I have read and agree to abide by the rules outlined above. I agree that failure to comply with these rules could result in the forfeiture of my membership in the Confederation of Union Generals.
That the Confederation of Union Generals (COUG) is organized exclusively for educational and charitable purposes, more specifically, to authentically portray historical figures from the American Civil War era (1861-1865) in order to educate the public and honor the service and sacrifice of the persons so portrayed; to aid and promote efforts to preserve hallowed ground upon which the conflict was waged; and to commemorate and celebrate the history of the period, thereby preserving our common heritage. As a Living History organization, routine functions consist of our individual and probationary members appearing, singularly or in groups, at various Living History events, spontaneously or planned, whose purpose is consistent with our mission statement above. The Board of Directors encourages, endorses, and approves any such appearances. Members are not required to obtain prior approval to appear at any such event/function if it fulfills any aspect of our official “mission statement.” The following Standing Rules have been developed to coincide with the Corporate By-laws, and nothing contained herein is intended to conflict with or supersede them. Individual Committees will develop guidelines, subject to approval by the Board, for handling their internal affairs. Section I: Members 1. Membership status in COUG is as follows: a) Individual Military Members – Those who have assumed a military persona and completed a Membership Committee approved course of study and instruction, including public interaction at COUG events. b) Individual Non-Military Members– Those who have assumed a specific, non-military persona of a historic nature and completed a Membership Committee approved course of study and instruction, to include public interaction at COUG events. c) Probationary Members – Individuals who have assumed a military or non-military persona and are in the process of completing a specific course of study and instruction, to include public interaction at COUG events as defined by the Membership Committee. d) Family Members – Immediate family and significant others of Individual and Probationary Members, regardless of age, who participate in COUG events in a non-military role. e) Member Emeritus – Retired member of COUG, including his spouse or widow, who wish to maintain their association and continue to contribute toward the viability of the organization. Those having been so designated, and approved by the Board by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of its members, cannot vote, hold elective or appointed office, or “claim” a historic persona; but who may, on occasion, appear at COUG events in a non-specific military or civilian role and serve at the pleasure of the President in an advisory capacity as warranted. f) Honorary Members – Distinguished persons selected by the Board and affirmed by a two-thirds vote of the membership. Honorary members do not pay dues nor are they eligible to vote, hold elective office, or serve on any committee. g) The Board reserves the right to rescind Honorary and Member Emeritus status for anyone so designated by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of its members, should they fail to live up to the spirit of said status as outlined under Board approved Membership Committee Guidelines h) Members in any Member Status (Section I a-f) are covered by our liability insurance when participating in event/function if it fulfills any aspect of our official “mission statement.” If required by organizers of an event, our liability insurance policy number or declarations page is available by contacting the Secretary. i) Membership is non-transferable Section II: Dues 1. Dues for all members are payable annually on January 1st. 2. Dues is currently set at $40 for an Individual and $50 for a Family Membership 3. Dues unpaid after March 31st will result in a forfeiture of membership. 4. Any individual who forfeits his or her membership must reapply to the Membership Committee to be reinstated pursuant to guidelines approved by the Board. 5. Individuals experiencing financial difficulty should contact the President, prior to March 31st, and request a temporary hardship deferment. All such requests will be held in strict confidence. 6. Dues are non-refundable Section III: Claim to a Historic Persona 1. Only one Member of COUG may stake a “claim” to any historic persona. However, if a member is unable to attend a particular event, he may allow another member to assume the identity of his persona. The President, or the Event Champion, is at liberty to assign a persona to another individual for any single event, when the absence of a particular character aversely impacts the organization’s ability to present a cohesive, historic presentation for public consumption. 2. Any Individual or Probationary member who wishes to change his or her persona or advance in rank must file a petition with the Membership Committee to do so. The Membership Committee will review the member’s petition to change or advance and, following guidelines approved by the Board, consent to or reject the petition. Furthermore, the Committee may require supplemental study, instruction, or public interaction before granting final approval for any such change or advancement. 3. If any historic persona becomes available when an existing member voluntarily relinquishes or changes his or her persona, resigns, or is otherwise terminated, that historic persona shall be offered to the general membership for a period of 30-days. Within this period of time, should a member(s) in good standing submit a “Letter of Interest” to the Membership Committee to fill the vacancy, it shall be given all due consideration under the Board Approved Membership Committee Guidelines before any move is made to recruit outside the organization. Section IV: Types of Events 1. COUG events fall into two basic categories: a) Primary Events – The Events Committee, following guidelines approved by the Board, shall determine those events which warrant elevation to Primary Status. Typically, such events include those for which COUG receives a significant honorarium or stipend; large scale events at which COUG regularly participates and at which the public has come to expect and look forward to our involvement, and events featuring our signature “Meet the Generals” scenario. b) Secondary Events – Events in which a member participates or attends and requests that other COUG members take part. These are typically reenactments or living history events at which COUG is not featured, nor has any identifiable or discernible role, and serve no particular purpose other than for members to meet and greet the public or attend en masse for their own enjoyment and/or edification. 2. Members wishing to promote an event should contact the Event Chair and provide sufficient information to allow the Events Committee to categorize the event as outlined above. In turn, the Chair will provide guidance to the requesting member regarding the responsibilities of serving as an “Event Champion” and the member’s ongoing role in this process and/or activity. Section V: Participation 1. Members are obligated to attend at least two (2) Primary Events annually. Members who fail to fulfill this obligation will be subject to a Board Review and could face adverse action, up to and including termination of membership. 