The most recent change to the bylaws of the Korean War Veterans Association, Inc., was made on July 27, 2001.
The change was ruled illegal by the KWVA Judge Advocate, Sherman Pratt soon thereafter. [See "Controversies"
section - "Bylaws Changes and Third Term Presidency."]
The text of the most current (illegal) bylaws is as follows, with changes in italics:
Korean War Veterans Association, Inc.
EFFECTIVE 001, July 27, 1992
Amended: 001, July 27, 1994
Amended: 001, July 27, 1997
Amended: 001, July 27, 2000
Amended: 001, July 27, 2001
First: The name or title by which this society shall be known shall be:
KOREAN WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION, INC.
Second: The term for which it is organized shall be perpetual.
Third: Its particular business and objects shall be:
- To organize, promote and maintain for benevolent and charitable purposes an association of persons who
have seen honorable service during the Korean War at any time between June 25, 1950 and January 31, 1955,
both dates inclusive, and of certain other persons, the particular qualifications for membership to be set
forth in the bylaws of the Korean War Veterans Association, Inc.
- To grant charters to groups of members at large of the association.
- To provide a means of contact and communications among the members of the association.
- To promote the establishment of, and to establish war and other memorials commemorative of any persons
who served in the Korean War.
- To aid needy association members and their spouses and children, and the spouses and children of persons
who were members at the time of their death.
- To establish and maintain a national headquarters.
- To do any and all things necessary or proper for the accomplishment of the foregoing business and
objects of the association, including, for such purposes, to contract and pay for personal and other
services, to contract for, buy, take by deed, gift or devise, hold, possess, manage, borrow, rent, lease,
loan, assign, convey, sell, and dispose of in any manner real and personal property, and to act as trustee,
or be a beneficiary of a trust.
The corporation may establish offices, either within or without the State of New York, as the Executive
Council may determine.
The principal office of the corporation shall be located in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.
All communications shall be directed to that office.
Section 1. Qualifications of Members. Membership in this association shall consist of
honorary members, regular members, and associate members. No person shall be excluded from membership because
of race, color, creed, sex, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability,
so long as the individual meets the service requirements.
A. Honorary Members.
Any person of good character may be elected an honorary member by vote of the Executive Council.
B. Regular Members.
1. Service in the United States Armed Forces. Any person who has seen honorable
service in any of the armed forces of the United States, said service being within Korea (September 3,
1945 - June 25, 1950) within and without Korea (June 25, 1950 - January 31, 1995), or who, as a member of
the armed forces of the United States as defined by U.S.C. Title 10, served honorably in Korea from
February 1, 1955, is eligible for membership.
2. Medal of Honor. Any Medal of Honor recipient, so honored for service during the
Korean War is eligible for life membership.
3. Prisoner of War. Any person held as a prisoner of war by the North Koreans,
Chinese, or Russian forces during and after the period of hostilities from June 25, 1950 forward is
eligible for life membership.
4. United Nations Command and Korean Armed Forces. Any person who served honorably in
the armed forces of the United Nations Command or in the Republic of Korea armed forces during the Korean
War era and thereafter is eligible for membership. However, UN/Korean membership of the association may
not exceed 10% of the total membership.
5. Gold Star Parents. Any parent whose son was killed in action, or was missing in
action, or died as a prisoner of war during the Korean War is eligible for life membership.
6. Gold Star Wives. Any woman whose husband was killed in action or was missing in
action, or died as a prisoner of war during the Korean War is eligible for life membership.
C. Associate Members.
Any person with a legitimate interest in the affairs of this association and who wishes to support its aims,
and not being eligible for regular membership and who agrees to accept the terms and conditions set forth in
the charter and bylaws shall be eligible for associate membership in the association.
Any person who has been separated from the service of the armed forces of the United States, or the United
Nations command, or the Republic of Korea under conditions other than honorable and who did not serve
honorably, shall be ineligible for membership in this association.
Section 2. Membership Procedures
A. Application. Any person qualified for membership, as set forth above, may
present a written application to any member in good standing, on a form prepared and approved by the
Executive Council. The application shall be an agreement that said applicant will agree and abide by
and conform to the charter, bylaws, and regular procedures of the Korean War Veterans Association, Inc.
