GRASSROOTS: Effecting ROA Policy Change

By CAPT Marshall A. Hanson, USNR (Ret.) 
 
“The general advocacy policies of the Association shall be established by adoption of resolutions as mandates by the National Convention, the National Council or the Executive Committee.” ROA Constitution, Article A-6 – Policy.
 
The resolution is the tool that an ROA member can use to establish or change ROA legislative or military policy. It is a formally written statement addressing a matter of great importance. The statement can be about a decision, a policy, or express opinion or intent. ROA uses the resolution as a means to convey the results of its deliberations to Congress, the Administration, the Pentagon or the general public.
   
Preparation Process. Start well in advance of a national convention or conference. Define the problem. Determine if in fact there is a problem. Next ask if the problem is of national interest, or of only local or personal concern. Then determine if a resolution is needed to solve the problem. Then research the problem. Gather the documentation to support your proposed resolution. 
 
Drafting the Resolution
A resolution covers just one subject. Resolutions must be concisely written, using the following format:
 
TITLE: CENTERED, BOLDED IN CAPS
 
WHEREAS, the "WHEREAS" paragraph(s) set forth the argument by giving relevant supporting facts both about the issue, why the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) should relate to that subject, and why the Resolving Clause is needed; 
 
WHEREAS, each preamble paragraph will state a separate clarification with five “WHEREAS” paragraphs as a suggested maximum; and
 
WHEREAS, both the "WHEREAS" and the "NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT" phrases are in bold and all caps; and
 
WHEREAS, all acronyms (such as ROA) should be spelled out the first time used and abbreviated thereafter, except in the resolved clauses; and
 
WHEREAS, the last word of the paragraph should be followed by a semi-colon and then the word "and" in the second and each succeeding, and the last "WHEREAS" paragraph should end with a semi-colon but no "and";
 
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Reserve Officers Association of the United States, chartered by Congress, urges Congress, DoD or other government agencies to take a specific action as outlined in this and (if necessary) following paragraphs, or state what policy will be instituted; and that the end of the paragraph should be followed by a semi-colon and the word; and
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, if a separate related action be need to be suggested by the ROA that it is included in a separate resolved clause; and
 
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT, all resolutions must be typed, single or double spaced, on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper and should be no longer than one page, one side in length and type size must be no smaller than 10 point with the final “resolved” paragraph ending with a period.
 
Submitted by Name, member #, chapter
 
Endorsed by: Department President or Secretary, dated.
 
Examples of Resolutions can be found here.
 
Submitted Resolutions require ROA Department approval. Supporting documentation should be attached to the resolution. It should be delivered with an electronic copy to ROA Headquarters, Attn: Legislative Director, One Constitution Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002, or mhanson@roa.org by mail or electronics, at least 15 days before the national business meeting at which it is to be considered, unless deemed "time sensitive" by ROA’s President. Resolutions are due by February 19, 2014 for consideration by the National Committee meeting.