Independent Guard Bylaws

As an association of independent member organizations known as the Independent Guard, it is the intent of these bylaws to provide purposes and guidelines in order to guide and govern the association. Theses bylaws are as approved and adopted by the majority action of the qualified member organizations of the Independent Guard. All members, and the association as a whole, shall abide by these bylaws with the knowledge and understanding that any association of our nature must be governed by certain procedures and regulations. These bylaws are not intended to supersede the bylaws of the individual member companies of the association.

I. Purpose
The Independent Guard is an association of independent living history and reenactment organizations that was born of their common interests and goals. The association is dedicated to preserving an important part of our American history by reenacting, exhibiting, and otherwise portraying the period of the War Between the States; 1861 to 1865 and thereby educating this and future generations of this significant period in American history. It does so by primarily representing a typical large Confederate military unit of the period which is not otherwise possible on the individual level. The association also seeks to provide a home for, and help present, those groups who are family orientated and which may have civilian components.

II. Membership
A. Classes

  1. Voting
    A voting member in the Independent Guard may be held by an organization that is able to meet the applicable membership requirements as provided herein. The body of qualified voting member organizations, through their respective representatives, constitute the governing body of the Independent Guard.
  2. Nonvoting
    A member organization will be classified as a nonvoting member if it is unable to, or desires not to, meet all the qualifications and requirements of a voting membership. Nonvoting member organizations may participate with the Independent Guard in all aspects except for voting in association affairs nor as a part of the governing body of the association.
  3. Any other qualifications or requirements for membership or voting rights of member organizations are as provided in these bylaws or other duly established regulations of the association.

B. Representation

Each member organization will be represented by their duly authorized commanding officer or his designated representative. Each representative of a voting member will cast votes and otherwise act on behalf of their respective organization in conducting the business and affairs of association as provided for herein.

C. (amended Jan 2015) Application

Any unaffiliated company wishing admission as a permanent member of the battalion must apply in writing sent to the battalion Adjutant. Said company will also follow the letter up with a representative in attendance at a regular battalion meeting to present the request in person. An applicant company must be able to field a minimum of 6 firing rifles on the field per event to be eligible to apply for full voting status as a member of the battalion (See section D, paragraph 2). A majority of those in attendance at the battalion meeting where the applicant company is under consideration will determine the acceptance of said application. The newly accepted company will be placed on a one year probationary period during which time the battalion staff will evaluate the company and its involvement with the battalion. The applicant company MUST attend any two (2) of the voted battalion events during the probationary period. At the end of the one year probationary period the battalion staff will present their recommendations to the membership who will then, by majority vote, decide if the applicant company will be accepted into the battalion. An applicant organization may be rejected at any time during the probation period by a majority vote of the members or it may be withdrawn by the applicant at any time.

D. Voting Member

A qualified member organization with full voting rights shall be any organization that;
1. Has completed it’s one (1) year probationary period and has been accepted by the majority vote of the voting member organizations,
2. (amended Jan 2015) Has fielded a minimum 6 firing rifles for all days of any two voted battalion events within the previous 12 month period, and,
3. is in compliance with these bylaws and any other duly established requirements. Should a previously established voting member organization be unable to meet these requirements at any time, they will be reclassified as a nonvoting member. It will be granted voting member status immediately upon meeting the requirements for a voting member. (It should be here noted that companies of any size may belong to the INDEPENDENT GUARD. Our goal is to assist companies to improve their impression and we feel that membership in our battalion will help achieve that goal.)

III. Administration
A. Governing Body

The governing body of the Independent Guard shall be the duly authorized commanding officer, or his representative, of each voting member organization. They will manage the overall business and affairs of the association.

B. Staff

The Independent Guard Staff, subordinate to the governing body, shall be responsible for the day-to-day operations and activities of the association on and off the field. It will consist of all elected military officials of the association, and shall include as a minimum; one (1) Commanding Officer, one (1) Adjutant, and one (1) Sergeant Major. Other elected staff positions may be created or dissolved as deemed appropriate by the governing body or as otherwise provided for herein. The command structure of the Staff shall follow that which is normally associated with a military chain of command by rank held.

C. Qualifications

Any person desiring to hold an elected position in the association must be a current member, in good standing, of a voting member organization which has been an active participant in the Independent Guard no less than two consecutive years. He must also demonstrate his ability to meet the prerequisites the desired position.

