Looking Ahead: A New Year, New Leadership, and Change.
Thank you for electing me as your Department of Ohio Commander. It is a tremendous honor for me to hold this high office. Please be patient with me as I get my feet under me. I am already running.
I believe that membership drives this organization. Without them, we will not continue to exist as the American Legion. Without members, we cannot work the fabulous programs of the American Legion. We need members to hold leadership positions. There are many Posts and Districts that have executive boards that are not complete. It is essential that these positions be filled. We are a service organization. We should serve with compassion and integrity. Our members, and the community deserve these qualities.
This is a volunteer organization. It is very important that we have compassion for our members and all those we serve. Volunteerism also comes with responsibility. We need members to accept the responsibility of working our programs. We need members to accept the responsibility of leading our Posts with integrity. Each post is guided by their constitution and by-law which should be updated periodically. Every member should have access to the constitution and by-laws.
Many of you have served the American Legion in some capacity for a long time. We appreciate your loyal service. However, we must find and mentor people to take our places. We must pass our knowledge on to someone else. Posts are dying because we are not recruiting new members, and not mentoring future leaders. If membership is unhappy with their leadership, you can change that each year by electing new officers. That means that other members must be willing to step up and accept this responsibility. It is your choice.
We are also making Mid-Winter Conference and Department Convention more fun. We have added a recognition dinner at Mid-Winter. We are considering adding a dinner/dance at Department. The dinner/dance is still in the talking stage. And, there is the training piece we continue to improve.
Our membership is on a decline. We must start to turn that around this year. I need your help to start this change. We are working at the Department to help make things better. We have started having training at Mid-Winter Conference and Department Convention to help you understand new concepts, and some old concepts. Please utilize the tools we are providing.
We have several new members on the staff at Department Headquarters. They are aggressively working to learn our processes, and get up to speed. I ask that you please be patient with them. They are all great people.
Thank you for your vote of confidence.
For God and Country,
STANLEY A. PLEASANT