Department of Utah
August 4, 2012
Subject: Trip Ticket Report
Reference: National Membership Workshop
To: Department Adjutant, Board of Trustees, Membership
August 2-4, 2012 The Department Commander and I attended the National Membership Workshop. (Attached is the Schedule)
My purpose: Validate the importance of the National and Department expenses to this Workshop, Report our attendance, and to report the major information from our National Committees.
Thursday, August 2, 2102 was the Vice-Commander’s Travel day flying from Salt Lake City to Indianapolis, ID where I linked up with the Department Commander and unpacked for the weekend events. Friday I Registered for the training and began the General Session by way of listening to the Opening Ceremonies, Introductions, and an Agenda for the Workshop Events. Madam Chairman Denise H. Rohan, Chairman, M&PA Committee was the Officiator during the Membership General Sessions.
Distinguished Guests were introduced (See Agenda) Special Topics were discussed.
The most significant topics of discussion were the importance for Districts and Post Commanders to use the mylegion.org web site. The importance of The American Legion Extension Institute and Legion College was briefed and when it will be conducting National Training Sessions.
Most interesting Speaker was Troop Support Message from COL David W. Sutherland
( R ), US Army. Due to the vast experiences COL Sutherland has had - If we could invite him to come to Utah he would be the most motivational Speaker Utah could ever get for promoting Patriotism, Americanism, and Troop Support because of the lives and examples he witnessed lost defending our Freedoms.
Col Sutherland and Jean W. Davis, Outreach Director, Department of Defense spoke on the “60th Anniversary of The Korean War” and discussed how the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War made an impact of all wars and not given the acknowledgement that it deserved of all wars. In Honor of the Korean Veteran’s “Resolution 168” passed Bi-Partisan in Congress to honor Korean Veterans. Most significant of the War was MASH Units were used, Helicopter Evacuations were significant to the war effort, POWs and MIA’s were the highest of any war and the most still missing (7,993 still missing). 21 Nations contributed combat forces. 5 Nations gave Hospital services. Korean Veterans are Heroes Worthy of Remberance. Korean Veterans are the least mentioned and least recognized of our Veteran’s. 2010-2013 is the recognition years of the Korean War. Veteran’s. Korean Veterans are dying in huge numbers. By 2033 there will be no survivors living from that War. President Bill Clinton said “When the guns fell no one knew what they had done”
Year of the Year of Korean Veterans- to officially recognize this Era of Korean War is 2012. “Service date of Recognition is to be during Memorial Day”
Adjutant Wheeler mentioned that The American Legion’s tribute to America is not dying but growing after almost 100 years of Service to our Country. “Lives have been touched”, “Burden’s Lifted”, because of the Support efforts provided by the Legion Family. He gave examples of lives we have touched by the support of supporting families of mobilized Soldiers and getting them jobs and trying to help ease them back into society. Adjutant Wheeler went on to praise the (CWP) Comfort Warrior Program by providing comfort to recovering Warriors with IPADs, TV’s, Recovering Warriors items that give comfort to those recovering Warriors returning from war. The American Legion has spent over 2 million dollars to Inpatient Care Soldiers showing our support that we care about them.
Heroes to Hometown – Care and passion to returning Soldiers – Warriors to their hometowns. An example was a Soldier while he was at war his home was robbed and his Purple Heart was even stolen. The community came together and helped him get back on his feet and got the Purple Heart replaced with the exact Certificate wording. Over 200,00 Volunteers of the American Legion family make life changing differences in the lives of Veteran’s.
Legion Scholarships over $500,000 were given in Scholarships this last year. 5.27 Million Dollar Donation was given by the Legion Legacy Scholarships Program. This year it was important to put faces with those Scholarships and the recipients are speaking in Indianapolis after the ride and during the presentations.
The American Legion is the Networking 911 of our world. Pride in The American Legion is doing well by providing help, hope and support to give back to our Veteran Community.
Recruiting you never know who you recruit to help out your organization.
Mr. Gallagher: Spoke on Mylegion.org He stressed that the program on Post Revitalization was a tool: All Area, District and Post Commanders should know of this National Service. We can get a list of DMS, Transfers, and Members by looking for a home by Zip Code.
