MILITARY ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART
 
DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA
 
 
                                                                                                                                                                              
 
        CONSTITUTION,  BYLAWS,  AND  RITUAL
 
  Revised 14 June, 2016
   Approved 5 July 2016
 
                                                                                               
 
  FOR COMBAT WOUNDED VETERANS

 
 
                         MILITARY ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART
                                    DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA
                                CONSTITUTION, BYLAWS AND RITUAL
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
PART I
 
CONSTITUTION


 
PREAMBLE ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4
ARTICLE I - NAME ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4
ARTICLE II - PRINCIPLES ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 4
ARTICLE III - OBJECTS ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4
ARTICLE IV - NON-INUREMENT PROVISION -------------------------------------------- 5
ARTICLE V - ORGANIZATION --------------------------------------------------------------- 5
ARTICLE VI - MEMBERSHIP ------------------------------------------------------------------ 5
ARTICLE VII - PRINCIPLE OFFICE; SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES -------------------------- 6
ARTICLE VIII - AMENDMENTS -------------------------------------------------------------- 6
 
PART II
 
BYLAWS

ARTICLE I
GENERAL
SECTION 1 - FORMATION ---------------------------------------------------------------------
7
7
SECTION 2 - GOVERNING BODY ------------------------------------------------------------- 7
SECTION 3 - MEETINGS ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 7
SECTION 4 - CONVENTION -------------------------------------------------------------------- 7
SECTION 5 - OFFICERS -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7
SECTION 6 - ELECTION OF OFFICERS ------------------------------------------------------ 8
SECTION 7 - TERM OF OFFICE ---------------------------------------------------------------- 8
SECTION 8 - VACANCIES ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 8
SECTION 9 - EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ----------------------------------------------------- 9
SECTION 10 - DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ----------- 9
SECTION 11 - FINANCE, SERVICE AND REHABILITATION COMMITTEE -------- 9
SECTION 12 - VOTING ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10
SECTION 13 - FUNCTIONAL COMMITTEES ------------------------------------------------ 11
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
ARTICLE II
DUTIES OF DEPARTMENT OFFICERS
 
SECTION 1 - COMMANDER ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 13
SECTION 2 - SENIOR VICE-COMMANDER --------------------------------------------------- 13
SECTION 3 - JUNIOR VICE-COMMANDER ---------------------------------------------------- 13
SECTION 4 - ADJUTANT --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 13
SECTION 5 - FINANCE OFFICER ----------------------------------------------------------------- 14
SECTION 6 - JUDGE ADVOCATE ---------------------------------------------------------------- 14
SECTION 7 - INSPECTOR --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 14
SECTION 8 - SERGEANT-AT-ARMS ------------------------------------------------------------- 14
SECTION 9 - DEPARTMENT SERVICE DIRECTOR ----------------------------------------- 14
SECTION 10 - DEPARTMENT SERVICE OFFICERS ----------------------------------------- 15
SECTION 11 - LEGISLATIVE OFFICER --------------------------------------------------------- 15
SECTION 12 - WELFARE OFFICER -------------------------------------------------------------- 15
SECTION 13 - CHAPLAIN -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 16
SECTION 14 - AMERICANISM OFFICER ------------------------------------------------------- 16
SECTION 15 - CHIEF OF STAFF ------------------------------------------------------------------ 16
SECTION 16 - NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITEEMAN -------------------------------- 16
SECTION 17 - HISTORIAN ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 16
SECTION 18 - FIRST RESPONDER --------------------------------------------------------------- 16
 
 
ARTICLE III
MEMBERSHIP
 
SECTION 1 - ELIGIBILITY ---------------------------------------------------------------- 17
SECTION 2 - VOTING RIGHTS ----------------------------------------------------------- 17
SECTION 3 - CHAPTER RESPONSIBILITIES -------------------------------------------------- 17
SECTION 4 - MEMBERS AT LARGE ----------------------------------------------------------- 17
SECTION 5 - ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP ----------------------------------------------------- 17
SECTION 6 - LADIES AUXILlARY -------------------------------------------------------------- 17
SECTION 7 - MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS            ------------------------------------------------ 18
SECTION 8 - CHAPTER OFFICERS ------------------------------------------------------------- 18
 
 
ARTICLE IV
TO PRESERVE THE INTERITY OF THE ORGANIZATION
 
GENERAL ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 18
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ARTICLE V
AMENDMENTS TO DEPARTMENT RULES, REGULATIONS AND BYLAWS
 
GENERAL ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 18
 
 
 
ARTICLE VI
CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
 
GENERAL ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 19
 
 
ARTICLE VII
INCORPORATION OF DEPARTMENT POLICY STATEMENTS
 
SECTION 1 - DEPARTMENT FUNDING --------------------------------------------------------- 19
SECTION 2 - CHAPTERS IN GOOD STANDING ----------------------------------------------- 19
SECTION 3 - GRANT MONIES --------------------------------------------------------------------- 19
SECTION 4 - SCHOLARSHIPS --------------------------------------------------------------------- 20
SECTION 5 - CONVENTION AND DEPARTMENT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
                        MEETING EXPENSES
21
 
 
 
PART III
 
RITUAL
 
ARTICLE I
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR DEPARTED PATRIOTS
   
