ARTICLE I - DEPARTMENT CONVENTION
SECTION 1 The annual Convention shall be composed of delegates and alternates from each Post having a paid-up membership at least equal to the fifteen veterans that are required for a charter. A quorum shall be a majority of registered Posts present. Each Post is entitled to five delegates plus one delegate for each fifteen members (or a major fraction) whose current dues have been received by the Department Finance Officer at least thirty days prior to the opening
session. Each Post may have one alternate for each delegate. Delegates and alternates shall be certified to the Convention by the Post Adjutant with a list filed with the Department Adjutant prior to convening the convention.
SECTION 2 The Convention is called for the purpose of receiving annual reports of Department Officers and Convention Commissions and Committees, the consideration of proposed amendments to the Department Constitution and By-Laws, the election and installation of Department Officers for the ensuing year and such other business as may come before the body.
SECTION 3 The vote of each Post shall be the total number of delegates to which the Post is entitled. No Post may be represented by proxy. Each registered delegate shall be entitled to one vote. The vote of any registered delegate absent and not represented by an alternate shall be cast by the majority of the registered delegates present from that delegation. Alternates shall have all privileges of registered delegates except voting. A registered delegate is one who has received credentials after the registration fee has been paid.
SECTION 4 All members of the Department Executive Committee, Past National Officers and Past Commanders of the Department, in good standing with the Department and their respective Posts, if present at the Convention shall be delegates. No person voting as an individual shall be entitled to more than one vote.
SECTION 5 The Convention registration fee shall be set annually by the Department Executive Committee for each delegate to which the Post is entitled, plus twenty dollars per Post. Fees shall be paid prior to the recess of the opening day of the Convention if the delegation is to be recognized. This fee must be paid by each Post, whether or not the Post is actually represented at the Convention. Posts that are in arrearage for prior Convention fees or other debts to the Department must settle such debt before recognition. Alternates and others attending the Convention must also pay the registration fee to be admitted. Department Officers, Department Executive Committeemen, Past National Officers and Past Department Commanders attending the Convention as Delegate-at-Large may pay their own registration fee. Registration fees shall be used by the Department to pay expenses to be incurred in the operation of the Convention while excesses may be paid to the sponsor of the Convention.
SECTION 6 Resolutions shall be in writing and shall be referred to the Department Judge Advocate who will assign them to the proper Convention Committee for consideration and recommendation provided they are of proper form and germane. All resolutions must be relevant to the objectives of The American Legion. Americanism, Internal Affairs, National Security, and Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation or Economics. Resolutions submitted by other organizations for their own interests shall not be acceptable. All resolutions calling for action by the National Executive Committee or the National Convention of The American Legion must be supported by:
a. Identification of the individual or group originating the resolution
b. A written statement or brief supporting the arguments in favor of the action sought
c. A written statement clearly establishing the material relevance of the
subject to the objectives of The American Legion
SECTION 7 The Department Convention may elect delegates and alternates to the National Convention or may delegate selection to the Department Executive Committee.
SECTION 8a The annual per capita dues paid by Posts to the Department shall be set by the Convention and shall include the per capita dues paid to the National organization. The amount may be altered only by the Convention except that when the National per capita is changed, the total collected by the Department shall be adjusted accordingly. Department increases shall become payable starting the first day of the calendar year following the Convention.
SECTION 8b The annual dues shall be collected by each Post and transmitted promptly through the Department to the National Treasurer. Posts are designated agents for the collection for the Department with respect to such annual dues and upon receipt thereof shall remit them promptly to the Department. In no event shall the period transpiring between the receipt of such annual dues by a Post and the remittance thereof to the Department exceed thirty (30) days.
ARTICLE II - DEPARTMENT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SECTION 1 The Executive Committee shall consist of the Department Commander, the National Executive Committeeman, the Alternate National Executive Committeeman, the Department Senior Vice Commander, the Department Vice Commanders from all seven Districts, the Judge Advocate, the Adjutant, the Finance Officer, the Service Officer, the Chaplain, the Historian, the Sergeant-at-Arms, Past National Officers and Past Department Commanders in good standing with the Department and one elected Representative from each Post.
SECTION 2 Past National Officers and Past Department Commanders, having been delinquent over 90 days in dues payment for any year shall lose all rights to voice and vote. Later reinstatement of membership shall not restore the right of voice and vote at the Executive Committee or the Convention for the current year. All members of the Executive Committee must be in good standing to exercise their voice and vote.
