Abilene, Texas
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VFW Ritual and Meeting Protocol

We do not want our Post members, new or old, to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed at any meeting or luncheon. The following are some of the more important General Rules to try to remember.
  1. When addressing the Commander, all officers stand at attention and salute in a military manner. The Commander will return similar salutes. All officers stand and exchange salutes when addressing each other.
  2. One rap of the gavel calls attention or seats the body when standing. Two raps of the gavel means “stand up” and calls everyone to standing at attention.
  3. While the Post is in session, no member shall pass between the altar and the commander’s station, except as prescribed by the Ritual. This space represents the sacred ground where our comrades who have answered the final roll call are at rest.
  4. All VFW military formations and procedures shall conform with current United States Army Infantry Drill Regulations.
  5. The Officer of the Day shall act as the master of ceremonies.
  6. All members will stand during rendition of prayers and will follow the action of the Chaplain or presiding officer relative to removal of caps during prayers; if uncovering, the hat shall be placed on the extended closed fingers of the right hand in such a way that the Cross of Malta is exposed and held over the heart; during the Pledge of Allegiance and the closing salute, members that do not have an official cap will present the hand salute un-covered.
  7. Official caps will not be worn during luncheons, banquets or other meals.
  8. Official caps will be the only head covering allowed to be worn at regular meetings of the Veteran of Foreign Wars of the United States.
  9. On approaching the door of a Post meeting while in session, a member will give two knocks to attract the attention of the guard who will challenge,
    “Who knocks here?”
    Member will answer with his name and the number of the Post he is from. The guard will then report to the Senior Vice Commander, who will order him to admit the member, if proper. The guard will then open the door and the member will show his membership card.
    Upon being admitted to the Post room, the member will advance to the altar and salute the Commander. Should the Commander be busy, the member will face about and salute the Senior Vice Commander, after which he will be seated.
  10. When wishing to retire while the Post is in session, members will advance to the altar and use the same sign as when entering, to the Commander or Senior Vice Commander, and when answered, member may retire.
  11. In meetings of the VFW, members holding office shall be addressed as “Comrade” followed by the title of the office they hold. All other members shall be addressed as “Comrade”.
  12. Any procedural matter governing meetings not provided for by the VFW Rules of Order shall be governed by Demeter’s Manual of Parliamentary Law and Procedure.
  13. The presence and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages in VFW meeting rooms and nearby hallway during VFW meetings is unacceptable and is prohibited.
  14. No member shall in debate impeach the motives of a fellow member or treat him with disrespect. Members shall avoid personalities and unbecoming speech.
Through the generations we give life to our impressive VFW Ritual, for it solemnly binds young and old into the brotherhood of men who have fought for America on land, on sea, and in the air.