Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association

Rhode Island Chapter 9-1

“Veterans Supporting Veterans and our Community”



Rhode Island Chapter By-Laws


Name and Emblem


Section 1-1   Name:

The name of the Association is:

 Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Rhode Island Chapter


Section 1-2 Emblem and Logo:

   The emblem and logo used by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association is the sole property of the CVMA. The CVMA patch and logo cannot be reproduced without the license from the B.O.D. The emblem of the Combat veterans Motorcycle Association is in the shape of a Skull encompassed by the following colors: Red, represents the blood that has been spilled on the battlefield. The Military Gold represents the many ethnic backgrounds in the Armed Forces. The Black, represents the the heavy hearts possessed for those who gave their lives and for those who are considered missing in action or prisoners of war. The skull and spade represent the death that war leaves in its wake.


Section 1-3 Principle Office:

   The principle office of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Rhode Island Chapter will be located at the following address: CVMA R.I. Chapter PO Box 213 East Greenwich, R.I. 02818-0213  The current monthly meeting location is at : The Armory of Mounted Commands 1051 North Main street Providence, Rhode Island 02904-5753


Section 1-4 Change of Address:

   The designation of the county or state of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association principle office may be changed by amendment of these by-laws. The board of officers may change the principal office from one location to another within the named county by noting the changed address and effective date below, and such changes shall not be deemed, nor require, an amendment of these by-laws.


Section 1-5 Other Offices:

   The Association may have other offices at such locations, or other places within the state where it is qualified to do business, as its business and activities may require, and as the board of directors may from time to time designate.



Non-Profit Purposes

Article 2

   General: The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Rhode Island Chapter Protocol.

   The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Rhode Island Chapter is formed to provide a fraternal association of qualified war veterans (Combat) of past or present members of the Armed Forces of the United States (Veterans).


Section 2-1 IRS Section 501(c) (19) Purposes:

   The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Rhode Island Chapter is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational and /or scientific purposes as specified in section 501 (c) (19) of the internal revenue code, including for such purposes the making of distributions of organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501 (c) (19) of the internal revenue code.

   Once the Rhode Island chapter becomes incorporated, it will be stated so on our documentation: Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Rhode Island Chapter Inc.


Section 2-2   Promote:

   To promote various forms of Motorcycle activity associated with veterans, and to create camaraderie among combat veterans from all branches of the United States Armed Forces.


Section 2-3 Benefiting:

    To conduct association functions in a manner that benefits the members of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Rhode Island Chapter Members as well as the Auxiliary and Support Members of the organization.


Section 2-4 Awareness:

   To raise awareness for the plight of POW/MIA and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of Veterans returning from combat theaters and their families.


Section 2-5 Patriotic:

   To participate in activities of patriotic nature.


Section 2-6 Support:

   To support veteran organizations and local communities to provide a better quality of life for the children and families, and the needy within our state.


Section 2-7  Veteran Support:

   To support our local Veterans Home, homeless, and all veterans within our state and anywhere we can reach out to them within the United States and Abroad.




Article 3

Section 3-1  Any Person:

   Any person of good character who is a Combat Veteran of a Foreign War and or has served in a Combat theater as determined by the B.O.D. when questionable.

   The Only acceptable proof for membership to the Combat veterans Motorcycle Association is:

   A copy of one's DD214 which must be surrendered to the Board of Directors for verification.

   Active duty/reserve proof of combat service on DOD Official stationary or forms, Orders,

   Army ERB/ORB, Marine Corps/Navy. Air force award data record page, Coast Guard PDR award page, again must be surrendered to the BOD for verification.

   Must own and operate a motorcycle of 500cc or above.

   Should a full member resign from the CVMA, they will be given a 7 Day grace period to rescind their resignation without repercussions. All resignations must be in the form of a letter or printable e-mail to the State Rep and Chapter Commander stating the reason for this action, as is the rescind requirement. After the 7 day grace period, the member will have to re-apply as a new member and will require BOD approval.

   Full members who resign from the Rhode Island Chapter of the CVMA or choose not to continue membership will not be allowed to wear ANY CVMA insignia at any time, to include patches, Tee shirts, Hats, etc...The Chapter will buy back Patches depending on the condition of the item for a suggested price, and any Non-worn tee shirts or caps in good condition. Resignation will not relieve a member of unpaid dues or other charges previously accrued. A member can have their membership terminated by the majority of the vote in association business/elections or by the State representative with good cause.