SECTION 3 Eleven members shall constitute a quorum; the majority must be Post Representatives provided that the Commander of the Department is empowered to appoint any member of the Post or Posts as the temporary Post Representative, if needed, to meet quorum requirements. Except as provided in Section 4, only Post Representatives named on the current certification of Officers to Department shall be recognized.
SECTION 4 Should a Post fail to have its Representative present at two successive meetings of the Executive Committee, the Department Adjutant shall notify the Post that a vacancy exists and request that the position be filled. The Post shall fill the vacancy or request that a member of the Post be appointed by the Department Commander. When a temporary or permanent replacement attends a meeting, he shall have a statement signed by the Post Commander or Adjutant designating that individual as the Post Representative.
SECTION 5 The Department Commander shall call a special meeting of the Executive Committee upon a written request of five or more members of the Committee, stating the purpose of the meeting. If the Department Commander fails to call a special meeting when properly requested, the Department Adjutant shall call the special meeting. The Department Commander may call a special meeting of the Executive Committee at any time he deems necessary to conduct the business of the Department. Written notice for all special meetings must be mailed at least ten days prior to the meeting. Business transacted at a special meeting shall be limited to the purpose for which the meeting was called.
SECTION 6 The Executive Committee may transact business by recognized methods of communications on matters of extreme urgency not involving the establishment of new policy or matters of money in excess of $100.00 provided action cannot be delayed until the next regular meeting.
SECTION 7 All meetings of the Executive Committee shall be open to any Post member as well as visiting Legionnaires except when the Executive Committee resolves itself to be in a closed meeting.
SECTION 8 No appropriation shall be considered by the Executive Committee unless it has been submitted to and approved by the Finance and Budget Committee, except when the proposed appropriation is rejected or when said Finance Committee is not available. The proposer may then present the matter directly to the Executive Committee, provided the Finance Officer is consulted concerning availability of funding.
SECTION 9 The Executive Committee shall cause to be issued at each regular Executive Committee by the Finance Officer, a statement of the itemized financial accounts of the Department for the preceding two months. A copy of the statement shall be furnished to all members of the Committee and to each Post in the Department. The Executive Committee shall also request an audit of all financial records of the Department each year to be submitted at the annual Convention.
SECTION 10 Only the Executive Committee may authorize employment of necessary personnel for conducting the affairs of the Department. The Committee shall allow reasonable salaries.
SECTION 11 The Department budget, established by the Convention on fiscal year basis starting July 1, may be changed as necessary by a majority vote of the Executive Committee meeting in regular or special session.
SECTION 12 The Executive Committee shall have the power to impose and enforce penalties assessed and shall have the power to issue orders necessary to accomplish its purposes. Refusal or failure to obey on the part of any member, Post or District shall be punishable by such action as may be deemed appropriate including suspension, cancellation or revoking of charters or to recognize an individual or group.
ARTICLE III - DUTIES OF OFFICERS
SECTION 1 The Department Commander shall be the executive head of the Department and shall preside at meetings. It shall be his duty to see that the Constitution and By-Laws of the Department are strictly observed and the Department Officers and Committees properly execute their duties. He shall have full power to enforce the provisions of the Department Constitution and By-Laws and mandates of the Department Convention and Executive Committee. He shall make regular reports to the Executive Committee of his activities and submit an annual report to the Department Convention. He shall be caused to be issued by the Adjutant, travel orders of which disbursement shall be made by the Department Finance Officer provided such items are budgeted.
SECTION 2 The Department Senior Vice Commander, in case of death, resignation or the failure of the Department Commander to serve, shall assume the office of Department Commander. He may act as the representative of the Department Commander when designated.
SECTION 3 Department Vice Commanders shall assist the Department Commander in promoting and coordinating programs and activities of the Department among Districts and Posts under their jurisdiction. They will perform their duties as may be delegated by the Department Commander. They shall see that the Districts and Posts within their respective jurisdiction are properly organized and functioning in an efficient manner. They shall encourage the Districts and Posts to participate in the programs and activities proposed and sponsored by the Department.
