General Orders No. 16
Kent L. Armstrong, Commander-in-Chief
213 E. Madison Street / P.O. Box 618
DeWitt, MI 48820-0618
(517) 669-5765 = Voice
(517) 669-1865 = Fax
- Part of the obligation, taken during the initiation of a candidate for membership in this organization, is the pledge to "obey the Constitution and Regulations of this Order." This document (also known as the "C&R") provides for the governance of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) at the Camp, Department, and National levels of the organization. In addition to each individual's pledge, those Brothers who are elected to leadership roles are expected to uphold the C&R and enforce its provisions if necessary.
- The Ritual of our Order is, by reference, a part of the C&R and thus enforceable. During the installation of Camp officers for instance, the Installing Officer asks a Camp Commander-elect to respond affirmatively to several questions before proceeding. The very first question asks, "Do you agree to be impartial and upright, and to obey all orders or rules and regulations originating from proper authority?" Other questions ask in part if the Camp Commander-elect will "promise to avoid disputes and quarrels" and if he will promise to see that the Camp Secretary and Treasurer reports are sent in promptly to Department Headquarters. Maintaining the harmony of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is another pledge. Furthermore, when any Camp officer takes the OATH OF OFFICE, he solemnly and sincerely promises and declares that he will faithfully adhere to the Constitution and Regulations and execute & sustain all orders coming from competent authority. Another sentence in the OATH OF OFFICE states in part, "I furthermore promise and declare that in no manner or form will I, in any degree, abuse or misuse the authority placed in me."
- After a lengthy review of repeated C&R violations, committed willfully by a Camp Commander, I am compelled to issue this General Order of Suspension.
- The issue stems from a Camp that was placed under suspension by a Department Commander for failure to submit all reports and per capita. Under such suspension, a Camp can ONLY meet to discuss and/or act upon the issue(s) that require(s) action in order for that Camp to come back into compliance. The Commander of the Camp that was placed under suspension asked the Commander-in-Chief to look into the matter, but rather than wait for a thorough review, the Camp Commander conducted regular business meetings on repeated occasions. The Camp Commander, himself, wrote to the National Counselor and the C-in-C, detailing how he held elections and installed himself as both Camp Commander AND Camp Secretary. The letter made it clear that these violations were willful. The Camp Commander also wrote that he would not obey orders from the Department Commander nor take receipt of correspondence from the Department Secretary.
- Such willful disobedience of, and disregard for the Regulations of our Order has led me to the unpleasant task of exercising summary discipline, as described in Chapter V (General Regulations), Article, VI (Discipline), Section 17. Following these guidelines, I submitted a formal Complaint with Charges and Specifications to the National Council of Administration, asking that a vote be taken to support the charges in order to authorize this officer to proceed. The vote was unanimous for the matter to move forward.
- Therefore, effective immediately, Douglass R. Knight is hereby suspended from his status as a Brother in good standing, pending review of the charges by a hearing council to be appointed by the Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief. Additionally, Douglass R. Knight is suspended from any and all duties as an officer of the William L. S. Tabor Camp 162, Department of Massachusetts, SUVCW. Furthermore, if the hearing council rules the Charges and Specifications to be true, the hearing council may take any action allowed by the C&R. However, my recommendation is that the hearing council remove Douglass R. Knight from all elective and/or appointed offices of the Order and to prohibit him from holding any further elected and/or appointed office in the Order.
- The election of all officers for William L. S. Tabor Camp 162, that took place on November 17, 2003 while this Camp was under suspension, is hereby ruled as null and void. Effective immediately, the last legally elected and installed Senior Vice Commander of William L. S. Tabor Camp 162, Department of Massachusetts, SUVCW is in command of the Camp and responsible for meeting with officers of the Department of Massachusetts, to facilitate this Camp returning to compliance. When this is achieved, the Department of Massachusetts can lift the suspension and oversee immediate, legal election and installation of Camp officers. If necessary, the last legally elected/installed Junior Vice Commander of this Camp is charged with the duties described above.
- As a consequence of the November 4, 2003 Suspension of Camp 162, those gentlemen who were admitted by Camp 162 after that date cannot be recognized as Brothers of the SUVCW. They may however, be elected into membership in Camp 162 after that Camp is reinstated.
Ordered this 23rd day of February, 2004.
By Order of:
Kent L. Armstrong
Edward Krieser, PCinC
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