Bylaws of the Veterans Military Honor Guard of Pigeon Forge
Founded on December 3, 2015
Revision # 4, October 24, 2022
Becoming a Member
Applicants, as well as members must recognize that it’s a privilege to serve on the “Veterans Military Honor Guard of Pigeon Forge”, hereinafter called the Honor Guard, and that members have earned this privilege by successfully meeting all Honor Guard requirements.
That said, any past member of the Armed Forces who received an "Honorable Discharge”, any current member of the Armed Forces, any eligible relative of any such past or current Armed Forces member, and any eligible First Responder whose service therein is equivalent to honorable service, may apply for membership in the Honor Guard.
Section 1. Standards of Performance: The Honor Guard will follow the “Arlington Old Guard” standards of performance as close as possible. To that end, it is expected that each member will train to become as proficient as he or she can become.
Section 2. Standards of Appearance: Honor Guard members must present a “Military Appearance”, one that is professional, neat, and clean.
Section 3. The Honor Guard Team: Members of the “Honor Guard Team” must be “Team Players”. Members must be loyal and helpful to the Honor Guard and to each other. It is incumbent on every member to put “The Good of the Team” first!
Section 4. Military Bearing, Image, and Behavior: Honor Guard members are continually being judged, and whatever judgment formed concerning a member, fair or not, transfers to the entire Honor Guard. Once identified as a member of the Honor Guard, one is no longer an individual, but a representative of the Honor Guard. Personal integrity and behavior must always be above reproach. At no time may a member’s personal behavior bring discredit to oneself or the Honor Guard.
Section 5. Qualification Process: Transforming an applicant into a qualified member is best done via the combination of a “Screening, Selection, and Training Process” which is developed in the Honor Guard SOPS.
Membership Restrictions and Exceptions
The following restrictions and exceptions apply to these members:
Section 1. An Operational Member who is unable to complete or maintain qualification may not serve as Commander or Officer in Charge.
Section 2. Non-Veteran members may not serve as President, Vice President, or Commander.
Section 3. Non-Veteran members may not handle or operate Army Ceremonial Rifles at any time.
Section 4. Non-Veteran members may not Present the Flag during Military Funeral Honors.
Honor Guard Board of Directors, (BOD)
Section 1. A 5 – 9 members Honor Guard BOD is established as follows:
(a). The Founders named the first 5 members of the BOD.
(b). The then existing BOD named an additional 4 members, completing the 9-member BOD.
(c). Future BOD members will be elected by the Honor Guard membership, as described in Section 2 below.
Section 2. Honor Guard BOD Members are elected for a two (2) year term of office, as follows:
(a). BOD member elections will be conducted by the existing BOD.
(b). Any Operational Member is eligible to become a member of the BOD.
(c). Only Operational Members are eligible to vote in BOD member elections. Page 2
(d). To minimize the number of BOD members being replaced at the same time, a replacement schedule is established as follows:
(1). Group A BOD Members are reelected or replaced every 2 years beginning on December 31, 2022.
(2). Group B BOD Members are reelected or replaced every 2 years beginning on December 31, 2023.
(3). Group C BOD Members are reelected or replaced every 2 years beginning on December 31, 2024.
(e). Should a member vacate his or her office before the end of their scheduled term, the BOD may appoint a replacement to fill the unexpired term, as described in Article VII below.
Section 3. Duties of the BOD: The primary responsibility and duty of the BOD is to control, oversee, and ensure the success of the Honor Guard. Additionally:
(a). This BOD will appoint from its membership a Chairman, Vice Chairman, President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Historian.
(b). The BOD will coordinate, acquire, and provide needed funding, facilities, equipment, supplies, and services for the Honor Guard.
(c). The BOD will appoint from the Honor Guard operational membership all Operational Officers. These officers, and their duties are provided in Articles IV and V below.
(d). The BOD has oversight of the operation of the Honor Guard and its activities; however, those Operational Officers listed in Articles IV and V below are responsible for its operation.
(e). The BOD may appoint and/or hire any necessary staff to assist itself in fulfilling the needs of the BOD.
Section 4. All Members of the BOD have Shared Duties:
(a). All members of the BOD shall abide by and enforce all the principles and concepts established in the Constitution, these Bylaws, the Honor Guard SOPS, the Honor Guard policies, agreements, and/or directives.
