Military Veteran Members
Any Rolling Thunder® member who is a United States Military Veteran is required to provide to their chapter a copy of his/her DD-214 (notice of separation). The DD-214 will be kept on file with the Chapter for the duration of their membership. In case of a transfer between Chapters, it will be sent to the new Chapter. The Chapter will supply a copy of his/her DD-214 to the fmaily only. Any United States Military Veteran who does not turn over a copy of his/her DD-214 to their Chapter will not be permitted to display any pins or patches on their Rolling Thunder® vest or jacket indicating that he/she is a veteran. The pins/patches are to include, but are not limited to, military awards, decorations, unit patches and armed forces insignia. Non-veteran members may not display aforementioned medals, ribbons, military awards, pins, and or patches, as described, unless designated as “In Memory Of/In Honor Of” or display any U.S. Military medals, ribbons, military awards, pins and/or patches that they did not earn.
All membership patches will come from National. Any membership patches that are sent to a Chapter for a specific member are inteded for that members use only and no one else. Any patches from a member who has quit, resigned or whose membership has been terminated, will be returned to National with the person(s) name to whom they were issued. Under no circumstances will any patches be re-issued by a Chapter. Any Chapter that issues a new member a set of patches that was intended for another member will be fined $150 for each occurence. Any Chapter President (or Officer) who gives a complete patch set or any part of a patch set to anyone other than the intended member, will be held personally and financially responsible for the prohibited transaction. Membership patches are the property of Rolling Thunder® National.
No Chapter of Rolling Thunder® shall never add the letters “MC” to their Rolling Thunder® back patch. This organization is not and never will be a motorcycle club or organization. If a Chapter of Rolling Thunder® authorizes a chapter member(s) to wear any type of territorial patch on the back of their vest/jacket, they will be fined $500 for the first offense. The second offense will result in termination of the Chapter’s charter.
Any Chapter of Rolling Thunder® may have their chapter logo made into a patch for its members use only. If the logo patch indicates any state or area or a specific part of a state or area, it will only be displayed on the front of the member’s vest/jacket. There will be nothing displayed on the back of the members vest/jacket that indicates any specific state or specific are of said state.
The only patches to be displayed above the Rolling Thunder® Rocker on the back of the members vest/jacket will be a Veteran Patch or POW-MIA related. There will be no patches displayed in-between the Rolling Thunder® Rocker and the Eagle. No member of Rolling Thunder® will wear a Patriot Guard/Patriot Guard Rider patch or pin or any other patche refering to an MC on their Rolling Thunder® vest/jacket. No member shall wear any business name or organization name over or between the Rolling Thunder® Rocker and Eagle. No member shall wear any state rocker or strip patch (of the United States) on the back of his/her vest.
Any member who wants a second set of Rolling Thunder® back patches is required to send a $150 deposit through their Chapter membership Chairperson to National. It is the responsibility of each Chapter to keep track of who has two (2) sets of patches. Any Chapter or member who looses a set of Rolling Thunder® Inc. membership patches must pay National $150 for that set of patches.
Any member who has two sets of back patches will receive their original deposit from National upon National receiving both sets of back patches to terminate their membership. The security deposit will be returned to anyone who resigns or is removed from Rolling Thunder® because of bad conduct. We will not pay interest on any security deposit.
When a member in good standing has to leave their Chapter because of relocation to a new area or state, they shall submit a letter to their current Chapter and their new Chapter asking to be transferred to a Chapter in the area of their relocation. They must also provide a new address and phone number before moving and notify National. They appliication will be forwarded to their new Chapter by their current Chapter after approval by both. The member must turn in their Boot patch to their current Chapter. In the case of a Chapter closing the above procedure will be followed but National must be notified instead of the Chapter that is closing. There will be no loss of membersihp if this is completed within 90 days. No transfer will be complete until National is notified. The chain of command will be followed (Approved 11/5/2011).
When a member moves and is going to a state where there is no Rolling Thunder® Organization (Chapter) available or when an available Chapter is more than 65 miles away from their locaiton, the member will then become a Member-at-Large with National and must give a $150 deposit for their patches to their current Chapter to be sent to National. They will need to provide their current Chapter with the new address and phone number to be sent to National along with their application and transfer letter. The member must turn in their Boot patch to their current Chapter.
Any member who does not put up a security deposit for their patches must turn in their patch set unless they are Honorary Member, CMC, Gold Star Mother or Ex-Prisoner of War.
Any member who passes away can be buried or cremated with their patches. A family member must approve the member being laid to rest with their patches. Any deposit the Chapter has from that member will be returned to the family of the deceased. If a member has a second set of patches they will be returned to the Chapter.
Without exception, anyone who resigns from Rolling Thunder® or whose membership is terminated for any reason will return their membership Chapter patch set(s). All legal expenses incurred for the collection of said patch set(s) will be paid by the member.
