Legion programs may count toward BSA badges

Americanism Division staff is working on a presentation for Boy Scouts of America in which The American Legion will attempt to become the first organization whose programs would be recognized as qualifying criteria toward earning Scouting merit badges.

The Public Speaking badge would correspond with The American Legion High School Oratorical Contests. The Rifle Shooting badge would correspond with The American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Program. The Citizenship in the Nation badge could correspond with Boys State/Nation. The Law badge may correspond with Junior Law Cadet.

The American Legion will submit this packet to the Boy Scouts in January.

In other news:

Temporary Financial Assistance: Americanism staff has processed 1,275 applications for Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) during 2013. As of Dec. 10, more than $1 million ($1,027,902) has been granted to assist 2,174 minor children of eligible veterans maintain basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and utilities through the TFA program.

Operation Comfort Warriors: Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) staff is partnering with the Blue Star Moms of San Diego to assist wounded warriors at the Naval Medical Center Warrior Transition Battalion in San Diego with a Christmas dinner on Dec. 18. OCW will be providing turkey dinners with all the trimmings and an assortment of pies for dessert. The dinner is in honor of those servicemembers who are recovering from injuries or illnesses sustained while protecting America.

Membership and DMS Program: The 2014 traditional membership goal is 2,001,806. Membership as of the Dec. 9 membership report is 1,541,211 which is 77 percent of the 2014 membership goal.

DMS Program 2014: We have currently mailed 402,000 to under-represented veterans asking them to join The American Legion. These were mailed in October. The second traditional DMS mailing began in November when nearly 1.9 million packages were mailed out.

DMS Acquires: 23,169 prospects, 46,943 expires, 70,112 total

2014 Goal - 101,500 (69.1 percent of goal)

Current Renewal Rate for 2013 DMS Members: 34.32 percent (60,196 of 175,430 new 2013 members)

Online Renewal Activity: 2014 Membership Year On-Line Renewals (since July 1): 161,552

Sons of The American Legion: The Sons of The American Legion membership for 2014 currently stands at 152,626 members or 42.8 percent as of Dec. 11. The Sons are running 5,312 members behind of this same date last year. As a note – membership for this membership target date is still arriving and is not included on this update.