The initial By-Laws that govern our Association were signed by our first Association President, Chuck James and Secretary Walt Riebau. They've since been amended at Association Meetings and by the Board. The current version follows a Board of Directors review to consolidate changes and reflect actual Association operations. For a summary of operational and Bylaw changes, we've added a supplemental document below the Bylaws.
Article I – Name
The name of the organization is the AC-119 GUNSHIP ASSOCIATION.
Article II – Purposes
Section II – 1. To perpetuate the existence and names of our three U. S. Air Force units that served in Southeast Asia (SEA) as effective combat forces during the Southeast Asia Conflict known as the 71st and 17th (Shadow) and 18th (Stinger) Special Operations Squadrons and to those involved in their establishment, development, training, support, and operations.
Section II – 2. To revere the memories of our fellow military ground and aircrew members whose lives were sacrificed in service to the United States of America and to comfort their survivors.
Section II – 3. To renew and promote camaraderie among individuals who served in SEA with Shadow and Stinger and with other personnel who contributed to the establishment and support of gunship operations.
Section II – 4. To promote reunions and engage in other activities approved by the members and consistent with the aim of promoting the general welfare and enjoyment of Association members and their families.
Section II – 5. To promote such charitable projects as the Association may deem worthy.
Section II – 6. To record, maintain, and preserve the history and details of Shadow and Stinger contributions in support of our Nation during the Southeast Asia Conflict
Article III – Association Area
The Association is organized within the 50-states of the United States of America.
Article IV – Non-Profit Status
Section IV – 1. Non-profit. We are a certified non-profit 501(c)(19) organization. To maintain that certification 75 percent of the membership must be past or present members of the military and 97.5 percent of the membership must be present or former members of the military, or spouses, widows, widowers, ancestors, or lineal descendants of those military members.
Section IV – 2. Donations: Donations to the Association are always welcome but they are not tax exempt. To qualify for that exemption, our Non-Profit certification requires that 90 percent of the voting members must have served in the military in a time of war.
Article V – Membership
Section V – 1. Regular: Regular membership is limited to persons who were directly associated with or supported the AC-119 missions, including their establishment, development, support, or training. Regular Members can hold Association Board positions, and have full voting rights in all Association matters including Board elections and amending of the Bylaws.
Section V – 2. Associate (related): Must be spouse or extended family of a Regular member. These Associate members can vote and hold office.
Section V – 3. Associate (not related): This membership category is for individuals who are not related to a Regular member, but have an interest in the AC-119 gunship community and can make a positive contribution to the Association. They cannot vote or hold office. This membership category includes AC-47 and legacy squadron members.
Section V – 4. Honorary: Honorary Memberships are for the next-closest-kin of AC-119 personnel killed in action (KIA) in Southeast Asia, and other specific honorees who contribute significantly to the Association. They do not pay dues. Only KIA-kin Honorary Members can vote or hold office.
Section V – 5. Charter: Members who attended the Year 2000 AC-119 Gunship Reunion have the added distinction of being designated Association Charter Members.
Article VI – Dues
Section VI – 1. Annual Members: Dues are $20, unless changed by majority of the voting members in attendance at reunion membership meetings.
Section VI – 2. Life Members: Dues are $119, unless changed by majority of the voting members in attendance at reunion membership meetings. Regular Life membership transfers automatically to the spouse or next of kin (as an Associate Life membership). Associate Life membership does not transfer.
Section VI – 3. Non-Payment: Dues of Regular and Associate Members are delinquent for the following year if not paid by the end of the 12th month after payment. A grace period of 30-days is established after which such members are subject to loss of membership as determined by the Membership Coordinator. Members lost through dues delinquency may be reinstated to membership by payment of arrears in dues.
Article VII – Board of Directors (BoD)
Section VII – 1. Board Authority: The BoD is the Association’s governing body. It has the authority and responsibility to act for and manage the affairs of the Association. A two-thirds vote of voting members in attendance at reunion membership meetings can modify or reverse decisions of the Board.
Section VII – 2. Board Composition: All BoD members should be Life members. Officers are elected to serve as President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, any Prior President, and up to three Board Members at Large. The President serves as Chairman of the Board, and in his absence the BoD will select who will assume President’s duties and who will assume the office of the President should a vacancy occur.
Section VII – 3. Board Voting: Voting is with quorum of 50 percent of the Board members to include the President. The President presides and only votes to break ties.
Section VII – 4. Terms of Office: BoD Members are elected annually for a one-year term, with the opportunity to run for reelection. BoD Members serve from the first day following a reunion through the conclusion of the next Reunion.
Section VII – 3. Nominations: Nomination of candidates for BoD positions are made from the floor at reunion membership meetings or, if such meeting is not held, through procedures established by the outgoing Board.
Section VII – 4. Elections: BoD members are elected by a majority vote of the voting members in attendance at reunion membership meetings, or if such meeting is not held, through procedures established by the outgoing BoD.
Section VII – 7. Elected BoD Officers
President: The President presides at all meetings of the Board and membership; has general supervisory authority over the affairs of the Association; performs all duties incidental to that office; selects Appointed Officers and committees to serve the better functioning of the Association; and signs legal documents with the Secretary.
