Starting the Black Hills, S.D., Women’s Auxiliary

by Major Elizabeth Beardsley


Before being appointed to the Black Hills, S.D., special services, I had been involved with the Peoria, Ill., Women’s Auxiliary, which is one of the largest and best-run in the territory. I was able to see first-hand what an auxiliary can do. So when Lt. Colonel Renea Smith—then Major Renea Smith western divisional director of women’s ministries—asked me to look into starting a women’s auxiliary in t444he Black Hills, I had a basis of understanding.


Here are the 10 key steps I took to officially charter our group two years ago.


1. Wrote our divisional headquarters requesting information on the official requirements to start a women’s auxiliary.

2. Secured information on women’s auxiliary by-laws.

3. Found a woman with a passion to serve the Army, and who would help to establish and develop the group.

4. Attended the National Advisory Organizations Conference with this lady to sit in on workshops about women’s auxiliaries.

6. Wrote the divisional commander to gain approval officially from our divisional headquarters as well as our territorial headquarters.

5. Approached our advisory board to see if any of their wives or friends might have an interest in joining our women’s auxiliary.

6. Held an informational meeting and invited members of the community where we relayed information on what an auxiliary is, what a member’s role would be, and some sample projects.

7. Established a monthly meeting time.

8. Encouraged those who committed to join to reach out to other prominent women in the community and recruit them.

9. Elected a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, which comprise our executive committee, and established a meeting time for this committee.

10. Concentrated efforts within the first three month to reach out to increase membership.



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