13 May 1783
An incessant attention to preserve inviolate those exalted rights and liberties of human nature, for which they have fought and bled, and without which the high rank of a rational being is a curse instead of a blessing.
An unalterable determination to promote and cherish, between the respective States, that union and national honor so essentially necessary to their happiness, and the future dignity of the American empire.
To render permanent the cordial affection subsisting among the officers. This spirit will dictate brotherly kindness in all things, and particularly extend to the most substantial acts of beneficence, according to the ability of the society, towards those officers and their families, who unfortunately may be under the necessity of receiving it.
An officer of the Continental Army or Navy could qualify as an Original Member if he (a) served to the end of the war as an officer with a Line (not Militia or State) regiment, (b) resigned with honor after a minimum of three years service, or (c) was rendered supernumerary or was honorably discharged after three years of service. Officers who served with the French forces under Rochambeau or DeGrasse were also eligible.
Hereditary Membership includes the eldest male in each generation, following the rule of primogeniture. Collateral descendants are allowed if there is a failure of male descendants.