The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m. by Commander-in-Chief David R. Medert. Brother J. Douglas Park gave the invocation. Commander-in-Chief Medert lead the Council of Administration (CoA) in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Members Present: Commander-in-Chief David R. Medert; Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Alan R. Loomis; Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Richard D. Orr; Council Members Andrew M. Johnson, Robert Grim, J. Douglas Park and PCinC Keith G. Harrison; National Treasurer PCinC Charles W. Corfman; National Quartermaster PCinC Elmer F. Atkinson; National Membership-At-Large Coordinator L. Dean Lamphere, Jr.; Edward Krieser, Department of Indiana; and Brothers Jason Moore and Herb Webb, Department of Ohio.
It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes of the November 19, 1995 CoA meeting as distributed; motion passed.
National Officers Quarterly Reports
Commander-in-Chief Medert reported that he had received and sent, thus far, 621 and 325 e-mail messages, respectively; received and sent 250 and 200 U.S. mail items, respectively; processed 42 certificates of merit and one meritorious service award; and issued one new Camp Charter (General Torbert Camp in Delaware). Fifty inquiries for the Commander-in-Chief's two scholarships have been referred to the Special National Scholarship Committee for review and recommendation; the deadline is March 31st. He has appointed 10 attorneys as national aides serving in the capacity as Assistant National Counselors; one of which was assigned to the Gettysburg Camp. Finally, he reported that he had attended 33 different activities including the Washington, DC Abraham Lincoln Birthday Commemoration and a meeting with Generals Corfman and Schlenker, Colonel Atkinson, and Lt. Grim regarding the Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR).
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Loomis reported that additional advertisements had been placed in Everton's Genealogical Helper and the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution magazines. He briefly reported on the progress being made on the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall in Elgin, Illinois and the proposed ceremony in Decatur, Illinois.
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Orr indicated that, to date, a total of 805 inquiries had been received and processed. Of these, 308 were received electronically (e-mail, world wide web and fax), 164 from four magazine advertisements, 17 from the Daughters of the American Revolution and 316 from other sources. He reported that he had four referrals that he needed to follow up on due to a lack of action on the part of a Department, Camp-at-Large and Membership-at-Large. Finally, he also reported that there may be a possibility of a Canadian Camp.
[Special National Committee on Life Membership Report - Due to time constraints, the Special Committee presented its recommended Life Membership program out of agenda sequence]
Brothers Jason Moore and Herb Webb indicated that their report was based on actuarial reports from insurance companies and life membership programs currently operating within the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. The Committee's recommendations included an updated schedule for life member dues covering more age categories, changes to the Constitution and Regulations (C & R), a cut off date for the existing life membership program and the creation of a three-member Standing National Life Membership Investment Committee. A motion was made and seconded to have the report referred to the National Counselor for review and reporting back to the Commander-in-Chief with an outline of the steps and time-lines needed to have the issue legally brought before the National Encampment; motion passed with PCinC Corfman dissenting. Commander-in-Chief Medert requested that upon receipt of the National Counselor's review, the proposal minus the proposed dues schedule could be sent to the Departments for passage at their Encampments and forwarding to the National Encampment. The proposed dues schedule needs to be discussed further and could be included later as an amendment if the program passes.
National Quartermaster, PCinC Atkinson reported that updated forms were available from the Quartermaster and that he had prepared an article for publication in the Banner explaining how to order supplies from the Quartermaster. He also indicated that he was still working on obtaining a new seal for the Order.
A motion was made and seconded to (1) drop the multi-color format from the Order's official letter-head; (2) that Departments and Camps be afforded through the National Quartermaster letter-head incorporating the SUVCW and GAR badges on top and the bottom language "Legal Heir ... Grand Army of the Republic"; and (3) when ready, that an example of the letter-head and a brief article be placed into the Banner indicating the necessity for using the prescribed letter-head; motion passed. Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Orr indicated that he would provide PCinC Atkinson with a mock up for printing; motion passed.