SECTION 4 The Department Adjutant shall supervise all employees of the Department where employment may be terminated for good cause by the Adjutant with approval of the Executive Committee. The Adjutant shall attend all meetings of the Executive Committee and shall have the proceedings of the meetings recorded. He is in charge of the Department Seal. After each Department Convention and Executive Committee meeting, he shall transmit to the Posts and Department Officials, minutes of such meetings. All proceedings of the Convention are to be permanently recorded by the Adjutant. All petitions, reports, appeals, returns, and other communications at the Convention are to be delivered to the Adjutant to see that they are filed in an orderly manner and carefully preserved. He is to distribute the documents referred to committee or other officers, according to the Constitution and By-Laws and the orders of the Department, and to notify members of their appointments to any duties. The Department Adjutant shall superintend the printing of all documents, proceedings, and other matters ordered to be printed by the Executive Committee. The Department Adjutant shall check the correctness and completeness of all expense accounts submitted to the Department for payment before they are submitted to the Department Commander for approval and to the Finance Officer for payment. He shall keep an accurate list of the Posts and Officers of Posts and shall supply all Department Officers and Committeemen with the list. The Department Adjutant shall perform such other duties incidental to his office as the Department Commander and/or the Executive Committee may direct. Allowances for the Adjutant and conditions of appointment shall be fixed by the Department Executive Committee. The Department Adjutant is the top Administrative Officer of the Department.
SECTION 5 The Department Finance Officer shall receive and receipt all monies due the Department from any source and shall enter them in regular accounts designated for an intended purpose. He shall make disbursements only on proper authorization. Finance Officer shall make a written annual financial report at the Convention, a written bi-monthly itemized financial statement of the accounts of the Department since the preceding Executive Committee meeting and such other written reports as ordered by the Executive Committee. The Finance Officer shall receive the annual audit from the audit committee and submit the same at the annual Convention. He may receive an allowance as such that may be approved by the Department Executive Committee.
SECTION 6 The Department Judge Advocate is the Parliamentarian and advises Department Officers, the Department Executive Committee and the Convention of all Parliamentary matters including the construction and interpretation of the National and Department Constitution and By-Laws, resolutions, and proceedings. At the Department Convention, all resolutions shall be referred to determine that they are properly written and germane to the objects and purposes of the organization. All proper resolutions will, in turn, be assigned by the Judge Advocate to the appropriate committees. He shall also perform such other duties as are usually incidental to the office or as directed by the Commander.
SECTION 7 The Department Historian shall keep an accurate history of the principal events pertaining to the Department, Districts, Posts, and their members. The Historian shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Department Commander.
SECTION 8 The Department Sergeant-at-Arms shall be present at all Executive Committee meetings and the annual Convention. It shall be his duty to carry all messages between the Department Commander and Officers or members. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall maintain order and decorum in the meetings as provided in the Constitution and By-Laws and as directed by the Commander. At Executive Committee meetings the Sergeant-at-Arms shall determine that only Post Delegates that are certified to Department be allowed to sign the roster.
SECTION 9 The Department Chaplain shall be charged with the spiritual welfare of all members in attendance at the Convention and all Executive Committee meetings. He will open and close all meetings with Divine but non-sectarian prayer. The Chaplain shall also perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the Department Commander.
SECTION 10 The Department Service Officer is the vital link in the nationwide network of American Legion service to America’s veterans. The Department Service Officer is required to be certified by National Organization to perform the duties of the position. The Service Officer shall work out of an office provided at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Service Officer must be readily available to serve those veterans seeking assistance. The duties of the Service Officer require assistance not only to Legion members but any veteran who seeks assistance through that office. The Service Officer must be dedicated to helping fellow veterans without discrimination and/or prejudice in all matters pertaining to that office. He must submit an activities report to the Executive Committee at each meeting. He shall also make an annual report at the Department Convention. Allowances for the Department Service Officer shall be recommended by the Finance & Budget Committee and approved by the Department Executive Committee.
ARTICLE IV - COMMITTEES AND COMMISSIONS
SECTION 1 The committees and/or Commissions of the Department shall be:
a. The Finance and Budget Standing Committee which shall consist of five members, two appointed by the Department Commander from the Executive Committee to serve for one year while the other three members shall be appointed for a term of three years, one to be appointed each year by the then Department Commander. Chairman shall be designated by the Commander. The Committee shall prepare the yearly budget and present it to the Convention for approval and conduct other duties as prescribed. The budget shall be prepared for each fiscal year starting July 1.
b. Special Committees. The Department Commander may appoint such special committees as he may deem necessary.
c. Department Convention Select Committees shall be Americanism, National Security, Internal Organization, Constitution and By-Laws, Finance, Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, Resolution Assignments, Credentials and Rules. Chairmen of the Convention Committees shall be appointed by the Department Commander.
