Ceremonies Committee

United States Public Health Service

Commissioned Officers Associations

Greater New York Branch

(Greater NYCOA)

Ceremonies Committee

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Document Approvals:

Printed Name




LCDR Michael Serrano

Ceremonies Chair



Document History Record

Document History Record for:

Ceremonies Committee

Standard Operating Procedures

Revision Number

Date of Revision

Effective Date

Description of Changes




Creation of initial version.


The Greater NYCOA Ceremonies Committee Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) provides operational and procedural guidance for the Greater NYCOA Ceremonies Committee. This SOP provides guidance on matters not addressed by the Greater NYCOA Bylaws.


This SOP applies to all documents created that are related to all functions within the Greater NYCOA Ceremonies Committee to establish policies, processes, records and acceptance criteria under the auspices of Greater NYCOA. This SOP does not apply to documents created by other organizations outside of the Greater NYCOA Ceremonies Committee.


Document No.: The unique identifier assigned to each document.

Revision No.: The numeric designation identifying the version of a controlled document. New documents are assigned “Rev. 00.” Subsequent, approved revisions of the same document are assigned sequential numbers, “Rev. 01,” “Rev.02,” etc.

Approval Date: The date that the Chair accepts the document into the Document Control System by applying the final approval signature.

Effective Date: The first date that the new or revised document may and must be used; and the previous revision, if there is one, may not and must not be used.


Greater NYCOA Bylaws


Greater NYCOA Website


Table of Contents

I. Ceremonies Committee Responsibilities and Organization

Section 1: Ceremonies Committee Responsibility

Section 2: Leadership

Section 3: Ceremonies Committee Involvement

Section 4: Ad-hoc Committees (if applicable)

Section 5: Letters of Appreciation

II. Ceremonies Committee Procedures

Section 1: Meeting Time & Frequency

Section 2: Ceremonies Committee Procedures

III. Minimum Standards for Ceremonies Committee Members

Section 1: Ceremonies Committee Members

IV. Transitioning

Section 1: Transition Procedure

V. Absenteeism Policy

Section 1: Absenteeism Policy

Section 2: Member Participation

Section 3: Inactive Members

VI. Member Recognition

Section 1: Ceremonies Committee Members

VII. Changes to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)



Section 1. Ceremonies Committee Responsibility The Ceremonies Committee shall work with the Greater NYCOA Branch Executive Officers to develop, implement, guide, and advance the organization’s responsibilities and strategic direction, in accordance with the mission of Greater NYCOA.

Section 2. Leadership The Ceremonies Committee consists of a Chair, Chair-Elect, and members.

The Ceremonies Committee Chair is responsible for the following tasks:

1. Coordinate (along with the Chair-Elect) the end of year Change of Command/Promotion/Awards Ceremony.

2. Oversee and collaborate with other Committee Chairs including Parade and Anchor & Caduceus Committees.

3. Oversee and maintain a list of members on the Honor Cadre

4. Recruit Committee members for the operational year.

5. Schedule and facilitate Committee meetings as necessary.

6. Review the SOP yearly and update as needed.

7. Provide end-of-the-year Letters of Appreciation, as appropriate.

8. Provide written and oral reports of Committee activities during each branch leadership and general member meeting, and more frequently as needed.

9. Report to the Branch President, as directed.

The term duration for the Committee Chair shall be one year, or until a successor has been appointed.

The Committee Chair-Elect is responsible for the following tasks:

1. Work with President-Elect to encourage a committee member to fill Chair-Elect position once the current Chair-Elect term has ended.

2. Fulfill duties of Chair in the Chair’s absence, or as needed.

3. Maintain the PHS Flag and Banner.

The term duration for the Committee Chair-Elect shall be one year, or until a successor has been appointed.

The Committee Members are responsible for the following tasks:

1. Support the duties and responsibilities of the Chair and Chair-Elect.

2. Attend majority of meetings.

3. Participate actively.

4. Support the activities coordinated by Parade and Anchor & Caduceus Committees.

5. Provide written and oral feedback as requested.

6. Be willing and able to serve on Honor Cadre.

The term duration for Committee members shall be unlimited.

Section 3. Committee Involvement

Committee Members: Committee Members will fulfill the following expected roles and responsibilities

1. Be willing and able to give the necessary time to attend meetings and perform any assigned duties.

2. Actively participate in discussion and be willing to listen to and respect others viewpoints.

3. Think in terms of the welfare of the group rather than personal interests.

4. Accept and follow through on assignments.

5. Maintain minimum standards for Committee Members. (Article IV)


Section 5. Ad-hoc/Special Projects Subcommittees can be formed in response to the Greater NYCOA Ceremonies Committee needs and as directed by the Committee Chair.

