A Training Plan for The American Legion

A training plan for
The American Legion
Dear American Legion Family and Friends,

As we mark our first century of service to communities, states and nation, we have much to celebrate and generations of Legionnaires to thank. From our founders to today’s post officers, The American Legion is successful because of hard-working, passionate and caring individuals.

Our success can also be directly attributed to the internal training that molds our leaders. For scores of Legionnaires, including me, national Legion College was essential, and I strongly recommend it. The deadline for departments to submit applicants for this fall’s Legion College is July 31.

While the most notable, Legion College is not the only way to groom the next generation of leaders.

Many departments are creating their own versions of Legion College. California, for example, debuted its class this past April. In Maine, the department has launched a three-pronged approach — beginner, intermediate and advanced sessions that graduates complete within the same calendar year.

I am so proud of the training opportunities we have to offer. Numerous options are available for members, regardless if they have been Legionnaires for one year or 40 years.

Revitalized earlier this year, the Basic Training module on the national website provides valuable information. It’s a great resource for recruiters so new members can familiarize themselves with the Legion and find their place in it. When I reviewed the course recently, I found it to be a great refresher and full of valuable resources. I am sure other longtime members would have the same experience.

Our national membership team has revitalized the August membership workshop into three training groups: long-term membership planning, district commanders and department membership chairmen. The leading candidate will have a two-hour session one day with department leadership and a two-hour session the following day with his department commanders. I am excited to see how this approach works.

At national convention next month in Minneapolis, there will be plenty of training opportunities for our members:

  • National staff will conduct training for newly elected district and county commanders. It will be from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Aug. 27, in the Marquette IV – VII, Second Floor, at the Hilton Minneapolis. Topics include: post analysis, district revitalization, MyLegion.org overview, centennial celebration, and the strategic plan for membership growth at the district and post levels.
  • Subject matter experts will host training on topics such as VA’s Caregiver Program, traits of great posts, extending the volunteer network and membership. The training will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, and Monday, Aug. 27 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Hall C, First Floor.
  • There will be media training workshop for members of the National American Legion Press Association (NALPA) and those who handle communications and public relations at the post, district or department levels. Staff members will provide guidance and tips for promoting Legion activities and programs via public relations, social media, e-newsletters and more. The Digital Media Training Workshop will be 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a break for lunch in Room 102, Sections E & F, Level One in the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Of course, much of this year’s national convention will be dedicated to paying tribute to our first century of success. At the same time, we need to dedicate ourselves to training the next generation of leaders who will lead The American Legion to a second century of national leadership, supporting veterans and expanding patriotism.

Family First.


Denise H. Rohan
National Commander

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