We can find members in our areas by miles (for example 10 miles) around us that are looking for a home in our Posts. The list will come to us in an excel spreadsheet with those names. National Legion Institute is a life long tool that you can use after the course. The National American Legion College and the National Legion Institute open doors to Legionnaires. Both of these Courses better inform us on Legion Programs
After the General Session we spent time in our own groups. I participated in the Membership Group.
Membership Workshop: (Techniques, Ideas, Statements for Membership)
To be successful every Member needs to know that Membership is from July to July. When we wait until March to meet our goal it is too late and our Members want to know why we are asking for their membership again in August. If the member’s enrollment is not paid before January the Member loses his continuous Membership status and the Legion Magazine is terminated.
Every member is a Recruiter: Carry membership applications in your wallet while talking with prospects. The Power of 1: Every Member just recruits 1 person we could double membership. “Recruit 1 Program” Same as the Power of 1. We stress the importance of these programs because: We just need ¼ of our Membership to participate and we would be again at all time high in membership. (In Utah this would fund all our programs again with out the financial stress for the Commander, Adjutant, Trustees, and Financial Chairs to budget Awards Programs and Scholarships for all the Department events, programs, and Administrative requirements.)
In my own words: Membership is like a Battle Perimeter. We have interlocking fires. Those interlocking fires are Department, Area, District, and Posts supporting each other to not miss infiltration of failure. As a working Family we cannot miss our 100%+ Membership quota. Posts Commanders are the key firing positions. District Commanders are the over watch that see that the member’s quotas get captured, reported and forwarded early to Department. Area Commanders report the interlocking fire that over see that no holes can be penetrated and no District Commander fails his position of defense to succeed. Department will issue the strategic Plan of Attack and the tools to succeed our overall mission.
Communications, Communications, Communications.
“District Commanders need to Ring the Bell”.
The National’s Recommendation: District Commanders call Post Commanders 2 times a month. They have to call as soon as Department convention is over. This is to build a repore and ask if there is any help they can give, any needs they may have, or concentrations to devote to the success of the Post to meet the goals in Membership. Districts need to meet the membership quota prior to December or after January you will not meet your goal. (At least is is much harder after the new year. We never take a Post Commander to the woodshed. “We are always positive.” We Thank them for what they are doing and we lend our Legion Family support to them. “We are Always Positive.” If numbers are lower than you expected for what they are doing, tell them the numbers are lower than what you expected but you appreciate what they have done. Motivate them to exceed and get that one more for their Post. Look for the license plates that say Veteran, Branch of Service plate, Proud to serve plate. Look for the Flag in the yard. Talk to them about their service every Veteran loves to tell what they did, where they served. And talk of where they served. The reason that we call our Post Commanders twice is that we have the repore. If the Post comes shot of quota and we come close to their 100% goal it is easier to ask that Post Commander if he can push for that last 1, 2, or three more to meet the Post quotas.
Legion Family: When getting membership for your Legionnaires also ask for the Auxiliary, and Son’s of American Legion membership too. If we don’t have that organization we need to try to build that strength around us and include them in our programs…within our Posts.
E-mail:…. is good but proven not effective. Direct communications is better, best, and most effective. The Logic of the in-effectiveness is most of us get so many e-mails that when we read them we delete them and go to the next message. By the time we finish reading all our mail its forgotten. Calling and making that Direct Communications is most effective and you have a more personal contact an relation with your Post Commanders.
“3X5 Cards” When talking to prospects write their name down, keep them in your pocket for ready reference. Have their phone number, when you give them an application, FOLLOW UP.
Have a Post Membership Plan. Follow the guidance from Department, Area, or District. Pattern one that fits your community or county.
Membership Pool: If you have not met your Membership Quota make that your goal for the year. Get someone that is energetic from your Post and offer $1 for every renewal they can get from the membership roster that has not re-registered. Or can transfer from the Direct Mailing Service lists (DMS).
