America's Largest Veterans Service Organization

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Sharon Thiemecke

 Parliamentary procedure is the body of rules, ethics and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies and other deliberative assemblies.

At its heart is the rule of the majority with respect for the minority.  Self-governing organizations such as the American Legion Auxiliary, follow parliamentary procedure to debate and reach group decisions—usually by vote—with the least possible friction.

Rules of order consist of rules written by the body itself (often referred to as bylaws or standing rules), but also usually supplemented by a published parliamentary authority adopted by the body. The Auxiliary follows Roberts Rules of Order which are not specifically written for our organization but is an excellent source to guide all members in participating in fair procedure for all to have the opportunity to speak.  In our American Legion Auxiliary, the Unit, District and National levels all have internally written rules of order otherwise known as our Constitution, Standing Rules and Bylaws.

To be an effective parliamentarian in the American Legion Auxiliary: The parliamentarian should be seen and not heard. Provide advice when requested and communicate with the president tactfully and discreetly. Remain impartial and be prepared to cite references if needed.

BE IMPARTIAL-The parliamentarian is much like an official in a game. The parliamentarian is to be impartial and make sure everyone plays by the rules. Just as the official does not play the game, the parliamentarian does not exercise the same rights as the member. She does not make motions, debate or vote except by ballot.

The parliamentarian should be knowledgeable of the existing rules in order to offer assistance to the President or Chairman when asked and should have a copy of governing documents at the meeting. Keep track of the motions to assist the presiding officer. A Department parliamentarian must know and understand bylaws, standing rules, and parliamentary procedure much better that a Unit Parliamentarian.

Any organization requires rules of operation. These are our Constitution and/or Bylaws, Standing Rules and Rules of Order such as Robert's Rules.

With the changes in eligibility all Units should review their Constitution, Standing Rules and Bylaws and update them to align with our National Organization.  We are now the largest patriotic organization and no longer the largest women's patriotic organization.

It is an honor to serve our Sixth District in this capacity. Thank you Madam President Roberta for this appointment.

Sharon Thiemecke

6th District Parliamentarian