September 28, 2008

Dear Membership Chairman,

We have just completed our first Target Date for the 2009 membership year.  Forty-eight Departments successfully met the goal of having 50% or more of your membership in for the 2009 membership year.   Thank you for your efforts.

We can’t stop now!   The 60% target is approaching and it would be a privilege for me to stand before the National Executive Committee and inform them that all fifty-five Departments have met or exceeded the 60% target date.

Keep encouraging your Posts and Districts to focus their attention in the areas of retention and signing up new members.   What they do or fail to do will have a critical impact on membership this year.

As an added incentive to your districts, we are adding a Christmas bonus award this year. A Christmas bonus will be paid to each District whose membership on December 31, 2008 exceeds that of December 31, 2007 by at least 1%. For each 1% increase in membership over the preceding year on that date, the district will receive $50. If the District is ahead by 2%, then the check will be $100 and so on.

It is important that the Districts start now if they are to qualify for this Christmas bonus. Please communicate with them and let them about the bonus.

I am starting Department visits next week and will be speaking about the need for us to stay strong. I personally witnessed the effect the strength of our organization has on the political process in discussions on the new GI Bill with the Secretary of the VA and individual members of Congress. I wish every member of The American Legion could have been with us to see the effect we have on behalf of our comrades. We must have a strong membership to maintain that influence.

Thank you for your work this year. My time as Department Membership Chairman were some of my most memorable days in The American Legion. I hope you enjoy this year. Anything that I can do to help you and your Department be more successful, please just ask.

Sincerely

Dave Rehbein

National Commander

The American Legion

700 N. Pennsylvania

Indianapolis, IN 46206

drehbein@legion.org