From the Desk of your District Commander; 20 June 2021
Greetings on this Fathers Day,
The following is copied out of the District Commanders Guide and has a few upgrades as to what I believe the District Commander should do or not do.
Each American Legion post is a separate and distinct unit, functioning independently of other posts. The district commander is the link between individual members, posts and the department, he does not Micro manage each Post, he provides Guidance. The department, in turn, is the link between districts, with National Headquarters connecting the 55 departments. Under a district commander’s leadership, and guidance the posts in the district will be able to link their programs and operations to the state and national organization. Much of The American Legion’s success depends on posts being connected to the larger whole. The district commander is usually an elected representative of the posts in the district, but with that comes, a duty to provide guidance and supervision (Not running the Day to day Operations or having a need to know just what for example a Canteen has on hand or who runs the Canteen). Posts are responsible for carrying out The American Legion’s objectives and programs, and fully complying with the obligations assumed under the post, department and national constitutions on a Day to day Basis.
The flow of information is just like in the Military; from the top (National) down to the lowest member and it also must be able to flow back from the member to the Top.
A Commander must listen and then analyze all concerns and problems, whether good or bad, and then provide viable solutions and allow the membership to resolve the issue. A Good Commander does not Dictate, but Guides.
Now as far as membership this year, the 1st District was outstanding with renewing; several Posts even used the Post 400 list to get active members into their or other local posts. Taking a quick look at the MyLegion site, I noticed that Zips for the indicated Posts had numerous Post 400 members just sitting there and could have been worked: Post 27 shows 13; Post 60 shows 6; Post 90 shows 27; post 95 shows 10; Post 103 shows 5; Post 108 shows 7; Post 152 shows 2; post 164 shows 8; Post 168 shows 51; Post 209 shows 48;
Post 322 shows 50 and combining the Zips for Savannah Post 36; 135 and 500 there are 185 Post 400 members. Now it seems that the following Posts have worked the Post 400 Roster to the best of their ability; they are 116; 184 and 321 all of their ZIPs show no Post 400 members who have not transferred except for 1 who has been a Post 400 member for 20+ years and has no desire to transfer to a local Post (But I am trying to convince him). Jus imagine where we would be if we managed to contact the about numbers and convince them to transfer into a Local Post.
Finally, this will be my Next to Last from the Desk of your 1st District Commander; Final one will be after the Department Election of Officers for 21-22 next Saturday afternoon. Your District Officers would like to have an idea on to who will be attending the Department of GA 2021 Convention this weekend, the 25th, 26th and 27th of June 2021. Each Elected District (Current and Incoming) as well as at Least One representative from each Post SHOULD Attend. Head counts will be taken and reported to the Dept & Dist staff and also reported at the next District Meeting. As elected Officers or your Post and the Elected District Officers, we all have an obligation to attend the Department Conferences and Convention, to learn just what is going on, so it can be relayed to our Post members. So Post Commanders/Adjutants, Respond to this Memo and let me know who is going to represent Your Post. Remember, if you want to Vote for the new Department Leadership and to Vote on Changes to the Dept C&B’s, you Must Be present. Election of officers is currently scheduled for Sat around Noon. Also, it would be great to have a huge turnout when members of the District Receive the numerous awards that Department plans to pass out.
DENNIS P. FITZGERALD
Commander, 1st District, Dept of GA