Americanism Commission

Phone: 740-362-7478 | Email: legion@ohiolegion.com

The American Legion is an organization dedicated to God and country, with a membership of military veterans who take deep pride in the U.S. Flag and all that it means. Since its inception nearly 100 years ago, the Legion has been a stalwart champion of patriotic values, morals, culture and citizenship. The Legion’s pillar of Americanism embodies its devotion to law and order, the raising of wholesome youth, an educated and law-abiding citizenship, and respectful observance of patriotic holidays and remembrances.

» Download the Americanism Facts Booklet

Future Leaders Return from Washington D.C

The 2022 Americanism and Government Trip has returned from Washington D.C. and was a huge success. 17 of the top winners of the A&G test were selected for this trip to Gettysburg and Washington DC. The students this year were….

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  • Jacob Carman- D3- Post 435
  • Reece Brunton- D8- Post 371
  • Connor Dute- D4- Post 484
  • Kate Nutter- D8- Post 161
  • Hope Zagar- D9- Post 459
  • Emily Barker- D7- Post 25
  • Paul Homan- D2- Post 345
  • Jacob Goodson- D1- Post 373
  • Carl Stumbo- D8- Post 161
  • Ryleigh Tooill- D 7- Post 25
  • Faith Lord- D2- Post 217
  • Jayla Chick- D8- Post 161
  • William Minatel- D13- Post 196
  • Walker Hill- D7- Post 25
  • Joseph Krause- D10- Post 357
  • Regan Taylor- D10- Post 357
  • Lana McAdams- D3- Post 586

 

The American Legion trip is not like the typical 8th-grade trip most Ohio teens experience. We have a smaller group of students and focus on history, Americanism, and respect for the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom.

 

Day to day highlights of the trip:

Our 2022 Young Leaders have made it safely to their home away from home for the next week.

Today we visited Gettysburg, which included seeing the cyclorama and getting a tour of the Battlefield.

Tomorrow is our most important day…. Arlington National Cemetery. We will make sure to go Live during our wreath laying ceremony!

More to come! Stay tuned!

Good Morning Legionnaires, ladies, and gentlemen! Our Young Leaders are dressed to impress today as we pay our respects to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and are laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

We are also proud that one of our Young Leaders is part of the civil air patrol cadet program, auxiliary of the United States Air Force at his school.

We will have quite a few posts today….. but make sure to tune in to our Facebook Live around 11:15 for our wreath laying ceremony!

The changing of the Guard and the American Legion Department of Ohio wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by Department 1st Vice Commander Brad Teis, Department Auxiliary 1st Vice President Cindy Masowick, 10th Grader- Walker Hill. D7. Post 25 and

10th Grader- Lana McAdams. D3. Post 586.

https://fb.watch/bu34F_5kOc/

Day #2 is a wrap for our Young Leaders. Today included Arlington National Cemetery, National Basilica, Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum, Iwo Jima Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial.

Make sure to check out our adventures tomorrow!!!

Day #3 is in the books for our young leaders. Today included the Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, National Cathedral, Hazy Center, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Thomas Jefferson Monument, FDR Memorial, and MLK Memorial.

For dinner, we were hosted by American Legion Post 8, and fed by American Legion Post 2 in Washington DC. Both Posts welcomed us with open arms and showed the young leaders the meaning of Legion Family!

Tomorrow is a busy busy day! Stay tuned…our adventure is almost coming to an end!

Today was the end of Day #4 for our Young Leaders.

Today’s adventures included the National Museum of the Marine Corps, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, The National Museum of the U.S. Army, Air Force Memorial, White House, American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, and for dinner we ended up at The Hard Rock Cafe. Today was a great last day in Washington DC.

Tomorrow morning, we will be stopping at the Flight 93 Memorial on the way home.

For the last time, stay tuned for our adventure’s tomorrow!

For the final time… Good Morning Legionnaires, ladies, and gentlemen.