D. Terms

1. Except as may be otherwise provided for herein, each elected position shall have a term of two (2) years or until their successor shall have been duly elected and qualified. Such term shall become effective on the first Monday after they have been duly elected and qualified.
2. Upon the adoption of these bylaws, any positions involving a noncommissioned (NCO) rank will initially be subject to a one (1) year term commencing from the date of their most recent election. After this first one (1) year term, an election will be held again for their positions. Officers will hold a regular two (2) year term commencing from their most recent election. This one time, one year term for NCO’s upon the adoption of these bylaws will enable the Staff to have staggered terms of two years so that the elections of Officers and NCO’s will not be held at the same time but on alternating years.

E. Other Positions

The governing body may, from time to time, create, dissolve and otherwise provide for the election or appointment of other positions not specifically named herein as they may determine necessary. However, any such position created within this provision may not supersede or preclude any of those specifically provided for by these bylaws. Also, the Commanding Officer may appoint, from time to time, certain temporary Brevet positions as he determines necessary from event to event. This temporary Brevet position may be based on, but not necessarily limited to, seniority, field experience, and general consent of the member organization from which drawn.

F. Vacancies

Any vacancy occurring in any elected position, for any reason, may be filled at the discretion of the governing body, by appointment or election. It may be filled for the unexpired portion of the position’s term or until the next scheduled election, whichever occurs first.

G. Removal

Any person holding an elected position may be removed, for specific cause found and determined, by the majority action of not less than two-thirds vote of the governing body. Any member organization may be removed and have it’s membership revoked, for specific cause found and determined, by the majority action of not less than two-thirds vote of the governing body

IV. Staff Descriptions
While only a minimum of three (3) elected positions are required by these bylaws, other positions may be created as needed. Descriptions of these, as well as other possible positions are included below but such additional positions are not limited to those listed.

A. Commanding Officer (C.O.)

The Commanding Officer will hold a rank no higher than Colonel and as such, will be the highest ranking officer of the Staff. He will be the most visible and respected representative of the association both on and off the field. He should be thoroughly familiar with military procedures, practices, and theories of the period. His ability in military matters should be preeminent but personnel and management skills may also be necessary.

B. Adjutant (ADJ)

The ADJ may generally hold a rank not to exceed First Lieutenant. However, should the staff not be in attendance at a particular event and the company offices present do not wish to take command, he may be required to act as an Assistant Commanding Officer or otherwise be utilized for a field command at the discretion of the Commanding Officer and/or members of the battalion present. The ADJ will be responsible for the minutes and records of all Independent Guard meetings and affairs and the publication of such to the member organizations. He will be responsible for all communications within the association and with the member organizations without delay as well as the control of dispatches and messages in camp and on the field. Should a treasury exist for the association, the ADJ shall also be responsible for it’s management and accounting as may be directed. He will assume any other duties that may be specified from time to time by the governing body or the Commanding Officer.

C. Sergeant Major

The Sergeant Major will generally be responsible for the guard duties and provost duties. He will assume all other duties and responsibilities incidental to his position as involved in the operation of the Independent Guard’s military camp and HQ. He will also assume any other duties that may be assigned to him by the governing body or the Commanding Officer.

D. Assistant Commanding Officer (A.C.O.)

In the event of an Assistant Commanding Officer position, the A.C.O. may hold a rank no higher than Lt. Colonel. His military skill and ability should closely match that required of the C.O. and he should also have the skills and ability of an instructor. Field command may fall on the A.C.O. and he must be able to assume the responsibilities of the C.O. in case of that officer’s absence. He may also assume any other duties assigned by the governing body or the C.O.

E. Major

In the event of a Major position, he should be very well versed in the School of the Battalion and School of the Company used by the Independent Guard. He may generally be required to function as a wing commander and may also be called upon to act as A.C.O. should the need arise. He will assume any other duties that may be assigned by the governing body or the C.O.

F. Ordnance Sergeant

An Ordnance Sergeant will generally be responsible for all the duties and functions related to weapons and ordnance. He will also perform any other duties incidental to his position or such other duties as may be assigned to him by the governing body or superior Independent Guard Officers.

G. Quarter Master Sergeant

A Quarter Master will generally be responsible for all the duties and functions related to necessities and logistics such as tools, wood, straw, etc. He will also perform any other duties incidental to his position or such other duties as may be assigned to him by the governing body or superior Independent Guard Officers.

V. Meetings, Elections, & Voting

A. Meetings

1. Annual Meeting
The annual meeting of the Independent Guard will be held primarily to elect the Independent Guard Staff as necessary and to set the tentative schedule of the association for the upcoming season. It will be scheduled during the last quarter of each year and at a time and place to be determined by the governing body. Notice of the annual meeting shall be made in writing to all member organizations at least thirty (30) days in advance. This advance period may be changed upon the written consent of all member organizations. Other association business or affairs may also be addressed at this meeting if it is submitted to the ADJ prior to the meeting for placement on the agenda.

