Parade Workgroup SOP

United States Public Health Service

Commissioned Officers Association

Greater New York Branch

(Greater NYCOA)

NYC Veteran’s Day Parade Workgroup

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Rev. 01

Document Approvals:

Printed Name




LCDR George Pourakis

Parade Workgroup Chair


LCDR George Pourakis

Parade Workgroup Chair


Document History Record

Document History Record for:

Parade Workgroup

Standard Operating Procedures

Revision Number

Date of Revision

Effective Date

Description of Changes

1st Draft



First Draft


The Greater NYCOA Veterans Day Parade Workgroup Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) provides operational and procedural guidance for the Greater NYCOA Veterans Day Parade Workgroup. 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 Veterans Day Parade Workgroup to establish policies, processes, records and acceptance criteria under the auspices of the Greater NYCOA. This SOP does not apply to documents created by other organizations outside of the Greater NYCOA Veterans Day Parade Workgroup.


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. Veterans Day Parade Workgroup Responsibilities and Organization

Section 1: Veterans Day Parade Workgroup Responsibility

Section 2: Leadership

Section 3: Veterans Day Parade Workgroup Involvement

Section 4: Letters of Appreciation

II. Veterans Day Parade Workgroup Procedures

III. Minimum Standards for Veterans Day Parade Workgroup Participants

IV. Transitioning

V. Absenteeism Policy

Section 1: Absenteeism Policy

Section 2: Member Participation

Section 3: Inactive Members

VI. Member Recognition

VII. Changes to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)



Section 1. Responsibility

The Veterans Day Parade Workgroup shall work with the Greater NYCOA Branch Executive Officers to ensure successful representation of the Commissioned Officers Association of the US Public Health Service in the NYC Veteran’s Day Parade in accordance with the mission of Greater NYCOA.

Section 2. Leadership

The Veterans Day Parade Workgroup leadership consists of a Chair and a Chair-Elect. The term duration for Workgroup Chair and Chair-Elect shall be one year. At the conclusion of the Chair’s term, the Chair-Elect becomes Chair and a new Chair-Elect is appointed by the Branch President (see Branch Bylaws). For the remainder of this document, the Chair and Chair-Elect may be referred to as Co-Chairs.

Describe the responsibilities of each position in the following format:

Workgroup (“Chair”, “Chair elect”) is responsible for following tasks:

1. Responsibility 1

2. Responsibility 2

Section 3. Veterans Day Parade Workgroup Involvement

The primary responsibility for executing this entire SOP sits with the Workgroup Chair. It is also his/her responsibility to mentor and involve the Chair-Elect in all procedures so as to better equip him/her to take over primary responsibility the following year. General members are responsible for marching in the parade, serving as members of the color guard, and/or serving as aide-de-camps on a voluntary basis and as further described below.

Section 4. Letters of Appreciation

The Veterans Day Parade Workgroup shall disseminate Letters of Appreciation to members for participation and volunteer support. The Letters of Appreciation should be issued using the template provided by the Greater NYCOA Branch Executive Officers.



1) Registration

The first step in the planning is to submit an application to the organization that manages the parade, the United War Veteran’s Council (UWVC). Monitoring their website is the best way to detect exactly when the application period will open (generally in the Spring). Although the application period usually remains open until Oct 1st, it is preferable to submit an application as early as possible. The website is and applications are submitted online by following the self-evident links on the website. After submission of the initial application, Greater NYCOA will receive a confirmation packet at a later date which requests additional information within a given deadline. Again, the confirmation packet contains self-explanatory instructions.

2) Invitations for Participants

2a - It is advisable, at the Greater NYCOA General Branch Meeting that takes place in the summer months, to verbally announce our continued upcoming participation in the parade and mention that a registration e-mail will be forthcoming to solicit volunteers for marchers, color guard, and aide de camps.

2b - Next, a link to the registration questionnaire should be created on Survey Monkey in order to generate a list of participants. This is a simple task because it will merely involve updating the previous year’s questionnaire with new dates. The questionnaire can be accessed by logging into our Survey Monkey account at and using the following:

Username: usphscc

Password: nycoa2015

2c - Once a link to the updated questionnaire is created, an announcement should also be made via the Greater NYCOA e-mail list. The following attachment can serve as a template e-mail:

2d - An announcement flyer that can be shared with COA Frontline for placement in their October issue (submission deadline is Sept 15) as well as their website should also be updated and sent. Here is last year’s in Word format:

Please take note of the e-mail address for submission which should remain the same year after year.