(b). All members of the BOD shall abide by and enforce the following concept within the Honor Guard. Except for the “authority, title, and position” members have resulting from appointments and/or elections, the Honor Guard is “RANK FREE”. This term is not to be construed that one member is any more or less respected and accepted than any other member. All eligible Veterans and members will be warmly accepted, treated with respect equally, given the same opportunities, and utilized to the fullest extent of their abilities and desires.
Section 5. BOD Members and their Duties: The members of the BOD are listed below. Following each member’s title are the duties and responsibilities which include, but are not limited to those provided:
(a). Chairman: The Chairman shall act in an advisory capacity to the work and policies of the Honor Guard and shall have such other powers and duties not inconsistent with the Constitution and these Bylaws as may be assigned to him or her from time to time by the BOD. Additionally, he or she shall preside at all BOD meetings, and is responsible for the following meeting duties:
(1). Calling the meeting to order.
(2). Determining if a quorum is present.
(3). Announcing the items on the order of business or agenda as they come up.
(4). Recognition of members to have the floor.
(5). Enforcing the rules of the group.
(6). Putting all questions (motions) to a vote.
(7). Adjourning the meeting.
(b). Vice Chairman: It is the duty and responsibility of the Vice Chairman to assist the Chairman and be available to assume the duties of the Chairman when called upon and/or when needed. In the absence or disability of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman of the BOD shall have and may exercise all the powers and duties of the Chairman of the BOD.
(c). President: The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Honor Guard and shall have general supervision over its operations and affairs. Additionally, he or she is responsible for the following specific duties:
(1). The President shall nominate to the BOD those operational officer candidates listed and addressed in Article VI and Article V below.
(2). As the BOD’s designated link between itself and the operation of the Honor Guard, the President is responsible for the direct supervision of all Operational Officers and the general operation of the Honor Guard.
(3). Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws or ordered by the BOD, the President shall sign on behalf of the Honor Guard all deeds, agreements, and other formal instruments, and shall be an ex-officio member of each committee of the Honor Guard.
(4). In consultation with those officers listed in Article V below, the President shall propose SOPS and its associated revisions to the BOD for approval.
(5). The President is the designated alternate BOD member authorized to make disbursements and sign checks on behalf of the Honor Guard, as further stated in item (f, 3 and 4) below.
(6). Any disbursement or check in an amount exceeding $500.00 shall require the signatures of two (2) BOD members who have been designated to sign checks, as further stated in (f, 3 and 4) below.
(d). Vice President: It is the duty and responsibility of the Vice President to routinely work with and assist the President and be available to assume the duties of the President when called upon and/or when needed. In the absence or disability of the President, as determined by the BOD, the Vice President shall have and may exercise all the powers and duties of the President. It is further noted that the member holding the position of Vice President is selected to be groomed to become the President at some point in the future.
(e). Secretary: The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the Honor Guard and of the BOD, and preserve all papers, letters, and transactions of the Honor Guard.
(f). Treasurer: The Treasurer shall have charge of all financial books and records of the Honor Guard. Additionally:
(1). He or she shall collect, receive, and have charge of all funds of the Honor Guard.
(2). He or she shall have deposited such funds in a bank as directed by the President or BOD.
(3). He or she shall make disbursements and sign checks on behalf of the Honor Guard upon approval of the President. However, the BOD may also authorize additional BOD members or officers to sign checks on behalf of the Honor Guard, as previously stated in item (a, 5 and 6) above.
(4). Any disbursement or check in an amount exceeding $500.00 shall require the signatures of two (2) BOD members who have been designated to sign checks, as previously stated in item (a, 5 and 6) above.
(5). He or she shall make a report of the financial standing of the Honor Guard to the BOD or the President whenever and at whatever place the President or BOD designates.
(6). He or she shall submit an annual budget to the BOD for approval, pursuant to Article VIII, Section 2 below.
(g). Historian: The Historian is responsible for the recording and maintaining of a historical record of Honor Guard activity in the forms of written verbiage, photographs, and audio/video products which is maintained both on Microsoft Word documents, the Honor Guard website, and Social Media.
(h). At Large BOD Members: In addition to the Chairman, Vice Chairman, President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Historian, At Large Members not to exceed a total of a nine (9) total BOD member are authorized.
