A few Legion departments can lay claim to having all of their posts represented by pages on the Centennial Celebration website. This can be accomplished by a dedicated committee, or by a very dedicated individual. One such individual is Mike Moses of Hebron, Ky. Moses is public relations director and a vice commander for the Department of Kentucky, and he single-handedly started all but three Kentucky posts’ shells. The 29-year Legionnaire and Army veteran spoke to The American Legion about how his efforts tie in with the department’s plans for the Centennial Celebration. When and how did you first hear about the 100th Anniversary? Soon after transferring my post membership to Kentucky in 2008, I realized that my new post was started in 1919, along with many other posts initiated when Congress recognized The American Legion. I felt honored that I would be celebrating not only my post's centennial birthday in a few years, but also our entire organization's. Not long after, I read about the Centennial program in the Legion magazine and Dispatch and on the Legion's website. I was already excited about a 100-year party, but this motivated me to an even higher level. I have since transferred to another Kentucky post; however, my enthusiasm for this national celebration continues every day. What excited you the most about the project? This is a chance for The American Legion to get their name out there. We have been here for 100 years and we look forward to the next 100 years. I was overly enthused about getting as many of our Kentucky posts that were incorporated in 1919 to join my celebration bandwagon and to highlight them statewide. I believe it is a significant honor to be one of the original posts going back to the origins of The American Legion. However, I will be very clear that this in no way diminishes the status and achievements of every other post that was subsequently organized, as every one of us are the American Legion Family. Accordingly, my goal is to highlight all posts regardless of their years of service to their communities, and to get every Kentucky post on board with the Centennial to host events over the entire year, highlighting the history and accomplishments of The American Legion. How many posts’ shells did you personally start? How many do you have oversight of right now? Of the 142 American Legion posts in Kentucky, I created 139 shells for the posts that had not started their own. As the department public relations director and a department vice commander, I continually promote the program every chance I get. However, I try to hand off the post updating to each post to get them involved in the process and to gain enthusiasm for the program at the post level. Working with other department Centennial Committee members, I try to encourage the posts to add their rich and important history, and to get their "buy in" and their enthusiasm. How did you get involved with Kentucky’s planning? What is your role now? I have been Kentucky's public relations director for the past three years and am also a past president of both the Kentucky and national American Legion press associations. Promoting the Centennial program is a logical part of my ongoing duties in these and other officer positions I have held. When asked by our department Centennial Celebration chair, William Moore, to be on the department committee it was a no-brainer. Along with James Chaney, another committee member, we are working with all Kentucky posts on updating their individual sites. I continually mention the Centennial website at every post, district and department meeting I attend to publicize the program and get our members involved in posting their updates. I offer my services to anyone who needs assistance with access to the Centennial site, as well as help in using the Internet and uploading information and pictures. What sorts of events is the department planning? The department Centennial Committee will be meeting in the near future to develop our planning timeline, goals and marketing strategy for our individual posts and the department as a whole. We are exploring the possibility of holding Centennial workshops at our annual department conventions and holding smaller workshops throughout the year at different department and district functions. The focus of all events will be on how each post has interacted with and helped their individual communities and their local veteran advocacy outreach programs. We do plan to have a department-level celebration; however, these details are not finalized yet. What has been the easiest and hardest part of organizing so far? For me personally, the easiest parts thus far are probably accomplishing the announcements, promotions and updates through our department newsletter, website and Facebook pages. With the elected and appointed positions I hold for the department, publicizing the Centennial has become a natural part of my duties. What I see as our most difficult hurdle is that not every post has Internet capabilities, so getting the "word" out to everyone and in turn the post being able to update their stories is sometimes difficult. We still have many members who do not use computers, so advising them of the program sometimes reverts to our newsletter and face-to-face meetings. Also, the expertise of some of our members who do have computers is often limited to basic email responses, so composing and updating information is sometimes beyond their capabilities. What would be your advice to someone just getting a committee off the ground? Getting approval and support from your department is paramount! There must be consensus from your leaders as to what your department programs should consist of and how these programs should be promoted in your communities, especially if there are monetary issues involved. There also needs to be continual feedback from the post level to highlight what post programs are working and where more emphasis needs to be placed. Every post should have a point of contact for their Centennial program. Ideally, each post would have a committee that would provide updates at post meetings. It should go without saying that these events should have the complete post family's support and representation, as that concept is what makes most posts successful and is what the community sees every day. Don't give up if not every post joins in your celebration. Some posts may not have the membership, time, money or enthusiasm to get involved with such a program, even though every effort has been made to include their story. Just do the best job you can to make the Centennial a success.