Americanism Committee

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.

Future Leaders Return from Washington D.C

The 2020 Americanism and Government Trip has returned from Washington D.C. and was a huge success. 19 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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The 2020 Americanism and Government Trip has returned from Washington D.C. and was a huge success. 19 of the top winners of the A&G test were selected for this trip to Gettysburg and Washington DC. The students this year were….

 

12th Grade-

William Yang- District 14, Post 473

Tyler Hess- District 8, Post 161

Kade Gravenhorst- District 5, Post 83

Jared Wilson- District 4, Post 199

Kyla Fortman- District 1, Post 63

Lea Baldwin- District 2, Post 217

Hailey Blanchard- District 8, Post 637

 

11th Grade-

Nathan Hazlett- District 14, Post 473

Preston Grooms- District 7, Post 633

Remy Isenbreg- District 9, Post 719

Jasmine Washburn- District 4, Post 681

Graceanne Reed- District 7, Post 23

Grace Clouse- District 5, Post 354

 

10th Grade-

Aiden McDougal- District 5, Post 405

Luke Daniel- District 1, Post 537

Duncan Buckerfield- District 10, Post 221

Morgan Shupert- District 7, Post 633

Cassie Trudeau- District 2, Post 217

Kamry Gravenhorst- District 5, Post 83

 

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.

Jean Wilson- Department 1st Vice Commander, Colleen Phillips- Auxiliary 1st Vice President, and Christie White- Americanism and Children & Youth Coordinator accompanied these young leaders as chaperones on this once in a lifetime trip. Our group left bright and early on Monday, March 2nd by visiting Flight 93 in Stoystown, PA. We were welcomed at the memorial by the Adjutant of American Legion Post 911 in Shanksville, PA. After our visit at Flight 93, we headed over to the Gettysburg Military Park. The battlefield tour was a great way to learn the history of Gettysburg in a “hands-on” setting. The views were breathtaking and helped our young leaders’ picture what things might have been like during the Civil War.  Also, “you can never have too much Abraham Lincoln in Gettysburg.”

Tuesday was one of the biggest highlights of the trip. The American Legion has placed a wreath at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every year since 1936. This year was no different. Viewing the changing of the guard as well as placing the wreath at the tomb is always a very emotional highlight for The American Legion and the students. This year, Sophomore Aiden McDougal from Post 405 in District 5 and Sophomore Morgan Shupert from Post 633 in District 7 placed the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier along with Department 1st Vice Commander Jean Wilson and Auxiliary 1st Vice President Colleen Phillips. It is a once in a lifetime experience which will be remembered by these two outstanding students. The young leaders also had a private briefing by Sentinel (Tomb Guard) Jake Hammond who was originally from Mansfield, OH. Tuesday’s schedule also consisted of visiting the Iwo Jima Memorial, Air Force Memorial, Washington National Cathedral, Vietnam Wall, Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial, WWII Memorial, American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, and the Washington Monument. Our group was complimented 3 different times on how professional they looked. A tour guide with another group at Arlington said “You’re the best dressed group I have ever seen here. Very respectful” (and the students politely corrected him when he called the Ohio Flag a pennant and not a burgee). Another gentlemen at the Vietnam wall mentioned how well dressed, respectful, and nice our young leaders were. Our personal favorite is a woman who said, “You all must be that group from Ohio, you are always so well dressed.”
That is why we do it. We represent our Posts, our Districts, our Department, and our futures.

The highlight of Wednesday was a visit to the Capital Building as well as meeting our Ohio Congressmen Warren Davidson. He was kind enough to meet our group on the steps of The Capital and speak to our students and allow them to ask some tough questions. After our question and answer session, we had a private Capitol Tour from Representative Davidson’s interns. After hearing how much the leaders wanted to visit the Library of Congress, we decided to make a surprise stop after we finished at the Capitol. The highlight for most of them was getting official library cards from the Library of Congress. We also visited the Agriculture Building, Smithsonian Museums- American History and Natural History, Holocaust Museum, MLK Monument, FDR Memorial, and the Jefferson Monument; or as they called it, “T.J.’s House”.

Thursday was a visit that is always a favorite…… Quantico. Quantico is an active Marine Corps base and FBI Training Academy that is the headquarters of the Presidential Helicopter Squadron also known as HMX-1 or Marine One. Our first stop at Quantico was a K9 Demonstration with Officer Pacheco and his K9 partner Diego. We then met up with Corporal Nutter (originally from Toledo), and he was our escort to the HMX-1 hanger. We were briefed by an HMX-1 Pilot (call sign “Mickey”), that is on the Presidential detail, and she gave us a tour of the base. The trip ended with a stop in the hanger, where the students walked inside and sat in the pilots set of a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. It is a tilt-rotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing. Before leaving Quantico, they had the “chow hall” experience for lunch. After Quantico, we also visited the Marine Corps Museum, The White House, National Archives, and National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum.

Our final stop on the way home Friday was the new National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, 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.

Kamry, Duncan, Cassie, Remy, Grace, Luke, Graceanne, Preston, Morgan, Kyla, Nathan, Jasmine, Lea, Hailey, Tyler, William, Aiden, Kade and Jared…. Thank you!

 

Also, thank you to Department 1st Vice Commander Jean and Auxiliary 1st Vice President Colleen for chaperoning the trip.

 

Christie White

Americanism and Children & Youth Coordinator

The American Legion Department of Ohio

Americanism & Government Test Program

55th 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

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.

Special Olympics

Active Supporter for Over 25 Years

The Department of Ohio provide support in donations to the Special Olympics State Winter Games and State Summer Games, and also hosts a breakfast for over 400 Special Olympics athletes and coaches at the Special Olympics State Winter Games.

At the Summer Games, the Department of Ohio provides the funding for “Tent Town” booths, a very popular attraction operated by the Franklin County Legionnaires with assistance from several other districts, American Legion Auxiliary, and the Sons of The American Legion. The American Legion Department of Ohio’s operation of “Tent Town” is the largest among all corporate and organization sponsors.

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.

» Eagle Scout of the Year Nomination Form

Educator of the Year

The Department of Ohio recognizes outstanding Ohio educators at the State Convention 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.

» Educator of the Year Nomination Form

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.