The application, when accompanied with the dues as set forth below, may be accepted by any member, chapter,
department or national office.
B. Termination of Membership. The Executive Council, by a two-thirds vote of those
in attendance, may suspend or expel a member for just cause after an appropriate hearing. Such
decision to be voted upon at the next general membership meeting. The Executive Council may, without a
hearing, but upon notice to the member, suspend or terminate the membership of any member who becomes
ineligible for membership for non-payment of dues as set forth hereinafter. No chapter or department
may take any action against a member, but may so petition the Executive Council. However, any such
petition must show the member complained about was served with the petition before its filing with the
Secretary of the association.
C. Resignation. Any member may resign by filing a written resignation with the
Secretary, but said resignation shall not relieve the member so resigning of the obligation to pay any dues,
assessments, or other charges theretofore accrued and unpaid.
D. Reinstatement. Upon written request signed by a former member and filed with
the Secretary, the Executive Council, by a two-thirds vote of the members present, may reinstate such former
member to membership on such terms as the Council may deem fit and proper.
E. Transfer of membership. Membership in this association shall not be transferred
Section 3. Dues
A. Amount of Dues. Payment of dues is a condition of initial and/or continuing
membership. Dues shall be $20 per year for regular members. Life membership dues shall be
$150.00. Honorary members, Medal of Honor members, POW members, Gold Star parents, and Gold Star wives
may pay dues if they so wish, but are not required to do so. Associate members shall pay $12.00 per year.
The Executive Council may, with the approval of the membership, adjust the dues.
B. Payment of Dues. National dues shall be collated at the national office.
All dues shall be due and payable on January 1 each year and be valid for a calendar year (1 January-31
December). Life dues may be paid in a lump sum or in six (6) equal payments of $25.00 each, all
payable in the first year of life membership. All dues collected by any member, chapter or department
shall be paid to national headquarters within twenty-one (21) calendar days of such collection.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Section 1. Officers. Members eligible to vote shall, in accordance with the
procedure set forth hereinafter and, prior to the appropriate annual meeting, elect a national President,
national First Vice President and national Second Vice President, whose terms of office shall each be for two
years. The national President elected at said meeting shall appoint a national Secretary and a national
Treasurer during the annual meeting. Other officials shall be appointed to wit: a Judge Advocate,
Chaplain, Historian, MIA-POW Chair, Public Relations Chair, assistant secretaries and assistant treasurers, as
well as other officials as needed. Only the Secretary and the Treasurer positions may be held by one
Section 2. Executive Council. The national corporation shall have an Executive
Council consisting of seventeen (17) members: five officers (President, First Vice President, Second Vice
President, Secretary and Treasurer), together with twelve Directors, four of whom shall be elected annually,
prior to the annual meeting. Each director shall be elected for a three-year term.
A. Voting. All votes of the Executive Council shall be by a simple majority,
unless stated otherwise hereafter, of a quorum of at least eight (8) elected members in attendance.
Only the elected twelve (12) Directors and the First and Second Vice Presidents have an automatic Council
vote--the President has a tie-breaking vote only. Appointed officials of the Executive Council do not
have a vote.
B. Open Meeting. Any member of the association may attend meetings of the
Executive Council and, at the discretion of the Council, may be invited to address them.
C. Special Meeting. The President or ten (10) elected members of the Executive
Council may call a Council meeting for one (1) purpose only, by giving two (2) weeks written notice to all
members of the Council stating the date and time, the exact location of the meeting place, and the agenda of
D. Business Without a Meeting. Any elected member of the Executive Council may
call for business to be conducted without a meeting. The national Secretary and at least twelve (12)
other members must be informed and asked to acquiesce, by telephone, to a telephone conference meeting,
which is then followed by a written resolution signed by each voting officer. Any such action must be
ratified at the meeting of the next Executive council.
Section 3. National Elections. The election of the national President and two
national Vice Presidents, as well as the appropriate four Directors of the Executive Council, shall be
conducted as follows:
A. Each regular member shall have a vote for all national officers. Each member shall
cast only their own vote. Proxy vote is not permitted.