Our 2022 Young Leaders are on their way to the Flight 93 Memorial, before our final departure in Columbus.

We will update you more in Stoystown, PA!

After our reverent visit to the Flight 93 Memorial in Stoystown, PA our 2022 Americanism and Government Trip has come to an end and our Young Leaders have been returned to their parents!

These young leaders really are the future, and they will do great things!

 

Hope, Emily, Joey, Paul, Kate, Lana, Walker, Jake, Jayla, Regan, William, Reece, Ryleigh, Faith, Carl, Jacob, and Connor…… Thank you for making this trip so much fun and memorable! We appreciate your willingness to hear our “good ideas”, for being so professional and respectful, and for having the best “sound off”.

Good Luck and Thank you!

 

-Christie White

Americanism and Children & Youth Coordinator

The American Legion Department of Ohio

 

I would like to take a moment of personal privilege….

I feel like I started to get to know these students before I even met them. Looking at their tests, reading their bios, etc.
Their tests, do not do them justice. Their bios do not do them justice. They are so much more than words on paper. They are smart, so so smart. They are funny, confident, empathetic, caring, and overall amazing individuals. When I say young leaders, I mean that whole heartedly. They are the future, and they WILL make a difference in this world. I promise you that.

My advice for you young leaders…. always be kind, be confident in your response even if your response is wrong (the worst thing that can happen is that someone says no. But every no is a learning opportunity) and believe in yourselves.

Keep an eye on these young leaders, they are going places.

John Glenn once said, “The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds.” So please go inspire the future generations. I know you have inspired me.

Thank you!

 

Also, thank you to this year’s Chaperones who were; Department 1st Vice Commander Brad Teis, Ed Long, Department Auxiliary 1st Vice President Cindy Masowick, Alternate National Executive Committeeman Steve Masowick, Department Membership Coordinator JD Robinson, Department VHA/VAVS/GFY Coordinator Andrew Klingler, and Department Americanism and Children & Youth Coordinator Christie White.

A National HQ Feature!

Below is feature segment from National’s website on our recent Americanism and Government Trip. On March 10th, 2022, Our very own Christie White, Department Americanism and Children & Youth Coordinator, was interviewed by Steven B. Brooks, Multimedia Editor and Social Media Manager at National HQ, to highlight the D.C. educational trip for the highest scoring A&G test students across Ohio sponsored Posts. Truly a feather in the cap for our Ohio Legion Family and the Department of Ohio’s programs. Great job young leaders!

Click Here to Read the feature article

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Students get ‘eye-opening’ trip to D.C., thanks to the Ohio American Legion

Since 1936, the Department of Ohio American Legion has taken a group of high school students to the nation’s capital for an opportunity to visit some of the nation’s finest museums and memorials.

But for the students, the Americanism and Government Trip is much more than a sight-seeing visit. It’s a chance to provide potential opportunities for the participants.

“I think, specifically this age, they kind of have an idea of what they want to do when they grow up,” said Department Americanism and Children & Youth Coordinator Christie White. “If they want to (go into some form government), going on the trip is eye-opening for them. We try to show them, ‘if this is what you want to do, this is how it’s going to be.’ And we take the best of the best. If you’re not interested in this subject, there’s no point going on this trip.”

Students are chosen for the trip based upon their performance on the department’s Americanism and Government (A&G) Test, which are administered through local American Legion posts. It’s a 50-question, multiple choice and true-false test that also includes an essay. The top three male and three female students from grades 10, 11 and 12 are selected annually. More than 60,000 students took the test this academic year.

“A lot of the (Legion posts) have a really good relationship with the government teachers or the counselors or the principals, whether it be the school participating in the A&G Test for many years,” White said. “A lot of them let our posts into the schools because they’re Boys State alumni, whether it be counselor or principal.”