Section 6. BOD Meetings:
(a). BOD meetings shall be conducted when called by the Chairman.
(b). BOD Meetings shall be conducted under and pursuant to Roberts’ Rules of Order, (Newly Revised), except as herein otherwise provided.
(c). A Quorum consisting of a majority of existing BOD members is required to conduct Honor Guard business. (d). Face to face BOD meetings is preferred, but because BOD member participation is paramount, the Chairman is given wide discretion in suggesting alternative ways BOD members may participate and vote at meetings. Without objection from any other BOD member, the method selected by the Chairman will be utilized for a BOD meeting in question. Thus, meetings may be held by teleconference and the BOD may also approve matters by email, with unanimous consent of all BOD members to that approval method and to the proposed actions.
(e). All business activity of and for the Honor Guard shall be conducted by the BOD during BOD meetings.
(f). All BOD members will have 1 vote. In the event of a tie vote on the BOD, the issue will be reopened for further discussion, re-voted, tabled, or dropped from consideration.
(g). Non-BOD members may attend BOD meetings if they first receive permission from a BOD member to do so. If a non-BOD member wishes to conduct business at the BOD meeting, he or she must first receive permission to do so. In this case, the BOD member who granted permission to attend, must coordinate in advance to ensure that an additional agenda item is provided for.
Establishment of Operational Authority
Section 1. The Honor Guard Operational Officers are selected: The BOD selects and then appoints these officers based solely on their ability, availability, and desirability, and all positions should be filled as soon as possible.
Section 2. Terms of Office: Honor Guard Operational Officers are appointed for a term of office of 2 years. Should a officer vacate his or her position before the end of his or her scheduled term, the BOD must appoint a replacement to fill the unexpired term as soon as possible, as described in Article VII, below.
Section 3. Honor Guard Operational Officers Appointment Dates:
Operational Officers are appointed biennial on even numbered years, beginning not later than December 31, 2022, to hold office not later than the following January 1st.
Section 4. Responsibility for the Operation of the Honor Guard:
Under the direct supervision of the President, those Operational Officers listed in Article V below will operate the Honor Guard in accordance with the Constitution, Bylaws, and SOPS.
Honor Guard Operational Officers and their Duties
Section 1. All Operational Officers have Shared Duties:
(a). All Honor Guard officers shall abide by and enforce all principles and concepts established in the Constitution, these Bylaws, the Honor Guard SOPS, the Honor Guard policies, agreements, and/or directives.
(b). All Honor Guard officers shall abide by and enforce the following concept within the Honor Guard. Except for the “authority, title, and position” members have resulting from appointments and/or elections, the Honor Guard is “RANK FREE”. This term is not to be construed that one member is any more or less respected and accepted than any other member. All eligible Veterans and members will be warmly accepted, treated with respect equally, given the same opportunities, and utilized to the fullest extent of their abilities and desires.
(c). All Honor Guard officers, but especially the Commander and Officer in Charge shall attempt to become qualified in all functions of the Honor Guard as soon as possible.
(d). Supported by the BOD, the President shall ensure items (a), (b), and (c) above are faithfully carried out via direct supervision.
Section 2. Operational Officers and their Specific Duties:
The Operational Officers of the Honor Guard are listed below. Following each officer’s title are the specific duties and responsibilities which include, but are not limited to those provided:
(a). Commander: This individual oversees and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Honor Guard which includes taking requests for services, coordination between the customers and the Honor Guard, scheduling members for Honor Guard services, and being qualified to supervise and issue commands to the Firing Team and Bugler and coordinate with the Chaplain during Military Funeral Honors as well as all necessary activities during Flag Events. He or she is responsible to ensure that everything that needs to be done, gets done. He or she shares the responsible for building and maintaining “Espirit de Corps” within the Honor Guard.
(b). Officer in Charge, (OIC): It is the duty and responsibility of the OIC to be available and become qualified to assume the duties of the Commander when called upon and/or when needed. Any number of individuals may become qualified and may be approved and utilized on different occasions as OIC. Even though any operational member may become qualified and serve as OIC, only Veteran members will be considered for the advanced position of Commander.
(c). Arms Manager: The Arms Manager is responsible for managing and maintaining all Honor Guard rifles and their associated accessories. He or she is responsible for the preparation, transporting, and distribution of these items prior to Honor Guard services and the securing of these items following these services.
