RESOLUTIONS PROCEDURES AND POLICIES
The procedures for the National Reserve Officers Association Resolutions are designed to produce a carefully considered legislative package for the association to advocate. All members should be familiar with these procedures and get involved with the resolution process.
ROA member chooses to draft a resolution.
Check resolutions to verify if matter is currently covered.
Contact national staff via phone or e-mail to discuss subject.
Review current policies and procedures.
Download ROA resolution form. (word document)
1. Background. National resolutions establish the general policies of the Association (Constitution, Article A-6. Section 1.) Our resolutions should be of high quality, and encompass the issues we wish our national staff to address. A National Resolutions Policy statement was adopted by the National Executive Committee on 28 October 2000 (cf. Enclosure 1). This statement of procedures implements that policy.
2. Scope. These procedures apply to national resolutions, that is, those that are proposed for adoption by the National Convention, National Council, or National Executive Committee and worked by the national staff. They cover both external and internal ROA resolutions.
Departments, or even chapters, may pass resolutions with purely local impact. Examples: a department supports the establishment of a new veterans home in the state, or a chapter urges a local school board to establish a JROTC unit. Departments and chapters that pass local resolutions should have resolutions committees that follow procedures similar to those described in this document. Copies of local resolutions must be forwarded to national headquarters, showing the date and manner of adoption. Other than these requirements, these procedures do not apply to local resolutions.
3. Procedural Goals. The goals of the national resolutions procedures are: (a) to achieve a high quality resolutions package; (b) to ensure careful and thorough consideration of the issues by the spectrum of ROA membership; (c) to inform interested parties as to the status of resolutions; and (d) to provide guidance to the national staff regarding legislative goals and objectives.
4. Planning of Resolutions. Any individual member of ROA may draft a proposed resolution. Before doing so, the member should obtain a copy of the pamphlet "Current Resolutions" from National Headquarters, and determine if the matter is adequately covered by an existing mandate. A list of current resolutions is also posted in the legislative section of the association web page ((http://www.roa.org). A phone call or e-mail to a member of the national staff, discussing the subject matter is always a good idea, and can sometimes save a lot of time and effort. The national staff will also provide a copy of the current policies and procedures for national resolutions upon request. These policies and procedures will also be posted on the association web page.
The correct form for proposed national resolutions is contained in Enclosure (2). As you prepare your draft, consider beginning with the "RESOLVED" clause(s), which must stand-alone (who do you want to do what?), then adding the "WHEREAS" clauses to explain why the action is required.
In addition to resolutions drafted by individuals, each ROA committee should make an ongoing study of the current resolutions to determine if the issues and concerns of that committee are covered by existing mandates. If not, these committees should draft appropriate resolutions for national consideration.
5. Consideration of Resolutions. A national resolution may be initiated at the chapter, department, or national level, as described below. It should be considered by all appropriate bodies (including committees and service sections) and then by the resolutions committee at each level. The process of consideration may be quite lengthy, involving many ROA bodies, and the proposed resolution is often amended along the way. One or more individuals should be designated spokesmen for the resolution at each level of consideration. Each spokesman should carry a personal copy of the resolution, in its latest form, with all available background material.
A proposed national resolution passed by a chapter is still a proposed resolution. It must be certified by the chapter secretary and forwarded to the department for consideration in accordance with department rules (which may vary among departments.)
A proposed national resolution passed by a department is also still a proposed resolution. It must be certified by the department president or secretary and forwarded to national headquarters (on disk in Word, DOS, RTF or ASCII text file format, or by e-mail, as well as the usual hard copy) to the attention of the legislative counsel. The national staff is responsible for notifying appropriate committee chairmen of proposed resolutions to be considered by their committees. In addition, the spokesman for a proposed resolution may want to discuss the merits with appropriate ROA national leaders prior to the national meeting.
A proposed national resolution passed by a national committee is also still a proposed resolution. It must be certified by the committee chairman and forwarded to national headquarters (Attention - Legislative Counsel).
The national executive committee, however, may pass resolutions that immediately become national policy mandates. These resolutions are reconsidered, in accordance with these procedures, at the next national meeting (Constitution, Article A-6, Section 1.)
Occasionally a proposed resolution may be drafted by members of the national staff in response to an emerging situation in Washington. These resolutions are given to the legislative counsel and considered at the national level in accordance with these procedures.
