Resolution writing was the topic presented for The American Legion’s Training Tuesday session Oct. 26, held through Microsoft Teams. The presentation will be available here in the coming days.
The American Legion is a resolution-based organization. Any Legionnaire, or group of Legionnaires, can impact the priorities and positions of The American Legion through a resolution – a position-driven initiative written by members and put to a vote.
Resolutions can be categorized as:
- A statement of position on veteran issues
- Related to Congressional legislation or matters at the Departments of Veterans Affairs or Defense.
- The ability to create, change or support programs of The American Legion, such as Legion Baseball, Boys Nation or Legion Riders.
- Authorization of change within the organization (e.g., use of funds, create and manage corporate relationships, make changes to the constitution and bylaws).
- Opportunity to recognize an individual or organization.
Two parts of a resolution
1. Preamble. The preamble (whereas clause) states the issue and often includes the history of The American Legion’s involvement or former stance. The preamble is made up of one or more clauses, each beginning with “Whereas” or a statement of fact related to the intent of the resolution; clauses are joined together by a semicolon (;) followed by “and”; and the final paragraph ends with a semicolon followed by “now, therefore, be it.”
WHEREAS, The American Legion, since its inception, has promoted an active involvement by its members, posts and departments in the electoral process in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Numerous resolutions through the years have put The American Legion on record encouraging all eligible voters to vote on Election Day; now, therefore, be it
2. Resolve clause. The resolve clause, which is always in bold, defines the solution, policy or action in very clear and concise terms. It provides a resolution with a clear and intent and it should stand on its own. The first part of the clause states what meeting is approving the resolution as well as the place and date of the approval. The word “That” immediately following the resolving clause introduces the statement of intent. The final resolve clause identifies the specific program that will be supported and at what organization level and how.
RESOLVED, By the National Executive Committee of The American Legion in regular meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, on October 17-18, 2007, That The American Legion reiterates its longstanding commitment of service to the United States of America by recognizing and promoting the truest … etc. etc.; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, That The American Legion, through its Get Out the Vote program, encourage its members, posts, districts and departments to fully involve themselves in the electoral process by serving as poll volunteers, poll workers, by voting and by encouraging and assisting others to register and vote.
Before submitting a resolution to your post, district or department, make sure your resolution meets this checklist.
- Times New Roman or Arial font
- Font size 12 or larger
- Check spelling
- Check grammar
- Non-expert to read resolution
- No reference to specific congressional bill support
- Date of meeting in header
- Wording in resolve clause is correct
- The entire resolution is only one sentence with a period (.) at end of resolution
- There’s relevance to The American Legion
- One subject per resolution
- Signature(s) on each page of the resolution
- Resolve clause(s) in bold
- Authority noted before text of resolution begins
- Documentation attached when appropriate
- Do not use “partnership” in reference to other organizations, use “relationship”
How to write a resolution
Download The American Legion’s Resolutions and Reports booklet that explains how to write them in greater detail. Legionnaires are encouraged to review approved resolutions to learn more about how to format and create resolutions. Visit the Legion’s Digital Archive, where resolutions dating back to 1919 are stored.
How to submit a resolution
Contact your American Legion leadership as each department has its own procedure on steps to submitting a resolution.