2018-2019 National Membership & Recruitment Ambassador
Membership Applications: The Investigating Committee’s Responsibility
In the previous Membership & Recruitment blog we shared how and where to get information on eligibility for a veteran. This month we want to make sure you know how to complete a VFW Auxiliary membership application correctly and the role the Investigating Committee plays in the application process.
One of the most critical steps in considering a new member for the VFW Auxiliary is the careful review of the prospective member’s application by a three-member Investigating Committee appointed by the Auxiliary President (as outlined in Sec. 102 of the 2018 Podium Edition: Bylaws and Ritual).
As an exclusive veterans’ service organization, the VFW Auxiliary must ensure that every prospective member’s eligibility has been thoroughly vetted by the Investigating Committee before any action can be taken on the application. According to the Applications section of the Booklet of Instructions, “It is the duty of the Investigating Committee to see that the applications are filled out completely before they are presented to the body for consideration.” The following fields are to be completed on each application:
- Recruited by
- Auxiliary Name and Number
- Kind of Membership (annual, life, etc.)
- Name (spelled correctly)
- Date of Birth
- City, State, Zip
- Post Affiliated or Non Affiliated
- Veteran (name)
- Post Number (if applicable)
- Name of campaign ribbons or medals
- Foreign Service dates
- Applicant’s signature and date
- Signatures of the investigating committee (at least 2)
- Signature line following the Obligation
In addition to the prospective member’s application, it is the responsibility of the Investigating Committee to review proof of honorable service of the eligible veteran, unless he/she is a member of the VFW Post to which the applicant is applying for membership.
Proof of the veteran’s honorable service in any foreign war, insurrection or expedition (as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces) may be determined through careful examination of a Separation Document (DD214) with a VFW-authorized campaign or service medal of the United States; receipt of Hostile Fire or Imminent Danger Pay, as verified by a copy of a Leave and Earning Statement (LES) issued by the U.S. Armed Forces; or service in Korea for 30 consecutive/60 non-consecutive days after June 30, 1949.
Performance reports, travel orders, medical order, medals reports, morning reports, assignments listings, buddy affidavits, and letters from a foreign war zone may also be reviewed if a DD214 is not available. For veterans prior to 1946, a report of their discharge listing the medals and decorations that were earned is acceptable proof.
For soldiers currently on active duty, they will not have a DD214. In those cases, the appropriate orders showing overseas deployment to a qualifying area, or awarding of an authorized campaign medal, or a LES showing Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger pay will suffice to prove eligibility.
The Investigating Committee will report its findings to the body before voting on the applicant. Members will have an opportunity to state their objection to the admission of the applicant to the Auxiliary after the report and before the voting.
Still have questions about what the Investigating Committee does and why? See Sec. 102—Application-New Members of the 2018 Podium Edition: Bylaws and Ritual for more information.