permit fee again and to return the parade route to its original path.
4. A special thank you to the Department of Pennsylvania for securing the surrey in which I and lone GAR member portrayed by PCINC David Medert road in the parade.
5. There seems to be some confusion over the relationship of the local units of the Sons of Veterans Reserve and camps and departments. The SVR is the National Military Department. It has its own structure and has a status equivalent to any other department. Local SVR units are responsible to the SVR District Commander not to any SUVCW camp or department. The SVR is the ceremonial arm of the SUVCW and is to assist camps and departments to the extent possible with ceremonies and other activities. They must be requested to assist. Neither camps nor departments can order or otherwise compel SVR units to participate in their activities. Likewise, SVR units cannot compel camps or departments to participate in their activities. But let us not forget, we are all members of the same fraternal Order and should strive to cooperate with and support all components of the Order. See the organization chart which is published elsewhere in this issue of the Banner.
6. Requests for the GAR Memorial Scholarship applications should be directed to this office. All applications received will be forwarded to the Scholarship Committee. The committee will make recommendations to the Commander-in-Chief. There is no requirement that an applicant be a member or relative of a member. Please keep in mind that we only award two scholarships and they are awarded on scholastic merit.
7. All appointed officers and committee chairmen are reminded that their next quarterly reports are due to the Chief-of-Staff by February 15, 1998. All elected officers are reminded that their next quarterly report is due to this office by February 15, 1998.
8. The resignation of David Wallace from the Per Capita Tax Committee was accepted effective September 1, 1997..
9. James Frelein, DC (Maryland) is hereby appointed a National Aide and attached to the Legislative Affairs Committee effective September 1, 1997.
10. Brother Nathan Harrison (Michigan) is hereby appointed a member of the Special Advisory committee to the Commander-in-Chief on Membership effective upon his 14th birthday (December 4, 1997).
11. The resignation of Glenn B. Knight, DC as Web Master is hereby accepted effective upon the transfer of materials to his successor.
12. Keith G. Harrison, PCINC is hereby appointed Web Master effective upon the transfer of materials to him.
13. The following Brothers have been appointed National Aides for recruiting five (5) or more new members: Elmer F. Atkinson, Thomas Prince, Eric Schmincke.
14. Brothers are reminded to support the Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief's Fund, the Grand Army of the Republic Fund, the Permanent Fund, and the National Headquarters Fund.
15. Department Commanders. Department Secretaries, Camp Commanders and Camp Secretaries are reminded that it is vital that you submit the names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses where they exist of new officers to the National Secretary. Also, you need to submit your EIN number. We must verify these with the IRS annually. When applying for or amending an EIN you must inform the IRS that you are a subordinate unit of the National Organization SUVCW and provide the Group Exemption Number (GEN) 0429. This number reference the IRS exemption ruling and is not valid for exemption from any state or local sales taxes etc.
16. Very few Departments have complied with General Order No. 3. Department Commanders are reminded that the requested information must be provided to the National Secretary.
17. While there are no provisions in the Constitution and Regulations for the inclusion of fringe on Camp, Department, or National SUVCW flags and the United States Flag code is silent on the issue, there also is no prohibition on the use of such fringe. The decoration of flags with fringe is generally reserved for those flags which will, for the most part, be displayed indoors. Therefore, after consulting with the National Counselor, it is the ruling of this office that the use of gold fringe on the edges of Camp, Department and National flags and the National Colors is a permissible option for flags which will be generally displayed indoors. Further, if gold fringe is applied to the Camp, Department of National SUVCW flag, it must be applied to the accompanying National Colors.
18. Departments are assigned service areas in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations. Departments are not free to annex adjoining states or camps in adjoining states. A petition for change in the service area must be submit by all concerned parties to the Commander-in-Chief. The Commander-in-Chief will evaluate the proposal and make a determination as to the efficacy of such request and either approve or deny the change.
19. Based on information which has come to my attention, a number of camps and departments are not functioning in a manner consistent with the Constitution and Regulations. All Department and Camp Officers are reminded to acquire copies of the Constitution and Regulations, Job Descriptions and Ritual. The later two items are part of the C&R by reference. Camp and Departments are required to adhere to the provisions of these documents. Additionally, no change to a Department By-Laws is effective until reviewed by the National Counselor and approved by the Commander-in-Chief. Likewise, amendments to Camp By-laws must be approved by the Department Commander.
20. The next Council of Administration meeting will convene at 0700 hours EST on 7 March 1998 at the Ramada Inn, Sharron, PA. The time is subject to change. The meeting is open to any Brother who wishes to attend. Members of the Council are reminded to submit agenda items to the National Secretary by February 22, 1998. Any submissions from any Department, Camp, or Brother for consideration by the Council of Administration must be received by the National Secretary no later than February 22, 1998.
21. On behalf of the National Organization our condolences are extended to Brother William McMaster PDC, National Personal Aide, on the loss of his mother. Our sympathies are extended to all Brothers and Sisters who have lost a loved one, are ill, or suffering in any manner.
By Order of
Richard D. Orr