Most A.A. members participate by going to meetings at their local groups. But there are many opportunities for service in A.A., and most of us have found that volunteering to do service improves the quality of our recovery. We freely share our time and talent in an effort to stay sober and carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to those who are suffering from alcoholism. In other words, you get what you give.

I am responsible, when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.

A.A.’s Responsibility Statement

What exactly is General Service?

The Twelve Traditions make clear that A.A., as such, should never be organized .There are no bosses and no government in A.A. At the same time, the Traditions recognize the need for some kind of organization to carry the message in ways that are impossible for the local groups — such as publication of literature and public information resources, helping new groups get started, publishing an international magazine, and carrying the message in other languages into other countries. The U.S./Canada General Service Conference structure is the framework in which these “general services” are carried out.

A.A.’s Twelfth Step suggests that we carry the message of recovery. That is the basic service that A.A. provides. Any action that helps A.A. to function as a whole is service.

What is the General Service structure?

The General Service structure is made up of A.A. members who give freely of their own time to help the still-suffering alcoholic through a structured service entity. The structure is an inverted triangle – the groups are at the top, narrowing down to the districts that service the groups, narrowing down again to the areas that serve the districts and finally the General Service Office at the bottom.

How do I get involved in service?

All members of A.A. are welcome to attend area assemblies, district meetings, committee meetings and are encouraged to participate in Area 55 committee work.

Members of A.A. who wish to serve in the general service structure stand for election at the appropriate service meeting. The positions may involve serving at group level – such as a General Service Representative (GSR), at district level – such as a District Committee Member or at the area level – such as an Area Officer.

There are also a variety of area committees where an A.A. member may wish to serve.

Learn more about Area Committees >


2018 Area 55 General Service Guidelines
2020 Area 55 General Service Guidelines
2021 Area 55 General Service Guidelines

Circles of Love and Service