Training is Josh Clement’s thing – training soldiers, training Legionnaires.
As executive officer of the 208th Regional Training Institute at Fort William Henry Harrison in Helena, Mont., he oversees courses that develop future combat medics and logistical specialists. Out of uniform, he gets other Legion leaders fired up about the organization’s purpose and programs – a passion the Iraq veteran has had since Montana National Executive Committeeman Merv Gunderson mentored him.
“It took someone else to pull me under and say, ‘Hey, here’s what these pillars mean,’” he says. “Merv did that for me. He gave me enough of a foundation so I could become a self-starter and keep learning more.”
For Clement, the Legion’s constancy is its biggest selling point. Decade after decade, he adds, it’s stayed focused on all the right things: veterans support, children and youth, a strong national defense, and instilling patriotism in the next generation. The Legion is also the U.S. flag’s greatest champion.
“How many organizations have come and gone that changed their mission statements, that changed their purpose?” he says. “The American Legion doesn’t, and that’s what I love about it.”
While serving on active duty, he’s been commander of three Montana posts – “small, medium and large,” he quips – and founded the department’s new Legion College program. He’s also a facilitator for National Legion College in Indianapolis.
Married with four children, Clement challenges the idea that volunteering with the Legion is for retirees or those with an empty nest. “I want to do it now,” he says. “I don’t want to wait. I don’t want an organization to get what’s left of me.”
Branch of service Army (1995-present)
Military jobs Armor crewman, infantry, human resources
American Legion post Lewis & Clark Post 2, Helena, Mont.
Years in The Legion 15
- Post commander (2015-2017)
- District vice commander (2009, 2015-2016)
- District commander (2017-2019)
- National Americanism Council (2015-2017)
- 100th Anniversary Observance Committee member (2017-2019)
- 21st Century Ad Hoc Committee vice chairman (2017-present)
- National Legion College graduate (2015)