Presentation on theme: "BUTCH SPARKS PAST DEPARTMENT COMMANDER. To provide “Service” to our veterans, their families and their communities is as solid today, in a period of."— Presentation transcript:
To provide “Service” to our veterans, their families and their communities is as solid today, in a period of high technology and lightning fast changes, as it was in 1919, when the founding fathers of The American Legion met in Paris.
ABSOLUTELY NOT The fight for veterans rights - past, present or future - is never-ending. However the environment is ever-changing and we must stay in front of change to be this nation’s leading advocate for veterans. We can not afford to become stagnant. For continued success, we must provide first rate service to our veterans, their families and the surrounding communities.
YOU HAVE RULES & REGULATIONS. YOU HAVE GUIDELINES. YOU HAVE WELL TRAINED LEADERS. YOU KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER BASE. YOU KNOW YOUR PRODUCT.
YOU HAVE A KNOWLEDGABLE STAFF IN THE VARIOUS AREAS OF THE BUSINESS. YOU HAVE WELL TRAINED STAFF MEMBERS WORKING TO SELL PRODUCT. YOU HAVE AN ONGOING TRAINING PROGRAM FOR YOUR STAFF & EMPLOYEES.
Constitution & By-laws serve as our Road Map. Post officers are the Board of Directors. Committee chairs are Area/Program Directors. Members are the stock holders.
Executive committee meetings are our board of directors meeting. Post meetings are our stock holders’ meeting. Newsletters tell our members what we are doing. Our veterans, their families, and the surrounding community are our customers. Fund raisers are our revenue for our programs.
Is our Post a profitable business? Are we meeting our mission? Let’s start by asking ourselves a few questions.
Do Post officers know their duties & responsibilities? Does the Post have current Constitution & By-laws? Does the Post have a current copy of the Post Administrative Manual? Does each officer have a copy of the current Post Officer’s Guide & Manual of Ceremonies ? Does the Post have a copy of the current Adjutant’s Manual?
Does the Post have a copy of the Post Operating Manual? Does the Post have a copy of the Post Membership Training Guide? Are officers & members encouraged to take the American Legion Extension course? Is the Post taking care of business (post documentation & finance records)? Are younger vets being included in leadership roles?
Does the Post have regular scheduled meetings? Do officers/members attend District, Division, & Department meetings & conventions? Is membership growing at your Post? Are renewals/new members = or greater than losses? Is the Post assisting veterans in the area?
Does the Post have an active Youth Program? Does the Post have a friendly atmosphere? Does the Post present a “Positive Image” to potential members as well as to the community. Does the Post participate in community activities? Is the Post an asset to the community?
Does the community think the Post is an asset? Does the Post communicate with its members? Does the Post use Mylegion.org ? Does the Post have computer access? Does the Post have a web site, email address, etc.? Does the Post submit a consolidated post report?
Unfortunately many posts can not answer many or any of these questions in a positive manner. Somehow over time many posts have declined due to leaders passing on, economic woes, loss of members, etc. Should we give up? Absolutely not. Let’s get these posts back on their feet. Working as a team we can meet this challenge.
The first thing we need to do is to have a personal commitment and involvement of each Legion Officer at Post, District, Division & Department levels to carry on the torch lit by the doughboys in 1919. A willingness of officers to learn by attending training sessions and self study of available programs and manuals.
Posts should make sure current C&BL’s are up to date. Posts should initiate a self audit of all post operations to see what is needed to meet its mission. Outside assistance is available if needed. A resource library should be available at the Post for officers and members to check out. A plan of action & time table for corrections and improvements should be established based on findings. Follow-up audits should be held annually prior to new officers’ installation.
Every Post officer needs training. Training has been lax in the last few years. Through training we gain knowledge to operate our Post & help better serve our veterans. Recommend all officers take the American Legion Extension Institute (ALEI) course.
Some Posts require elected officers to take the ALEI course. Encourage all members to take ALEI course. Education of our officers and staffs at every level should be an on-going process. Schedule training at General Membership Meetings.
Mentors are being identified by District to assist Posts in their areas. Identify mentors in your Post. Utilize them. Mentors may be area experts, e.g. Adjutant, Service Officer, Membership, etc. Get potential leaders involved by mentoring them. IF you need help, JUST ASK.
We must be aware at all times of our image and how others perceive us and our work in the community. We must remain the champions of service to our veterans and their communities. Everyone in a Legion leadership position must set the example for all members to follow.
Our service to veterans and their communities is manifested in our programs and there are many outstanding programs to choose from. Legion officers at every level should be coaches, motivators and consultants in helping Posts develop and maintain programs.
The American Legion, Post Riders, American Legion Auxiliary, and the Sons of The American Legion need to be partners in providing service to our veterans, their families and their communities. Legion officers again must set the example for inner-organization dialogue and cooperation. Our work of service to our veterans is a “family affair.”
We can amplify our commitment of service to the veteran through an aggressive and consistent public relations program. It allows us to maintain visibility in the community. A presence in social media network sites such as Facebook & Twitter has made it possible for everyone to become knowledgeable of Post Operations. Become involved in the community as a good neighbor. Public relations opportunities to tell the Legion story should be pursued.
We must encourage every American Legion Post and its membership to focus on service to the veteran, to their families and to the communities as their number one priority. With your help we can rekindle the torch that the “doughboys” lit for us. “DON’T LET THE LIGHTS GO OUT”.
Post Membership Training Guide Post Adjutants Manual Post Officers Guide and Manual of Ceremonies Post Operations Manual Post Administrative Manual www.txlegion.org/forms www.txlegion.org/forms www.Mylegion.org District Officers Department Officers & staff