Recently, membership was termed as "the hardest easy job." And the planning and efforts that Legionnaires put into growing the organization's membership can sometimes feel like a job.
But it's supposed to be a fun job, and that's why there are several membership incentives in place for Legionnaires – some annual awards, some instituted on a yearly basis by the national commander.
This year, National Commander James Koutz has three special membership incentive programs in place, as well as two other award programs relating to post performance  and district commander post visits .
The national commander's "Lucky 13" Incentive Award Program  awards a special National Commander pin to any Legion family member who obtains a minimum of three headquarters post member transfers, and also obtains an additional combination of 10 new members, renewals and headquarter post member transfers to equal a combined number of 13.
In the national commander's "Reach Out to One From Each One"  program, a specially designed certificate will be presented to Legionnaires who recruit into The American Legion one new member from each eligible war period. A new member is defined as any eligible person joining for the 2013 membership year who was not a member of The American Legion in 2012.
And to qualify for Koutz's District Christmas Bonus Award , a district must go above and beyond its Dec. 31, 2011, membership total. Any district that as of Dec. 31, 2012, exceeds its membership standing by at least 1 percent or greater will receive a monetary check on behalf of the national commander for its hard work and effort. For each 1 percent increase over last year's membership, an additional $50 will be awarded.
There are several other membership incentive programs, include the Gold Brigade, Post All-Time High Award, Post/Department/National Recruiter of the Year, and the District Commander Race-to-the-Top Award. A complete guide  to the membership awards program is available online. The guide includes key membership target dates, the year's renewal schedule and explanations of the various award programs.