B. The national Secretary shall issue a call for an election, which shall be published
in the GRAYBEARDS in the first issue following January 1 of each election year. The call for election
shall state the offices, and that any qualified member may announce for said office. The call shall
state the Nominating Committee Chair's name and address, the address for collecting the submitted
declaration of candidacy, all deadlines for declaring and for voting, and the procedures to be followed in
filing for office. The March-April edition of the GRAYBEARDS will be the 'election' issue. The
Nominating Committee shall consist of three members including one officer of the Executive Council who shall
serve as chair.
C. No later than February 15 of each year when such offices are to be filled, any
regular member in good standing of the Korean War Veterans Association, Inc., seeking to run for President,
First Vice President, Second Vice President, or Director shall make their intentions known to the Chair of
the Nominating Committee in writing using the following format:
a. Must present proof of service by submitting a copy of a DD-214 or other document
notarized as a true copy showing eligible service and a statement releasing such document for
verification by the Nominating Committee.
b. Must present a current photograph suitable for publication in the GRAYBEARDS.
c. Must submit a letter with the following:
1. Their intent to run for an office and the office sought.
2. A resume of their qualifications for this office stating any experience that
will be of benefit to the association.
3. Their current mailing address, home telephone number and KWVA membership
4. This letter will be limited to approximately one typed page.
d. A statement that they will attend all called meetings of the Executive Council
and that they understand that two (2) unexcused absences could be used for their removal from office.
e. They must sign a statement that their dues are current through the whole of the
term of office they are seeking. Payment of delinquent dues shall not be retroactive for the
purpose of establishing eligibility to run for office within the association.
f. Send the above items by certified mail, return receipt requested to the
Nominating Committee Chair to arrive not later than February 15 that year.
D. The Nominating Committee shall then certify that the candidates are qualified to
stand for office. Their declaration, in full, shall then be sent by the Nomination Committee Chair to
the editor of GRAYBEARDS for publication in the following March-April issue. Those declarations may
also be published in earlier issues of GRAYBEARDS should they have been submitted in time, providing the
above requirements are met.
E. The editor of GRAYBEARDS, working with proper officials, shall prepare and publish a
ballot for printing, which shall appear in only the March-April issue. No other ballots will be
honored or accepted.
F. Members shall cast their ballots by marking thereon their choices and returning the
official ballot by July 10 to the specified address, where a Certified Public Accountant shall count the
ballots and render a report at the appropriate time and place during the annual meeting each year.
Section 4. Term of Office
A. The President, First and Second Vice Presidents, shall have a term of office of two
(2) years. (deleted two (2) consecutive terms maximum). Directors shall have a term of
office of three (3) years. (deleted two (2) consecutive terms maximum). All elected
officers shall assume office on 27 July. The term of office of all appointed national officers shall
be at the pleasure of the President, with Executive Council approval.
Section 5. Removal
A. Any officer of the Korean War Veterans Association, Inc. may be expelled or suspended
from office for just cause by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee after charges are preferred under
oath in writing and a hearing held, after due notice, before the Executive Council.
B. Any officer not in attendance for three (3) consecutive meetings without just cause
shall no longer hold such office, having been deemed to have resigned said office.
Section 6. Vacancies
The officers shall have powers and shall perform such duties as may from time to time be specified in
resolutions or other directives of the Executive Council. In the absence of such specification, each
officer shall have the powers and authority and shall perform and discharge the duties of the officers of the
same title serving in nonprofit corporations having the same or similar purposes and objectives as this
association. The duties of the elected and appointed officers shall be as follows (the use of the
masculine gender in the following paragraphs should be taken to mean either masculine or feminine gender.)
A. President. The President shall perform the functions conferred upon him by
these bylaws and shall generally be responsible for the execution of the policies and programs decided upon
by the Executive Council. He may appoint standing committees and ad hoc committees composed of members
at large to assist him in the execution of his duties. He shall have the power to call meetings of
members of the association at the Korean War Veterans reunions and shall preside at such meetings, and he
may call for meetings of the Executive Council over which he presides. He shall recommend to the
Executive Council any action he considers necessary and proper for the welfare of the association. All
documents which shall be legally binding on the association shall be signed by him, except in the case of
disbursements by check or draft from the funds of the association's own account or an account managed by it.