2e – The announcement flyer or invitation letters from our Branch President can also go out to PAC Chairs, Agency Commissioned Corps Liaisons, and other Local COA Branch Presidents. Updated lists of these contacts can be obtained from CCMIS and the National COA website. The following can serve as templates:

2f – Each year, we aim to host a guest of honor. The guest must self-finance. It is preferable that this guest is identified and invited four months in advance. The guest of honor is usually invited to the NYC Mayor’s breakfast, the Opening Ceremony, and also given a seat on the main viewing stage for the parade. Details and logistics of attendance must be confirmed approximately one month in advance with the UWVC. In addition, the registration questionnaire solicits for aides-de –camp. We aim to provide assistance to our dignitary throughout his/her visit. Most dignitaries arrive the day before the parade. We like to have an Officer meet the dignitary on arrival day and ensure a smooth welcome by escorting to the hotel. On parade day, the aide will attend all of the aforementioned events with the Principal. We also try to act as an escort during departure as well. It is advisable that a specific plan is developed at least two weeks in advance of the parade.

3) Social Event

If the dignitary is in agreement, we try to plan a social gathering where Officers can interact with him or her. Generally speaking, the gathering has either occurred the evening before the parade or immediately following the parade. It has generally been that we dine together at a restaurant. If desired, the Social Committee can be engaged for assistance with planning.

4) Token of Gratitude for the Dignitary

It has been our custom to present our dignitary with a plaque as a token of appreciation, purchased with Branch funds. We have established a relationship with a company in CT that has a mold of our PHS seal and they have also been able to mail the plaque to us:

Crown Trophy

317 Federal Road

Brookfield, CT 06804

(203) 740-7900

In the past, we have either presented the plaques to the recipient directly (at the social gathering) or mailed it to their residence afterwards. The former is preferred and requires placing the order 2-3 weeks in advance. Please see the following e-mail for templates:

5) Marching

Once the muster time and location is communicated by the UWVC, the information will be shared via e-mail to all registrants who signed up via the Survey Monkey. An announcement will also be made at the General Branch Meeting held just prior to the parade date. Color Guard volunteers will have been identified via the survey monkey and, those who need it, will receive just in time training on the day of the parade. The Co-Chairs will be responsible for transporting the flags and banners to and from the parade. The Co-Chairs will also be responsible for identifying Officers who are comfortable leading the contingent in the march and/or calling cadence. The Co-Chairs may self-appoint. They will also be responsible for ensuring that all marchers are comfortable with the formation and marching commands. Arriving approximately one hour earlier than directed by the UWVC should allow for ample time to train everyone up. All volunteers will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the parade. All out of town volunteers will be responsible for their own accommodations.

6) Certificates of Participation/Appreciation

Within two weeks after the parade, all marchers, aide-de-camps, and members of the color guard should receive a certificate of participation or appreciation per the following template:



Workgroup Participant: Workgroup Participant minimum standards include:

A. Marching In the Parade



Chair-Elect Preparation: Incoming Chair and outgoing Chair should schedule a meeting to discuss the transitioning of the position and assist them in their preparation as the Chair. Transitioning will also include orientation to Workgroup documents.



Section 1. Absenteeism Policy: In order to be recognized as a general member, an Officer must be present for and march in the parade.

Section 2. Member Participation: Workgroup Participants who miss the parade shall be considered “inactive” and not be eligible for inclusion on the roster and for the Workgroup’s Letter of Appreciation. The Chair shall maintain the roster through the registration link on Survey Monkey. However, it is recognized that there may be individual cases which warrant special consideration and the Chair reserves the right to utilize appropriate discretion in determining whether or not an individual Officer should be recognized as a Workgroup Participant.

Section 3. Notifying Inactive Members: Those Officers who register to participate in the parade, but do not follow through will be sent an e-mail by the Chair informing them of such and that they will be removed from the roster and may not be eligible for the Letter of Appreciation.



Workgroup Participants: Workgroup members who maintain the minimum standards for participation (Article V) will be acknowledged through the following methods:

A. A written letter signed by the Chair (Co-Chairs) and/or Branch President suitable for inclusion in the Officer's OPF. (See Appendix ## for Letter Template). Specific detail on the individual officer’s contributions will be provided if applicable. Each member is responsible for tracking these activities, and providing these records to workgroup chair/co-chair for inlusion in the recognition letter.

B. Approval to list role on official Curriculum Vitae as “Workgroup Participant.”



This SOP may be altered, amended or changed by a majority vote of the co-chairs and the Branch Executive officers. Proposals may be submitted by any individual workgroup member, who shall then submit it in writing to the Chair. The Chair and Chair-Elect shall review this SOP every year at the beginning and end of their elective terms, submitting corrections and amendments 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)