Section 6. The Ceremonies Committee shall disseminate Letters of Appreciation to Committee members for participation and volunteer support. The Letters of Appreciation should be issued using the template provided by the Greater NYCOA Branch Executive Officers.



Section 1. The Ceremonies Committee shall hold monthly meetings where all members shall report their various activities. The meetings are held the 1st Monday of every month.

Section 2. The Ceremonies Committee addresses organizational strategic needs as issues arise, and as such, develops project-specific procedures on a case-by-case basis. In general, projects are discussed among Committee members. The Chair and Chair-Elect prioritize projects and assign project-specific tasks to Committee members as appropriate. Routine projects include, but may not be limited to, (1) reviewing and revising Bylaws; and (2) assisting BXOs with adherence to the procedures and timelines set forth in the Bylaws (auditing of accounts, election process, quorum monitoring, etc.).



Section 1. Committee Members: Committee Members minimum standards include:

A. Attending at least half of the eligible meetings since joining the Committee

B. Active participation in at least one project annually

C. Active participation in meeting discussions and providing input to the Committee Chair solicitations



Section 1. Chair-Elect Preparation: Incoming Committee Chair and outgoing Committee Chair should schedule a meeting to discuss the transitioning of the position. In collaboration with the outgoing Committee Committee Chair, the incoming Committee Chair will utilize the orientation guidelines and practices regarding absenteeism and member recognition to assist them in their preparation as the Committee Chair. Transitioning will also include orientation to Committee documents.



Section 1. Absenteeism Policy: Committee Members should inform the Committee Chair if they will be unavailable to make a Committee meeting. To maintain their status, Committee Members need to attend at least half of the eligible meetings since joining the Committee.

Section 2. Member Participation: Committee Members who miss more than half the meetings in a six month period (July through January) or half the meetings in a twelve month period (July through June) shall be considered “inactive” and not be eligible for inclusion on the roster and for the Committee’s end-of-year Letter of Appreciation. The Committee Chair shall keep attendance of all meetings and notify any member that has fallen below the 50% attendance mark. These guidelines are intended to encourage at least 50% attendance at meetings. However, it is recognized that there may be individual cases which warrant special consideration (e.g., weekly scheduling conflict), where an Officer is not able to make that percentage but substantially contributes to the Committee. Therefore, the Committee Chair reserves the right to utilize appropriate discretion in determining whether or not an individual Officer should be recognized as a Committee Members.

Section 3. Notifying Inactive Members: Those Committee Members who fall below the 50% attendance mark will be sent an e-mail by the Committee Chair informing them of such and that they will be removed from the roster and may not be eligible for the end-of-year Letter of Appreciation. Those Officers who choose to disassociate from a Committee, not respond, or continue to fail to attend meetings will not achieve the minimum recognition as outlined above.



Section 1. Committee Members: Committee members who maintain the minimum standards for Committee Members (Article VI) will be acknowledged through the following methods:

A. A written letter signed by the Branch PresidentCommittee Chair and/or Chair-Elect suitable for inclusion in the Officer's OPF. (See Appendix ## for Letter Template)

Specific detail on the individual officer’s contributions should be maintained along with the impact of their contributions on the overall outcome when applicable.Each member is responsible for tracking these activities, and providing these records to the Committee Chair/Chair elect for inclusion in the recognition letter. A letter shall be granted to every officer who demonstrates at least a 50% attendance record (in addition to the other criteria) since joining the Committee.

B. Approval to list membership role with Greater NYCOA WorkgroupCommittee on official Curriculum Vitae as “Committee Members.”

C. Committee Members shall be differentiated from Committee Observers in attendance rosters and in correspondence for the purposes of acknowledging their contributions. The Committee Members roster will be communicated to the Greater NYCOA Branch Executive Officers at least twice a year.



Section 1. This SOP may be altered, amended or changed, by a majority vote of those Committee members present when such matters are submitted to the membership for vote. In taking a vote, the Committee Chair will establish the general procedures for voting. Proposals may be submitted by any individual committee member, who shall then submit it in writing to the Committee Chair. The Committee Chair and Chair-Elect shall review this SOP every year at the beginning of their elective terms, submitting corrections and amendments to the committee members for a vote at the first meeting of the fiscal year (if applicable).

Appendix ##. Recognition Letter Template


[Officer Name



Dear [Officer Rank and Last Name],

On behalf of the Greater New York Commissioned Officers Association (NYCOA) of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), I wish to recognize and commend you for your [exemplary leadership and] outstanding service for the [Committee Name].

Specifically, [insert specific examples and impacts].

We are proud and honored to have you as a dedicated and active member of NYCOA, and we look forward to many more years of working alongside you.

Very respectfully,


(Committee Chair/Co-Chair)