   Active members in good standing with the CVMA, who after 5 years become infirm, disabled or otherwise unable to ride their motorcycle will be able to keep their patch and be retired as life-time members in good standing with the CVMA.

   Life Membership requirements: 3 years active in the CVMA and the member must be in good standing for all 3 years. Minimum participation of one sanctioned CVMA event per year is required, and in one of the 3 years, a national meeting event is required.

  Deployment into a hostile combat zone counts as a sanctioned CVMA event.

  National cost as of 2007 for Life Membership is $150.00. If a Life member resigns from the CVMA or is removed from the rolls for any reason, No refunds will be made.

  Full member applicants will read and understand letters MC101 and Protocol prior to National approval.


Section 3-2  Auxiliary Members:

    Must be of good character and show proof of eligibility

    All auxiliary members must be a spouse, widow, or widower of a full member in good standing with the CVMA.

    Support the efforts of all branches of the United Sates of Americas Armed Forces and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

    Auxiliary members will meet and conduct business to support the Rhode Island Chapter of the Combat veterans Motorcycle Association and events concerning the chapter as well as participate and support chapter events.

    Auxiliary Members will be attached to the Chapter in which they are sponsored from and will abide by the Chapter By-Laws when applicable to them.

   Auxiliary members have No vote in CVMA business, and cannot hold a position in the CVMA Board of Directors.

   Auxiliary members are authorized to wear the full member tee shirts, sweatshirts, and Auxiliary patches upon their riding gear.


Section 3-3  Support Members:

    Must be of good character and own and operate a Motorcycle of 500cc or above.

    The maximum number of support members will not exceed one-tenth of total CVMA full membership. Support membership will be at a 1 to 10 ratio ( 1 support member for every 10 full members based on State Full membership).

    Support members must be a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces.

   Support members must show proof of military service with either a DD214, Military service on official DOD Stationary, NGB form 22 or other uniformed service data record pages as required.

   Support members will read and abide by all CVMA By-laws as applicable to them.

   Support members do not have a vote in CVMA business and cannot hold office within the CVMA Board of Directors or Chapters.

  Support members must be sponsored by a full member of the CVMA who has held membership for at least 1 year within the organization.

    Support members must have ridden a minimum of 3000 miles with their sponsor, attended at least 3 CVMA events, and or be known by their sponsor for at least 6 Months to apply for membership in which the sponsor, in good standing, must vouch for the support member.

   Only 1 support member can be vouched for per year by a full member in good standing.

   Support members are eligible to wear a CVMA support patch of 3.5” on the front of their riding clothing or a 10” patch on the back which must be supplied by their sponsor.


Section 3-4  Right to verify:

   By applying for membership with the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Rhode Island Chapter, you are giving its board of directors the right to verify any membership application, DD214, documentation, orders, records, and full member character witness to provide the organization with quality members who apply for purposes stated in sections 2-2 thru 2-7.


Section 3-5  Attend:

   Each member should at least attend a minimum of 1 event hosted by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and at least 2 meetings within a one year membership.

   Members deployed overseas are exempt from this, and other situations can be exempt upon BOD approval on an individual basis.


Section 3-6  Conduct:

   All members must conduct themselves in a manner that is not an embarrassment to themselves, the Combat veterans Motorcycle Association or the United States of America .


Section 3-7  Possess:

   All full members and support members must produce a valid motorcycle license endorsed by their state as well as proof of insurance for their motorcycle.


Section 3-8  Misconduct:

   In the event of misconduct by a member, under the by-laws of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Rhode Island Chapter, the State representative and BOD has the right to revoke that membership. Misconduct is defined as a failure to abide by the CVMA by-laws and any organization it supports. And to bring dishonor upon the CVMA in actions, words, or deeds.

   Remember: We are not, nor do we claim to be a motorcycle club. We do not have colors nor veterans Insignia to support an MC.