2. Other Meetings

Any number of other meetings may be held at a time and place determined by the governing body and for such purposes deemed necessary an appropriate. Notice of any such meeting should be made to the member organization at least thirty (30) days in advance if possible.

B. Elections

  1. Nominations
    Any person desiring to run for any elected position may, upon meeting the requirements established, be nominated by himself or others. This request to be placed on the ballot must be made in writing to the ADJ no less than sixty (60) days prior to the election. Positions open for election and all nominations will be published with the notification of the annual meeting or the meeting scheduled to hold such elections.
  2. Ballots
    Ballots for any election shall be prepared and provided to the voting member organizations by the ADJ no less than thirty (30) days prior to the election. Each voting member organization is responsible for returning their marked ballots before the election or for casting them by the designated time at the meeting.
  3. (amended Jan 2015) Results
    Election results will be determined by a plurality of votes. As such, the candidate receiving the largest number of votes cast will be deemed the choice of the association. In the case of a tie vote, each battalion member company will be awarded one point for every voted event said company attended the previous 12 months to the election at battalion scheduled events if they have satisfied the minimum 6 firing rifle attendance requirement. Those amassed points will be considered their vote count to be cast as the company desires. The points, being counted as votes, will be cast for the candidates in the tied election and the candidate with the most points will win the tie breaker. If these points added from among all qualified member units are still in a deadlock the highest staff officer NOT involved in the tied election will flip a coin, heads or tails chosen by that staff officer, to break the tie.

C. Voting
1. For elections of the staff, each voting member organization shall be allotted one (1) vote. Proxy votes will only be allowed in the election of Staff if presented in writing and presented before the election. For business and other affairs of the battalion, other than elections, each qualified member company will have one (1) vote to be cast during the meeting at which such subjects are being put up for vote. A vote can be conducted on any subject provided at least 2/3 of the companies are represented at the meeting at which the vote is to be taken.(Attendence at such meetings is highly recommended to all companies wishing to have a say in matters voted upon.) The governing authority of each member organization is responsible for determining how they wish to cast their vote.
2. Only those member organizations who are able to meet the requirements of a Voting Member as defined in II(D) will be allowed to vote as described herein.
3. A disinterested party or parties shall be designated as Teller(s) by the general consensus of the voting members in order to tally the votes cast. The teller(s) selected to tally the votes will provide their report in writing to the ADJ. The ADJ will then verify the report and announce the results of the election at the annual meeting. The ADJ shall also record the results in the minutes and send written results of the election to all member organizations.

VI. Military & General Conduct
A. Military
1. Each individual participant in a member organization must portray an appropriate period impression while that member organization is participating with the Independent Guard in the field.
2. All military participants must be uniformed and equipped authentically and appropriate for their impression according to their own company’s guidelines while participating with the Independent Guard on the field.
3. Officers and NCO’s of the Independent Guard and within each member organization should perform their duties commensurate with the office and rank held and shall be treated with the military courtesy due their rank and title.
4. Each member organization shall maintain all standards of military order while a participant with the Independent Guard in the field or in camp.
5. Each member organization will be responsible for the instruction of it’s new recruits, drill proficiency, taking roll calls, weapons inspection, and the preparations to move to – and with – all Independent Guard formations, maneuvers, and battles.
6. Gilham’s manual; Instruction for Volunteers and Militia, is the preferred manual used by the Independent Guard and, unless otherwise directed by the Independent Guard C.O., shall be used by all member organizations while participating with the Independent Guard in the field.
7. For each Independent Guard event, an average troop attendance number will be determined from those member organizations in attendance. At the discretion of the Independent Guard C.O., if a member organization at the event has less than this average number, it may be consolidated in order to balance the various units on the field. Consolidated units will be commanded by the senior commander if his troops are the majority. If not, command will be by the mutual agreement of the unit commanders involved or at the discretion of the Independent Guard C.O. The mutual agreements or desires of the affected units will be considered in determining a consolidation. However, a consolidation may not be created that interferes with the general, overall balance of the other units on the field. This will be as determined by the Independent Guard C.O. Regardless of the aforementioned, no member organization, without it’s consent, may be divided or otherwise separated in order to create or add to a consolidation.
8. The Independent Guard C.O. may determine from time to time whether he wishes to utilize General Guides at an event. Should General Guides be required, they will be selected by the general consensus of the Independent Guard unit commanders and from Independent Guard member organizations. The duties, responsibilities, and number shall be as determined by the Independent Guard C.O. from event to event.
9. Musicians wishing to participate with the Independent Guard in the field must be a functional part of the battalion and will be organized as determined by the Independent Guard C.O. Civilians or other noncombatants will not be permitted in the field with the Independent Guard unless they perform a correct and needed function as approved by the Independent Guard C.O.

