First LEAD training class graduates

The Department of Texas recently became the first department to complete the Leadership Education And Development (LEAD) training session during its mid-winter conference. The department conducted eight two-hour training classes, and 221 Legion Family members received a LEAD pin as recognition of their attendance and participation in at least eight hours of instruction.

LEAD is a one-day, eight-hour training session designed to provide professional development training for post-, district-, county- and department-level members. In addition to the full LEAD program, national staff personnel have presented selected modules of the program at department meetings in Alabama, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Indiana.

If interested, contact Internal Affairs Assistant Director David Elmore at, or Membership Deputy Director Matt Herndon at Or call 317.630.1330.

In other news:

American Legion Baseball: On Jan. 23, Americanism, Children and Youth staff met with national umpire assignor, Jay DeSantis, to assign national tournament umpires for the 2013 Legion Baseball regionals and World Series. As of Jan. 23, nearly 600 teams have registered to play Legion Baseball this season.

National Emergency Fund: During the week of Jan. 18, the Legion processed 52 NEF claims from Legion Family members. The overall payout was $34,575 with $18,500 going to New York and $16,075 to New Jersey. As a department reminder:

  • Grant requests must be submitted through the proper channels and reach national headquarters within 90 days of the date of the disaster.
  • Any paid up American Legion and SAL member, if displaced by the declared natural disaster, can receive a grant to cover housing costs, food and clothing monies, not to exceed $1,500.
  • Once grant request is received at national headquarters from the department, it will be processed and if approved, the check is sent by first class mail the same day to the member’s department headquarters for distribution by the designated department representative.
  • Members can download grant applications and get more information at

Operation Comfort Warriors: OCW received seven requests last week, including two from California and one from Pennsylvania,Texas, Oklahoma and New York. Each was forwarded to the department adjutant for their respective states.

On Jan. 24, National Commander James Koutz presented an OCW donation including musical equipment and sporting goods to wounded warriors at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Ga. Also, planning is under way for an OCW visit to the Department of Kansas and Fort Riley in July.

Sons of The American Legion: As of Jan. 24, SAL membership for 2013 currently stands at 229,910 members or 65 percent. The Sons are running 519 members ahead of this same date last year.

Membership and DMS program: The current 2013 traditional membership total is 1,731,292, which is 86.7 percent of the 2013 goal. The next DMS mailing is scheduled for this week.

Based on the three DMS mailings this year, we have acquired:

  • DMS Acquires: Prospects,:82,835; expires: 49,617; total: 132,452
  • 2013 Goal - 210,000; percentage of goal: 63.07 percent
  • Current renewal rate for 2012 DMS members — 42.90 percent (81,364 of 189,685 new 2012 members)

On-Line renewal activity: 2013 membership year on-line renewals (since July 1, 2012): 155,481