Finally, each expiring resolution (Constitution, Article A-6, Section 1) is automatically considered by the national resolutions committee for possible renewal. If an expiring resolution needs rewriting, other national committees or service sections may then become involved.
In summary, the only way a national resolution may be considered by ROA are (1) to be first passed by a department or by a national committee or service section; (2) to be directly adopted by the national executive committee; (3) to be directly introduced by the national staff for consideration at the national level; or (4) to be a renewal of an expiring resolution. All such resolutions must be considered by the national resolutions committee. In particular, an individual may not move a national resolution directly from the floor at a national meeting, nor bring a resolution personally to the national resolutions committee.
6. Filing of Resolutions. Proposed national resolutions should be filed at national headquarters on disk or by email along with the usual hard copy as soon as possible in order to give national committees adequate time for consideration. All proposed resolutions should be submitted on disk in Word for Windows, DOS, RTF, or ASCII text file format, or by email, along with the usual hard copy with signature and background material. The normal route for resolutions requires filing with national headquarters not later than 15 days prior to the national meeting (Constitution, Article A-6, Section 2.) Such a resolution is properly filed. However, departments and national committees are encouraged to send in proposed resolutions and disks within 15 days after passage, if possible. Proposed resolutions that have been previously submitted for consideration and subsequently rejected within the past two years will not be brought forward to the floor by the committee unless it receives compelling evidence of significant circumstantial changes, and the proposed resolution is endorsed by two departments in addition to the submitting department.
7. Time-sensitive Resolutions. To be considered at a national meeting, a resolution that is not properly filed must be "time-sensitive," i.e., immediate action must be necessary (Constitution, Article A-6, Section 3.) The national president, acting upon the recommendations of the resolutions committee, and with the advice of the national vice president(s), makes the determination that a resolution is time-sensitive, i.e., must be acted upon immediately and its consideration cannot be deferred until the next national meeting. Time-sensitive resolutions necessarily receive much less thorough and patient consideration than those that are properly filed. Therefore, this process should be used only for true emergencies.
8. National Resolutions Committee Responsibilities and Actions. The national resolutions committee is the clearinghouse for all resolutions, and monitors resolution policies and procedures. Prior to each national meeting, the committee will review the national staff recommendations as to which national committees and service sections should consider each resolution. It is incumbent upon the national resolutions committee to screen all proposed resolutions to ensure that they are germane, national in scope and focus, well written, and are not already adequately covered by current approved resolutions or merely reiterations of previously rejected proposals. The resolutions committee is to ensure that the resources of the association and the time of the members at national meetings are not wasted on dealing with frivolous, repetitive, and non-germane proposals that do not support the purposes of the association as delineated in the national charter. Additional committee referrals may be made by the resolutions committee.
After all available input has been considered, the resolutions committee will vote on the proposed resolution, and document its recommendation. The committee will be guided by the national resolution policy (Enclosure (1).) The proposed resolution may be accepted without amendment, or amended by the committee, or referred to the appropriate national ROA officers or committees for further action, research, or rewriting. See Enclosure (3). Copies of all resolutions that will be brought to the floor are provided to each department for use during floor debate.
Meetings of the national resolutions committee are open to all; however, the committee chairman may restrict debate to committee members.
On the last day of each national meeting, the chairman of the resolutions committee presents the committee report, containing all recommended resolutions. The national body votes as a block on all recommended resolutions to which no question is raised on a first reading; recommended resolutions that raise questions are then considered one at a time. The committee chairman responds to questions and explains the basis of the committee action.
Following action by the national body on all committee recommendations, the president calls for resolutions from the floor. The only resolutions in order at this time are those that were properly filed (or adjudged time-sensitive). Such resolutions will have been considered by the national resolutions committee and rejected or referred to other ROA bodies for further study or action. The resolutions committee chairman responds to each such motion with an explanation of the committee action. The national body may then vote to accept the recommendation of the resolutions committee, or to reject the recommendation by adopting the proposed resolution.
9. National Staff Responsibilities. The national staff officer responsible for ROA resolutions is the legislative counsel. He receives, acknowledges, and tracks proposed resolutions and ensures that the cognizant committees and/or service sections are notified expeditiously of potentially contentious proposed resolutions. He also ensures that the action on each proposed resolution is reported to the originator. He establishes the subject categories for resolutions and edits them for presentation and publication. He also publishes booklets containing the association=s legislative program. He provides copies of ROA resolutions to Washington leaders as appropriate. The legislative counsel may promulgate additional administrative resolutions procedures, standard forms, etc.