2. A member who, for whatever reason, cannot meet his or her obligation may petition the Board for a waiver, subject to any restrictions the Board may impose with regard to the feasibility and/or length of the waiver granted. (See Section I (1)(d) Inactive Member). Section VI: Conduct and Presentation 1. While in the presence or in view of the public, all members must maintain the appropriate level of military and social decorum as well as uniform and civilian dress; be mindful regarding the proper use and storage of equipment/paraphernalia; and utilize language applicable to the period and/or event. In general, members should strive to behave in a manner becoming a 19th century gentleman serving in the United States military or a Victorian lady of breeding and refinement. Members are to be especially attentive to this regulation, as infractions can seriously undermine the credibility of our organization and adversely impact the public’s enjoyment of our presentations. 2. As a “family friendly” organization all members are reminded to conduct themselves, at all times, in a suitable manner regarding the use of tobacco products and spirits, to refrain from using inappropriate language; and avoid engaging in any discussion of a political, religious, sexual, or suggestive nature which might adversely affect another member’s enjoyment of our organization or event. a) Infractions to the above shall be brought to the immediate attention of the member and reported to the Event Champion, a Board member, or the Senior Officer present. b) Members who fail, or repeatedly fail, to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner may be asked to leave an event and, depending on the severity of the infraction, may subject themselves to a Board Review where they could face adverse action, up to and including termination of membership. 3. Members will abide by the Event Standards/Rules put in place by Event Management (NPS, State, Local) for any specific event at which they attend, even if those Standards/Rules exceed COUG's own rules as related to period attire, manners, safety, conduct, appearance, presentation, etc. Non-compliance may be subject to action by Event Management, up to and including the possibility of being asked to leave the event. Section VII: Safety 1. The safety of the public and all members of COUG is of paramount importance! a) The discharge of firearms in the presence of the public, except in conjunction with a ceremonial “Rendering of Honors” is strictly forbidden. b) It is everyone’s responsibility to assure that all firearms and edged weapons are safely displayed, secured, and otherwise adequately supervised at all times. c) All open flames are to be properly maintained and supervised at all times. d) The use of saddle animals, to the extent they are permitted by an event’s sponsoring organization, is permitted. However, our liability insurance policy “does not apply to “bodily injury” to or medical expenses for any person while saddling, riding, mounting, or dismounting any saddle animal.” 1) Any member intent upon using a saddle animal must: a. Secure the permission of the President in advance b. Provide to the Secretary with proof of personal liability insurance coverage c. Execute a hold harmless agreement indemnifying COUG against any and all liability or responsibility for the use of any saddle animal. 2. Even the slightest infraction to these rules shall be brought to the immediate attention of all involved and reported to the Event Champion and to a Board member or the Senior Officer present. Depending on the severity of the infraction, those involved may be asked to leave the event and subject themselves to a Board Review where they could face adverse action, up to and including termination of their membership. Section VIII: Membership Ceiling 1. Membership in COUG is limited to an administrative ceiling of seventy-five (75) Individual Military Members and such number of Individual Non-military Members, not to exceed the lesser of 20% of current Individual Military Members or fifteen (15). Within this ceiling, no more than 50% (38) of Individual Military Members may hold the rank of general or naval flag officer 2. Exceptions to the ceiling may be granted by the Board upon receipt of a recommendation by the Membership Committee. Section IX: Dual Membership Dual membership by COUG members in other Living History organizations, reenacting units, etc. is allowed and even encouraged, provided that the other Living History organization(s) is not judged by the Board to be close in form, structure, or mission as to constitute a competitive entity and present a distinct or direct conflict of interest. In such cases, COUG members shall be required to relinquish any membership in such competitive entity or resign from COUG immediately. Section X: Applying for Membership 1. Application for Membership is open, subject to all limitation stated above, to those 19 years of age or older intent upon assuming a military or historic non-military persona in one of three categories: a) Generic Military Persona: A fabricated or fictitious person (usually the applicant’s name) b) Named Military Persona: An individual, regardless of rank, based upon a person who actually served in the military during the Civil War. c) Non-Military Persona: An individual based on a historic persona who participated in, or materially contributed, to the war effort. 2. Individuals seeking membership in COUG shall submit an application to the Membership Chair for consideration. a) If accepted, based upon the persona the applicant selects and their experience level, the Membership Committee will advise the applicant of the course of study, instruction, level of public interaction, and/or any other requirements to be mastered and/or achieved before full membership status is granted. b) Upon accepting the Committee’s directive, the applicant shall submit payment for an Individual or Family Membership, in the amount equal to one (1) full year’s dues, as specified in Section II (2), to the Treasurer within 30-days or his application will be null and void. c) Consent to allow COUG, in perpetuity, the right to the unrestricted use in print, video, and digital medial of all images and/or recording of events in which the member and/or all relatives or assigns may appear. d) Upon receipt of dues, the applicant shall enter into Probationary Member status for an indeterminate period. While in this status, the applicant will be assigned a mentor who will provide guidance, monitor advancement, frequently update the Membership Committee on the applicant’s progress, and ultimately petition the Committee for release to full membership status. e) Should the Probationary Member fail to achieve success within a reasonable period, as determined by the Committee, the applicant’s invitation for membership shall be withdrawn. f) Dues, even while in Probationary Status, are payable annually as specified and are non-refundable. 3. By submitting an application, the applicant agrees to abide by all Bylaws and Standing Rules of the Organization. AS REVISED: May 3, 2014
You must read and agree to this document before applying for membership!