The National Executive Committee gathered in Indianapolis May 4-5 for Spring Meetings, during which they passed a total of 43 resolutions spanning Legion programs and positions both internally and externally.
The number of resolutions was slightly higher than normal for Indianapolis meetings, because a number were “rescission resolutions” – to officially rescind, or cancel, prior non-legislative policy resolutions that no longer coincide with The American Legion’s mission, because they have been accomplished, are obsolete due to the dissolution of a named entity, etc. Resolution No. 19 from the Foreign Relations Commission, which rescinds resolutions dealing with the Foreign Relations Division, is an example. As active and involved as the Legion has been since its founding in matters and issues that affect both the military and the United States as a whole, one can imagine how many resolutions have been passed since 1919.
The American Legion will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2019, and the groundwork is being laid for a huge celebration. Resolution No. 2, from the Finance Commision, awards the 100th National Convention to Minneapolis (the site of the first national convention, as well as this year’s), and Resolution No. 3, from the Finance Commission, awards the convention of the Legion’s centennial to Indianapolis, home to National Headquarters. The 2018 National Convention will kick off a 15-month observance that goes up to the Legion’s 100th anniversary – culminating on Veterans Day 2019. Resolution No. 31, from the Internal Affairs Commission, approves the formation of a 100th Anniversary Observance Committee with members appointed by the National Commander, and urges all departments, posts and individual Legionnaires to plan centennial observances of their own. And Resolution No. 43, from the Resolutions Subcommittee, approves the formation of a Centennial Task Force for the Future, which will look at the internal workings of the organization and give recommendations as to how the Legion can serve the military, veterans and America even better in the next 100 years.
Resolution No. 1, from the Finance Commission, renames the Legion’s Fort Benjamin Harrison complex as The American Legion John H. Geiger Operations Center. Past National Commander Geiger, who died in January, was instrumental in making the Fort facilities a reality. A formal dedication ceremony will be held during Fall Meetings in October. Read more about Geiger’s life and legacy here.
Resolution No. 21 and Resolution No. 23, both from the National Security Commission, make clear the Legion’s position that any changes to the structure or workings of the military (from women in combat roles, etc.) must maintain the military’s high standards, and enhance, not detract from, military readiness.
Resolution No. 42, from the Resolutions Subcommittee, approves the formation of a Veterans Policy Oversight Committee to keep up with the latest issues in veterans policy and advise the Legion on how best to address them.
Other key resolutions, by commission:
Resolution No. 38: encouraging posts to hold Dignified Disposal of Unserviceable Flags ceremonies.
Resolution No. 28: supporting VHA in allowing skills gained in the military to be counted toward needed licenses or certifications for certain positions.
Resolution No. 11: Establishment Of The American Legion Amateur Radio Club.
Resolution No. 12: authorizes the Legion to have engraved on four limestone pillars on the east and west sides of the National Headquarters building in Indianapolis the words, “VETERANS,” “DEFENSE,” “AMERICANISM” and “YOUTH,” after the Four Pillars of The American Legion.
Resolution No. 32: clarifies eligibility criteria for Legion Riders.
Resolution No. 20: supports pretax medical savings accounts for active-duty and reserve members and families, and urges Congress to pass legislation to enable participation.
Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation
Resolution No. 36: Improvements Needed For The Department Of Veterans Affairs Benefits For Veterans Who Have Served In A Combat Theater.
The full text of all the resolutions passed at the Spring Meetings can be accessed here.