Department Convention is fast approaching, so let’s ensure that you have all your Membership Award information together and sent to Department as soon as possible. We want to ensure that you get the proper recognition, that you have earned.
The following National Awards applications are on the Department websites (floridalegion.org):
- Gold Brigade Recruiter
- Silver Brigade Recruiter
- Department Recruiter of the Year
- National Recruiter of the Year
- Pioneer Award
- 100% District Commander Pin
The Post and District Awards applications are also available at floridalegion.org, under Resources, the Forms & Documents.
It’s also time for one last revitalization effort in every District. The lists can be downloaded from mylegion.org with phone numbers and emails to contact the members.
Although National Buddy Check week has come and gone, it’s not too late to do your own. Do it as a Post, District, or Area.
- Gather a team to call or personally visit current and former members of the American Legion. If each member of a team of 10, makes just ten calls to ten current/former Legionnaires, that is 100 veterans that can be reached in one sitting.
- If you don’t have a list of current/former members, visit mylegion.org and download the names of current/expired members.
Save the file of current/expired members on a spreadsheet or copy and paste into a Word file to distribute among your team members.
- Divide the call list among team members. Some may have personal connections with a current/former member and should make that buddy check.
- Start calling from a quiet place inside the Post or from your home. Ask how the members are doing, if they need anything, and invite them to an event or activity.
- Use the spreadsheet to record your calls and identify those who haven’t been members since 2019 and renewed for 2021, so that you can give them the lost year if they had five years in 2019. For each former member who rejoins from those years, your Post may receive a $5 reward.
- If you are making it a group effort, where many team members are calling on a particular night or time, invite the local media to show The American Legion checking in on their buddies in the community.
- Make sure you thank the member or former member at the beginning and at the end of your call.
- If the former member wishes to renew, be sure to have your Post’s payment procedure at your fingertips, the address to send a check, or offer to stop by in person to pick it up (another opportunity to connect).
- Leave contact information if the member can’t take the call or needs anything in the future.
More details at: https://www.legion.org/membership/buddycheck
Each of our Zone Commanders are highly experienced recruiters, pick their brains, they have been there. You also have your Department Revitalization Chair, Past Department Commanders, and Area/District Commanders to help. Another great resource we have is the American Legion Department of Florida Auxiliary, Detachment of Florida, and the American Legion Riders. Remember to get your posts out there in the community, especially involve younger veterans and their families.
April is Children & Youth Month PROMOTE YOUR ACTIVITIES! You should publicize your programs and activities. Have the mayor or another local official issue a proclamation declaring April as Children & Youth Month. The post commander should issue a news release proclaiming April as Children & Youth Month and list what the Post will be doing for its annual observance. Remember, programs supporting the children and youth of your community are news! Invite the news media to your activities and keep them informed.
Every member of The American Legion should have MyLegion access, not just chairs or officers.
MyLegion issues have been at the top of everyone’s list. We’ve all received frequent phone calls and emails regarding issues with MyLegion. Mostly this year, the issues have mainly been related to accessibility. Typically, either the Post Command and/or Adjutant email addresses do not match National’s last official listing. These emails are how the members gain access. Please make sure your listings are correct, and you are providing the correct information.
Did you know that only 0.479% of Americans serve in the military, and with that only 26% of Americans are eligible to join? Yep, those are the statistics.
The Department Commander, as well as myself, are encouraging posts to transfer DMS (Post 400’s) members to local posts across the state because we do not want them lost to attrition or discouragement from feeling unwanted and un-serviced. These members are already in “The American Legion” but need a home, your Home Post. These members have already taken the first step, and with a good portion of posts across the state who have missed their 100% Goal, this is a superb way to create an influx to your roster and attain your 100% before the end of the year in May. Plus make them feel like part of the “ Legion Family” by inviting them to transfer. Why are posts skeptical to have them in your post, they are no different than someone you meet in a parking lot or the grocery store, verification of military character must be done for both types of veterans.
It’s the last stretch of the 2022 year, we have had several programs to help boost membership like the DMS or getting members who have not renewed since 2020, where they can get their continuous year unbroken. To which, through their posts membership team have their membership paid for one year and gets it counted for 2020, 2021 & 2022. Just submit their renewal through Department on an MDF, noting the program of counting all those years as 2022, and keep their continuous years. Department and National have been on your side to not only expand The American Legion but to maintain those members who are already in the Legion. Get with your Membership Team, and let’s get some more work done in the last stretch of the year.
Notification: Blank cards will only be available for the next two (2) years. You say what? Yes, this is exactly the reason “Every member of The American Legion needs a MyLegion account” because, after these next two years, they will have to print their own card through their MyLegion access. On top of that, any new members are now assigned their membership ID number immediately, so they’ll need to set up a MyLegion account and print their cards also. Well, what about members who are not computer literate? The Adjutant will have to set them up, even if at their post’s computer for future accessibility.
This further creates a need for the MyLegion personnel accounts, it’s the way of the future, and is more harmonious or amicable.
I have traveled across the state this year, enjoying each and every post I’ve visited, as well as, District Meetings, Picnics, Area Balls, events or other special gatherings of veterans. Thank you for letting me serve as a Department Membership Chair this year, it has been an honor and a pleasure. Meeting veterans across this great state and doing whatever was in my power to help or serve.