GENERAL ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 21
 
 
 
PART IV
 
RATIFICATION
 
 
GENERAL ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 22

MILITARY ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART
DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CONSTITUTION, BYLAWS AND RITUAL
 
PART I
 
CONSTITUTION
 
PREAMBLE
 
We combat veterans of the United State and recipients of the Purple Heart awarded by the United States Government and founded by General Washington on August 7,1782 at a critical time in history, drawn together by bonds of respect and mutual suffering, have established the Military Order of the Purple Heart, chartered by the Congress of the United States of America, in order to perpetuate the principles of patriotic allegiance to the United States of America, fidelity, to its constitution and laws, the security of civil liberty and the permanence of free institutions. Through this organization and our membership in it, our objective to preserve and perpetuate those ideas of liberty, justice, and the general welfare which are the very foundation of our way of life, and we pledge to foster and enhance those principles which have made this nation what it is today and which, from the beginning of our national liberty, have served as a beacon of hope and salvation to the peoples of all nations.
 
ARTICLE I
NAME
 
This organization shall be known as the Department of Pennsylvania, Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A., Incorporated, a corporation chartered by an Act of Congress.
 
ARTICLE II
PRINCIPLES
 
The principles underlying the corporation are patriotic allegiance to the United States of America, fidelity to its Constitution and laws, the security of civil liberties, and the permanence of free institutions.
 
ARTICLE III
OBJECTS
 
The objects of the Department of Pennsylvania are educational, fraternal, historical, and patriotic, perpetuating the principles of liberty and justice which have created the United States of America by (1) commemorating all national and patriotic holidays; (2) maintaining true allegiance to the Government of the United States of America and fidelity to its Constitution and laws; (3) preserving and strengthening comradeship and patriotism among its members and their dependents; (5) giving needed hospital and service work through its Veteran Administration accredited Service Officers; (6) cooperating with other civic and patriotic organizations having worthy objectives; (7) keeping alive the achievements and memory of our country's founders; (8) ever cherishing the memory of George Washington, who founded the Purple Heart at his headquarters at Newburg-on-the-Hudson, on August 7,1782; (9) influencing and teaching our citizenry with its responsibilities and privileges; and, (10) preserving and defending the United States of America from all enemies whomsoever.
 
ARTICLE IV
NON-INUREMENT PROVISION
 
No part of income of the Department of Pennsylvania shall inure to the benefit of any member, trustee, director, office of the organization, or any private individual (except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for the organization affecting one or more of its purposes), and no member, trustee, officer of the Department of Pennsylvania or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of the Department; if dissolved all funds withstanding are to be turned over to the National organization.
 
ARTICLE V
ORGANIZATION
 
The Department of Pennsylvania Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A., Incorporated, is a constituent part of and subordinate to the National Organization of the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A., Incorporated, and shall consist of:
  1. Subordinate organizations to be known as (Chapter Name) (Chapter Number), Department of Pennsylvania, Military Order of the Purple Heart, U.S.A., Incorporated, provided, however, that no chapter organized shall adopt the name of any living person.
  2. Auxiliary bodies may be formed, subject to the bylaws, which may be hereinafter adopted.
 
ARTICLE VI
MEMBERSHIP
 
All persons of good moral character who are or have been members of the Armed Forces of the United States or any foreign country of whatever rank who have received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received during military or naval contact against an armed enemy of the United States shall be eligible for active membership in the Department of Pennsylvania.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ARTICLE VII
PRINCIPLE OFFICE: SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES
 
SECTION 1 -- The office of the Department of Pennsylvania shall be located in the city where the Department Adjutant resides or in any other place as may later be determined by the Department Convention or Department Executive Committee.
 
SECTION 2 -- The activities of the Department of Pennsylvania shall be confined to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
 
ARTICLE VIII
AMENDMENTS
 
SECTION 1-- This Constitution may be amended at a Department Convention by a roll call of two-thirds vote of the regularly elected and qualified delegates thereat, provided the proposed amendment shall have been submitted to the Department Adjutant at least 30 days prior to the date of the Convention and provided the Adjutant distributes such proposed amendment to the members of the Department Executive Committee by mail at least 20 days prior to the Convention date.
 
SECTION 2-- This Constitution may also be amended by the unanimous vote of the regularly elected and qualified delegates at any Department Convention, providing the proposed amendment shall have been read to the Department Convention at least one calendar day before it is voted upon.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART II

BYLAWS
 
ARTICLE I
GENERAL
 
SECTION I-- FORMATION
This Department shall continue to operate as a Department as long as there are three or more active chapters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This Department shall consist of all chapters which are duly organized and chartered by the National Organization. No chapter may exist within the Commonwealth which is not part of the Department.
 
SECTION 2 -- GOVERNING BODY
This Department shall be governed by a Department Convention, subordinate to the National Organization.
 
SECTION 3 -- MEETINGS
There shall be an Annual Convention of the Department prior to the end of the second weekend in June. There shall be an Executive Committee Meeting immediately preceding and following the Department Convention. There shall be a Fall Executive Committee meeting no later than 31 October.
 
