For the past several years, The American Legion Department of Arkansas has been recognizing Legionnaires with the Blue Cap of the Year award for exemplifying the "goals and objectives set forth by The American Legion." The honorable award is not open to every Legionnaire in the Department of Arkansas – eligibility for the award requires that the candidate cannot have held, at any time, an elected position within the organization.
"We are looking for a ‘true’ blue cap who has committed himself or herself to their post, department or community," said Doyle Batey, adjutant for the Department of Arkansas. "We desire someone who has made a difference in the lives of the people they live near. Anytime a Legionnaire makes a difference in the community as Legionnaire, they have furthered the cause and reputation of The American Legion."
Any post, district or county may nominate a blue cap Legionnaire for the award and submit supporting documentation that attests to the individual’s qualifications, character and dedication. The award recipient is selected by the department commander and adjutant and honored with a certificate during the Department of Arkansas’ convention. Last year’s Blue Cap of the Year recipient was Arkansas Sen. Eddie Joe Williams, a member of Post 71 in Cabot. "I am deeply honored to have been nominated by my Legionnaire peers," said Williams.
"Eddie Joe has done so much for Post 71, his community and our state," Batey said. "His involvement at so many levels made him a logical choice for the award.
"The Blue Cap of the Year award is a meaningful achievement."