It is my great honor to have been chosen as the 2019-2020 16th District Commander. As we go forth into the American Legion’s 101st year let us remember where we came from – a mainly youthful group of battle-scarred Veterans, proud of victory but uncertain of their futures. Our august organization sprang from that uncertainty and has since led the way in championing Veterans’ affairs.
My predecessors have set a very high bar for success and I pledge to live up to that challenge. As such, I want to focus our efforts on four areas this year: Membership, Professionalism, Visibility and Fostering the Legion Family. These focus areas are mutually supporting, in that each facilitates the others co-equally. More simply put, making our programs and activities visible to the public will foster professionalism and pride in our execution, which will generate interest within the Veteran community at large and thereby enhance membership. This will require active participation at all levels in the District, led by Officers and Committee Chairs and all elements of the Legion Family.
To further expand on the focus areas, I want to establish a few goals for each, as follows:
Membership: Recruit and retain our younger Veterans – re-establish the youth of the Legion for the future. Actively show the American Legion brand at public events – set up recruitment stations and talk to Veterans. All Posts achieve 100% of goal to earn the 100% Post Honor Streamer.
Professionalism: Account for property – US Army issued firearms and Post/District stands of Colors as a minimum. Demonstrate commitment to our Four-Pillar programs – get it right. If you have an Honor Guard – practice and set the standard. File required reports on time and be proud of our continuing history – account for volunteer hours and publish photos of events.
Visibility: Participate in community events as marching units and helping hands – pitch in and show what we can do. Advertise events to the membership and the public and make it fun – build relationships for mutual helpfulness.
Legion Family: Enhance communications, teamwork and mutual respect. Ensure all of our family groups have the opportunity to participate in events, particularly those with community visibility.
I am looking forward to a memorable year with many great success stories to tell, stories that begin and end with YOU, the Legionnaires of the 16th District. I will participate in as many events as possible to help every Post be successful
For God and Country,
John J. Carty, Jr.
Commander, District 16 Virginia