SECTION 4 – CONVENTION
  1. The Department Convention shall consist of patriots who have served as a National or Department Commander from the Department of Pennsylvania and are in good standing.
  2. The Department Commander and all other elected officers of the Department are members of the Convention. All appointed Department Officers are members of the Convention, with a voice but no vote.
  3. All chapter commanders are members of the Convention. In the absence of the commander, the senior vice-commander or the junior vice-commander may represent the chapter, and in their absence the chapter executive committeeman or alternate may represent the chapter.
  4. Delegates are to be elected by the rule of one vote for each twelve active members or major fraction thereof, in good standing, in the chapter at the time of the election. All active members of the chapters in good standing shall be eligible to any office in the Department. Only one elected office at the Department level may be held at any one time.
 
SECTION 5 -- OFFICERS
The officers of the Department shall be the Commander, Senior Vice-Commander, Junior Vice-Commander, Adjutant, Finance Officer, Chief of Staff, Judge Advocate, Inspector, Historian, Service Director, Chaplain, Americanism Officer, Sergeant-at-Arms and such other officers as may be fixed by the Department Convention and incorporated in the Bylaws of the Convention. The Department Commander may appoint a National Executive Committeeman and an Alternate National Executive Committeeman provided that the Department membership strength, in good standing, exceeds 500 members.
 
SECTION 6 -- ELECTION OF OFFICERS
  1. The Commander, Senior Vice-Commander, Junior Vice-Commander, Finance Officer, Judge Advocate, Inspector, and Sergeant-at-Arms, will be elected at the Annual Convention.
  2. The Department Adjutant, Legislative Officer, Welfare Officer, Surgeon, Historian, Chaplain, Chief of Staff, Americanism Officer and National Executive Committeeman and Alternate National Executive Committeeman, Department Service Director and Department Service Officers shall be appointed by the newly elected Department Commander. The Department Service Director and Department Service Officers will fulfill all training requirements in order to become accredited through the National Service Director with the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The appointment and removal of the Department Service Director and Service Officers requires the approval of the Department Convention.
 
SECTION 7 -- TERM OF OFFICE
  1. Officers elected and installed shall enter upon their respective duties immediately after the adjournment of the meeting at which they are chosen, and shall hold office until successors are duly installed. Both elected and appointed officers may succeed themselves, if properly elected or appointed.
  2. The term of the Commander will be for two years unless he notifies the Department Adjutant he declines to serve his second year.  Term limits of other elected officers can be modified by a majority vote of the Department Executive Committee and by notifying the National Adjutant through the Regional Commander of the term limits.. Term limits become effective upon submission of the next Election Report and upon the approval of the National Adjutant. A majority vote of the Department Executive Committee is required to remove the term limits previously established and approved.
 
SECTION 8 -- VACANCIES
All vacancies in elected office shall be filled by the Executive Committee provided, however, in the event of a vacancy in the office of the Commander, the Senior Vice-Commander shall at once succeed to the title and duties of said office, and the Junior Vice-Commander shall succeed to the title and duties of the Senior Vice-Commander. The Executive Committee will be convened to elect a Junior Vice-Commander. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Senior or Junior Vice-Commanders, the Executive Committee shall be convened to elect a Senior or Junior Vice-Commander.
 
 
 
 
 
 
SECTION 9 -- EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
  1. The Department Executive Committee shall include Patriots who are in good standing and who have served as National Commanders and are residents of the Department and Past Department Commanders of the Department who are residents of the Department.   For the purpose of a quorum, the number of these Patriots will not be counted in the “total” members of members in the Department Executive Committee.
  2. All elected officers of the Department.
  3. All appointed officers of the Department, who will have a voice but no vote.
  4. The chapter commander, or senior vice-commander or junior vice-commander, or in their absence the department executive committeeman or alternate may represent the chapter.
 
SECTION 10 -- DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
  1. The Department Executive Committee shall meet immediately preceding the Department Convention, and the new Executive Committee shall meet immediately following the adjournment of the Department Convention in the Convention city, or at the call of the Department Commander, or at the written request of a majority of the Executive Committee.
  2. In the interval between Department Conventions, the Department Executive Committee shall be vested with full administrative powers of the Department. All actions of the Department Executive Committee shall be subject to approval by the Department Convention.
  3. The Department Executive Committee shall authorize the hiring of the Department Service Director  ,Service Officers and administrative assistants/clerical personnel in conjunction with the Department Service Program.
  4. The Department Adjutant shall be responsible for a complete report of the minutes of all Department meetings, and the Department Executive Committee may be polled by the Adjutant through a mail vote on any matter requiring emergency action in the opinion of the Department Commander.
  5. The Department Executive Committee upon the recommendation of the Department Finance, Service and Rehabilitation Committee shall authorize all expenditures, audit the accounts, and be responsible for fiduciary issues.
 