A motion was made and seconded to authorize the National Quartermaster to sell SVR-related materials; motion passed.
National Secretary (David Wallace): PCinC Harrison distributed copies of National Secretary David Wallace's report. Brother Wallace reported that (1) the membership stood at 4,584 as of December31, 1995; (2) one new Camp and five new Camps-at-Large were organized during the quarter; (3) four Departments (Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Southwest) and two Camps-at-Large (Isaac Murphy #1 - Arkansas and James B. McPherson #1 - Georgia) were delinquent in filing their Second Quarter Reports and paying per-capita tax (all were sent delinquency notices); (4) Department-organizing activity continued during the quarter in Florida, Missouri and Tennessee; (5) Camps-at-Large in Utah and Montana may affiliate with the Department of Colorado and Wyoming and (6) the 1982 and 1988 National Encampment Proceedings had been prepared for printing and publication. In addition, he had attached to his report a letter from the Department of Vermont which he sought clarification. Following review of the report, the following actions were taken:
1. A motion was made and seconded to reduce the number of Camp Organizer Packets being made available to Departments from four to one; motion passed.
2. A motion was made and seconded for the Council of Administration to endorse the Save Outdoor Sculpture (SOS) Project as a worthy project for all Camps and Departments and to encourage their active participation; motion passed.
3. A motion was made and seconded that Commander-in-Chief appoint a Special National SOS Committee to coordinate with the SOS Program Assistant, act as liaison with the Departments and Camps-at-large and to coordinate publication of the program in the Banner; motion passed. Commander-in-Chief appointed Brother Kent Armstrong, Michigan Department, as the Committee Chair and requested that Brother Armstrong recommend two additional Brothers for appointment to the Committee.
4. A motion was made and seconded that the National Organization provide only upon request a SOS Fund-Raising Kit to all Camps-at-Large (except those in Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Billings, Montana) but not Departments - who would need to purchase their own, and place an article in the Banner advising the membership of the availability of the kits and name of the contact person; motion passed.
A motion was made and seconded that the Order would offer to SOS the opportunity to use its printer to affix member address labels to their fliers and to mail the material provided that SOS provide the fliers, pay for the printer's time and pay for the postage; motion passed.
5. A motion was made and seconded that the Advertising Editor of the Banner be directed to contact the SOS Program Assistant Lynn Clark in order to discuss advertising rates; motion passed.
Commander-in-Chief Medert indicated that he would direct the National Secretary to have the Special National SOS Program Committee look into the possibility of conducting a SOS Workshop (costs and logistics) at the 1996 National Encampment and to report back to him of its findings.
Commander-in-Chief Medert indicated that the National Secretary would be directed to respond back to the February 28, 1996 correspondence from the Department of Vermont and indicate that the $250 authorized for advertising was not a grant offer but rather an offer for the Department to be reimbursed up to a maximum of $250 based on submittal of paid receipts and a request for reimbursement to the National Treasurer.
National Treasurer, PCinC Corfman briefly reviewed the report prepared by the Order's Accountant (Geraldine Orr) and indicated that two CDs in the Permanent Fund were coming due and his intent to move them to a bank which could provide an interest rate from 5.6 percent to 5.9 percent. He also indicated that the Accountant's contract was coming due. A motion was made and seconded to offer an extension of the Order's contract with its accountant, Geraldine Orr, for a period of 24 months; motion passed with Brother Orr abstaining. After a brief discussion, a motion was made and seconded to increase the offer of extension of the previous adopted motion from 24 to 25 months; motion passed with Brother Orr abstaining.
Life Membership Coordinator Orr reported that applications for Life Membership were up in anticipation of an increase in life membership dues. He also indicated that there was a need for additional life membership cards and that the Order should consider having Life Member Certificates prepared.
