Department of Florida

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March 2023

Let me start by wishing each of you a Happy Birthday. Yes, you heard me correctly. You see, on the 15th of March, 104 years ago, members of the American Expeditionary Force convened in Paris for the first American Legion caucus. Yes, we are part of a time-honored organization of proud Veterans who exist for the betterment of fellow Veterans and to honor their commitment to God and Country. So once again, Happy Birthday, Department of Florida Legionnaires.

I want to thank those Posts throughout the Department who have engaged with the schools in their communities and supported local events. This was most notable during February as many of you held Four Chaplains Tribute Ceremonies, not to mention the pictures and videos posted on social media of your Four Chaplains Ceremonies. As they say in the US Navy, “BRAVO ZULU.” We also finished with the District and Area Oratorical Competitions in February. I must admit that I am amazed every time I witness Legionnaires conduct ceremonies or when I watch and listen to the high school students as they compete in the Oratorical Constitutional Speech Contest. You see, events such as these truly define who we are and what we stand for, which lends credence to our mission and the Four Pillars.

We have some key items on the calendar that need to be accomplished during March, and they are as follows:

1 March – ROTC Cadet of the Year Scholarship and Eagle Scout of the Year Scholarship Applications are due.
14 March – Baseball rulebook change requests due.
15 March – Boys State Delegate/Alternate Registration closes.

Additionally, make sure that you contact your local High Schools and Colleges for ROTC and School Medal Program participation. You know many schools host their award ceremonies in May. This will allow you sufficient time to prepare the certificates and the medals for presentation. Also, this month, you will start receiving End of Year Packets, which means we begin collecting data from our members and committees relative to programs you do at your Posts. Get a head start now on collecting that data, don’t wait until the last minute.

In closing, I want to wish each of you a Happy Birthday. Continue to do wonderful things at your Posts’ and for The Department of Florida. If there is anything I can do to assist, please feel free to contact me via email or phone. “BE THE ONE”

Doug Hockenberry
Americanism Chair