As Commanders and Adjutants, we often struggle to identify Legionnaires who are willing to volunteer to actively to support their Post’s (and District’s, and Department’s) programs.

Posts that own a “home” — especially if they operate a “lounge” — generally have little or no difficulty finding volunteers to assist with social events. Finding volunteers to successfully conduct Legion programs and/or Veterans Support projects (which is the sole reason that Congress granted and thus far allows The American Legion to keep our tax-exempt charter!) is too often a challenge, at least for a number of our larger posts.

I believe we can largely solve this problem by polling our members’ wants, needs and skills. This will be especially important with those members who rarely (or never) attend Post meetings or only participate in social functions.

Here in Colorado, we have 22,500 customers — Legionnaires throughout the state about whom we know little more than whether and when they’ve paid dues. Any enterprise so poorly acquainted with its “customer base” is doomed to fail.

Fortunately, we know the solution. We have 21st Century technologies to survey, tabulate and make available to Districts and their Posts a mission-critical Members’ Preferences Database. Such an invaluable tool will alert leadership at all levels to the Legion Programs which are of greatest interest to regional and local Legionnaires. This will provide an important, rational basis for communicating regularly with the foundation and backbone of our organization — our Legionnaires.

Today is the day we need to create and put into play every proven strategy available, to vault our American Legion into the 21st Century!


Commander Frank McCurdy