10. Publicity. These procedures have stressed that an ROA resolution is not official until it is passed by the national convention, national council, or national executive committee. Until that time, it is only a proposal, despite the number of favorable actions that may have been taken by chapters, departments, committees, or service sections. The association can be seriously embarrassed by an attempt to publicize a proposed resolution if that proposal then fails at the national meeting. Therefore, no publicity is authorized for proposed national resolutions.
11. Conclusion. The procedures for national ROA resolutions are designed to produce a carefully considered legislative package for the association to advocate. All members should be familiar with these procedures and get involved with the resolutions process.
POLICY STATEMENT FOR NATIONAL RESOLUTIONS
1. Importance of Resolutions. The general policies of ROA are established by the resolutions adopted as mandates by the national convention, the national council, or the national executive committee. ROA's principal activity is legislative action, and the effectiveness of this program depends to a large degree on the quality of the entire package of current resolutions. Our association is judged by many members of Congress on the quality of its resolutions. The procedure and the process are thus, among the most serious of those governing the association=s business.
2. Goals of the Resolutions Process. ROA resolutions should be consistent and comprise a coherent body of policy to guide the national staff. They should support the purpose of the association: "to support and promote the development and execution of a military policy for the United States that will provide adequate national security.@ Resolutions should reflect broad, logical categories to establish a comprehensive legislative thrust for the Association. Repetitious resolutions should be combined. The number of resolutions should be kept to a level consistent with the ability of the staff to work for the implementation of ROA mandates.
3. High Quality Resolutions. Approved resolutions should be clear, inclusive, accurate, and succinct. They should deal with an important and current problem directly related to the purpose of the association -- a problem that cannot or has not been resolved using existing laws and policies. The "Whereas" clauses should be brief, factual, and non-inflammatory. They should state the problem broadly and enumerate the sub-elements of the problem. The problem should be stated broadly enough to avoid the need for additional related resolutions. The proposed solution should address the elements of the problem, and have a reasonable chance of being achieved. The "Resolved" clauses, which should stand on their own, should directly urge a governmental body - for example, the Congress, the President, or the Secretary responsible for the branch of service - to enact legislation or establish policy. Extraneous material should be omitted. Bear in mind that the wording of the association=s purpose (see above) in the national charter is sufficiently broad enough in and of itself to justify most staff legislative actions. Resolutions should highlight specific aspects of critical issues under consideration.
4. Renewal of Resolutions. An ROA resolution should be renewed only if the problem is still important and current and the resolution is needed to back up continuing efforts of the national staff.
5. Internal Governance. Matters concerning the internal management and policies of the association are best addressed through the established governing bodies (the National Council, the National Executive Committee, service sections and committees, and the staff, rather than by resolution. The resolutions process should be reserved for external matters falling within the national defense clause of the association=s congressional charter.
6. Efficient and Thorough Resolutions Procedure. The goal of the resolutions procedure is to provide careful consideration of the issues across the spectrum of the ROA membership. Resolutions may be drafted by individuals or standing committees at the chapter, department, or national level. No national ROA resolution is official (and no external publication is authorized) until it has been passed by the national convention, national council, or national executive committee. Each approved chapter resolution must be considered by the department, and each approved department resolution must be considered at the next national council or convention. (Resolutions of purely local application do not require national approval.) At each stage of consideration, the resolution should be referred to all appropriate committees and/or service sections for comment. At each stage, the acting body should be informed of, and endeavor to follow, the goals and standards set forth above for national resolutions. Written background information and arguments (pro and con) should be attached to the resolution to assist members in understanding the issues involved. The advice and counsel of the national staff concerning proposed resolutions should be taken early in the process to determine the feasibility of achieving the goal of the resolution, as well as the relationship to existing national mandates and legislative efforts. An explanation of each action taken on a resolution should be provided promptly to the originator and intermediate bodies. The national resolutions committee is responsible for developing the final form of resolutions to be presented to the national council or national convention for consideration.
7. Democratic Process. Nothing in this policy statement shall be taken to abridge the right of the membership to adopt resolutions in accordance with the governing instruments of ROA. Instead, this policy statement is intended to improve the quality of our resolutions through education, and with the consent of the membership.
Back to top of page