American Legion leaders from around the world gathered Monday, Aug. 29, in Milwaukee to honor outlying posts and departments – notably the Department of Puerto Rico’s organization-leading performance in membership growth – and to install new officers for the year ahead.
FODPAL – Foreign and Outlying Departments and Posts of The American Legion – consists of more than 15,000 American Legion members worldwide serving their communities through some 250 posts outside the continental United States. Also in FODPAL are American Legion departments with posts beyond the lower 48 states, such as Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington and Montana.
The Department of Puerto Rico grew from 2,960 Legionnaires to 3,152 in the 2021-22 membership year, leading all departments nationwide, with 106.49% of target. Puerto Rico was among three FODPAL departments that ranked in the top six in membership growth last year.
FODPAL awards for 2021-22:
- Robert J. “Bob” Conrad Award for achieving the highest percentage increase in membership by a FODPAL department: Department of Puerto Rico
- Joseph “Joe” Craig Award for achieving the highest percentage increase in membership by a FODPAL post: Expeditionary Post DR01, Department of Puerto Rico
- FODPAL Appreciation Award for outstanding dedication and service to FODPAL and American Legion programs: John R. Rowe Post 17, Department of Hawaii
- Distinguished Service Award: Hans Stockenberger, Department of France
- Certificate of Appreciation: American Legion National Headquarters mailroom staff
Steve Huisman of the Department of Alaska was elected FODPAL president for the coming year, and Jim Grosset, commander of American Legion Post CN20 in Calgary, Alberta, was tabbed as first vice president.
Also installed were:
Francis Riddell, 2nd vice president, Hawaii
William Shetz, 3rd vice president, Mexico
James Settle, judge advocate, France
Larry Atkins, assistant judge advocate, China Post 1
Ramon Rivera, historian, Puerto Rico
Michael Napsey, assistant historian, Philippines
Terri Huisman, chaplain, Alaska
Randall Butler, assistant chaplain, Mexico
Juan Cruz, sergeant at arms, Puerto Rico
Tom Schley, assistant sergeant at arms, France
Jim Pisa, secretary, Alaska
Jimmie Foster, treasurer/nomination committee chairman, Alaska
Jim Van Horn, assistant treasurer, Alaska
Doug Haggan, breakfast chairman, France
G. Michael Schlee, nomination committee, Maryland
Tony Jordan, master of ceremonies/nomination committee, Maine