“The post commander, immediately upon taking office each year, shall appoint the following standing committees: Americanism, Children and Youth, Economic, Finance, Graves Registration and Memorial, House and Entertainment, Legislative, Membership, Public Relations, Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Sons of The American Legion and Visiting or VAVS. Such standing committees shall consist of such members, and the chair thereof, as shall be designated by the post commander.”
Duties of Post Committees:
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 emergency.
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 Sr. 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. Every effort must be made to remain nonpartisan.
Purpose: To supervise the receiving, disbursement, and accounting of all post funds; to prepare annual budget recommendations for the post; to advise the post on all financial policies. (The post finance officer is normally the chair of the Finance Committee.)
Purpose: To serve and assist veterans in meeting and overcoming economic problems such as employment, veterans preference, housing, civil service appeals, employment of handicapped and older workers.
Purpose: To supervise the operation of physical facilities of a post such as a clubroom, American Legion Center, meeting room, etc. Supervision includes administration, responsibility for equipment, hiring and direction of employees, as authorized by Post Executive Committee, and general rules applicable to the conduct of members while on the premises of the post.
The Service Committee is a key component of every successful post. Its duties and operations are especially important during the period immediately following the termination of hostilities. The Service Officer may be the chair; however, the responsibilities of the committee go beyond the day-to-day functions of a good Service Officer in filing claims, securing hospitalization, etc. The Service Committee also is concerned with jobs, with veteran contact, with visits to ailing comrades, with on-the-job training, and with pensions. This committee should also be responsible for maintaining contact with any members of the armed forces from the community served by the post. With the nation’s defenses depending upon all-volunteer armed services, it becomes absolutely essential that the man or woman in uniform be assured of the community’s respect and support.
Graves Registration and Memorial Committee
Purpose: To repair, upkeep, record, mark and decorate graves of deceased veterans; to render service and comfort to bereaved families; to provide American Legion funeral services when requested.
Sons of The American Legion
Purpose: To act as a supervisory committee for the Sons of The American Legion Squadron in connection with its organization, activities, recreational and educational programs.
Purpose: To organize, train, promote and supervise a uniform group, such as a drum and bugle corps, color guard, chorus, firing squad, etc.
Visiting or VAVS
The purpose of the visiting committee is to give comfort and assistance to members and their families when sick or bereaved, and to visit hospitalized veterans. It is recommended the Post Chaplain be chair and all post members share in this vital function by taking their turn as committee members.