SECTION 11 -- FINANCE, SERVICE AND REHABILITATION COMMITTEE
  1. The Committee shall consist of the Department Commander, Department Finance Officer, Department Adjutant, and four members elected by the Department Executive Committee. The Finance Officer and Adjutant have a voice but no vote. The Chairman is elected by the members, from among the four elected members at the first meeting following the election. Committee members for the following year will be elected annually at the last DEC meeting of the year.
  2. The Committee will assure that the Department maintains two years of funds on hand to finance the operation of the Department Rehabilitation and the General Fund. The Committee will monitor grants given to the chapters and Ladies Auxiliary to assure that all monies received from the Department are expended within the Fiscal Year of receipt and assure that only two years of funds are retained within the chapter general administrative accounts. No funds received from the MOPH Service Foundation will be expended outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  3. Funds received from the MOPH Service Foundation are for the purpose of conducting a Service Program. Monies excess to the cost of conducting the Service Program may be used to assist veterans and their families.
  4. The Finance, Service and Rehabilitation Committee in conjunction with the Department Finance Officer, will prepare the annual budget and recommend the mileage and per diem to be authorized by the Executive Committee. If any adjustments are made between conventions, such adjustments must be approved by the Executive Committee and ratified by the Convention at the next Convention.
  5. The Finance, Service and Rehabilitation Committee shall be responsible, through the Department Finance Officer, for the conduct of all audits to include the Department Audit, CPA Audit, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Audit, and the MOPH Service Foundation Audit.
  6. The Finance, Service and Rehabilitation Committee is authorized to exceed by not more than 10% of each budgeted line item without prior approval of the Executive Committee. Total expenditures may not exceed more than 10% of the budget approved by the Convention.
  7. The Committee is responsible to the Executive Committee for the supervision of the Department Service Director and the Service Officers.
  8. The Committee in conjunction with the Department Service Director will incorporate the Service Program into the annual budget submitted to the Department Executive Committee for approval.
  9. The Committee makes recommendations to the Executive Committee concerning the contracts with and employment of salaried personnel. The activities of the Department Service Director include conducting a Program in accordance with guidance provided by the National Service Director and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
 
SECTION 12 -- VOTING
  1. Only duly accredited and registered members of the Department Convention, or alternates taking their place, shall participate directly or indirectly in discussions or voice vote (hand or standing vote is permitted) on any subject before the Convention.  Voting shall be by acclamation except when a roll call is called for and approved by the Convention (see MOPH of the USA Constitution, Bylaws, and Ritual Article IX (National Convention) Section 5 B. and F.)
  2. Each member of the Department Executive Committee shall have one vote, except appointed officers shall be without vote. One third of the eligible membership of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum except that absent PDC and PNC will not count in the total membership of the DEC at Convention or Executive Committee meetings. Voting by proxy shall not be allowed and no individual shall have more than one vote (see MOPH of the USA Constitution, Bylaws, and Ritual Article X [National Officers] Section 6).
  3. The vote of chapter commanders and/or vice commanders shall be recorded as the chapter's Charter vote. At Department Conventions, the vote of any chapter delegate absent and not represented by an alternate may be cast automatically by the chapter commander, senior or junior vice-commanders, or department executive committeeman, or his alternate present and in good standing. No individual, however, shall have more than one vote.
  4. For roll call votes (e.g., elections of officers) each chapter will have a weighted vote depending on the number of members in good standing.  There shall be one vote for every twelve members or major fraction thereof (i.e., 7 or more). 
    1. As an example, if a chapter had thirty-two members, it would receive one vote for the first twelve members and a second vote for the second block of twelve of members. Since there are eight additional members, and that is a major fraction of twelve, the chapter would receive a third vote. 
    2. As a second example, if the chapter had thirty members, it would receive one vote for the first twelve members and a second vote for the second block of twelve members. However, there are only six additional members, and that does not constitute a major fraction of twelve.  Accordingly, the chapter would receive only two votes.  
  5. Chapters with fewer than 12 members in good standing or who have not submitted Election Reports to the Department Adjutant in accordance with submission dates published by MOPH National Headquarters and these Bylaws are not entitled to vote.
  6. A simple majority of the total votes cast at Department Conventions/Executive Committee meetings is sufficient to win an election.  If more than one candidate is running for an office and no candidate receives a simple majority, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is removed from the ballot and a vote will be taken again.  If only two candidates are on the ballot, and a simple majority is not received by either, additional votes will be taken to break the tie.
 
SECTION 13 – FUNCTIONAL COMMITTEES
  1. GENERAL.  The Department Commander may appoint such standing, ad-hoc and/or special committees to give advice and counsel concerning subjects, programs, inquiries and miscellaneous Department issues.
  2. AWARDS COMMITTEE: The Awards Committee, chaired by the Senior Vice-Commander, shall consist of the Department Junior Vice-Commander, Judge Advocate, Finance Officer, and Adjutant. This Committee shall recommend to the Department Commander personnel selected to receive Department, National and/or other awards. The Committee shall receive recommendations from chapters and/or individuals concerning persons to be considered for Awards.
  3. TIME AND PLACE COMMITTEE: The newly elected Department Commander (or the Department Commander entering his second year of office) shall appoint a Chairman and at least two members for this Committee, to include one from the LAMOPH in coordination with the Department President. The function of the Committee is to select a site which will be reported on at the following Annual Convention as the next Department Convention site. In an emergency situation as determined by the Department Commander, selection of a site may be approved by mail vote of the DEC.  Additionally the Committee will work out all details needed in securing the Convention site and all other details afforded this committee.
    1. Any chapter can nominate a location for the Department Convention site for the Convention two years hence. (e.g., in June 2013, the site will be selected for Jun 2015).  The nomination will include hosting any the October  DEC meetings convened.  The nomination will be for the Convention and the October any DEC meetings for two years. A nomination will consist of a candidate location and will include the ‘then’ cost of :
      1. two meeting rooms of sufficient size to accommodate the Department meetings (forty-five people) and the LAMOPH meetings (twenty people);
      2. a hospitality room capable of accommodating thirty people;
      3. a suitable room for serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner;
      4. either a recommended caterer to provide those meals, with estimated costs, or the estimated costs of those meals prepared and served by the facility.
      5. individual rooms;
      6. the permission of the facility for the Department to provide adult refreshments in a hospitality room. 
    2. Each chapter making a nomination will automatically become a member of the Time and Place Committee.
    3. Selection will be based on time-distance factors for attending patriots and the potential cost of the Convention.
    4. The Time and Place Committee will present possible sites and the associated costs, and the Convention will determine the site to be selected.
  4. PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE: The newly elected Department Commander shall appoint a Department Editor and a number of assistants to be determined to work in conjunction with representatives from Chapter 455 to jointly produce a Department/chapter Newsletter. The Editor will be entrusted with and accountable for the Department equipment needed to implement this position.
  5. GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE: The newly elected Department Commander shall appoint a Grievance Committee, as required, of three Past Department Commanders who will act as a hearing board for all issues that arise throughout the year within the Department and its chapters.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ARTICLE II
DUTIES OF DEPARTMENT OFFICERS
 
