Resolution writing 101
Photo by James V. Carroll

Resolution writing 101

The American Legion College, which welcomed its 13th consecutive class since 1999 to National Headquarters in Indianapolis on Sunday, got into high gear on Monday with an in-depth course on understanding and writing resolutions. Legion Metadata & Cataloging Librarian Linna Agne gave a presentation to 52 students from 32 departments on the importance of resolutions and how they can help organize the energies of The American Legion.

According to Agne, library staff members have been contributing to Legion College studies since the early 2000s, when they distributed booklets about reports and resolutions. Since then, the subject has been a mainstay in the program. "The course is a way to standardize the resolutions originating from departments and National Headquarters," Agne said. The current standard format for resolutions is fairly recent, she added. Yet, "the resolution process is still an ever-changing process." As standards continue to evolve, the library will continue to keep Legion College students updated.

"I feel that resolutions are how the blue caps direct The American Legion," said Brent Wightman, third district commander from the Department of Iowa.

Most Legion resolutions start at the post level and work their way to the county, district or department level. And if appropriate, may be voted on at the national convention as a guiding statement for the organization as a whole. To do that, they must be clear, correct and germane, Agne told the students.

Understanding how all these organizational levels interact, as well as the Legion's history and ideals, and the myriad programs of the entire American Legion family, is the main goal of Legion College. After Agne's presentation, a group of students from District Columbia Cyber-Post 1 stated, "[The] resolution process gives all blue caps the opportunity to change the Legion for the better, and potentially influence Congress. Resolutions keep the Legion a living organization."

The students are all Legionnaires who want to advance into leadership roles, from the post level up. And the post level is where most of the training is focused. Today, students are working on strategic planning for a post's growth and success. Presentations will be drawn up by the students and presented on Wednesday. All of this is in preparation for a simulated district convention meeting on Thursday, at which the students will interact as they would on their posts' behalf.