The online American Legion Extension Institute  (ALEI) has surpassed 2,600 purchased licenses in its first year.
ALEI, which officially launched April 11, 2012, tallied 2,657 licenses. Those purchasing licenses for the course will continue to have access to this resource as long as they continue as a member in good standing.
A group training version has been created and is made available for departments that would like to conduct department or even district level training. A train-the-trainer version is also available and will fully qualify department level representatives to be instructors.
In other news:
Bulk shipments: The bulk shipments of supplies ordered by departments are almost completed. All departments' supplies have shipped except California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Massachusetts. Those will go out via freight delivery on May 6.
Oratorical finals: The finalist orations have been posted on LegionTV . Meanwhile, the Public Relations, Americanism and Magazine divisions are beginning work on a new "How to conduct an oratorical contest" video and web page.
American Legion Baseball: On April 30, national baseball staff met with representatives of WebStream Productions to begin preliminary coordination and planning for production of the live-stream webcast this August of the 2013 American Legion Baseball World Series in Shelby, N.C.
Junior Shooting Sports Program: Invitations to the 23rd American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Air Rifle National Championships are being sent to the top 15 athletes of each of the sporter and precision categories from the more than 1,500 athletes who entered the 2013 American Legion Junior Shooting Sports national tournament. The championship competition will be held Aug. 6-11 at the USA Shooting facility on the campus of the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
OCW update: Last week, Operation Comfort Warriors  received five Heroes to Hometowns requests: one each from Maryland, Kentucky, Connecticut, Michigan and Texas. All were forwarded to their respective departments for follow up.
OCW gift-giving trips are being planned for Fort Meade, Fort Drum and the GI Film Festival in Washington. Brig. Gen. Brian Roberts, commanding general of Fort Jackson, S.C., sent a letter of thanks for OCW's recent donation to the WTB at his base.
Membership and DMS Program
The current 2013 traditional membership total is 1,918,118, which is 96.1 percent of the 2013 goal.
The 2013 membership year began on July 1, 2012. The fourth DMS mailing for the 2013 membership year was completed on February 4, 2013. Approximately 1.6 million pieces were mailed at that time. Responses from that mailing are now being processed.
Based on the four DMS mailings this year, we have acquired:
DMS Acquires: 95,095 prospects, 77,456 expires, 172,551 total
2013 Goal – 185,000; percent of goal - 93.3 percent
Current Renewal Rate for 2012 DMS Members: 49.3 percent (93,408 of 189,685 new 2012 members)
On-Line Renewal Activity: 2013 Membership Year On-Line Renewals (since July 1) – 181,944