Such checks or drafts will be signed and endorsed in accordance with Section 7D. In the absence of
both the Treasurer and the assistant treasurer the President shall approve payment of invoices and bills.
B. Vice Presidents. The two Vice Presidents shall assist the President in the
performance of his duties. The First Vice President has seniority, and, in the absence of the
President, shall serve as, and have the powers of, the President. In the absence of both the President
and the First Vice President, the Second Vice President shall be responsible to the membership of the
association. The Second Vice President shall be honorary chairman for the association reunions held
during his term of office.
C. Secretary. The Secretary shall be appointed by the President, and confirmed by
the Executive Council. He is responsible for the management of the day-to-day business of the
association, and shall perform all administrative duties required of him by the President. He shall be
responsible for recording the minutes of meetings of the association and shall keep records of the
association. He shall maintain communications with the membership and reunion committees, offering
assistance as required to publicize their actions to include assisting in development of charter groups and
in making arrangements for reunions. Thirty (30) days prior to each reunion he shall submit to each
officer and member of the Executive Council an agenda for the association business meeting and an agenda for
the Council meeting. He or his assistant shall be editor of the GRAYBEARDS and, from material provided
by the members and other official and unofficial sources, shall maintain quarterly communications with all
members on matters of general interest, with specific attention to Korean War Veterans activities and
chapter news. In the performance of his duties, he may hire clerical or other assistance for the
proper and expeditious conduct of the association affairs, as authorized by the Executive Council.
D. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the President and confirmed by
the Executive Council. He is responsible for collecting dues and other monies in behalf of the
association, and for making timely and proper disbursements from the funds in his charge. He shall
maintain custodianship of certain funds and shall prepare financial statements for publication at Korean War
Veterans reunions and in the GRAYBEARDS. At the direction of the Executive Council, he is to be
bonded. Three persons shall be authorized to sign for expenditure of funds of the association.
In order to be valid, each disbursement must have the signatures of two of the three authorized persons.
E. Chaplain. The Chaplain shall conduct the annual memorial service to honor those
who were killed in action, or died of wounds as a result of hostile actions, and to memorialize association
members who are deceased. He shall work closely with the Reunion Chairman and the Secretary and
Treasurer and perform such other functions as requested by the President.
F. Historian. The Historian shall prepare an annual history of the association and
be responsible for obtaining news releases and other material pertinent for the maintenance of a Korean War
Veterans Association, Inc. historical record. He shall perform other duties as requested by the
G. Judge Advocate. The Judge Advocate will be the legal advisor to the national
officers and Executive Council, but may not hold any other office.
H. Appointed Positions. All appointed positions (i.e., Chaplain, Historian, Judge
Advocate, & etc.) will be published in the Standard Procedures Manual.
I. Executive Council. The National Executive Council shall consist of seventeen
(17) members, being -- the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and
twelve Directors. The President of the association shall be the Chair.
The Council shall formulate policies and supervise the execution thereof. It shall have at least
one stated meeting during the annual reunion preceding the association business meeting. It shall meet
at other times as required, and called by the President, and may vote by mail upon call by the President.
It shall establish rules for itself and its internal committees and is responsible for orderly and timely
actions between its regular meetings. The Executive Council may make rules as to the manner of
notifying its members of business meetings and as to dispensing with such notices in the case of Council
members who are not within convenient traveling distance of the place of the meeting. No person shall
receive any salary for services as a member of the Executive Council or the services as President or Vice
President. The Executive Council shall have the control and management of the affairs, property and
funds of the association and shall decide the policies of the association.
J. Committees. There shall be two types of committees, to wit: (1) Standing
Committees, and (2) Special Committees. Standing Committees (1) shall include the following:
Budget/Finance, Membership, Nominations/Elections, Resolution, Reunion, and "Tell America" Committee.
The membership thereof shall be appointed by the President, with the consent of the Executive Council for
the term of one year, and subject to yearly reconfirmation from the membership at large, except that the
Chairman of each standing committee shall be chosen from the current membership of the Executive Council.
Having thus been chosen, he or she will continue to serve for the full term regardless of their status as a
Council member. The Special Committees (2) shall be appointed by the President as needed, and shall
serve at his pleasure. Such committees include, but are not limited to: Publicity, Reunion
operations-current year, and Reunion operations-future years. The duties and responsibilities of each
committee are defined in the charge issued to that committee. A list of committees and a candidate
acceptance form shall be published in the Standard Procedures Manual.