Section 3-9  Rights of members:

   Each full member in good standing shall be eligible for 1 vote. The full member must be present to cast this vote in regards to elections of officers every three years, and/or Amendments and meeting votes can be written in or printable e-mail in the event of a member prior commitment or deployment.


Section 3-10 Non-Voting Categories:

  Non-voting categories is defined as Auxiliary, Support, and non-good standing members.



Meeting of Members

Article 4


 Section 4-1 Regular meetings:

   Regular meetings will be held monthly, at a time and place designated by the State Rep. and or Chapter Commander of the Rhode Island Chapter.

    Members should attend at minimum 2 meetings per year to remain active and in good standing with the CVMA R.I. Chapter, with individual situations considered with attempted contact of the Officers.


Section 4-2  Annual Meetings:

   Annual meetings of Sanctioned Regional or National events are encouraged by ALL members to try to attend to remain in good standing with the CVMA.


Section 4-3  Special Meetings:

   A Special meeting may be called by the State Rep. and or Chapter Commander to respond to an urgent requirement of the Rhode Island Chapter, to address all officers or members of the Association. Time and place to be determined depending on the situation.


Section 4-4  Notice of Meeting:

   Notice of each meeting shall be sent via e-mail to those with service and officers designated will notify those without e-mail service of upcoming events and meetings.


Section 4-5  Quorum:

   The members present at any properly announced meeting shall constitute a quorum.


 Section 4-6  Voting:

   All Issues to be voted on shall be decided by a simple vote of majority of those present at the meeting in which the vote takes place.



Membership Fees and Dues

Article 5


Section 5-1  Dues:

   Membership dues will be at such rate, formula and schedule as may from time to time be prescribed by the governing body of the association and approved by membership.

   Rhode Island Chapter current member dues are: Full Members $15.00 ($15.00 to National)

   Auxiliary Members: $10.00 ($10.00 to National) and Support Members $10.00 ($10.00 To National) and can be increased or decreased as required by either National or Chapter Membership vote.


Section 5-2  Dues Deadline:

   The governing party of the Rhode Island Chapter shall determine deadlines for dues payments and Chapter renewal dues. Those who pay online and owe chapter dues will remain not in good standing until those dues are collected and can be easily sent through our address or simply contacting a member. National deadlines will dictate over Chapters as to the timeframe of amnesty, but will not relieve the Member of Chapter requirements.


Section 5-3  Patches:

   New members purchasing CVMA patches will be done so at cost plus shipping and handling from the Store, and ordered by the full member, aux., or sponsor of a support member.




Article 6


Section 6-1 Designation of Officers:

   The officers of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Rhode Island Chapter shall have a State Representative, A Chapter Commander (President), A vice Commander (Executive Officer), a Secretary, Treasurer, Public Relations, Sgt. at Arms (officer of the day), Chaplain, Road Captain/Webmaster, and Three trustee positions.



State Chapter Elections

Article 7


Section 7-1 Eligible:

   All full members shall be eligible to any office in the State Chapter, provided that nominees for any office must be active and a paid member in good standing having as much as 6 months membership within the Chapter and CVMA.


Section 7-2  Nominate:

   The State Chapter Board of directors shall be nominated and elected every three (3) years at a State scheduled meeting.


  Section 7-3 Elected:

   The State Representative is appointed by the National Board of Directors and the President (Commander) is picked by the members. The State Rep. Presides over the Commander and all other Officers are elected by members of the Chapter.


 Section 7-4  Offices:

   No member will hold two elective offices at one time but may hold one elective office and one appointed office. Or hold an office interim position for a member deployed while holding another office duty position.


Section 7-5  Good Standing:

   Elected and or appointed officers and board of Directors must remain active within the CVMA and the R.I. Chapter of the CVMA and in good standing for the duration of their term in office.


 Section 7-6 Term of Office:

   The current term of office held for the Rhode island Chapter is (Three) 3 years unless specified by the State Representative or Board of Directors.


Section 7-7 Elections:

   Nominations and elections must be made at the elective state meeting, and will be installed at the following month meeting by the State representative. The commander current will vote only in the event of a tie.


Section 7-8  Resignation:

   Should any elected officer resign from office for any reason, the State Representative can appoint a replacement to serve if no one requests to fill this position until elections are conducted at the State meeting.