Advertise: Make brochures and put them in rest Stops, Visitor centers with your meeting dates, time and place. Talk to Road advertising companies for the blank billboards along the road. Some will give you a good deal so that the bill boards are utilized. Make brochures that have the American Legion Emblem on the front, Your location, dates of events on the inside, and an application for the Legion, sons of The American Legion and Auxiliary on the back.
Business Cards: with your name and information on the front and an application on the back of your card is simple and always available. You will always get the credit for the registration as well.
Colleges Universities: See if your local Colleges, Universities, and Private Schools have Veteran Centers. Many Schools have special centers set up for Veterans. This is great place for brochures and service for returned and returning Warriors. IVA Program activities help capture younger Veterans.
Our Group Challenge for overall Membership: Is to Sell the American Legion. Be salesmen. Let Veteran’s know what we do. Never say that the American Legion is Dying. Promote “Operation Just Ask.” Just ask, call, write, e-mail, or visit potential members. Many just have not been asked. Use 3X5 cards and write down those you know or meet that are Veterans and Just Ask them to join. Let them know that they have earned the right to belong. Let potential members know what we do and the programs we sponsor. Something has got to stir their interests so that they join our numbers. Let Members know the importance of their membership. Let Posts know that Membership and Post Activities go Hand in Hand. With out Activities and or Events we do not exist. Awareness though Public Relations is important. Let our Communities know of the programs we sponsor through Americanism in our Boy and Girl State Programs, Oratorical Scholarship Program, American Legion Eagle Scout Scholarship, Legion Riders, Baseball Programs, (where 68% of the Professional Players come from) and Our American Legion Family Organizations like Sons of the American Legion and our Auxiliary. Be involved in the community by volunteering with our local City Councils, Mayor Councils, and Community Events. “Remember that is not what we know it’s what we forget”. Stay with the basic ideals of The American Legion National Goals and we cannot go wrong. “Do not find reason to not try – Find a reason to try.”
Summary: Saturday 3, 2012 Remarks from the Commander Elect
Membership: Work, Work hard and have fun.
Renew, Retain, and Recruit.
Remember referring to qualification for membership that 20% of the Veterans in the Service today are Women. Stay alert for Licenses Plates on cars that read Army, Navy, Marines, Airforce, and Coast Guard, and Purple Heart. Watch for Flags in Yards, and listen to your friend conversations and let them tell you of their experiences. Ask the to join. Green bay sheets (Checks) Use Brochures in Rest Stops, Visitor Centers, Day Care Centers. Take advantage of empty Bill Boards along the road. In Nov ask Sears to set up in the entrance of the lobby and recruite. Talk to parents and send applications home with Boy State and Girl State packets to give to parents. Have potential member go on line but help them sign up on the phone. DMS Posts give an energetic member $1 for signing up those members looking for a home in your posts. Commanders Goal is 5 new cards per post.
Commander Elect Motto “Every Day’s Veteran’s Day.”
Commander Elect Project for 2012-2013: Operation Comfort Warrior (OCW)
Commanders Pin: Lucky 13 sign up 13 members in any combination or
1for 5 : 1 Service Member from each War Era.
“We are going to go up, Move forward, and have fun”
For the Good of the Legion: This is my Report from The National Membership Workshop.
For God and Country
Randy D. Edwards
Department Of Utah
Attachment: Agenda 49th Annual National Membership Workshop
Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel
August 3-4, 2012
Request for Re-vitalization
August 8, 2012
Department of Utah
While we were in Indianapolis the National Commander requested Utah to have a Revitalization Team come to Utah. Glen Bradford suggested that 2 years ago but I have not been able to do that because of my work. I spoke to Billy Johnson. Billy asked me to get with him after the conference and I did. He told me to contact you for Department to make that request. We discussed the best time for the National Team to come down. We both agreed as the best dates for them to come was November 8-10, 2012. I am asking as Commander for Provo Post 13 for his request . Also I will be retired and can devote myself to that for a good drive while they are here.
I would like to ask for Provo and Orem areas of the National's Direct Mailing Service (DMS)
Randy D. Edwards
Dean Mendenhall, Provo Post 13