Section 9. Indemnification. Provision of insurance coverage for all
association officers. Each officer, elected or appointed, and each member of the Executive Council of
the association now or hereafter serving as such, shall be indemnified by the association against any and all
claims and liabilities to which they have or shall become subject by reason of serving or having served as
such person, for all legal expenses reasonably incurred by them in connection with any claim or liability,
provided, however, that no such person shall be indemnified against, or be reimbursed for, any expense
incurred in connection with any such claim or liability arising out of their own willful misconduct or gross
negligence. The amount paid to any officer or director by way of indemnification shall not exceed their
actual, reasonable, and necessary expenses incurred in connection with the matter involved, and such
additional amount as may be fixed by a special committee appointed by the Executive Council. This right
of indemnification hereinbefore provided for, shall not be exclusive of any rights to which any director or
officer of the association may otherwise be entitled by law.
ANNUAL AND SPECIAL MEETINGS
Section 1. The National Reunion will take place annually. The annual meeting
of the corporation will be held each year at the place of the reunion. Said date to be published in the
Section 2. The selection of the site and dates of the reunion shall be agreed by the
Executive Council, and ratified by a majority vote of the members at the annual meeting.
Section 3. Elections of national officers shall be in accordance with Article III,
Sections 3 and 4 of these bylaws.
Section 4. The vote on all other matters shall be decided by regular members, in
good standing, in attendance at the annual meeting. Proxy votes will not be permitted.
Section 5. A simple majority of those attending and voting shall determine all
issues, except when otherwise indicated in these bylaws or Roberts Rules of Order.
Section 6. At a general meeting one hundred (100) members in good standing and in
attendance shall constitute a quorum.
Section 7. A special meeting of the general membership may be called by a
thirty (30)-day written notice by the President, or over one-half of the Executive Council, or by tea (10)
percent of the regular members in good standing, by affixing their names to a petition for said meeting.
The notice calling for the meeting shall state the business to be conducted, together with the time and place.
Section 8. The host unit shall be responsible for the associations reunions.
DEPARTMENTS AND CHAPTERS
Section 1. Location. Each United State (50), United States Territory (American
Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands), as well as a Department(s) for the
nations of the United Command and Korea, shall be designated as a Department upon the establishment of two or
more certified chapters within said department.
Section 2. Incorporation. Upon the certification of two or more chapters
within a department, an organizational meeting shall be called, bylaws adopted, not inconsistent with these
bylaws, and application made to the appropriate authority for a certificate of incorporation for a nonprofit
corporation known as "Department of ____ Korean War Veterans Association" and preparation made for a
department convention and election before the end of the month of June next occurring.
Section 3. Officers. Each department of the Korean War Veterans Association,
Inc. shall elect a department president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer during the annual meeting
for said department to be held prior to the end of the month of June each year. The results of said
election shall be transmitted forthwith to the national Secretary. The department president shall
appoint all other officers and committees as needed. No person may hold two elected department offices,
except for secretary and treasurer, which offices may be held by one person.
Section 4. Department Council. The department corporation shall have a
department council consisting of the elected officers, the appointed officers, and each chapter president or a
member selected by the chapter president.
Section 5. Time of Elections. The elections of department officers shall take place
at the annual meeting of said department of the Korean War Veterans Association, Inc. prior to the end of the
month of June, at a time and place agreeable to the several chapters, and upon a minimum of sixty days written
notice of said meeting, unless waived in writing by each chapter.
Section 6. Term of Office. Each elected department officer shall have a term
of office of one year, and each shall take office on the day of election.
Section 7. Vacancies. A vacancy in any elected office, for any reason whatsoever,
may be filled by the department members at the next department meeting.
Section 8. Powers and Duties. The several department officers shall have such
powers and shall perform such duties as may from time to time be specified in resolutions or other directives
of the executive council. In the absence of such specification, each officer shall have the powers and
authority and shall perform and discharge the duties of the officers of the same title serving in nonprofit
corporations having the same or similar purposes and objectives as this association.
