Membership: Spot, assess, recruit

American Legion Post 295 in Germantown, Md., had 27 members when Bob Ouellette transferred there 13 years ago. Now, the post currently boasts 466 members. And for the current membership year, the post will surpass 129 percent. Ouellette attributes the tremendous growth and recruiting success to "working harder than other posts and going out in the community to seek new members," he said. "Every Legionnaire has the ability to stop the slide because you believe in The American Legion."

Members of Post 295 are active in their community by serving food to family members of wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, and by attending events that draw like-minded people such as Rolling Thunder, the Military Bowl Parade and job fairs for veterans. During the most recent job fair that Post 295 members attended, 54 new members were recruited in four hours.

"To achieve this success, Post 295 members have used sales techniques and our knowledge of American Legion programs to break down barriers to membership," Ouellette said. "And we use another technique that we developed called Spot, Assess and Recruit (SAR).

Spot: ‘Hello, did you serve or are you currently serving in the military?’ Assess: Listen to their response to see if they meet the Legion’s membership dates. Recruit: ‘Thank you for your service! What Legion post do you belong to?’ If they don’t belong to one, explain the benefits of membership. The American Legion has something to offer everyone."