1. On behalf of the National Organization, the National Officers and myself may each Department have a productive and harmonious encampment. As you deliberate the issues before you remember why we exist and always conduct your affairs with an eye towards fraternalism. We have been experiencing an epidemic of petty bickering, improper use and abuse of the disciplinary process, and abuse of authority by a very small group of Department officers. When the Department officers cannot resolve differences among themselves, how can they expect the Brothers to follow them or heed their directions. The continued abuse of authority and out right warfare in one department will not be tolerated. We have made too much progress as an Order and have too many positive actions being taken by the vast majority of the Brothers to allow the bickering and egos of a few to hinder continued progress.
2. Every camp is encouraged to send your total compliment of delegates to your Department Encampment. The SUVCW functions through a representative form of government. When you do not participate, you are allowing others to decide the future direction of your Department. Every camp which is in good standing (all fees, per capita tax, and reports filed) is entitled to send a delegation composed of the Camp Commander, all Past Camp Commanders, one delegate plus one delegate for every ten members or major fraction (six or more) thereof.
3. Every department is encouraged to send its full compliment of delegates to the National Encampment. The National Encampment is the supreme authority of the Order. Any action by a National Encampment can only be changed by another National Encampment. This is the body which determines the direction we will follow for the coming year. Elsewhere you will find information on some of the topics to be discussed at this years encampment. If any Department does not know the number of delegates to which they are entitled, please contact the National Secretary.
4. The 118th National Encampment will be held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania August 5-9, 1998. The tentative agenda and preregistration forms are elsewhere in this issue of the Banner. The host committee is hard at work and has planned a tremendous program. Bring your family. World renowned Hershey Park is a short distance away. If you buy your admission tickets at the hotel they will provide free shuttle service to and from the park.
5. All appointed officers and committee chairmen are reminded that their next quarterly reports are due to the Chief-of-Staff by May 15, 1998. All elected officers are reminded that their next quarterly report is due to this office by May 15, 1998. All officers and committee chairmen are advised that their respective reports to the National Encampment should be limited to a maximum of five (5) minutes unless prior arrangements have been made with this office. When possible, all reports should be submitted to the National Secretary on a 3 1/2 inch IBM compatable computer disc. The documents should be in Word Perfect 6.1 or less, MS Word 5.0 or less or an ASCII text file. Additionally, two copies of all committee reports must be presented in typed form and three copies of all officers reports must be presented in typed form. All reports should be sent to the National Secretary prior to July 25, 1998.
6. Pursuant to action of the Council of Administration, the service area of the Department of Colorado & Wyoming is hereby expanded to include the State of Utah and the State of Montana retroactive to March 1997
7. The service area of the Department of Wisconsin is hereby expanded to include the State of Minnesota effective January 1, 1998.
8. The following Brothers have been appointed National Aides for recruiting five (5) or more new members: David Hann, Frank B. Harned and Allan W. Howey
9. The Meritorious Service Award with Gold Star was presented to Brother James Lyons of the Department of Michigan.
10. The Meritorious Service Award was presented to Brother Richard Williams of the Department of Michigan.
11. The Meritorious Service Award was presented to Brother David Bailey Sr. of the Department of Illinois.
12. 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. Send all donations to the National Treasurer. Please be sure to indicate the fund to which you are donating. All contributions to the SUVCW are tax deductable (1941 IRS ruling).
13. 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 references the IRS exemption ruling and is not valid for exemption from any state or local sales taxes etc. This is not an optional submittal. The Regulations require you to submit this information. Any Department or Camp which does not submit the required information (Form 22, Form 49, EIN, quarterly reports and the above information) is not in good standing and is not entitled to representation at the National or Department Encampment respectively.
14. On behalf of the National Organization our condolences are extended to the family of Brother Robert Delaney, Chr. Life Membership Investment Committee. 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