With Department of Ohio American Legion Family leadership serving as chaperones, the bus departed Ohio on Monday, Feb. 28, with a stop at Gettysburg along the way. The students spend the next four nights and three days in and around the Washington, D.C., area before the return trip home that includes a stop at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania.

During the course of the week the students are able to visit such sites as the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Kennedy Center, the State Department and the White House.

And then there’s what White said is the highlight of every trip: a visit to Arlington National Cemetery.

“Our big thing we do is we place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” White said. “We’ve done it every single year since 1936 with a group of students. That was even before the tomb was guarded 24/7. So when we plan the trip, we always plan laying the wreath first and plan everything else around it.

“So, in 2021 it was a little hectic because the Tomb was actually closed. Arlington was open, but the Tomb was closed. We still wanted to have the tradition of laying a wreath in Arlington, even if it wasn’t at the Tomb. We actually selected a Medal of Honor recipient from Ohio (Forrest E. Everhart) and placed a wreath on his tombstone. We wanted to make sure that if we couldn’t lay it at the Tomb, we were going to find an Ohio (veteran) and at least have the group pay our respects to him.” (Click here to see this year’s wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier)

Being able to coordinate the trip and take part in it – and watching the students experience it – has given White what she feels is “the best job in the world. Even if there’s students that have been on (a similar trip) before, they went in eighth grade. You’re hanging out with everyone in your class and having fun, not necessarily taking it as seriously. So taking them … they light up. And I think they underestimate it. You can read about it in history books and watch programs on TV, but until you see it live in person it’s completely different.

“You can tell the second they step off the bus at a certain memorial, or if we’re going to meet a congressman, their eyes just light up. And they don’t want to get back on the bus. When I went to drop them off (after the trip) and the chaperones got off the bus, the parents were waiting in the parking lot. And it was almost like (the students) had a sit-in. They didn’t want to get off the bus.”

Any American Legion departments wishing to conduct a similar program as Ohio’s Americanism and Government Trip are invited to contact White via email.

Americanism & Government Test Program

56th Year of Operation

The Americanism and Government Test program of the Ohio American Legion was created by Legionnaires of Ohio in 1936 and remains today as another of the leading youth programs of the Ohio American Legion.

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Although created by the Ohio American Legion, the Americanism and Government Test program is a joint venture and partnership with the Ohio American Legion Auxiliary, which is a cosponsor of the program.

The Americanism and Government Test program is open to students in grades 10, 11, and 12. Students in grade 9 may take the test for practice only.

The Americanism and Government Test is a fifty (50) question test comprised of True/False, multiple choice, and fill-in the blank.

A three hundred (300) word essay is also part of the Americanism and Government Test and every student taking the test writes on the same essay topic.

The essay is utilized in the various judging levels of this program as a Tie-breaker.

The essay topic is selected/written each year by members of the Department Americanism Committee and Department Americanism Director.

A feature of the Americanism and Government Test is that the students themselves do not advance in the competition, the student’s test paper does.

The Americanism and Government test is NOT designed to have one student compete against another. It is designed to test an individual student’s knowledge of the following:

The United States Flag The Declaration of Independence The United States Constitution State government in Ohio County government in Ohio
City government in Ohio Township government in Ohio Village government in Ohio School District government in Ohio

The 50 questions of the Americanism and Government Test are written in such a manner to be current and topical to events, studies, and information being presented in Ohio high schools and events happening in the state of Ohio and the nation.

On average, over 65,000 students participate in the Test program annually.

Through a number of judging levels in the state of Ohio to select Post, County, and District winners, the initial field of 65,000 students is narrowed to 84 district winners, whose winning test papers are submitted to a State Judging Committee for this program.
From the field of 84 District winners, the State Judging Committee selects 18 winners in the following categories:

  • Grade 12 (Seniors): Six (6) State winners/three (3) men and three (3) women
  • Grade 11 (Juniors): Six (6) State winners/three (3) men and three (3) women
  • Grade 10 (Sophomores): Six (6) State winners/three (3) men and three (3) women

The State Award from the Ohio American Legion for the 18 State winners is a five (5) day, all expenses paid trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. under the direction of the Department Americanism Director, accompanied by representatives of the Ohio American Legion and Ohio American Legion Auxiliary.

