The American Legion National Executive Committee passed Resolution 64  during the 2012 Fall Meetings, charging 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. That five-year strategic plan for sustained membership growth was laid out today during Spring Meetings by Denise Rohan, chairman of the Legion's National Membership & Post Activities Committee.
"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 and emphasize to them that they are veterans, even though they are still wearing the uniform. They are eligible to be members of The American Legion."
Each Legion department will be expected to draft a comprehensive plan for membership growth that can be utilized at all Legion levels and submit it to the membership committee prior to June 14. Then, during the National Membership Workshop, from 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 succeeding on its path to membership growth.
Each department will adhere to the following five strategies and tactics when developing a membership plan:
1. Brand awareness
3. Training, education and leadership development
4. Post creation, development and revitalization
5. Membership recruiting and retention
Overall, "we need to improve our community awareness," Rohan said. "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. We need to be seen as service first, and we must always be aware of our image.
"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."