Resolution 64, passed during the 2012 American Legion Fall Meetings, charged the Legion’s Internal Affairs Commission and Membership & Post Activities Committee to establish a five-year strategic plan to help the organization reach a record in total membership by 2019 — the Legion’s centennial. And on May 8, during Spring Meetings, Denise Rohan, chairman of the Legion’s National Membership & Post Activities Committee, announced the Legion’s five-year strategic plan for sustained membership growth.
"We want to encourage all members, all members all the way down to the post level, to be a part of this plan," Rohan said. "It needs to be a grass-roots effort. We have to tell The American Legion story to our nation’s military."
Each Legion department will be expected to draft a comprehensive plan for membership growth that can be used at all Legion levels and submit it to the membership committee before June 14. Then, during National Membership Workshop, Aug. 2-4, each newly elected department commander will discuss how his or her respective department is going to implement the five-year membership plan. The 2013-2014 elected national commander and national vice commanders will receive an update during the 2013 Fall Meetings on how each department is progressing.
The membership plan will include the following five strategies:
Training, education and leadership development
Post creation, development and revitalization
Membership recruiting and retention
"We need our community to know that we are not just a bar — that we are about service to our veterans, their families and our communities," Rohan said. "We need to be seen as service first.
"We need to continue to work with our Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion (members) to welcome them into our complete American Legion Family. And with their help, we will welcome our veterans and their families into this great organization."
Also during Spring Meetings, National Commander Jim Koutz raised his OCW goal from $500,000 to $750,000. "Whether we are showing our appreciation today at a warrior transition battalion or tomorrow at a VA center, the financial support for these heroes must continue."
In other business: