Each year, the National Commander’s Media & Communications Award is presented to an individual or organization for distinguished public service in the field of communications, in a manner which exemplifies or furthers Legion policies or programs and contributes to the preservation of the American way of life. The award has been given in some form since 1961, although it only became an official American Legion award before the 1969 Washington Conference.

2017, Mike Rowe

Rowe is a TV host, writer, narrator, producer, actor and spokesman. His Discovery Channel show “Dirty Jobs” ran for over a decade, sending him to all 50 states to complete 300 different jobs.
On Labor Day 2008, he launched mikeroweWORKS, a PR campaign designed to reinvigorate the skilled trades in the United States. The accompanying website provides comprehensive resources for anyone looking to explore those vocations. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in the skilled trades.

2016, ESPN

The cable sports behemoth has been broadcasting American Legion Baseball World Series games since 2011, when Shelby, N.C., became the permanent home of the World Series and all 15 games aired on the ESPN3 webcasting service. In 2014 the championship game was televised live - for the first time in 35 years - on ESPNU, the tournament's current home.

2014, Oliver North

The Legion honored retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Oliver North with the National Commander’s Public Relations Award at the 2014 National Convention, after moving the date of its awarding from the Washington Conference.
A Fox News host and author of several books about the men and women of the U.S. military, North was honored for “raising public awareness about the honorable nature of military service and the sacrifices made by America’s heroes.”
North is a longtime member of The American Legion.

2013, Bob Woodruff

Woodruff, an ABC News correspondent, received the award for his work on behalf of soldiers and veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Woodruff himself suffered a TBI after being wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2006 while covering the war. During his recovery, he bonded with fellow patients, and has formed the Bob Woodruff Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping wounded veterans recover and readjust into society. Woodruff accepted the award via prerecorded video message - he was on assignment in Syria during the Washington Conference.

2012, Dale Dye

Dye, a retired Marine Corps captain and advisor to Hollywood on military issues and background, was honored for his efforts to bring realism to Hollywood war films.

2011, Nesse Godin

Godin was chosen for her dedication to sharing with others – especially Boys Nation delegates – her experiences in the Holocaust. The Lithuanian-born girl was shipped off to the Stutthof concentration camp at 16. After the war, during which her father died at Auschwitz, Godin, her mother and brother moved to the United States. For several years, Godin has addressed Boys Nation senators during their time in Washington, seeking to impart to them the lessons of the Holocaust, and the need to remain vigilant to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

2010, GI Film Festival

The Washington-based festival, which celebrates the successes and sacrifices of U.S. servicemembers, was honored in its fourth year. Co-founders Brandon Millett and Laura Law-Millett, who came up with the idea after encountering a spate of less-than-flattering movie portrayals of military personnel, accepted the award.
For more information on the festival, click here (http://gifilmfestival.com/about/).

2009, Ben Stein

The writer, TV personality and public intellectual is also a longtime friend of the Legion, having written articles for The American Legion Magazine and spoken at Legion events. He was presented with the award after writing “The Real Stars,” a book about who he sees as modern-day American icons – the military.
For more information on Stein, click here (http://www.answers.com/topic/ben-stein).

2008, Lou Dobbs

The broadcaster and author was honored for his continued and outspoken CNN coverage of the illegal-immigration and border-control problems in the United States. As a teenager, he won the Department of Idaho’s Oratorical contest.
For more information on Dobbs, click here (http://www.biography.com/articles/Lou-Dobbs-225197).

2007, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"

The ABC home-makeover series was honored for team-building several of its custom homes for wounded warriors, and airing the process for its millions of TV viewers. Producer Conrad Ricketts and designer Tanya McQueen accepted the award.
For more information about the series, click here (http://abc.go.com/shows/extreme-makeover-home-edition/about-the-show).