In response to the stricter interpretations of the Joint Ethics Regulations by Department of Defense attorneys, the SAME Board of Direction, at its meeting May 25, 2012, in St. Louis, Mo., approved a new governance structure for SAME. The new structure features a Uniformed Service Advisory Group comprised of the Engineering Service Chiefs whose role is to offer advice and guidance as it relates to military engineering as a whole. The governing body of SAME remains the Board of Direction comprised of national officers who are retired senior military officers, retired senior civil servants, or senior private sector individuals (President, President-elect and two Vice Presidents), the Executive Director, Treasurer and General Counsel, along with the Regional Vice Presidents, Council and Committee Chairs, and 12 elected Directors. The national Board will have fiscal oversight for SAME and serve as the overall governing body for the organization.
The SAME bylaws were changed as well commensurate with the Constitution changes.
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History of Change
In 2011, Maj. Gen. Del Eulberg, P.E., F.SAME, USAF (Ret.) chaired a task force to review SAME governance and to recommend changes that would bring SAME and its governance more in line with the Joint Ethics Regulations (JER). At the same time, the Task Force sought to increase the effectiveness of SAME’s governance while maintaining the essential interface between SAME and the Engineering Service Chiefs. The Task Force consisted of a cross section of representation of the uniformed services and industry, including Vice Adm. Mike Loose, USN (Ret.); Maj. Gen. Robert Griffin, USA (Ret.); Rear Adm. Sven Rodenbeck, USPHS; Bill Albro, ANG; Tony Leketa, SAME 1st Vice President; Hal Rosen, SAME Counsel; and Dr. Bob Wolff, SAME Executive Director.
A significant component of the proposed governance change is the establishment of a Uniformed Services Advisory Group (USAG), comprised of the Engineering Service Chiefs of the five uniformed services. The purpose of the USAG is to provide advice to SAME on the military engineering profession and how SAME can support the professional development of military engineers for the betterment of our country. With the establishment of USAG, SAME will no longer elect an active duty Engineering Service Chief to be the President of SAME or Chair the Board of Direction. Instead, SAME will utilize retired senior military officers, retired senior civil servants, or senior private sector individuals elected by the general membership to manage SAME governance at the national level.
Details on the rationale behind the governance changes and the future process were published in the January-February issue of TME. In addition, SAME Executive Director Robert D. Wolff, Ph.D., P.E., F.SAME highlighted the forthcoming change in the XD Corner in that issue, and SAME President Rear Adm. Christopher J. Mossey, CEC, USN, P.E. addressed the changes in governance in his “Note from the President” which ran in the March-April issue of TME.
The SAME constitution may be amended at any Annual Meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose, by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of all ballots cast by the members of The Society voting in person or by letter ballot; provided, that notice of proposed amendments shall have been sent to all members of The Society not less than sixty days prior to date of the meeting.
These changes were voted upon at the Annual Business Meeting being held Thursday, May 24, 2012, at the Post Awards Breakfast during the SAME 2012 Joint Engineer Training Conference & Expo (JETC) in St. Louis, Mo. As required by the Constitution, these amendments were presented to and approved by the SAME Executive Committee and Board of Direction. Members unable to attend the Annual Business Meeting were able to vote online on the changes to the Constitution.