A highlight of the trip is a Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Ohio American Legion and Ohio American Legion Auxiliary have had the honor of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns every year since 1936.

An objective of the Ohio American Legion through the Americanism and Government test program is that if by taking the test a young person is inspired to learn more about government, the United States, and to appreciate the freedoms enjoyed by the nation’s citizens, the effort put forth by the Ohio American Legion and the Ohio American Legion Auxiliary is worth the expense.

The Americanism and Government Test program is unique to the national America Legion organization as only two other states, Indiana and Wisconsin, have versions of the program, which both adopted/adapted from the Ohio American Legion, but neither program is the size or scope of the Ohio program.

American Legion Buckeye Boys State

81st Year of Operation

Click here to download the BBS Pamphlet

The American Legion Buckeye Boys State program is an eight (8) day “hands-on” experience in the operation of the city, county, and state levels of Ohio government, the organization of Ohio political parties, and the relationship of one to the other for young men coming out of their Junior year of high school.

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Through the Buckeye Boys State objectives of “learning by doing” young men attending the Buckeye Boys State program will learn more about city, county, and state government in eight days than they would in an entire semester of high school.

Conducted annually in mid-June, the American Legion Buckeye Boys State program is conducted on the campus of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio and is open to young men who have completed their junior year of high school prior to the start of Boys State and will be Seniors in the fall.

The American Legion Buckeye Boys State program is the largest Boys State program in the nation with an annual attendence of over 1,200 of the top high school juniors in the state of Ohio representing 600+ high schools in the state and the home schooled community.

The American Legion Buckeye Boys State program is regarded within the national American Legion organization, and in education circles, as the #1 Boys State program in the entire nation.

The Sons of The American Legion, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the agencies/departments of Ohio government are partners in the American Legion Buckeye Boys State program.

For a complete overview of the American Legion Buckeye Boys State program and detailed information on every aspect of Buckeye Boys State, click on the link provided: www.ohiobuckeyeboysstate.com

The Ohio American Legion Auxiliary conducts a similar program for young ladies called the American Legion Buckeye Girls State and is conducted at Mount Union University in Alliance, Ohio. www.buckeyegirlsstate.org

High School Oratorical Contest

32nd Year in Ohio; 78th Year Nationally

High school students in Ohio, including home schooled, are afforded the opportunity to gain financial awards to assist the students in their pursuit of higher education through participation in The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship program, a public speaking contest on the United States Constitution which focuses on the duties and obligations of a citizen to our government.

Department Oratorical Chairman:

John Looker
513-290-4511
jclooker1@gmail.com

 

Oratorical Home Page

Dayton National Cemetery Graves Decorating Program

43rd Year of Operation

On the Saturday prior to memorial Day, the Department of Ohio conducts this program which involves Dayton and the surrounding area Venture Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownie Units, The American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of The American Legion, and Legionnaires.

Scout representatives place American Legion flags at the headstones of over 40,000 graves.

The American Legion sponsors the “Avenue of Flags”: 425 flag poles bearing the casket flags of deceased veterans, which are flown on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.

Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery Graves Decorating Program

17th Year of Operation

On the Saturday prior to memorial Day, the Department of Ohio conducts this program which involves Rittman, Medina, and the surrounding area Venture Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownie Units, The American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of The American Legion, and Legionnaires.

Scouting Programs

Active Supporter of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Explorers

There are 135 American Legion Chartered Scouting Units in the Department of Ohio with over 2,600 participants.

The Department presents the “Department Eagle Scout of the Year” award annually. The Department winner advances into the National American Legion competition and receives a $500.00 financial award from the estate of Mikeal and Frances Golato.