SECTION 1-- COMMANDER
The Commander shall preside at the Department Convention and Executive Committee meetings. He will:
  1. Sign all warrants properly drawn on the Finance Officer by the Department Adjutant, official papers, and only such contracts properly authorized and approved by the Department Convention or the Executive Committee. He will countersign all checks properly issued by the Department Finance Officer.
  2. Appoint promptly upon entering office, a Department Adjutant, Legislative Officer, Welfare Officer, Historian, Chaplain, Americanism Officer, Surgeon, Chief of Staff, Service Director (with the approval of the DEC) and Service Officers (unless such officers are held over by reason of a contract approved by the Department Convention or Department Executive Committee as herein provided for. Appointed salaried officers may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Department Executive Committee after the Department Commander has recommended removal.
 
SECTION 2 -- SENIOR VICE-COMMANDER
The Senior Vice-Commander shall assist the Commander by advice or otherwise, and in the Commander’s absence or disability, he shall discharge the duties of the office. His specific responsibilities shall be membership activities, and he shall be the Department Membership Chairman. In coordination with the Department Adjutant and Chief of Staff, he will organize new chapters where feasible. He also chairs the Awards Committee.
 
SECTION 3 -- JUNIOR VICE-COMMANDER
The Junior Vice-Commander assists the Commander by advice or otherwise, and in the absence or disability of the Senior Vice-Commander he shall discharge the duties of the office according to seniority. His specific responsibilities shall be to assist in membership recruiting. He serves as a member of the Department Awards Committee.
 
SECTION 4 -- ADJUTANT
The Adjutant shall maintain correct records of the proceedings of the Department Convention, Executive Committee meetings and all other meetings, and conduct the correspondence and issues all orders under the direction of the Commander and Chief of Staff. He shall originate and draw warrants on the Finance Officer, make all returns required of him by the national organization; maintain a correspondence file of letters, reports, and such other files and books as may be required by the Department Commander. He shall keep a correct account of the monies due and receivable from all sources, and of the vouchers a copy of all warrants and vouchers drawn on the Finance Officer. He shall prepare prior to each Convention a list showing chapters in good standing, and the number of entitled delegates for chapters in good standing. He shall maintain a property and equipment inventory for all officers of the Department. He serves as a member of the Department Awards Committee.
 
 
SECTION 5 -- FINANCE OFFICER
The Department Finance Officer is responsible to, and under the direction of the Department Finance, Service and Rehabilitation Committee for all functions and operations of his office. He shall hold and be responsible for the funds, securities, vouchers and pay all warrants drawn by the Adjutant and approved by the Commander. All checks issued by the Department must have the signature of the Commander and Finance Officer. He shall make an annual report of the finances of the Department. In
conjunction with the Finance, Service and Rehabilitation Committee he is instrumental in preparation of the Department annual budget. His books shall at all times, together with those of the Adjutant, be open to inspection. He is instrumental in coordinating the annual Department Audit, CPA audit, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Audits, and represents the Department at the annual MOPH Service Foundation Audit. His duties include fiduciary accountability for the Department and the Department Service Program which includes all administrative aspects of the Service Program to include pay roll and related employee issues. He serves as a member of the Department Awards Program.
 
SECTION 6 – JUDGE ADVOCATE
The Judge Advocate shall preferably be a licensed attorney. He shall give the Commander such legal advice and parliamentary assistance as he may require and perform the duties incident to his office. He shall review and approve all bylaws of subordinate bodies under the direction of the Executive Committee.
 
SECTION 7 -- INSPECTOR
The Inspector shall have charge of the work of inspection within the Department. He shall make reports as may be required to the National Inspector and to the Department Commander and perform the duties properly incident to his office. He shall make inspections of the books of each chapter in his Department at least once during his term of office, and he shall forward reports to the Department Commander as soon as possible.
 