Section 1. Initially a chapter shall consist of not less than twelve (12) members of
good standing, but may grow to any size thereafter. Effective July 27, 2001 each person who becomes a
member of a chapter must first become a national Korean War Veterans; Inc. member, and must maintain
national membership to remain a member of a chapter.
Section 2. Incorporation. Upon representation to the national Secretary or his
designee that twelve (12) or more members in good standing or proposed qualified member intend to form a
chapter, and have submitted the proper documentation for the awarding of a national charter, the proposed
chapter members shall hold an organizational meeting, which shall be called to adopt bylaws, not
inconsistent with these bylaws, and make application to the appropriate authority for a certificate of
incorporation as a nonprofit corporation to act as a subsidiary of the Korean War Veterans Association,
Inc., and to prepare for an organizational meeting preparatory to the annual meeting on or before the end
of the month of June next occurring.
Section 3. Formation Financing Loans. Chapters with twelve (12) to twenty-four (24)
Founding members may apply to national for a formation loan of $50.00: with twenty-five (25) or more
founding members the loan is $100.00. All loans are to be repaid within one year.
Section 4. Officers. Each chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association Inc. shall
elect a chapter president, vice president, secretary and treasurer during the annual meeting, to be held
prior to the end of the month of June each year. The results of said election shall be transmitted
forthwith to the national Secretary. All other officers shall be appointed, as needed. No person may hold
two elective offices, except for secretary and treasurer, which offices may be held by one person.
Section 5. Term of Office. All elected chapter officers shall have a term of office of
one year and each shall assume office on the day of election.
Section 6. Vacancies. Any vacancy in any elected office, for any reason whatsoever,
may be filled by the chapter members at the next chapter meeting.
Section 7. Powers and Duties. Chapter officers shall have such powers and shall
perform such duties as may from time to time be specified in resolutions or other directives of the
executive council. In the absence of such specifications, each officer shall have the powers and authority
and shall perform and discharge the duties of the officer of the same title serving in nonprofit
corporations having the same or similar purposes and objectives as this association.
Section 8. Dissolution: Chapters may be dissolved in accordance with the laws of the
United States and the state of incorporation. All property of the said chapter will be disbursed in
accordance with the United States Internal Revenue Code and the laws of the state of incorporation.
All meetings shall be conducted under the provisions of these bylaws and Roberts Rules of Order Newly
Revised (most current edition).
AMENDMENTS AND RESOLUTIONS
Section 1. Any proposed amendment to the Charter may be submitted by any regular
member in good standing. The proposed amendment shall be read at the next annual meeting by the
Secretary, at which time it will lay on the table, be available for the consideration of the members and
published in the GRAYBEARDS, and voted upon at the following annual meeting. Adoption of all such
amendments must be approved by two-thirds of a quorum of members present.
Section 2. Any regular member in good standing may propose amendments to the bylaws
by presenting them either in writing or in person to the Chairperson of the Bylaws Committee at least thirty
(30) days before the next scheduled meeting of the Executive Council. Such proposals will be considered
at that meeting and then published in the GRAYBEARDS for ratification by two-thirds of a quorum at the next
Section 3. The Resolutions Committee must present all resolutions, in whatever order
it desires and may comment favorably or unfavorably upon each. Rather than read the entire resolution,
the Resolutions Committee may submit the gist of the proposal to the body. If a majority of the members
voting approve the resolution, a directive for subsequent action shall be issued.
END OF BY-LAWS
I, Harley J. Coon, President of the Korean War Veterans Association, a not-for-profit New York corporation,
The foregoing amendments to the By-laws, comprising 12 pages are a true and correct copy of the By-laws of
the Korean War Veterans Association, as amended or otherwise altered to date. The By-laws in effect at
present are the same as those amended or otherwise altered today by Executive Council of the Korean War
Veterans Association, Inc. as of, with the agreement of the members at their annual meeting and effective July
(signed) Harley J. Coon
State of Ohio
County of Greene
Harley J. Coon, President of the Korean War Veterans Association Inc. and known to me, affirms that the
above By-laws were adopted unanimously by the General Membership in solemn session on the 26th day of July,
2001, in Arlington, VA., pursuant to a motion duly made and seconded.
(signed) Carol Ann Becker
My commission expires: April 3, 2004