Commander's Communique for February 17, 2012
It has been a month since I retired from my "real" job at the UW and those who warned me about not having any extra time were right. I don't know where the time goes. I do know that I continue to be blessed and honored to represent all of you.
I want to start by saying thank you for your continued efforts in membership; over 500 were turned in during the past week. It’s great to see you have not given up on reaching for our goals. We have 81 Posts that are at or over 100% with another 168 needing less than 10 members.
Each year during the national fall meetings the Department Commanders make bets on where they will be in membership by the March target date (March 14); this is called the Big Twelve Membership Pledge. If a Department is the highest bidder and meets their pledged, they are awarded $2,000.00 to purchase computer equipment for their Department. The ‘runner-up’ Department received $1,000.00 toward computer equipment.
I wanted to bid 100% but the Adjutant held me back to a more realistic pledge of 91.44%. As of the last report from National, we were 250 members away from making our bet. With this week’s report, we will be over our pledged target. Iowa out bid us with a bet of 91.5% and they are already at 92.012%; so, unless some other Department kicks into high gear, we are slated to be the runner-up in our category. We’ll keep you posted on how that turns out.
We are still working toward a history making level of being a 100% Department and I ask for your continued assistance in reaching our goals. The headquarters staff, the membership teams and I are ready to offer our assistance any place you want us; call headquarters and talk with Steve, Chris or Adjutant Kurtz and we will make arrangements to be there for you.
Once you’ve reached 100% or a membership of 1 more than last year, you are on your way to being eligible for the National Commander’s Post Excellence Award. To qualify for this award, a post is required to achieve excellence in four areas: membership, youth activities, community service and support to currently serving troops and veterans. Go to: http://www.legion.org/commander/postexcellence for more information. (So far we’ve only had a handful of Posts apply for this honor and I know there are many more who qualify.)
Wisconsin continues to be in the National limelight with events like our Midwinter Shooting Sports range which was featured on the national website earlier in the month and the article that appeared in the January Dispatch about Walworth County’s weekly Support Our Troops Rally. You can read the article on page 3 at:
(And, you might notice the excellent photo of the back of my head on page 5.)
We need to get the word out about our programs and the services we provide to our Veterans, their families and the Community that will make other veterans want to be a part of our great organization.
One way of getting publicity for your Post is to give out “Of the Year” awards to members of your community. The March section of the Administrative Manual has the forms for these awards which include awards for: Legislator, Law and Order, Fire Fighter, EMT, and Enlisted National Guard/Reservist of the Year. Once you’ve gathered the information to present the award locally, the application and supporting documents (include a photo if possible) should be forward to your County for judging and then to your District Commanders by April 1. (The District winners are due to HQ by May 1.)
And, while your busy presenting awards to community leaders and volunteers; don’t forget to recognize your local newspaper, radio or TV stations for their support and submit them to HQ for a “Public Relations Appreciation Award” (paperwork due to HQ by May 1. Check with your County and/or District Commanders to see if they want the paperwork to go through them.)
Earlier this week Chris mailed each Post their 2013 Annual Post Data Reports and a Direct Renewal Form. The Post Data Report is used to submit the Post’s dues amount, the dues mailed address and the location of the Post building or meetings. The Direct Renewal Form is used for Posts to indicate if they want dues notices to be sent to individual members from national. (We encourage Posts to sign-up for this free service.)
To thank you for your hard work, I invite you and your families to attend my testimonial on March 24th in Verona. Please see the invitation and RSVP form below for details about reservations.
I know you are doing wonderful things across the state of Wisconsin, please submit articles and digital photos to the Badger Legionnaire editor for possible inclusion in our paper or on the website.
Keep up the great work.
For God and Country,