Membership-at-Large (MAL) Coordinator-Dean Lamphere reported that the MAL has 400 members. He has sent out the second dues notice for 1996 and is anticipating about 160 more renewals. In addition, he asked all 1995 dropped MALs to consider reactivating their membership and sent out a letter on how to transfer to a Camp or Camp-at-Large. Finally, he indicated that he will not be seeking another term as National MAL Coordinator. As a consequence, and since he has computerized the MAL program, the new MAL Coordinator will need to know "MS Office Professional" (in particular MS Assess) in order to effectively serve in the capacity.
National Counselor (Jim Pahl): Brother Pahl reported that the National legal staff was up to 10 attorneys. Each member of the legal staff has been provided guidelines and reporting requirements, and each will be receiving a copy of the C & R from the National Quartermaster. Regarding the Elgin, Illinois GAR building, a motion has been filed in court for a share of sale price plus the right to go through the contents. The National Counselor expects a favorable resolution by end of the year. The National Counselor has heard nothing further on Quest's claim against the Department of Rhode Island and therefore has closed his file on it. The Order's World Wide Web Home Page now has a National Counselor sub-page. Finally, Brother Pahl plans to complete a digest of legal opinions of the Sons of Veterans, USA and the SUVCW and to put it onto the National Counselor's sub-page. The Digest would serve as a resource for the Order's legal staff.
Commander-in-Chief Medert indicated the he will request that National Counselor prepare a letter to each Departments and Camp-at-Large requesting that it submit a summary of all legal matters in which it is currently involved. Also, it was indicated that there was no problem with Brother Pahl's desire to research and put a digest of previous opinions of National Counselors and Commanders-in-Chief onto the Order's World Wide Web Home Page.
National Chaplain (Rev. Jerry Caroon): Rev. Caroon reported that he has been active in ceremonies and is ready to pray.
National Patriotic Instructor (Dave Turpin): Brother Turpin reported that solicitations were sent out to each Department encouraging community involvement, $795 had been received for the GAR Memorial Fund; and that only two flag recognition certificate requests had been received.
National Historian and Banner Advertising Editor (Danny Wheeler): Brother Wheeler reported that advertising in Banner has not been all he desires. He expressed concern that the rates have not yet been published by the Banner and that such should be printed in every issue. He also reported that he has been helping to answer the on-line history questions and has been working with PCinC Corfman on the 1997 National Encampment site selection process in New York.
Banner Editor (Greg Hayes): Brother Hayes reported that two Banner issues were out and that a third issue is scheduled out on March 15th. He indicated that there have been problems with the printer (photos and timeliness) and he may need to switch printer. Also, first class mailing to PCinCs and National Officers has not proved totally successful and he has not yet received any advertisement rates for publishing. The Order has been saving money with the use of inserts and article submissions and, therefore, issue page numbers have been rising.
The Commander-in-Chief expressed concern with the lack of publication of the advertisement rates and indicated that he is getting conflicting reports from both the Banner Editor and Banner Advertising Editor on this subject. As a consequence, he directed the Chief of Staff to have the Banner Advertising Editor contact the Banner Editor directly and resolve this issue. A brief discussion regarding the possibility of capping the page number per issue briefly ensued. The consensus was not to do anything at this time. The Commander-in-Chief requested that the Chief of Staff ask the Editor about the status of the 100th Anniversary Issue.
National Guard (Doug Smith): Brother Smith reported that he has been working with PCinC Corfman on the 1997 National Encampment Site selection process.
National Aide for Protocol (PCinC Richard Greenwalt): PCinC Greenwalt reported that he has had no requests or complaints.
National Membership List Coordinator (Richard Williams): Brother Williams reported that the total mailing list stands at 4,652.
National Camp and Department Organizer (Richard Greene): Brother Greene reported that letters to Tennessee and Florida were sent in January 1996 regarding their status in forming Departments.
Standing National Committee Quarterly Reports
National Committee on Program and Policy: Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Al Loomis reported that the committee was continuing to review the Order's forms (including the Orders Ceremonials and Ritual) and their instructions and guidelines. A variety of certificates were distributed for review by the Council.