SECTION 8 -- SERGEANT-AT-ARMS
The Sergeant-at-Arms shall perform the duties incident to his office or as the Commander may direct. He shall be responsible for the Department Colors and maintain order and control of entry at the Department Convention and Executive Committee Meetings. He will also tactfully suggest improvement in the conduct of meetings and use of the Ritual. He will prepare the meeting room by displaying all flags, pictures, and credentials. He shall remove and secure all those items upon conclusion of the meeting.
 
SECTION 9 -- DEPARTMENT SERVICE DIRECTOR
The Department Service Director shall perform the duties properly incident to his office. His duties include but are not limited to the following:
  1. He provides leadership and direction for the Department Service Program and Service Officers in coordination with the National Service Director and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  2. He provides and maintains data for reporting the activities of the Service Offices to the Department Finance, Service and Rehabilitation Committee, National Service Director, MOPH Service Foundation and to various organizations within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  3. He coordinates the maintenance of Service Offices at the VA Regional Offices and assures judicious handling of all claims for veterans and their families.
  4. The Department Service Director will fulfill all training requirements in order to become accredited through the National Service Director with the Department of Veteran Affairs.
 
SECTION 10 -- DEPARTMENT SERVICE OFFICERS
The Department Service Officers shall perform their duties under the supervision of the Department Service Director. They shall advise and assist veterans and their families in the technical preparation and prosecution of their claims for benefits from any governmental agency and in gaining suitable employment. They shall maintain good public relations with other organizations in similar fields of endeavor and with governmental agencies bearing in mind the accomplishment of mutual objectives for
the benefit of the veteran and his/her family. They shall assist and cooperate with chapter Service Officers of the Department and shall furnish monthly reports to the Department Service Director, Regional Field Supervisor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania governmental agencies and other designees as may be required.
 
SECTION 11 -- LEGISLATIVE OFFICER
The Legislative Officer shall be appointed by the Department Commander. He shall gather and refer such pertinent matters of interest to the members of the Department, as submitted by the various chapters of the Department. He shall submit to the National Legislative Director such resolutions or materials as may be of interest or importance nationally. He shall prepare all suggested bills or amendments or other legislative matters for the use of the state legislature under the direction and approval of the Department Executive Committee. Copies of all such legislative bills shall be sent to the
National Legislative Director, who shall inspect and recommend for approval or disapproval all proposed veteran legislation to be sponsored by the Corporation in any state so that no legislation of conflicting purposes will be introduced in different states.
 
SECTION 12 -- WELFARE OFFICER
The Welfare Officer shall keep informed as to public and private agencies and organizations which can offer temporary or permanent assistance to needy members, other veterans, and families and help such persons in securing proper and adequate assistance. He shall cooperate with the chapter Welfare Officers in the Department in the development of a suitable program to comfort, entertain and help hospitalized veterans and their families. He shall cooperate with or may serve as, the DVA Voluntary Service (VAVS) Representative or Deputy who shall be certified to the DVA. He shall provide the National Welfare Officer with an annual report.
SECTION 13 -- CHAPLAIN
The Chaplain shall, when possible, be a member of the clergy. He shall be responsible for the opening and closing prayers of the Department Meetings, assist in or take charge of certain burial ceremonies for departed Patriots, participate in patriotic ceremonies, send condolences to widows/widowers of Department members when alerted to deaths of members, and perform such duties requested of him by the Department Commander.
 
SECTION 14 -- AMERICANISM OFFICER
The Americanism Officer shall coordinate the activities of the chapter Americanism Officers in the promotion of a "positive Americanism" within the Department, and shall assist in the commemoration of all national patriotic holidays by preserving and strengthening comradeship and patriotism among the Order's members. He shall encourage the display of the American flag on all appropriate holidays and shall perform such other duties as his office may require or the Commander may direct. He shall provide the National Americanism Officer with an annual report.
 
SECTION 15 -- CHIEF OF STAFF
The Chief of Staff is delegated the authority by the Department Commander to coordinate the activities of the Staff. He shall assist the Senior Vice-Commander in membership activities and new chapter organization and perform such other duties as the Department Commander may direct. He may nominate for appointment a Deputy Chief of Staff in each city, or area, as needed, to assist in membership activities and new chapter organization.
 
SECTION 16 -- NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEMAN
The National Executive Committeeman and/or Alternate shall in the absence of the commander/SVC/JVC represent the Department on the National Executive Committee with full voting power. In all other instances, the Department Commander shall serve as the member to the National Executive Committee, and the Senior Vice-Commander shall serve as the Alternate National Executive Committeeman.
 
SECTION 17 -- HISTORIAN
The Historian shall compile a brief history of the activities of the Department during his/her term of Office to be kept as a permanent record of the Department, and shall perform other duties as his office may require or the Commander may direct.
 
SECTION 18 -- FIRST RESPONDER
The First Responder coordinates line of duty deaths and serious injury of fire fighters and police with the National Public Safety Officer.   He arranges for appropriate recognition of those personnel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
ARTICLE III
MEMBERSHIP
 
SECTION 1 -- ELIGIBILITY
All persons of good moral character who are or have been members of the Armed Forces of the United States or any foreign country of whatever rank, who have received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received during military or naval combat against an armed enemy of the United States, shall be eligible for active membership in the Corporation.
 
