American Legion

TRAINING WILL CARRY US INTO THE 21st CENTURY

TRAINING WILL CARRY US INTO THE 21st CENTURY
Stephen T. Weismann (TN)
Past Department Commander
Training. As innocuous as this word should be, it never ceases to amaze me how many different responses it garners from our Legionnaires: excitement, fear, anticipation and indignation. It brings every emotion to the table. None of us have arrived at our current station in life without training. From childhood to military service and civilian employment, our constant state of training has expanded our horizons and brought us to our current destination – The American Legion. 
We are members of the largest veterans service organization in the world. Each of our journeys has been different, but upon further reflection will reveal several commonalities. First and foremost, we are brothers and sisters. Secondly, we have all had educators and role models that have shaped who we are as individuals. They were people who unselfishly gave of their time to share experiences, knowledge and understanding. Their legacy can be seen in our daily interactions and decisions. We must continue that legacy and carry The American Legion into the 21st century. 
There are always opportunities to enhance our skills. How many of us have read a book or watched a movie more than once and noticed something that previously eluded us? We are never too old or too learned to become a better version of ourselves. So, the next question is, which of us must accept the mantle of trainer?
Your membership in The American Legion demonstrates a desire to shine a light on veteran issues and to educate the public. I can already hear some of you say, “I can’t,” “I’m not qualified,” or I don’t know how.” If you are a parent, a veteran, or assumed any supervisory role in your life you can. You have been preparing to be a trainer for decades. Information is all around you. 
Familiarize yourself with the wealth of information available at legion.org and on your department website, and do not be afraid to reach out to present and past leadership. Don’t be so myopic to think that other Legionnaires have not experienced the same difficulties you currently face. 
I relate this phenomenon to parenthood. As the father of one, I often find it hard to understand how previous generations were successful raising families with seven to 10 children. It’s about patience, experience and outlook. Our posts do not have the luxury of leadership’s vantage point. 
Assuming greater responsibility in The American Legion increases exposure, thus providing perspective to those entrusted with oversight in our posts, districts and departments. The experience of our present and past department leadership cannot be understated. Reach out to other posts, departments and Legionnaires to find what they may be using to train their members. You can take the Legion’s online Basic Training course, and courses in District Training in a Box located at legion.org/training. You can attend district, department and national events to increase your exposure to experienced Legionnaires, and develop training for every level of your department. As the adage goes, knowledge is power. The power to shape our own future.
For God and Country. 
DID YOU KNOW?
About 12,000 American Legion Family members have taken online Basic Training.  Learn more about online Basic Training here
TRAINING TUESDAY
Launch of the new MyLegion.org
March 30, 2021 
Learn what MyLegion.org is; who it’s for; why create an account; the benefits of using MyLegion.org for members and Legion and Sons officers; and what current registered users should expect when the new site goes live in April.  
Military Transition Centers Engagement Program
April 27, 2021
How to represent The American Legion to servicemembers during the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) at your local installation.
The last Tuesday of each month the Internal Affairs and Membership Division has committed to conducting training with members. These 60 to 90-minute sessions, held through Microsoft Teams, are aimed at post commanders and adjutants. Over the last few months training topics have been on MyLegion.org 2021, Buddy Checks, Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA), National Emergency Fund (NEF), Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW), Mission Blue Post Assistance Program (PAP), post administration and membership retention. Each Training Tuesday session video presentation and PowerPoints are available at legion.org/training/training-tuesdays.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sgt. Stubby was the only known canine to become an official member of The American Legion. Learn more about his World War I service here.
NATIONAL AMERICAN LEGION COLLEGE
The 2021 National American Legion College class will take place in Indianapolis Dec. 12-17. Applicants must be Legionnaires who have been a member for at least the last three years continuously and have completed the online Basic Training course. Your department may have additional pre-requisites or eligibility criteria. The National American Legion College student application is available at legion.org/college
Join The American Legion Media Alliance
American Legion Family members who handle PR and other communication activities at their post reap the benefits of TALMA membership. LEARN MORE
GET STARTED WITH SINGLE SIGN-ON
The new single sign-on is available for users of American Legion websites to avoid having to type in your username and password each time you access the sites. To get started, you must click “Sign In” on a Legion web property (this does not pertain to Emblem Sales website) to re-register and set up a new password and confirm the response email. The single sign-on is the first stage of a multi-stage rollout that will allow The American Legion to provide a streamlined and better user experience within its web environment – and it begins with this initial step of re-registering. This new single sign-on is a series of exciting American Legion web features that are to come on MyLegion.org and Legion.org.
BUDDY CHECK TIME!
Why?
  • Our most sacred responsibility is to look out for each other and our fellow veterans.
  • It’s what we do for our battle buddies.
  • To reconnect with veterans who may need assistance but don’t know where to go or who to ask.
When?
  • Buddy Checks were originally designed for twice a year, around American Legion Birthday (March) and Veterans Day. However, due to their success and importance, Buddy Checks can be conducted throughout the year.
  • During an emergency situation, like the ongoing pandemic, it is advised to conduct Buddy Checks to reach out to veterans and check on their wellness. 
How?
RESUMING POST BUSINESS WHILE KEEPING SAFE
As communities go through the stages of easing restrictions on public gatherings, American Legion posts will have a new challenge. While some Legionnaires are ready to attend post meetings and events, others may be wary of resuming these activities just yet. So what measures can be taken to include members with different comfort levels?
Since most American Legion members join for the camaraderie, it is important to keep everyone connected is important. You can explore options that will include all of your members to ensure success with engagement and renewals. For example, if your post has been conducting virtual meetings, you may consider a hybrid model. During in-person meetings, also give members the option to join the meeting virtually. Hosting a virtual meet-and-greet for new members is a chance to inform them of post activities. It may take some extra planning and communication but it is well worth the effort. 
ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
This bi-monthly and Legionnaire-driven newsletter, produced by the Internal Affairs & Membership Division, is designed to address best practices, ideas and training that every Legionnaire needs to know to engage our membership through effective training now and into the future.
Highlighting new training ideas and resources becoming available, it will also feature essays from successful leaders and training ideas of posts, districts, departments and individuals throughout The American Legion. Are you a trainer? A writer? We need your submissions!
Send your training ideas and articles to LegionTraining@legion.org
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