To reward departments that continue to show a culture of growth by employing the tactics outlined in The American Legion's strategic plan for sustained membership growth, American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt will issue a monetary award to the departments with the largest percentage increase of traditional new members from Jan. 1 to May 31. All departments are eligible for this award. The national vice commander of the region with the department winner will receive a recognition award.

Departments will be broken into the following six categories:
Category I: Departments of 100,000 or more members
Category II: Departments of 70,000 to 99,999 members
Category III: Departments of 40,000 to 69,999 members
Category IV: Departments of 25,000 to 39,999 members
Category V: Departments of 10,000 to 24,999 members
Category VI: Departments of 9,999 or fewer members

Please keep in mind that a new member is defined as any eligible person joining for the 2017 membership year who has never been a member of The American Legion before. Post transfers will not count.