Vice President: The Vice-President performs duties at the request of the President.
Secretary: The Secretary helps prepare meeting agendas; distributes them to participants; records minutes of Board meetings and membership meetings; furnishes Board members with records of such meetings and performs other duties as delegated by the President.
Treasurer: The Treasurer is the Association Chief Financial Officer; responsible for Association accounts, e.g., PayPal, Teleconference, debit cards, etc. The Treasurer deposits dues and other donations into the Association’s Operating Account; prepares checks for payment of debts; maintains a record of receipts, and payments to include date, check number, payee, amount, and purpose; and provides the Board with a report summarizing this data at the end of each month. The Treasurer compares records with those of the Assistant Treasurer to ensure accuracy; transfers funds to-from the Quartermaster Account, and approves all expenditures $300 or less.
Prior President: A prior President serves to assist the President and the BoD in whatever capacities the current President, BoD, and Prior President agree on.
Board Members at Large: Up to three Board Members at Large perform such duties as delegated by the President. Board Members at Large should participate in Committee work, or special projects.
Section VII – 8. Appointed Officers: The President may select Appointed Officers as needed to conduct Association affairs. Appointed Officers continue in the capacity to which appointed from one administration to the next unless they request to be relieved or are removed by the President. Appointed Officers are not on the BoD. Appointed Officers can include the following:
Association Advisor: An experienced member of the Association. This individual is available to provide information and advice on all subjects related to Association business to all members upon request.
Chaplain: The Chaplain provides spiritual support, including opening and closing ceremony prayers at all formal Association Meetings or functions.
Database Manager: The Database Manger creates, maintains, and updates all personal and historical information in the Database area of the Association website; to assure ALPHA Rosters and Master Contact Lists are accurate.
Media Manager: The Media Manager is responsible for all media relevant to the Association. This includes producing and burning CDs/DVDs, mission audio tapes, videos and archiving historical materials. Also included in responsibilities is the Oral History Video program located on the Associations website.
Membership Coordinator: The Membership Coordinator maintains membership records and helps the Database Manager maintain accurate data on past, current, and potential members; mails membership cards; creates and distributes Life Membership Certificates; reviews all membership applications; and performs other duties as delegated by the President. If there is a concern regarding Membership approval or denial, the Coordinator elevates the decision to the BoD. The Coordinator is also responsible for Membership Outreach and the Point of Contacts (POC).
Newsletter Editor: The Editor creates and distributes the AC119 Gunship Association newsletter titled “Firing Circle” to the POCs, Facebook Administrators, and Webmaster; and produces newsletters at a frequency sufficient to provide detailed information relative to Association activities on a timely basis to the membership.
Quartermaster: The Quartermaster manages the store for all memorabilia; supplies necessary for buying and selling thereof; signs checks for the Quartermaster account; coordinates funds with the Treasurer; and creates and maintains the eCommerce area of the Association website.
Webmaster: The Webmaster maintains and manages the Association website and online reunion registration. The Webmaster also trains and provides support as needed to the Quartermaster and Database Manager in their areas of website responsibility.
Article VIII – Financial Management
Section VIII – 1. Operating Account: Life and Annual Membership donations received as dues are deposited in the Operating Account for use in day-to-day operations and reunions. The Treasurer, President, or Vice-President may sign checks drawn on this account. The President must approve all major expenditures over $300 and the Treasurer will approve all expenditures $300 or less (elevate to President if there are any questions), NOTE: funds from online web purchases (including Reunion Registrations) and other donations to the Association are direct-deposited in the Operating Account. The Treasurer transfers funds between the Quartermaster and Operating Accounts as needed for current and anticipated expenditures.
Section VIII – 2. Quartermaster Account: Used to fund shipping and rebuild inventory. Funds are transferred, by the Treasurer, into-and-from the Quartermaster Account into-and-from the Operating Account as needed for current and anticipated expenditures.
Section VIII – 3. Record Keeping: All records of approved funds by e-mail records shall be kept for seven years.
Article IX – Reunions
Section IX – 1. Frequency and Location: Our Association should hold annual reunions so long as the membership desire and are able to attend. Due to the extensive reunion planning and preparation requirements, reunion coordinators, dates, and locations are identified two years prior to an event, as decided by a majority vote of the voting members in attendance at reunion membership meetings.
Section IX- 3. Membership Meetings: Regular meetings of the membership are held in conjunction with Association reunions.
Section IX – 2. Reunion Coordinator: The Coordinator roles include duties identified in the Reunion Coordinator’s Checklist. Exceptions to the checklist guidelines must be pre-approved by the Reunion Committee.
Article X – Dissolution
Upon dissolution of the Association, net assets will be donated to an appropriate charity as selected by a majority vote of the remaining voting members present at the final Association Membership (reunion) meeting or a majority vote of the Board of Directors, if no final Membership meeting is held.
Article XI – Bylaw Amendments
Interim changes to the Bylaws may be approved by a majority vote of the voting members of the Board, but are subject to change by a majority vote of the voting members in attendance at the next Association membership (reunion) meeting.
Attest: Signed May 12, 2020 Signed May 12, 2020
Andrea Drzyzga Michael Drzyzga