B. Company Seniority

1. Company seniority within the INDEPENDENT GUARD will be determined as follows: The company that has been an official member of the association under the same company field officer for the longest amount of time will be the senior most company. If that senior officer is turned out of office by his company vote or steps down and a new company field officer takes his place that company is no longer considered the senior company. The next company with the above qualifications will then assume the roll of senior company.

C. General

1. The use or introduction of any illegal substances by an Independent Guard participant at any event is strictly prohibited. Any use of alcoholic beverages by anyone under 21 years of age is prohibited and the abuse of alcohol or any inappropriate or uncontrolled behavior by an Independent Guard participant is prohibited. Violations of this nature will be referred to the governing body for disposition and may include expulsion of the individual or the organization from the association. Parents or guardians shall retain all responsibility for their minors.
2. Other causes for disciplinary or corrective actions may include, but are not limited to; verbal or physical abuse, wanton disregard of safety rules, theft or abuse of another person’s property, or any action that embarrasses, discredits or is otherwise detrimental to the association.

VII. Drills & Camps

A. Drills

1. The Independent Guard will conduct a spring drill at a time and place to be designated by the majority vote of the member organizations. Full participation is expected from all member and applicant organizations. An attendance roll for the drill will be the responsibility of each member unit and must be reported in writing to the ADJ and in a manner that may be prescribed. The spring drill may be classified as a maximum effort event and used in determining membership requirements.
2. All member organizations participating with the Independent Guard are expected to attend all Independent Guard drills at the events. If a drill must be missed, the member organization must notify an Independent Guard Officer and it’s participation with the Independent Guard will be at the discretion of the Independent Guard C.O.

B. Camp

1. The Independent Guard’s HQ and military camp set-up, policies, etc. will be as determined by the C.O. at each event. A member organization that camps with the Independent Guard must follow all these requirements such as; fire pits, company streets, guard duty, etc. that may be established.
2. All participants within the Independent Guard camp must be in proper and applicable period military attire after the camp is set up and until the end of the event. Civilian presence and activity in the Independent Guard camp may be limited and regulated by the policy or orders of the Independent Guard C.O.

VIII. Communication

A. Communication among the member organizations and with the association’s Staff is essential to the associations success and growth.

B. All correspondence regarding official Independent Guard matters should be sent to the ADJ. If correspondence concerning other members of the battalion or member companies of the battalion is necessary, a copy of the letter must be sent to the ADJ. as well as the person(s) about which the communication is about.

C. The ADJ should receive a current roster for each member organization each year. Updates should also be provided periodically by the organizations as needed. D. All communications, orders, notices, etc. must be in writing

IX. Auxiliaries

A. Administration

1. The Independent Guard recognizes that some member organizations may include organized civilian auxiliaries and functions and that these can be an integral part the member organization’s activities.
2. At the discretion of the governing body of the Independent Guard, a civilian coordinator may be elected or appointed in order to manage and coordinate the combined activities of those civilian auxiliaries who wish to contribute to the overall presentation and portrayal of the Independent Guard.
3. General guidelines for the combined activities and functions of these auxiliaries may be adopted by those who are participating in such. However, any regulations or guidelines shall be subordinate to Independent Guard bylaws or other duly established rules and regulations. Also, the governing body of the Independent Guard shall retain all authority over any combined auxiliary functions.
4. The above also holds true for Cavalry and Artillery units attached to or voted in to the Independent Guard. In the case of the safety rules for either of these branches of service, it is generally left to them to determine such rules which will be presented in writing to the staff and membership of the Independent Guard for approval.

IX. Parliamentary Procedure

The rules and guidelines contained in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws or any special rules of order that the association may adopt.

X. Amendments

These association bylaws may only be amended or repealed and restated by the two-thirds majority vote of the members entitled to vote at a meeting of the association.

XI. Definitions

1. “Minimum of 6 Firing Rifles” defined as excluding the 1st Sergeant, whereby they carry and fire a rifle appropriate to the impression. The minimum 6 firing rifles is also intended to be for all days of the event that the battalion attends. The firing rifles do not need to roster members.