Articles & Procedures

AFGE’s DEFCON is guided by an official rulebook called the Articles of Procedure and Operation. These rules were first adopted by AFGE locals representing DoD employees on March 31, 2003, formalizing the governance of the Defense Conference (DEFCON). Locals voted to approve updates to the original articles at the AFGE National Convention in August 2018.

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For the purpose of promoting unity of action in all matters affecting the mutual interests of workers providing service in the Department of Defense (DoD), we as members of the American Federation of Government Employees Defense Conference adopt these Articles of Procedure and Operation.


Name and Affiliation

Section 1. This advisory organization shall be known as the American Federation of Government Employees Defense Conference, hereinafter referred to as DEFCON.



SECTION 1. RECOMMENDATIONS: The DEFCON is an advisory body empowered to make recommendations to the AFGE National Executive Council.

SECTION 2. AUTHORITY: The DEFCON shall have no authority to represent, conduct business on behalf of, or to bind, incur liability upon, or enter into contracts for AFGE, absent express authorization from the National President.

SECTION 3. The objectives of DEFCON shall be:

  • to promote the legislative agenda of locals whose members work within DoD;
  • to provide information and solicit views of DoD locals concerning matters of importance;
  • to promote training of local activists in the pursuit of DEFCON goals and objectives;
  • to promote organizing and the recruitment of members within DoD locals;
  • to provide recommendations, information and insight in DoD and service agency reorganizations and activities that impact AFGE locals to the National President and NEC DEFCON committee;
  • to participate in activities consistent with the objectives, principles, and intent of AFGE;
  • to work issues of common interest as they specifically relate to the Federation’s members employed by DoD.



SECTION 1. LOCAL PARTICIPATION: All locals representing DOD employees are members of DEFCON

SECTION 2. All DoD local presidents shall be encouraged to participate in the annual meeting of DEFCON on behalf of their respective memberships and may designate for participation as many other local members in good standing as appropriate. All DEFCON locals will be notified of the annual meeting sixty (60) days in advance by the DEFCON Steering Group (DSG) by electronic notification.

SECTION 3. In all matters before DEFCON at its annual meeting, each local is entitled to one vote. Chairperson shall not vote except in the case of a tie.


Governing Body

SECTION 1. BARGAINING CAUCUS GROUPS: The DEFCON is comprised of specific groups of AFGE locals/councils by military service or independent agency. The DSG shall comprise of the following caucus groups:

(a) Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)/Exchanges

(b) Air Force

(c) Army

(d) Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)

(e) Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA)

(f) Defense Commissary Agency (DECA)

(g) Defense Health Agency (DHA)

(h) DEPOT and Arsenals

(i) Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS)

(j) Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)

(k) Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)

(l) Marine Corps

(m) Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF)

(n) National Guard

(o) Navy

SECTION 2. WORKING GROUPS: The locals/Councils representing DOD employees in the following Working Groups shall select a Chair for each group:

(a) Firefighters Working Group

(b) Law Enforcement Working Group

(c) Any other working group that shall be established under the DSG Articles of Procedure and Operation and approved by the National Executive

SECTION 3. NON-BARGAINING CAUCUS GROUPS: The following caucus groups shall select a Caucus Chair and Vice-Chairs to serve as the representative for that group on the DSG:

(a) Air Force (Exception: Air Force Material Command)

(b) Army

(c) Depot & Arsenals

(d) Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)

(e) Defense Health Agency (DHA)

(f) Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF)

(g) National

SECTION 4. BARGAINING COUNCIL/ NATIONAL LOCAL CAUCUSES: In agencies or services represented by a bargaining council of AFGE, that council, under its own constitution and by-laws, rules and/or procedures shall determine who shall represent that council as the Caucus Chair and Vice-Chair.

(a) Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)/Exchanges – Council 235

(b) Defense Commissary Agency (DECA) – Council 172

(c) Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) – National Local 524

(d) Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) – Council 170

(e) Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) – Council 169

(f) Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) – Council 171

(g) Marine Corps - Council 240

(h) Navy – Council 243

(i) Exception: Air Force – Material Command (does not have a position on the DSG)

SECTION 5. DSG CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR: The Caucus Group Chairs and Vice-Chairs shall select, from among themselves, a Chairperson and Vice-Chair for the DSG in an open meeting. The Chairperson and the Vice-Chair shall not be of the same Agency or Council. The Chairperson shall not vote for the Vice-Chair, except in the case of a tie.

SECTION 6. TERM OF OFFICE: Terms of office for non-council caucus chairs and the DSG Chair shall be for a period of three (3) years, beginning with their selections made in conjunction with the Legislative Conference in 2005.

SECTION 7. CAUCUS GROUP STRUCTURE: Each Caucus Group shall determine their own internal structure

SECTION 8. ADDITIONAL CAUCUS GROUPS: The creation or deletion of a Caucus Group, if requested, will be first addressed to the DSG. The DSG will review the appropriateness of the request and present its support or objection to the creation/addition to the DEFCON to the National President who will render a decision

SECTION 9. PERSONNEL/DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS: If any DEFCON Steering Group Chair or Vice-Chair is the subject of a personnel or disciplinary action, and the consensus of the DSG believes it may result in an adverse effect upon AFGE or DEFCON, the DSG may take action to temporarily suspend such officer from his or her position on the DSG until such time as the issue has been resolved. It shall take a 2/3 affirmative vote of the DSG to suspend



SECTION 1. ANNUAL BUDGET: The DSG shall meet annually to develop a Strategic Plan to include a budget

SECTION 2. APPROVAL: The DEFCON Steering Group Chair, or his or her designee, will present the DEFCON Strategic Plan, including the budget, for approval to the National Executive Council

SECTION 3. DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS: The National President is responsible for the disbursement of all funds.

SECTION 4. AUDIT: The National President shall ensure that all expenditures are audited annually.

SECTION 5. DISTRIBUTION: A copy of the approved budget will be made available to each local representing DoD employees.


DSG Meetings

SECTION 1. GOVERNING PROCEDURES: The current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the proceedings of all meetings of the DSG, when not inconsistent with the provisions of the National Constitution, or these Articles of Procedure and Operation.

SECTION 2. CONFERENCE CALL: The DSG shall meet every other week, either telephonically or in person as set forth in Section 3.

SECTION 3. IN-PERSON MEETINGS: The DSG shall meet in-person at the following times:

  • DEFCON Annual Meeting during the Legislative Conference
  • Strategic Planning Meeting


  • At the call of the Chair
  • At a major National Training Conference

SECTION 5. OBSERVERS: All face to face meetings shall be open to members to attend as observers.

SECTION 6. MINUTES: Upon request, minutes of all meetings shall be made available electronically, or by whatever means necessary



SECTION 1. NOTICE: This Document can be modified with 30-day notice by a majority vote of the DEFCON body, present and voting at the annual meeting, or by majority vote by mail ballot to the locals.

SECTION 2. EFFECTIVE DATE: Modifications will take effect only upon approval by the National Executive Council (NEC).

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