We have had a number of new members in the recent months, so I thought I would pass along some of the protocol that will make those of you unfamiliar with VFW feel a tad more comfortable while attending meetings. Hopefully, this doesn’t come across as being dogmatic, but only as observing the traditions of those veterans who have come before us. As VFW is an organization comprised of veterans, its structure is loosely based on military protocol. First, during meals, caps will not be worn. Actually, my mother taught me that one. During prayers by the chaplain, members will remove their caps only if the chaplain removes his. If the chaplain remains covered, so should the members. If uncovered during a prayer, the hat should be placed on the extended closed fingers of the right hand in such a way that the Cross of Malta is exposed and over the heart. Only official hats may be worn in a meeting. If you forget your VFW cap, the Quartermaster may have a spare you can borrow, or you may simply remained uncovered for the meeting. As far as gavel code is concerned, two raps means stand and one rap means sit. Pretty straight forward. The military salute shall be given in all ceremonials or meetings when a member wishes to address the commander or presiding officer. I hope that this quick lesson in protocol is taken in the correct vein, to make a new member feel more comfortable and integrate more quickly into the VFW.