A. Each Chapter shall be responsible for each set of patches issued to a new member whose applications are dated January 1, 2006 or later. Chapters are responsible to take every legal means as defined by procedure to collect all patches from members who leave or are terminated from Rolling Thunder® for any reason. If these patches are lost, stolen, or a member refuses to turn them in, it is the responsibility of the Chapter to pay National $150 for each full set. If any member loses their patches they must pay $150 to the Chapter. National shall reimburse the Chapter for any set of patches they collect and return. Members are still liable for all court costs and legal expenses. Written patch recovery procedures shall be provided by National. If recovery procedures are followed to recover said patches, National may forgive any monies due to National for said patches. See (patch retrieval) procedure not in constitution.
B. Every Chapter that has a significant amount of uncollected patches (Chapter membership patch set(s)) will not be issued any new patches until all outstanding patches are collected and turned in to National. If significant progress is not made within six (6) months, the Chapter President will be removed from office at the discretion of National.
C. It is the responsibility of the Chapter President to ensure that the “Patch Signature Form” is completed when the Rolling Thunder® Inc. Boot/back patches are issued to a member. If the President does not have this form completed then he/she will be held financially responsible for any outstanding patches not accounted for (Approved 10/16/2011).
Member-In-Good-Standing – Criteria
To be a member in good standing one must make no less than 3 meetings and 3 events per year. If meetings are a problem because of work one must donate time to help organize a run, parade, fund-raiser, demonstartion, and/or speak at schools each year. Members in the Military are exempt from meetings and events only when they are on Official DUTY, TAD, TDY, DEPLOYED or under PCS orders. If the spouse of Military personnel travels with said member and that spouse is a Rolling Thunder® member, in good standing, they will also be exempt from meetings and events until they return to their respective Chapter. At all other times, Military members must attend meetings and events. If deployed, they will remain a member of the Chapter they joined until they return or transfer to another Chapter. While on deployment it is the Chapters responsibility to send their dues to National for the duration of their deployment. It is the responsibility of the member in the Military to keep his/her Chapter updated of any changes in address, duty station or any other contact information. This must be done in order to remain a member in good standing of the Chapter.
In regard to loyalty and conduct requirements, if a member is not loyal to Rolling Thunder® in word, deed or action, or does not meet the membership attendance requirements, the member can be terminated.
Anyone who does not comply with the membership requirements stated in this section and throughout this Constitution will be terminated from this organization.
Suspension/Termination of Membership
Anyone wishing to discontinue their membership in Rolling Thunder®, may do so by submitting a written notice to the Board of Directors or the Chapter President. An explanation as to why they are leaving would be appreciated.
The Board of Directors may suspend or expel a member for just cause, upon the request for said removal or suspension by another member, and by a two-thirds vote of all members of the Board at any regularly constituted meeting (See Robert’s Rules of Order). Roberts Rules of Order will only apply to areas not covered by the Constitution of Rolling Thunder®. The Board of Directors has the authority and may impose additional requirements and/or restrictions that coincide with a suspension including, but not limited to, confiscating the individual’s organizational patches for the duration of the suspension if it is the best interest of Rolling Thunder®.
Anyone whose membership is revoked or anyone who is expelled may not apply for membership in any Rolling Thunder® Chapter (exception may be made for medical reasons only, such as PTSD, Alcohol, or Drug-related problems, and the individual must be currently enrolled in a rehab program). The request for an exception must be made and submitted to the National Vice President for presentation to the Board of Directors of National.
Any officer that has been removed from his/her office may not be elected or appointed to an office in any Rolling Thunder® Chapter.
Any officer that resigns from his/her position because they are being brough up on charges may never run for any office and/or be appointed to any Rolling Thunder® office or position. Any member or officer that quits Rolling Thunder® because they are being brought up on charges may never rejoin the organization. The resigning officer/member will have their membership information and resignation kept on file by the Chapter. Any officer that has resigned his/her position may run for an office providing the resignation was to run for a different office within the Chapter. If the resignation from office was for any other reason it must be submitted to National for approval, in writing and signed. No other format will be accepted.
Any member that is suspended for just cause may not hold an elected or appointed office in any Rolling Thunder® Chapter.
National has the right to revoke, suspend or to monitor for a designated period of time, the membership of any person, if it is found that the individual is not conducting business or themselves in an orderly and lawful fashion.
National may suspend or expe a member for just cause when all efforts to resolve the situation, incident or charges have been exhausted and it is found to be in the best interest of the Organization.
If a Chapter or member receives any type of information that could be harmful and/or detrimental to Rolling Thunder® they will send all of the information to the National Vice President. At no time will said infomration be disclosed to anyone until the National Vice President has reviewed it. If such information is found to be damaging to the organization, the National Vice President will then take the appropriate steps.
