Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sons of Confederate Veterans National Leadership Conference - Part 2

Lt. Commander Kelley Barrow commenced the program for the SCV National Leadership Conference at the Gift Horse saying he started training programs during his Army command and initiated the national programs including these conferences as well as the on-line training for Commanders, Adjutants and membership (in development). Kelley then introduced Adjutant-in-Chief Steve Ritchie as the first presenter.

Adjutant-in-Chief Steve Ritchie defined the Adjutant as a staff officer assisting the commanding officer chiefly with communications per the dictionary but the SCV Constitution goes much further to include maintaining records and minutes of meetings and conventions, rolls of camps and officers, keeper of the seal of the Confederation, creating awards for members and other duties assigned by the Commander in Chief and serves at the pleasure of the CiC.  Steve recognized the Adjutants that served tirelessly before him including Chuck Rand. Per the Constitution, the Adjutant can implore staff to assist with his designated duties.  He reminded everyone that the Elm Springs staff is there to welcome everyone when visiting the SCV headquarters and the six folks on staff handle everything there including gift shop purchases. He also encouraged everyone to use the scv.org website as most all information requested can be found there. 

Adjutants make it all work.  Roster updates are important to be provided to the Army Secretary to ensure members are accounted for and to make sure everyone gets their outstanding quarterly SCV magazine.  Adjutant Ritchie has just initiated this January distribution of monthly newsletters to Division Adjutants to disseminate to Brigade and camp Adjutants and he encouraged everyone to approach their Division Adjutants to receive these useful newsletters.  He also encouraged everyone to read the Camp Handbook, a must read for Commanders and Adjutants.  Steve stressed the importance of camp Adjutants to complete the Last Roll paperwork when members pass away - of the 60000 delinquent SCV members, a surprising number are deceased but no Last Roll paperwork was every provided for them.  Cindy White at the national headquarters can provide a delinquent member list for every camp and Steve asked that every Adjutant get one of these lists. 

Adjutant Ritchie then announced what he claimed would be a controversial fact, that there is no constitutional requirement to send proof of lineage/descent from a Confederate veteran to the National Headquarters for membership in the SCV.  The membership packet required at national SCV headquarters includes a completed application, a check and preferably a type written summary of the applicants information but no paperwork for descent documentation is required by national headquarters.  Membership records are kept as hardcopies at SCV National headquarters.  SCV National does no genealogy verification.  The application requires camp officer signatures to substantiate membership satisfaction and camp requirements vary.  Compiled service records are sometimes illegible or inaccurate and many were lost during the War especially when towns were burned and razed such as in Sherman's march.  Additional resources include the American Civil War Research database and Broadfoot's records of Confederate veterans.  UCV and pension records are additional resources.  He highlighted that how an ancestor was separated or location of his burial may be unknown and don't get hung up on those details when completing the application. 

Steve encouraged everyone to use this period from February thru April to use the prorated dues as a recruiting tool for growing SCV membership as a great value to encourage new members to sign-up.  He encouraged everyone to continue to learn more about the Adjutant role and use the scvli.org (SCV Leadership Institute) as a part of this educational opportunity. Finally, Steve implored everyone that when choosing camp officers, choose responsible competent people - a poor Adjutant means reports won't be filed, Last Rolls will not be completed for condolences, members won't get their magazines.  He stressed that there is no disgrace in resigning from a position for family and work priorities. 

Adjutant-in-Chief Steve Ritchie Addresses SCV Leadership Conference


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