People, time, effort, and organization are required to carry out the programs of The American Legion. This provides a great opprotunity for members to use their passion and/or expertise.
No post can stand still. New programs are needed from time to time, old programs needed to be
changed, revitalized, and in some cases, dropped. Frequently a nonmember that is eligible will want to become a member of a post if the post has an activity or is planning an activity in which the person is personally interested.
Whether those programs are continuing services for disabled veterans or a dance, most of your work will
be accomplished through committees. Each committee chair needs to know how the work of the committee fits into the overall program of the post and he needs to know what is expected, and when. Not all Post have these committees but here is a list of potential committees and their usual duties:
Purpose: To inspire patriotism and good citizenship through patriotic observances, patriotic and civic
instruction in schools, Americanization of aliens, information on anti-American propaganda, youth
activities such as Boys State, Scouts, Oratorical Contest, School Award Medals, baseball, flag etiquette,
and other similar community services, as well as provide a listing of available scholarships through the
“Need A Lift?” booklet.
Children and Youth
Purpose: To insure that any child of a veteran in need of care and protection shall receive proper and
timely service and aid; to strengthen the family unit; extend support to sound organizations and facilities
that provide services for children and youth; and to maintain a well-rounded program that meets the needs
of the young people in their respective community.
Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation
Purpose: To assist veterans in obtaining needed hospitalization, in the pursuance of claims and in
obtaining other veteran’s rights and benefits; to visit comrades who are sick or disabled; to visit and
comfort members of their families when sick or bereaved. (The head of the Veterans Affairs and
Rehabilitation Committee may be the post service officer of the post veterans affairs and rehabilitation
chair. In addition, the post chaplain may serve as chair of the Visiting Committee.)
Purpose: To organize the post membership in support of national or civilian defense projects in the
community; to organize the post and to assist in organizing the community for readiness to meet any
Membership and Post Activities
Purpose: To obtain, retain and increase the membership of the post with specific responsibilities for
renewals, enrollment of new members, transfers and reinstatements. (The first vice commander
frequently serves as chair of the Membership Committee.)
Purpose: To increase awareness among the veteran’s community and the community at large of The
American Legion’s advocacy of Veterans issues, national security and foreign relations, Americanism,
and children & youth. Your goal is to define The American Legion in the public eye by the values for
which it stands. Your technique is two-fold: (1) Placing radio and television advertisements and public
service announcements produced by the National Public Relations Division where they can be seen and
heard, and (2) Developing relationships with editors and journalists serving the post community so that
they cover those programs supported by the organization’s founding pillars.
The High School Oratorical Contest is the reporter’s “news peg” but The American Legion’s support
for a “one hundred percent Americanism” is THE story that must be told. Why The American Legion is
“Still Serving America?” is the question you, as the Post public relations officer, must ensure is answered
in every form of media coverage obtained. Public Relations is a membership multiplier.
Purpose: To promote the official legislative mandates of The American Legion; disseminate monthly
legislative updates; establish, maintain and promote proactive grassroots lobbying activities; and establish
and maintain liaison with elected officials and their staff. All activities must be in compliance with
Section 2, Article II of the Constitution of The American Legion: “The American Legion shall be
absolutely non-political and shall not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles nor for the
promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking public office or preferment.”
However, voter education is a critical element of the electorial process. This does not prohibit your
post from holding town hall meetings, “Meet the Candidate Nights,” or allowing candidates to address
post meetings, district conferences, or state conventions. Candidates may be allowed to participate, as
long as an invitation is extended to all candidates affording them an equal opportunity to participate. The
American Legion cannot endorse or oppose any candidate, even if the candidate is a Legionnaire and Post
member. A Post home should be free of any political materials that would appear to be an endorsement of
a particular candidate. If the position of one candidate is posted, the position of all candidates must be
posted, the position of all candidates must be posted. Every effort must be made to remain nonpartisan.