Duties of Officers

Article 8


Section 8-1 State Chapter Board of Directors:

    The State Chapter Board of Directors are the officers holding the positions of State Representative, President (Chapter Commander), Vice President (Executive officer), Secretary, Treasurer, Public Relations, Sergeant at Arms, Ride Captain, and Chaplain.

   Trustee positions are also considered BOD positions and will be part of necessary meetings of officers within the Rhode Island Chapter.

   The State Chapter Board of Directors Constitutes the executive board for the State Chapter and is responsible for the execution, Through it’s officers of the authorized policies, by majority votes, fills vacancies in any office of the state chapter and submits to meetings and recommendations affecting the policies of the State Chapter which have been previously approved. The State Chapter Board of Directors is responsible for reporting By-Law infractions, as well as actions taken to the National board of Directors for their review.


 Section 8-2 State Representative:

   The State representative is appointed by the National Board of Directors and may attend or preside over State Chapter Meetings when available or deemed necessary. The State Representative is responsible to keep the National Board of Directors up-to-date on National issues and confers with the President (Commander) and other BOD State Officers in regards to State Chapter issues. The State Representative has been given the power of the National Board of Directors to revoke any membership of a CVMA member for any infraction at any time, and can appoint or replace any State BOD member as well.


Section 8-3 President (Commander):

   The President (Commander) is the chief executive officer of the State Chapter and answers only to the State representative. ALL Matters concerning Association relations between outside persons or organizations shall be routed through the commander for appropriate action. The Commander will preside over all meetings in the State Chapter and act as executive officer member of all committees, Issue the call for regular and special meetings of the State Chapter Board of directors, schedule elections, and are sure they are held in accordance with this constitution. The Commander will carry out directives from the State Representative and national Board of Directors concerning the CVMA. The State elected Officers are accountable to the Commander and can fill these positions at his discretion, and assume all duties to office.


Section 8-4 Vice President (Executive Officer):

   The Vice President (Executive Officer) shall coordinate all committees, and supervise plans for all State Chapter Events. The XO shall act as an intermediate between the Commander and members, and as in second in command. The Vice will assume ALL duties and responsibilities of the Commander or other officer when needed in the event of their absence, and assume all duties to the office.


 Section 8-6 Secretary:

    The secretary is responsible for making and keeping all state records, including the membership list, the By-laws, and records of all committee appointments, all written reports, and copies of all correspondence between state chapter and outside persons or organizations.

   The secretary shall keep correct minuets of the proceedings of all state chapter member meetings, special and officer meetings. The secretary under the direction of the Commander will prepare all reports required of him and assumes all duties to office.


Section 8-7 Treasurer:

   The treasurer shall keep correct and complete books and records of the account, and keep all funds of the State Chapter recorded for trustee review. The treasurer may distribute funds to pay expenses as prescribed in the By-laws, and will collect dues and other forms of donations from fundraising events and donations to the State Chapter for distribution to our cause. The treasurer will maintain accounting books; make payments from state Chapter funds when so ordered by the State Chapter or National Board of Directors for dues or reimbursement actions. The treasurer shall sign all checks and make regular meeting financial reports during membership meetings or when deemed necessary by the governing Chapter BOD or trustee committee requirements.


Section 8-8 Public Relations Officer:

   The public relations officer will be responsible for all newspaper, media, and spokesperson for all CVMA Chapter events. The public relations officer duties will include the distribution of meeting times, special events, informational flyers, rides, and fundraising/donation events held by the Chapter through contacts within the veterans and civilian Community, and assume all office duties.


Section 8-9 Sergeant at Arms:

   The Sergeant at Arms (officer of the day) will be responsible for ensuring that all the by-laws and rules of the State Chapter are not violated. The Sergeant at arms is responsible for policing and keeping order at all chapter events, and the safety and security of the State chapter. The sergeant at arms will maintain order and check member Id’s before each meeting presides and assumes all office duties.


Section 8-10 Road Captain:

   The Road Captain is appointed by the Commander and is responsible for all state Chapter runs. The Road captain shall research, plan, and organize all runs designated by the State chapter. The Road captain shall act as ranking officer during actual road time second only to the State Rep, Commander, or vice who will only intervene if deemed necessary.