SECTION 2 There shall be five commissions of activity, each having various committees.
a. Americanism with committees for Baseball, Boy Scouts, Oratorical, Education and Scholarship, Children and Youth, Junior Shooting Sports and Citizen’s Flag Alliance.
b. Internal Organization with committees for Membership, Constitution and By-Laws, Finance & Budget, Legislative, SAL, POW/MIA, Child Welfare, Publicity/Public Relations, Trophies & Awards, Building, and Community Service.
c. National Security with committees for Armed Forces, Civil Defense, Aeronautics and Space, Merchant Marines, Military Affairs, Naval Affairs, JROTC and Law & Order.
d. Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation with committees for Employment, Housing, Hospitals and VAVS, and Veterans Preference, Economics, Emergency Fund, and Heroes to Hometown.
SECTION 3 The Commissions shall consist of three members. The members of each Commission shall be appointed and shall serve a term of three years with the terms so staggered that one will retire each year. The Chairman of each committee under each Commission shall be appointed for a one year term. Appointments shall be by the Department Commander. The Chairman of each Commission shall be designated annually by the Commander. Duties of the Commission are those normal to the group and as assigned by the Department Convention, Department Commander and the Department Executive Committee.
ARTICLE V - DISCIPLINE
SECTION 1 The Department Executive Committee may suspend, cancel or revoke a Post Charter as provided in the National By-Laws, Article III.
SECTION 2 Any member of the Department Executive Committee may be disciplined by the Executive Committee in a manner similar to that provided in National By-Laws, Article IV.
SECTION 3 Any member of any Post in the Department may be tried by the Department whenever the charges are based upon an act by the member that resulted in harm or damage to the image of the Department or National Organization or to their officers, committees or commissions. The manner shall be as in Section 2 of this article.
SECTION 4 No member of the Department shall author a complaint or an appeal in the media or the National Organization concerning The American Legion until all legal rights, avenues and remedies of recourse have been explored and exhausted at Post, District and/or Department. Failure to comply with this requirement may be punished as established by Section 3, preceding.
ARTICLE VI - BONDING, MONIES, AND SOLICITATIONS
SECTION 1 All Department, District, and Post Officials handling The American Legion monies shall be properly bonded with a registered bonding and surety company. The bond provided shall be approved by the Department Judge Advocate and the Department Executive Committee.
SECTION 2 The Department Commander may, for good cause, assign Special Auditors to investigate the membership rolls and financial statements of any Post.
SECTION 3 Donations or funds from special programs (baseball, souvenir programs, etc.), shall be given to the Finance Officer for safe keeping and disbursed at the discretion of committee concerned but within the limits of their budget. The total disposition of funds shall be reported at the first Department Executive Committee meeting following the closing of the project.
SECTION 4 No Department Commission or Committee, District, Post, or any other group or individual under the jurisdiction of the Department shall solicit funds from businesses, the community or any other non-Legion source without prior written permission of the Department Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VII - POST AND DISTRICT CHARTERS AND ORGANIZATION
SECTION 1 The Department may charter Posts in accordance with Article IX of the National Constitution.
SECTION 2 The Post shall be organized in the manner prescribed by the same Article. Minimum membership shall be 15.
SECTION 3 The Executive Committee may form a District when three or more Posts are located in a geographic area. When formed, all posts in the area are members of the District. The District may provide their own Constitution and By-Laws, subject to the Department Judge Advocate’s approval and acceptance by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VIII - PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE
SECTION 1 The Constitution and By-Laws shall be the Supreme Law of the organization, subject only to the laws of the land and of the National Organization.
SECTION 2 The content of the Constitution and By-Laws as well as questions of procedure not covered shall be governed by Robert’s Rules or Order (Newly) Revised. This authority shall prevail at all legion meetings and conventions in all cases where applicable and not in conflict with the Constitution and By-Laws or other superior laws.
ARTICLE IX - AMENDMENTS
SECTION 1 This Constitution and By-Laws may only be amended at a Department Convention by a vote of two-thirds of the registered delegates present provided that the proposed amendment(s) shall have been submitted to the Department Adjutant at least sixty days prior to the convening of the Department Convention and that the Department Adjutant shall submit amendment(s) to all Posts at least thirty days prior to the Department Convention. They shall become effective upon approval.
This document has been reviewed and approved as to content by the Department Judge Advocate, the Department Constitution and By-Laws Committee, the Convention Constitution and By-Laws Committee and has been approved by the 71st Convention of The American Legion, Department of Hawaii in Honolulu on June 22, 1990, and, as amended by the 76th Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii on June 22-23, 1995 and., as amended by the 78th Convention in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on June 26-27, 1997, and as amended at the 89th Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii on June 26-27, 2008.