Anyone who inappropriately discloses another member’s personal or confidential infomration will be subjected to disciplinary action. This infomration includes, but not limited to social security numbers, DD-214 information, etc. Action taken may be probation, suspension or termination from the organization.
Every member of the corporation in good standing shall be entitled to one vote. No absentee ballots will be accepted.
Upon request of any member or officer at any meeting, all corporate documents and financial books must be made available at the next meeting expect where confidentiality is expressed (i.e.; Chapter Board meeting minutes) as per this constitution.
A Member-at-Large membership will be available to a member who has no Chapter within 65 miles. A Member-at-Large must attend Rolling Thunder®, Inc. events to keep their patches. A Member-at-Large must attend the run in Washington, D.C. Memorial Day weekend. They must also perform various duties during that weekend, to be assigned by National or an authorized representative. Duties may include but are not limited to working at the specified staging area, the Candlelight Vigil or Security. To remain a member in good-standing, Members-at-Large will also be required to attend at least 3 Veteran related events per year or perform Veteran related services (i.e., visit local VA Hospitals etc.) each year. The member must supply National with proof of these visits.
Membership Grievance Process and Resolution
All allegations and complaints of a member and/or officer accused of conduct unacceptable to the Chapter or that violate community standards will be handled in the following manner using the outliked Chain of Command. The complaint will be refused and the complainant will be disciplined (up to and including termination) if the Chain of Command is not followed throughout this process. The only exception to the Chain of Command is if an officer or director is directly involved in the complaint, that person only will be left out of the process. The complainant has 90 days from the date of infraction to file the complaint. Anything over 90 days is null and void.
The first link in the Chain of Command is the local Chapter. The person(s) making the accusation must submit the complaint in writing with a full statement of facts to the Chapter Chairman of the Board, President and Vice President. No complaint will be accepted if the person(s) making the accusation refuses to supply their name(s). The Chapter Board of Directors will handle the complaint and keep it in confidence.
If an officer or board member of the Chapter is involved, the Chairman of the Board will meet with the remaining Board of Directors and determine if it is in the best interest of the Chapter to have that officer take a leave of absence. If the individual decides to take a leave, National will accept their leave until the matter can be investigated and determination is made. At that time there will be an announcement to the membership if requested by the party or parties accused or keep it confidential if it is determined that it is in the best interest of Rolling Thunder®.
After all elements to resolve a complaint at the local level are exhausted; all complaints about a Chapter or member that cannot be resolved on a local level will be forwarded to the next link in the Chain of Command who will function as the arbitrator. For states with a State Director, the Director will arbitrate. In all other states, the Vice President of Rolling Thunder® National will be the arbitrator.
The Chapter officers will send to the arbitrator via Certified Mail, the results of their investigation and other supporting documents as to the action taken including the original signed complaint letter. Once the complaint is received the individuals involved in the complaint will deal only with the designated arbitrator on this issue, keeping the matter confidential. Any violation of this provision will result in disciplinary action against the offending individual. The only exception is a complaint about the Vice President of Rolling Thunder® National; the National President will arbitrate such a complaint.
After determining that the complaint is valid, the arbitrator will determine, if necessary, that any and all persons involved in the complaint are to appear before him/her on demand (location to be determined at that time) for final disposition of said complaint. Any expenses occured by the complaining Chapter or members or other parties involved will be the responsibility of that Chatper. The said Chapter will pay for any expenses incurred by the arbitrator.
The arbitrator will advise the Senior State Director, Vice President, President and Chairman of the Board of Rolling Thunder® National of the complaint and keep them apprised of the status of the problem. If the arbitrator cannot obtain a resolution that is acceptable to the parties involved, then he/she will file a detailed report of his/her recommendation for final resolution with the Vice President and Chairman of the Board of Rolling Thunder® National. The decision will be absolute and final.
Due to the fact that Rolling Thunder® is an organization whose membership is open to men and women, the following must be carefully followed to protect the minors that are present at meetings and events that are sponsored or hosted by the Organization. If an adult member (man/woman) or even a minor has been charged with a crime relating to sexual assult, sexual abuse or other charges defined in “Megan’s Law,” that member will take a leave of absence from their Chapter and if an officer, a leave of office. They will also turn in their membership patches until there has been a disposition as to the charges. If the charges have been dismissed the member will then be reinstated as a member in good-standing with their patches returned and resume their office, if applicable. If the member is found guilty of the charges, the Chapter will terminate his/her membership.
Any destruction, altering or defacing of Rolling Thunder® property is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action, which will be determined by National.
Any Rolling Thunder®, member/officer that retains or refuses to turn over any Rolling Thunder® property, under any circumstances, will be pursued with legal action by the Chapter or National. If legal action is required to retrieve said property, said offending members will be responsible for all legal expenses and court costs incurred by all parties involved.