» 2022 Eagle Scout Nomination Form

Educator of the Year

In 1994, the Ohio American Legion created the Department “Educator of the Year” award to recognize the efforts of outstanding teachers and administrators in the State of Ohio for their role in helping to shape and direct the lives of the future of our state; the students in our Ohio schools.

The Department of Ohio recognizes outstanding Ohio educators at the Mid-Winter Conference annually for contributions made to the field of education, Ohio students, and the Department of Ohio American Legion. The “Educator of the Year” is selected from 14 district educator nominees.

  • Post nominations must be forwarded to the District Americanism Chairman by August 1st
  • Each District nomination will be forwarded to the Department Americanism office no later than September 15th
» Educator of the Year Nomination Form

 

2022 EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR – HEATH BENNETT

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The educator honored at the 2022 Department Convention was Heath Bennett. This educator has spanned twenty nine years as a teacher and the impact he has made upon the students he teaches has been tremendous. Mr. Bennett is not only an educator, he is also a Coach. He is an exceptionally dedicated educator at Logan Elm Local School District, who takes his job as a role model and life coach seriously. The Logan Elm Local School District Superintendent has said, “I consider Heath Bennett an outstanding educator. Everything he has done from his academic interest, to his countless hours working with students on classroom activities, he has done for the single purpose of teaching young people”.

-Sponsored by Post 134 in District 7, the 2022 American Legion Department of Ohio Educator of the Year.

American Legion Baseball

91st Season of Competition

46 Senior teams and 13 Junior teams entered into the Department season for a total of nearly 1,100 young men playing American Legion Baseball.

The Department of Ohio has had seven (7) American Legion Baseball World Series champions. The last National Champion from Ohio was: George W. Budde Post 507,Cincinnati, Ohio-1988.

For full information on Ohio American Legion Baseball please go to: https://www.ohiolegion.com/programs/baseball/

Department Baseball chairman: 

Marvin Shamhart

Citizens Flag Alliance

The Department Americanism Office serves as the administrative liaison to The American Legion National Headquarters Citizens Flag Alliance whose efforts are to secure a proposed constitutional amendment to protect the United States Flag from physical desecration.

The Americanism Office provides support services to Department Citizens Alliance Chairman with mailings, xerox services, and other administrative services.

United States Flag Education/Etiquette

Since 1919, The American Legion as a national organization and the Ohio Department of The American Legion have been strong proponents for educating the general public, especially the students in the nation’s schools, on the proper care, display, protection, and disposal of the United States Flag.

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The American Legion Department of Ohio and the Posts of Ohio provide schools, institutions, civic, and youth groups with information and flags for ceremonial, educational, and display purposes.

The Posts of Ohio conduct many presentations throughout the state on the proper folding, care, and display of the United States Flag.

The Posts of Ohio also conduct proper flag retirement ceremonies for United States flags that are no longer flyable and conduct graveside flag ceremonies for the funerals of deceased veterans.

A number of assets regarding United States flag education and United States flag etiquette are available upon request by contacting the Americanism Director.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Junior Cadet Week

46th Year of Operation

A joint program of the Department of Ohio American Legion, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary, and The American Legion Auxiliary conducted at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Training Academy in Columbus, Ohio.

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20 young men are selected at Buckeye Boys State, 20 young women at Buckeye Girls State, and 10 sons and daughters of Highway Patrol officers attend a mini-course in Law-Enforcement, taught by Patrol officers, which culminates in a Graduation Ceremony attended by Patrol, Legion, and Auxiliary officials.

Miscellaneous Programs

The Department of Ohio Americanism Office promotes the Department “Red, White, and Blue Award” program to recognize people and organizations in local communities for flying the flag and positive contributions to their community.

The Department of Ohio Americanism Office promotes the Schools Awards program to recognize the achievements of elementary, middle, junior high, and high school students.