When you join the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, you enter a network of more than 6,000 men who form lifelong bonds, honor their heroic ancestors, and promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism in their communities. There are hereditary members, who trace their lineage to those who served honorably in the Civil War, and associate members, who do not have the requisite ancestry but wish to join the fraternity. Each is described in greater detail below.
Hereditary Membership (Member & Junior)
Hereditary membership is available to a male descendant, 14 years of age (6 to 14 for Juniors), who meets the following requirements:
- You must directly descend from a Soldier, Sailor, Marine or member of the Revenue Cutter Service (or directly descend from a brother, sister, half-brother, or half-sister of such Soldier, etc.) who was regularly mustered and served honorably in, was honorably discharged from, or died in the service of, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Revenue Cutter Service of the United States of America or in such state regiments called to active service and was subject to the orders of United States general officers, between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865.
- You must never have been convicted of any infamous or heinous crime.
- You, or the ancestor through whom membership is claimed, must never have voluntarily borne arms against the government of the United States.
The Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR) is the ceremonial uniformed military element of the SUVCW. The SVR consists of a General Staff and several military districts across the nation. The SVR is overseen by the National Military Affairs Committee of the SUVCW. SVR elements participate in ceremonies, parades, living history programs, and re-enactments. All Members and Associates are welcome to join the SVR; however, SVR membership is contingent upon maintaining SUVCW membership.
Associate membership is available to men who do not have the ancestry to qualify for hereditary membership. Associate membership is available to any man who demonstrates a genuine interest in the Civil War and can subscribe to the purpose and objects of the SUVCW.
Although an Associate is not required to meet the lineage requirement of a Member, he is still subject to the second and third provisions of hereditary eligibility. An Associate may vote and hold any office except those of Commander-in-Chief, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief, National Secretary, National Treasurer and Commanding Officer of the Sons of Veterans Reserve. Associates may not exceed one-third of the total membership of the Camp at the time of election.