National Officer Election Process
It is a proud moment when the Chief's Bonnet is passed to the new
National Chief of the Order of the Arrow.
But how is a new chief
actually elected? Who does the election, and what process do they
go through to find the new youth leaders for our organization?
"In late December each year, the section chiefs from across the nation gather to
participate in the planning of the national program for the next
calendar year. As their first order of business, the chiefs elect a
national chief and national vice chief"
--Field Operations Guide
This is the main statement that you will find in the Field Operations Guide concerning the election of national officers.
The complete election process is not published in the FOG, as the National
Committee updates and approves the process annually. Until now,
less than 50 Arrowmen a year ever witnessed this
event. Now, the
national OA web site will give you a peek inside the election room at
how the election is done.
The Section Chiefs meet behind these closed doors
- First, all of the Section Chiefs, the National Chief and National
Vice Chief enter a room where the elections are to take place,
and the doors are closed.
- Each candidate makes a speech. (Typically, about two-thirds of the
Section Chiefs run for a national office.)
- Each of the Section Chiefs then casts a ballot.
- The candidates who either receive no votes or the least number of
votes are eliminated.
- The remaining candidates give a second speech and another
vote takes place.
- The remaining candidates give a third speech and another vote
- After the third speech, no more speeches are given and votes are
taken until two candidates remain.
- The remaining two candidates are escorted out of the room while
the section chiefs come up with three questions to ask the
- One at a time, the candidates re-enter the
room and answer the three questions.
- A final vote is then taken and the new Chief is elected.
This process is repeated for election of the National Vice Chief. The
elections typically start at 8:00PM on the first night of the
National Planning Meeting, and end around 3:00AM. The Section Chiefs
then get a few brief hours of sleep before awaking the next morning at 7:00AM
After breakfast, the Section Chiefs break out by region for the election
of the Region Chiefs. These elections follow the same basic
process as for the National elections, but are much quicker.
They usually last about an hour.
Once elected, the new officers immediately assume their responsibilities
and provide leadership in planning the coming year's program of
(If you would like more details on the elections, talk with your
Section Chief after he returns from the National Planning Meeting.)