A motion was made and seconded to have certificates prepared for presentation to Past Camp Commanders, Past Department Commanders and Past Commanders-in-Chief. The certificates should be without borders, have the appropriate color seal attached (Blue - Camp, Red - Department and Gold - Department) and be designed to be signed by the appropriate level Commander (Camp/Department/National); motion passed.
A motion was made and seconded that two generic certificates be made for use and signature by the Commander-in-Chief to acknowledge the election and appointment of Brothers to National offices; motion passed.
National Committee on Membership: Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Orr elaborated on his earlier Officer's report by indicating that he has received electronic communications (World Wide Web and E-mail) from all but four states. He also indicated that Brother George Duffy, thus far has enrolled the greatest number of new Brothers this year with 35 members.
National Committee on Constitution and Regulations: Brother Orr reported that he had assigned various C & R revision tasks to his committee members and has requested that all be completed by June 1, 1996. Once material is received from each member, it will be distributed for review. It is anticipated that material will be ready for the 1996 National Encampment.
National Committee on Military Affairs: PCinC Atkinson reported that PCinC Harrison had been appointed as the Deputy Commanding Officer of the SVR effective 2 January 1996. He also indicated that Gettysburg would not be charging the Order a weapons permit fee on Remembrance Day and that the SVR has been continuing to work and resolve the SVR/SUVCW membership list issues.
The Commander-in-Chief appointed a Special National SVR Committee (PCinC Harrison - Chair, and Brothers Richard Williams and Dean Lamphere) to establish a field on the SUVCW membership list for SVR status of SUVCW members and associates. The list will be updated on a semiannual basis based on a list provided to the Membership List Coordinator from the SVR Adjutant General. The committee is to report back to the Commander-in-Chief as soon as it has completed its task and implemented the program.
National Committee on Americanization and Education (Danny Wheeler): Brother Wheeler reported that he had given a Lincoln dinner speech and presented a display during the last quarter.
A discussion ensued for need to have this committee report on the activities of the committee rather than just the chair and that as this is a National Committee, its activities and reports should become more nationally (versus locally) focused.
National Committee on Graves Registration (Charles Sharrock): Brother Sharrock reported that he had written to all known Department Grave Registrations Officers, and has traveled extensively in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. In addition, he is currently reviewing 8,000 Civil War names in Oklahoma plus 1,500 more recorded in Missouri. An article on the National Graves Registration Program and a copy of the form that were both adopted by the 1995 National Encampment is tentatively planned for publication in the Banner this summer.
National Chief of Staff Johnson indicated that he had written to Brother Sharrock about contacting Brother Glenn Knight and seeking assistance regarding automation and also to make available his committee to answer graves registration questions which arise on the World Wide Web. The Chief of Staff was directed by the Commander-in-Chief to inform Brother Sharrock to designate one of his computer familiar committee members to serve as a liaison with the Special National Committee on Communications and Technology. The Chief of Staff will also request from Brother Sharrock a list of the Departments who have not appointed a graves registration officer yet.
National Committee on Lincoln Tomb Observance (Tom Johnson): Brother Johnson indicated that he had sent out the mailing for the April 15, 1996 Lincoln Tomb Springfield Ceremony on February 14 and 17, 1996.
National Committee on Legislation (Tom Johnson): Brother Johnson reported that he was currently tracking the Grant's Tomb legislation. The flag amendment was essentially dead for now. Brother Johnson indicated that battlefield sites and monument bills will be slow this session due to the election. According to Commander-in-Chief Medert, the committee was appointed but the appointments were not printed in the Banner. The Chief of Staff will add the Committee to the list and ask for a report next quarter.
National Committee on History: No report.
Special National Committee Quarterly Reports
Special National Headquarters Site Committee: Brother Orr reported that the Mayor of Harrisburg has responded to the Order's interest in locating its headquarters in the new museum facility. The consensus of the Council of Administration was that the Order should initially ask for 750 square feet. Also, the Committee should try to find out (ballpark estimate) how much utilities would cost for this square footage and also estimate how much insurance would cost.