SECTION 2 -- VOTING RIGHTS
Each member of the Corporation, other than associate members, shall have the right to vote on each matter submitted to a vote at all meetings of his chapter.
 
SECTION 3 -- CHAPTER RESPONSIBILITIES
Each chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the United States of America, Inc., shall be the judge of the admission of its own membership, subject to the rules and restrictions of the Constitution and Bylaws of the parent organization.
 
SECTION 4 -- MEMBERS AT LARGE
This Department will accept Department members-at-large when requested by members and provided such members reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania but do not reside within reasonable distance of an existing chapter. Members who have had a punishment of permanent “Transfer” to Department member-at-large status imposed on them are automatically transferred to member-at-large status.
 
SECTION 5 -- ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
Membership as an Associate Member is hereby granted pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in our Congressional Charter. Public law 85-761 of the Congress of the United States of America, and subject to the various rules, restrictions, regulations, and limitations, set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws of the parent organization. Membership as an Associate Member of the parent organization shall be granted on the basis of, and subject to, paragraph (b) of Section 6 of the Congressional Charter, whether the Purple Heart Recipient is alive or deceased to "parents and lineal descendants" of all
persons who are eligible for membership in the parent organization, as set forth in paragraph (b) of Section 6 hereinafter referred to "An associate member shall be without vote and may not hold an elective office but may hold an appointed position except that of Adjutant."
 
SECTION 6 -- LADIES AUXILIARY
The Department of Pennsylvania shall recognize a Ladies Auxiliary Department of Pennsylvania (LADOP), subject to the various restrictions and limitations as set forth in the Ladies Auxiliary Constitution and Bylaws, Rules and Regulations of the National Organization. LADOP and its units shall adhere to the requirements set forth in Article VII Section 3 and the various restrictions and limitations set forth in the MOPH Department of Pennsylvania and MOPH National Organizations’ Constitution, Bylaws and Ritual.
 
SECTION 7 -- MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS
Membership applications along with proof of the award of the Purple Heart (Purple Heart Certificates alone are insufficient evidence) will be forwarded to the Department Finance Officer who will forward the application and fees to the MOPH National Headquarters. The Department will pay the Life membership fees (excluding Associate Members, Members-At-Large and LAMOPH) for eligible residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. And those individuals will become members of the chapter in closest proximity to their home address.
 
 
 
SECTION 8 -- CHAPTER OFFICERS
Each chapter within the Department shall elect and appoint such officers as stated in the National Constitution, Bylaws and Ritual. Such election/appointments shall be held in April of each year and installation of said newly elected or appointed officers shall be no later than 31 May of that year. A complete report of same shall be received by the Department Adjutant prior to the Department Convention.
 
 
ARTICLE IV
TO PRESERVE THE INTEGRITY OF THE ORGANIZATION
 
The Constitution, Bylaws and Ritual of the National Organization shall govern all matters affecting the preservation of the integrity of the Organization. Whereas the gender “he” as stated in the Department of Pennsylvania's Constitution, Bylaws and Ritual shall mean a male or female member.
 
ARTICLE V
AMENDMENTS TO DEPARTMENT CONSTITUTION, BYLAWS AND RITUAL
 
  1. This Constitution, Bylaws and Ritual may be amended by a roll call of two thirds vote of the Executive Committee members present at a regular or special meeting of the Department Executive Committee, provided the proposed amendment(s) shall have been submitted through the Department Adjutant to the members of the Department Executive Committee, by mailing same to them at least 20 days prior to the convening of the Department Executive Committee. If adopted, such amendment(s) shall have full force and effect until the next Department Convention which shall accept or reject such amendment(s).
  2. This Constitution, Bylaws and Ritual may also be amended by unanimous vote of the Executive Committee members thereat, provided the proposed amendment(s) shall have been read to the Department Convention at least one calendar day before it is voted upon.
  3. This Constitution, Bylaws and Ritual may be set aside or suspended for the period of the Department Convention only if deemed expedient by a unanimous vote of the Executive Committee members thereat.
 
ARTICLE VI
CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
 
  1. All chapter and Department meetings of the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A., Inc., shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, newly revised, except as otherwise provided for in these Articles.
  2. All meetings, observances, and official activities of the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A., Inc. Shall be conducted in accordance with the official Ritual and Manual of Ceremonies of the Corporation.
 
 
ARTICLE VII
INCORPORATION OF DEPARTMENT POLICY STATEMENTS
 
In an attempt to maintain continuity within the Department between amendments to our Constitution, Bylaws and Ritual, a series of policy statements were approved over the years by the Department Conventions and are included here for clarification.
 
SECTION 1 – DEPARTMENT FUNDING
The Department shall reimburse all Department elected and appointed officers, and Past Department Commanders for mileage (to be determined for each Department Convention) for attendance at Department Conventions, Department Executive Meetings and other meetings deemed necessary by the Department Commander. The Department shall fund the same for the chapter commander, or the senior vice-commander, or the junior vice-commander, or department executive committeeman or alternate, in that order. Lodging will be provided and paid directly to the lodging facility by the Department Finance Officer.   Reimbursement for mileage to the individual will be made as long as the individual is present for roll call and attends the last
Executive Committee Meeting of the year, the Convention, and the first Executive Committee Meeting of the succeeding year. The Department Commander can excuse an individual from a required meeting.
 