   The Road captain will assume all duties to office as assigned by the Chapter BOD.


Section 8-11 Chaplain:

    The position of Chaplain will be to conduct the opening and closing prayer during all membership and special meeting events. The Chaplain position also requires the notification of a member or family member of the CVMA who is afflicted, in distress to the Chapter membership. And will provide contact to the member or family in regards to the Chapter BOD and membership.


Section 8-12 Trustees:

   Three (3) trustee positions will be assigned by the Commander to ensure financial records are audited and reviewed when deemed necessary by the Chapter BOD. Or when discrepancies accrue within the reports of the Chapter.




Article 9


Section 9-1

   Delegations will be appointed by the Commander, but are subject to approval by the State Representative to represent the State Chapter and Association at any convention, meeting, rally, or other assembly as deemed necessary. All delegates will be authorized to exercise only the powers vested in them by the State BOD during these functions.



Instruments, Deposits, and Funds

Article 10


Section 10-1: Instruments Deposits and Funds:

   The Board of Directors may by resolution authorize any agent or officer to enter into any contract, or execute and deliver in the name of or on behalf of the Association. Otherwise, no officer or agent shall have any power to bind the Association by any contract or engagement and or to pledge it’s credit or rend it liable monetarily for any purpose and in any amount.


Section 10-2 Checks and Notes:

   Unless specifically determined by resolution of the BOD, or as required by law. Checks and drafts, promissory notes, orders for payment of money and other evidence of indebtedness shall be signed by the treasurer and or countersigned by another selected Officer or trustee assigned to the account.


Section 10-3 Deposits:

   All funds of the Association shall be deposited from time to time by the treasurer or trustee as listed on the account into the Association account.


Section 10-4 Gifts:

   The BOD may accept on behalf of the Association any contribution, gift, bequest or devise for the non-profit purposes of the Association.



Tax Exemption Provisions

Article 11


Section 11-1 Limitation of Activities:

   No substantial part of the activities of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Combat Veterans Association shall be for propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided by section 501 (h) of the Internal revenue code). And the Association shall not participate; intervene (including publishing or distribution of statements) in any political campaign of any candidate for public office.

   The Association shall not carry on any activities not permitted by a Corporation exempt from federal income tax under 501 (c) (19) of the internal revenue code or contributions to which are deductible under 170 (c) [2] of the internal revenue code.


Section 11-2 Prohibition against Private Inurnment:

   No part of the net earnings of the Rhode Island Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributed to its members, directors, or trustees or officers and any outside person except that the Association shall be authorized to make payments and distributions for compensation and services rendered for those whose purpose to benefit the Association and its functions.


Section 11-3 Distribution of Assets:

   Upon the Dissolution of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Combat Veterans Association:

   Its assets remaining after payment or provision for payment of all debts and liabilities of the Association shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the 501 (c) (19) meaning of the internal revenue code or shall be distributed to the federal government, state or local government for a public purpose. Such distribution shall be made IAW applicable provisions of the laws of the State of Rhode Island.




Article 12


 Section 12-1 Altered:

    These By-laws may be altered or repealed and new by-laws adopted at the yearly State Meeting in February of each year by a two-thirds vote of the members present or by the Board of Directors, only to be revise a conflicting article and or section.


Section 12-2 Amendments:

    Approved and accepted amendments will take effect immediately upon action.


Section 12-3 Changes:

   Any changes to an article and or section of the Rhode Island Combat Veterans Association will be discussed and voted on by at least a quorum of members.


Section 12-4 Precedence:

    Any Rhode Island Chapter by-laws conflict with the National By-laws of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, The National by-laws will take precedence over State Chapter laws and an amendment will be made and take effect immediately.


Section 12-5 Conflicting:

   If any by-law of the Rhode Island Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association conflicts with federal or state 501 (c) (19) provisions or statutes. The conflicting article and or section will be amended and revised by the BOD and will take effect immediate.


Section 12-6 Incorporation:

   Once incorporated, any conflict of these by-laws and the articles of Incorporation. The articles of Incorporation shall govern.




R.I. Chapter By-Laws written and amended from adopted National By-laws (Revised) on

27 July 2007 by:  Andrew J. Martel (Current Chapter Commander).