Special Banner Publications Committee (Greg Hayes): [Contained in the Banner Editor's report.]
Brother Lamphere of the Committee asked what period should be used for the Best Banner Article Award. It was the consensus of the Council of Administration that the Committee should view the period of August 1995 through July 1996 as the time frame from which to select the best Banner article. The Chief of Staff was requested by the Commander-in-Chief to inform the Banner Editor and the Committee that the Banner should be proof read by the members of the Committee prior to it being sent to the printer and prior to it being printed in order to reduce the number of errors.
Special GAR Memorial Foundation Committee (Mike Friedel): Chief of Staff Johnson indicated that he has recently advised Brother Friedel that he should plan to create a 501(c)(3) foundation located in Pennsylvania and that the Board of Directors of the Corporation should be set up to be under the control of National Council of Administration. The Commander-in-Chief asked that the National Chief of Staff request Brother Pahl to find an attorney to assist Brother Friedel and the Special GAR Memorial Committee. Materials that the Committee prepares should be reviewed to ensure that every thing is legal before being presented to the Commander-in-Chief, Council of Administration or National Encampment. The attorney should also keep Brother Pahl informed.
Special Member Number Committee (Richard Williams): Brother Williams reported on the status of the member number development. He is currently asking key National Officers how they see the use of this number in the Order. He also reported that there appears to be a leaning towards the use of a simple sequential number.
Special Committee on Communications and Technology (Glenn Knight): Brother Knight reported that the World Wide Website, as of February 19, 1996, had 5,000 visitors. The Web Site has a new server, Prolog. The site can sell vanity addresses for $100 per year and can make pages available for sponsorship for various prices depending on how much linking is required. He indicated that the Order's print advertisements need to identify the web address, the Departments need to fill out their pages and that the National Graves Registration Committee needs a point of contact for the committee. Finally, he acknowledged Brother Ed Bergen for doing a great job as Picketmaster.
Special Committee on Real Sons and Daughters (Jerry Orton): Brother Orton reported that during the quarter four certificates were awarded and three deaths occurred.
Special Blue/Gray 1999 Encampment Planning Committee (Howard Bartholf): No report. Chief of Staff Johnson indicated that he now has Brother Bartholf's new address and will request a report from him. He also reported that the Sons of Confederate Veterans had previously indicated that they would not favor a joint encampment but a one-day activity would probably be fine.
Special Committee on National Headquarters Staffing: No report.
Special National Scholarship Committee: No report.
Update on Vermont and Colorado & Wyoming Department Status: [This information was presented in the National Secretary's written report.]
Camp Organizer's Packets: [The determination of the number of packets to be distributed per Department was made by the Council of Administration following the National Secretary's Report.]
Dual Membership: [After a protracted discussion, the issue was tabled by the Council.]
Department Formation: The Commander-in-Chief created a Special National Ad hoc Department-Formation Committee composed of Brothers Orr (Chair), Park, Lamphere and Harrison. The Committee is responsible for developing a program to help make it attractive to Camps-at-large to form departments or some other supra unit. Also, for the remainder of this year, the Commander-in-Chief will appoint a National Aide for Camps-at-Large to help relieve the National Secretary of the extra workload associated with the large number of Camps-at-Large.
Carlisle Barracks: The Commander-in-Chief created a Special New Carlisle National Committee composed of Brothers Lester "Al" Kern (Chair), Ivan Frantz, Sr., PCinC Atkinson and an attorney from the National legal staff. The Committee is to investigate the disposition of the Order's records at Carlisle Barracks and, if possible, secure their return in anticipation of the Order moving to a permanent headquarters. The National Secretary was directed to prepare a letter of appointment to Brother Kern, listing his committee members, authorizing his committee to go to Carlisle Barracks to ascertain SUVCW material in their possession, and to ascertain if this material could be obtained on behalf of the Order. The National Secretary is also to be directed to write a letter of introduction for the Committee to the Commandant of Carlisle Barracks. Both letters should be copied to the Committee members. The Committee is to report back at the August 8, 1996 meeting of the National Council of Administration.