(d). Chaplain: The Chaplain is responsible for the preparation of the Veteran’s Folder prior to Military Funeral Honors services and Military Chaplain Duties. He or she will assist in the burial and memorial services for departed Veterans, will offer comfort to the bereaved families, will encourage good fellowship among the organization, will report on the needs of our Veterans, and will give suggestions in offering help. He or she will open and close all meetings with prayer when called upon. He or she will assist in the training of future Honor Guard members in Military Chaplain Duties. Any number of individuals who become qualified may be approved to serve on different occasions as Chaplain.
Dismissal from Office or Membership
After due process, a member may be dismissed from his or her position and/or have his or her membership revoked by a vote of 2/3 of the Honor Guard BOD. If the member is dismissed due to conduct, such dismissal will be temporary until it is reaffirmed by a review vote of 2/3 of the Honor Guard BOD or reversed by a unanimous review vote of the Honor Guard BOD. Reasons for dismissal from office and/or revocation of membership include, but are not limited to the following:
(a). If an officer and/or member fails to perform his or her duties.
(b). If an officer and/or member fails to abide by the Rules of Conduct and Order.
(c). If an officer and/or member fails to abide by any other provisions of the Honor Guard Constitution and Bylaws, Honor Guard SOPS, the Honor Guard policies, agreements, and/or directives.
Filling an Unscheduled Vacancy of a BOD Member or Operational Officer
Following an unscheduled vacancy on the BOD or one of the Operational Officers, replacements should be made with the same amount of thoughtful consideration that was made in the first place. For this reason, discretion is given to the BOD concerning when a replacement should be named. The procedures to make replacements are listed below:
(a). Vacancy of a BOD member: If an unscheduled vacancy occurs among one of the Honor Guard BOD members, a replacement may be appointed by the remaining members of the BOD, and that replacement shall serve the unexpired term of the BOD position which was vacated.
(b). Vacancy of an Operational Officer: If an unscheduled vacancy occurs among one of the Honor Guard Operational Officers, the Commander, (if available) and President will submit their proposed replacement to the BOD for approval, who once approved shall serve the unexpired term of the Operational Officer position which was vacated.
Financial: Fiscal Year, Budget Process, and Expenditures
Section 1. Fiscal Year Defined: The fiscal year for the Veteran’s Military Honor Guard of Pigeon Forge ends at 2400 on December 31st and begins at 0000 on January 1st .
Section 2. Annual Budget: The Treasurer will submit an operating budget to the BOD for the upcoming fiscal year at a scheduled Annual Budget Meeting each year NLT November 30th to permit the BOD sufficient time to approve it NLT December 31st . The only agenda item on the annual budget meeting will be the approval, approval in part, or rejection of the proposed budget. The budgeting steps are described below:
(a). If it is approved, the requirements of Article VIII will be satisfied.
(b). If it is approved in part or rejected, a second Annual Budget Meeting will be scheduled within thirty (30) calendar days, and the revised budget will be submitted for approval. If it is approved, the requirements Article IX will be satisfied.
(c). If it still remains approved in part or rejected, a third and final Annual Budget Meeting will be called within seven (7) calendar days, and that revised budget submitted for approval.
(d). In no case, shall the BOD allow the Honor Guard to enter the new fiscal year without having approved a budget.
Section 3. Expenditures of the Honor Guard: Only the Honor Guard BOD may authorize expenditures for the Honor Guard, as previously described in Article III, Section 5 (a), (c), and (f).
Amendments to these Bylaws
Any member of the Honor Guard may submit a proposed amendment to the Bylaws to the BOD. Following a vote by 2/3 of the current BOD members to recommend approval of the proposed amendment, a recommendation by the BOD to amend the Honor Guard Bylaws will proceed. The following process is established which will take place prior to and during a Combined BOD and Operational Membership Meeting:
(a). Prior to the meeting, all members will be provided access to a copy of the proposed amendment.
(b). At the meeting, those present will be briefed on the proposed amendment, and given the opportunity to question and discuss the proposed amendment.
(c). Following discussion, the eligible voters present will vote to approve or not approve the proposed amendment. A simple majority of those voting is required for approval. (d). If the proposed amendment is approved, it will be deemed “in force” at that time, and all members will be notified as soon as possible.
End of the Bylaws, (Rev # 4)