SECTION 2 -- CHAPTERS IN GOOD STANDING
A chapter in good standing is one that has compiled all reporting procedures. Any chapter that has not forwarded the required reports to the Department Adjutant (Election Report) and the Department Finance Officer (Finance Report and PA Chapter Grant report) by 15 May annually, or has failed to respond to reasonable requests from the Department Commander, is not a chapter in good standing and incurs the risk of being in default and shall not receive Department Grant monies. The chapter will not be entitled to vote at Department meetings. The Department Fiscal Year is 1 June through 31 May.
 
SECTION 3 -- GRANT MONIES
  1. In accordance with a February 10, 1971 Agreement with the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, the Department of Pennsylvania receives fifty percent of the net profits from Purple Heart Thrift/Recycling Stores located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to conduct a Service Program. Any funds excess to the Service Program can be used for the support of the veteran and family. Funds are to be used only within the State where raised. Each year the Department Finance Officer obtains from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's State Veterans Homes inpatient and outpatient work load of VA Hospitals, Community Based Outpatient Clinics and State Veterans Homes. This data is used in developing our annual budget to include each chapter's allocated funding. Each chapter has a designated site which is their primarily area of responsibility. If the amount of funds received by the chapter exceeds the needs of that site, the chapter commander has the authority to explore and fund additional programs with those excess funds.
  2. Each chapter commander, unit president, and leader/manager of any organization receiving grant funds is required to provide financial records, receipts, etc., to account for all grant funds expended during the Fiscal Year of receipt no later than 15 May annually on the blank voucher form provided by the Department Finance Officer. Although the cutoff date for the Finance Report is 31 May, chapters, units, and organizations receiving grant funds should project their finances forward to that date, but must nevertheless file the report to Department by 15 May. This date is driven by the Department’s requirement to makes its end-of-year financial report to the MOPH Service Foundation in a timely manner.
  3. Grant funds provided to the chapters, units, and organizations receiving grant funds will be expended during the Fiscal Year of receipt. 
  4. Chapters, units, and organizations receiving grant funds are restricted to the accrual of two years of General Administrative Funds (funds raised by the chapter) in accordance with Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation guidance.
  5. Chapter commanders, unit presidents, and leader/managers of any organization receiving grant funds are cautioned not to expend Department Grant Money for chapter, unit, or organizations receiving grant fund functions. Department Grant Funds given to the chapters are often referred to as VAVS monies.
  6. Grant funds will be provided to the chapter, unit, and organizations receiving grant funds representative at the Department Convention.  See Section 4 (CONVENTION) paragraph c.  Chapters, units, and organizations receiving grant funds not attending the Convention will not receive Grant Funds.
  7. As indicated in ARTICLE VII SECTION 2, grant funds can only be provided to chapters in good standing.  The provisions of SECTION 2, including the submission of election reports, will also apply to units and organizations receiving grant funds.  Organizations without current election reports are considered inactive and therefore cannot receive, disburse, and account for grant funds.
 
SECTION 4 – SCHOLARSHIPS
a.   The Department has a scholarship program for members of the MOPH Department of Pennsylvania.  Subject to the availability of funds, scholarship awardees may receive up to two $1000 scholarships per year for four years.
b.   To be eligible, an applicant must be a graduate or upcoming graduate (Senior) of a high school, or be-accepted by or enrolled as a FULL-TIME undergraduate student (12 or more semester credit hours, or 18 quarter credit hours, or as determined by the school) at an accredited U.S. College, University or Trade School in Pennsylvania at the time the scholarship is awarded. (Graduate students are not eligible).
c.   The Department Finance Officer will make recommendations to the Finance Committee for the amount of funding to be budgeted for the Scholarship Program.
d.   The selection of applicants will be decentralized to the Chapter level where a Committee will select their proposed awardees by June 15 annually. The Committee will consist of non- relatives of Scholarship applicants. Scholarship Committee recommendations will be forwarded to the Department Finance Officer NLT July 15.
e.   Specific details, to include the scholarship application, will be posted on the Department Web Site.
 
SECTION 5 – CONVENTION AND DEPARTMENT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING EXPENSES
  1. The Finance Officer will set the amount patriots pay to attend the Convention and Department Executive Committee meetings.
  2. The cost will include a Registration Fee associated with preparing materials.  All attendees must pay the Registration Fee.
  3. The costs will also include a Convention Fee for food, entertainment, and refreshments.  Only patriots availing themselves of the food, entertainment and/or refreshments are required to pay this fee.
 
 
 
 
PART III
 
RITUAL

ARTICLE I
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR DEPARTED PATRIOTS
 
GENERAL.  In addition to the pertinent rituals of the National Military Order of the Purple Heart, The Department of Pennsylvania will conduct a modified Memorial Service to:
  1. Honor both MOPH DOP and Ladies Auxiliary members – and by extension, all combat wounded veterans and their spouses – who have passed away in the period between Department Conventions.
  2. The service will be conducted by the MOPH DOP Chaplain, assisted by the Ladies Auxiliary Chaplain, or their substitutes.
  3. Chapter commanders will ensure that the members of their chapters who have passed away are reported to the Department Chaplain.

 
 


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