Life Membership Cards: Brother Krieser presented two examples of plastic laminated life membership cards for the Council's consideration. A motion was made and seconded that Brother Krieser be given authority to produce the laminated card; motion passed. Price was briefly discussed by Brother Krieser. The initial card and replacement cards will cost the Order $1.00 and $3.00, respectively. National Life Membership Coordinator Orr indicated that the Order should probably charge Brothers $5.00 for replacements. Brother Orr will work with Brother Krieser on the selection of color and wording for the card.
Embroidered Emblem Proposal: Brother Krieser presented examples of patches the Department of Indiana would like to sell as a fundraiser. The Department was seeking approval to use the Order's protected symbols. A motion was made and seconded to authorize the Department of Indiana to produce the patches using the protected symbols of the Order; motion passed.
Kohl Associates Proposal: Brother Orr presented a proposal by Kohl Associates to produce the Order's emblem on polo shirts and lightweight jackets. The clothing would be advertised in the Banner and would be capable of being purchased through the Order on a prepaid basis. A motion was made and seconded to allow Kohl Associates to use the protected symbol of the Order and to begin the marketing of the merchandise pursuant to their proposal, provided that such marketing did not duplicate other authorized fund raising projects currently in existence; motion passed.
A motion was made and seconded that the National Secretary, with the assistance of the National Quartermaster, develop a list of all those who have received authorization to date to use any of the Order's protected badges, emblems, seals and symbols. This Policy was created at the 113th National Encampment. Both the National Secretary and the National Quartermaster are to retain and maintain a copy of the master list; motion passed.
A motion was made and seconded that the master list referred to in the previous paragraph be published in the Banner with a statement to the effect that "if your Camp or Department is currently producing merchandise for sale and the merchandise and Camp's or Department's name is not on the master list, it is in violation of the National Order's Policy on the Use of Protected Badges, Emblems, Seals and Symbols and all production of said merchandise must cease. Permission to use such protected symbols may be sought (but not necessarily approved) by writing to the Commander-in-Chief"; motion passed.
Commander-in-Chief Medert requested the Chief of Staff inform all Department and Camps-at-Large Counselors of the National Policy on the Order's protected symbols and request they help to ensure that the policy is being followed.
Rebound National Proceedings: Chief of Staff Johnson was given the charge to investigate the issue by Commander-in-Chief Medert. He is to talk to all parties involved (Brothers Schlenker, Wallace, Orr, Lyons, Park, Harrison and Lambert - to name a few) and to make a report back to the Commander-in-Chief.
Conference on Women Endorsement: Commander-in-Chief Medert requested that the National Secretary prepare a letter for his signature endorsing the upcoming Conference on Women and the Civil War.
Standing and Special Committee Reports for National Encampment: Commander-in-Chief Medert requested that all Standing and Special Committee reports to be presented at the National Encampment be sent in early to National Chief of Staff Johnson. Brother Johnson will prepare a synopsis and a list of recommendations of each report and then put together a compilation in time to be handed out to delegates. Brother Johnson will advise the Committee chairs of this directive.
Good of the Order
Commander-in-Chief Medert requested that the members of the Council think about and come up with some material that might be used in his presentation to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Reunion later this summer.
Brother Park reported on two legislative initiatives in Michigan; one dealing with increasing the fine associated with the stealing of veterans grave flag holders and one to re-name Michigan Highway M-99 as the General John A. Logan Memorial Highway.
The next meeting of the National Council of Administration is tentatively scheduled for 7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 8, 1996 in Columbus, Ohio.
There being no further business to come before the National Council of Administration, the meeting was adjourned by the Commander-in-Chief at 5:00 p.m.
Respectively submitted in F., C., & L.,
Keith G. Harrison, PCinC
Assistant to the National Secretary