Association By-Laws

Adopted: September 28, 2019

1. Mission Statement:

This Association seeks to provide the highest quality support and information in re-connecting shipmates, shipmates’ families, and all Detachments of the USS Paul F. Foster DD-964 / Self Defense Test Ship. To promote camaraderie among those who served or are currently working on board, encourage membership through a website and other means and maintain a database of shipmates, whether or not they are members. The Association shall schedule activities such as (but not limited to) reunions.

2. Membership:

Any former crewmember of the ship, which includes members of embarked air detachments, is eligible for Shipmate Membership. Widows and widowers of former crewmembers shall be offered Honorary Membership in the Association.  Those who served during her status as Self Defense Test Ship shall be offered Honorary Membership.  The Spouses of any contributing eligible crewmember shall be an Honorary Member with all Association Rights & Privileges.  

An individual who did not serve in USS Paul F. Foster or the Self Defense Test Ship (SDTS) and who supports the Association’s Mission Statement is eligible for Associate Membership.

The suggested annual contribution is twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for each former crewmember or Associate Member, or thirty-five dollars ($35.00) per married couple if both spouses are former crewmembers.  An annual contribution drive for membership conducted by the officeholders or their assigned committee shall begin on or about January 1 each year.  Recommended contribution amounts for membership in the Association shall be set at the membership meetings during the reunions.

Lifetime Membership will be granted to any member making a ONE-TIME contribution equal to or greater than 20 times the current suggested annual contribution for individuals and married couples, as applicable.

3. Nomination of Officers:

Any contributing Shipmate or Associate member is eligible for office in the Association. Nomination of Officers will only be accepted from the floor during the general membership meeting. Only USS Paul F. Foster Shipmates can hold the offices of President and Vice-President. Contributing Shipmates, spouses, and Associate Members may hold the positions of Secretary, Treasurer, and Director (3) or any appointed position.

4. Officers:

Officers shall be elected at reunions to serve a term of three (3) years to coincide with the general membership reunions. The President shall have the option of a second (3) year term by nomination and election and is eligible to serve again after vacating the position for at least one term. There are no term limits for other officers. Officers to be elected shall follow Roberts Rules of Order and elections shall be by simple majority of those contributing members present and voting. Should the President be unable to fill his/her term, the Vice President shall serve out the term. An effort should be made to elect Directors of Membership from the Early (Precom-1986), Mid (1987-1995) and Late (1996-2003, plus SDTS) eras of the USS Paul F. Foster.

In the event of a vacancy in the office of Vice-President during a board term, the remaining board members shall elect by simple majority vote from among the Directors who served aboard the USS Paul F Foster a Vice-President to serve until the next association reunion. The vote of the prospective replacement Vice-President shall not count towards the majority vote.  If there are no current Directors who served aboard the USS Paul F Foster, the remaining board members shall elect by two-thirds majority vote from among the contributing Association members at large who served aboard the USS Paul F Foster a Vice-President to serve until the next association reunion.

In the event of a vacancy during a board term in the office of Secretary or Treasurer, the remaining board members shall elect by simple majority vote from among the Directors a Secretary or Treasurer to serve until the next association reunion.  The vote of the prospective replacement Secretary or Treasurer shall not count towards the majority vote.

In the event of a vacancy during a board term in the office of a Director, the remaining board members shall elect by two-thirds majority vote from among the contributing Association members at large a replacement Director to serve until the next association reunion.

An officer may be removed from office by two-thirds vote of the board.

5. Officers’ Duties:

The President shall act as the Chief Operating Officer of the Association. The President shall call an annual meeting of elected and appointed officers, at a reunion if scheduled, for the purpose of reviewing the Association’s business and financial records. If a reunion is not scheduled during the year, the meeting may be conducted by telephone or internet-enabled conferencing. A meeting of the membership shall be called by the President at each reunion with an agenda published thirty (30) days in advance. A Treasurer’s Report shall be made at all membership meetings.

The Vice-President in the absence of the President shall act in his place. The Vice-President shall share duties with the President as appropriate.

The Treasurer shall maintain financial transaction records of the Association and make an annual report to the Officers. The Treasurer shall also maintain banking and checking accounts as required to serve the needs of the Association. All records shall be maintained and reported with a common personal financial manager or small business software application. A spreadsheet may be used if the format is approved by a two-thirds vote of the officers.

The Secretary will record minutes of all meetings of the Officers and the membership. The Secretary will maintain a membership list (in the absence of a database manager) and write correspondence as the need dictates. All membership applications or renewals shall be submitted to the Secretary who in turn will send monies to the Treasurer.  The Secretary shall retain any and all legal documents pertaining to the Association.

6. Finances:

All elected officers and/or appointed committee chairpersons or committee members shall serve without compensation. All reimbursements for expenses incurred must have received prior approval in the form of E-Mail, FAX, or electronic means. All checks drawn on Association’s account(s) shall be signed by the Treasurer with written (E-mail or hard copy) concurrence of the President or Vice-President.

7. Appointed Positions:

Members serving in appointed positions serve at the “Pleasure of the President”. Such positions may include but not limited to: Reunion Committee Chair, Membership Committee Chair, Historian, Database manager, Web Master, Chaplain, Newsletter Editor, and Ship’s Store Manager.

8. Reunions:

General Reunions shall be held approximately every three (3) years.  When possible, the reunion schedule will coincide with the SDTS Paul F. Foster’s availability.

9. Amending By-Laws:

These by-laws may be amended only at reunions and will require a two-thirds majority of those members present and voting.

10. Dissolution:

A two-thirds vote of members at a membership meeting is required to pass any resolution of dissolution of the Association. Any action of dissolution must conform to all prevailing laws. In the event of dissolution, the assets of the Association shall be distributed to one or more regularly organized and qualified tax-exempt charitable organizations.


Adopted: Saturday, September 28, 2019, at Ventura, California.

Louis M. Prevost