DEPARTMENT AWARDS PROGRAM
Jimmy D. Lemley Memorial Award – In 1996 the Department Executive Committee created an award to honor the outstanding Post Adjutant each year, to be named for the late Jimmy D. Lemley, who served as Department Adjutant from 1985-1992. The Department Executive Committee approved the recommendation that the award criteria be judged from narrative nominations submitted by Post Executive Committees.
If you wish to recommend your Post Adjutant for this award, please submit your nomination to Department Headquarters prior to January 1st. Since the individual posts participate in various programs in their local community, the narrative reporting system will be the most beneficial. This award will be presented at the Midwinter Conference at the annual GNUT’S Bash.
All Post Adjutants are eligible for this award. A Copy of your Consolidated Post Report, Post Data From and Certification of Post Officers must be on file in order to be eligible for this award.
Chaplain of the Year – entries must be submitted by the June 1st deadline, judging will take place at the Department Convention and plaques will be presented at the Department Convention.
Four Chaplains Award – The Four Chaplains Memorial Award will be given to the Post in the Department having the most outstanding activities and record of achievement in the “Service to God and Country” program for the year beginning with the Department Convention and ending thirty (30) days prior to the opening of the succeeding Department Convention. Evidence of these activities and achievements should be presented in the form of programs, clippings, pictures, scrapbooks, etc. Also the results of the “Service to God and Country” report must be signed by the Post Commander and Post Chaplain for consideration in determining the winner of this award. Special programs conducted in cooperation with National, Department and District activities having an impact on your local community will also be considered.
Color Guard Contest – The Department Color Guard Contest will be held on Friday afternoon at the Department Convention. Entire forms must be submitted to the Department Headquarters 30 days prior to the Department Convention. 1st Place winner must lead the Department Delegation in the National Convention Parade and must compete in the National Color Guard Contest.
Eagle Scout of the Year – Posts may submit the Eagle Scout of the Year Award for young man that has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout who best meets the qualification. Entry forms and qualification information is mailed to all Posts in January or can be obtained at www.legion.org/eaglescout and the application must be completed returned to the Department Headquarters by March 1st.
Oratorical Contest – are conducted each year by Posts, Districts, Divisions, Department and National. Young high school age kids participate and prepare a 8-10 min speech on and area of the US Constitution and 4 3- 5 min speeches on the 4 assigned topics. Scholarships are awarded at the various levels for participation and placing in the different levels of the contests.
Baseball / Boys State / Junior Shoot Sports Program – There are various awards and scholarships that are available for participating in these programs at different levels of completion.
Community Service Awards – These awards are judged based upon information provided on the Consolidated Post Report submitted by each Post within the Department. The judging takes place at the Department Convention and awards are present at the Department Convention. Entries must be submitted by the June 1st deadline to be eligible.
- The Gusman Cup (1st Place)
- The James P. Holly Award (2nd Place)
- 3rd Place Community Service Award
- 4th Place Community Service Award
PUBLIC RELATIONS AWARDS
Media Awards – Post are encouraged to submit local media outlets in one of the four categories that support The American Legion by providing positive news coverage of the various activities of our local Posts. Entries must cover June 1st to May 31st a summary or narrative and supporting documentation must submit by June 1st for consideration. Entries are judged at the Dept Convention and plaques presented at the next Midwinter Conference.
There are four categories for the media awards
- Daily Newspaper
- Weekly Newspaper
Media Awards Forms:
NATIONAL ECONOMIC AWARDS
Law and Order Awards – Entries must be submitted by the June 1st deadline, judging will take place at the Department Convention and plaques are presented at the next Midwinter Conference.
If qualified the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and Firefighter of the Year can be submitted for National Awards, which is presented at the National Convention.
- Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
- Firefighter of the Year
- EMT/Paramedic of the Year
- Enlisted National Guard and Reservist of the Year
Employer Awards – The American Legion National Economic Commission Awards recognize individuals across the country who had established outstanding records in the employment and retention of veterans and workers with disabilities. There are currently nine awards.
Entries for these awards must be submitted to Department by November 15th each year, once selected as the Department winner they are submitted to national for plaques to be produced and for consideration in the national level award. All entries must be accompanied by an official nomination form and must not be longer than two pages of narrative. Supporting documents, which may also be submitted with the nomination, must not exceed ten pages.
The Employer of Veterans Awards
- Small size company (50 or fewer employees)
- Medium sized company (51 – 200 employees)
- Large size company (201 or more employees )
In order to be eligible for the Employer of Veterans Awards, nominees must meet the following criteria:
- At least 10 percent of the nominee’s work force must be veterans.
- The nominee must have been in business for at least five years.
- The nominee cannot restrict employment to veterans only.
- The nominee must be a private sector employer. In other words, the nominee cannot be a city, state or federal employer.
Employment Service Awards – The ES awards program is to confer national recognition annually on one outstanding Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER), one Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialist (DVOP), and one local Employment Service (ES) office. LVERs, DVOPs, and ES provide job counseling, testing and placement assistance to unemployed and underemployed veterans.
Employer of Older Workers Award – The National Economic Commission created an award for employers of older workers. Because the commission saw older workers as a valuable economic resource of proven skills, stability and experience, it wanted to encourage employers to hire and retain older workers in the work force.
Award to Enhance the Lives of Disabled Persons – The National Organization on Disability (NOD) Awards competition is to confer national recognition on organizations, such as The American Legion, for their involvement in enhancing the lives of disabled persons by providing opportunities for their participation in community activities. Any Legion project or program that improves the quality of life for disabled persons will be considered.
History Awards – Review the Post Officers Guide, section 4 for the national standards by which the books will be judged.
All entries must be submitted by 10am on Friday of the Department Convention. Plaques will be presented at the Department Convention
- Post Yearbook
- Post Narrative History
- District Narrative History
First place winners at the Department level will be submitted to National Headquarters for judging in the National Contests
VETERANS AFFAIRS & REHABILITATION AWARDS
VA Volunteer Award – The American Legion VA Volunteer Award program is designed to recognize those individuals providing exceptional VA Volunteer Service. The Department will present an award to the most outstanding candidate from each Division based upon the information submitted. The entry forms must be postmarked by December 31st.
VA&R Citation of Meritorious Service – This is a national award to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of Post Service Officers, Posts and other individuals (with the exception of the VAVS volunteers) to the rehabilitation programs.
VA&R Certificate of Appreciation to Outstanding VA Officials – This is a national award that is considered twice a year and is only for outstanding Dept of Veterans Affairs officials upon their retirement or resignation from the Dept of Veterans Affairs.
POST EXCELLENCE AWARD (NATIONAL AWARD)
Post Excellence Award – To qualify for the Post Excellence Award, a post is required to achieve excellence in four areas: membership, youth activities, community service, and support to currently serving troops or veterans.
The purposes of this award are membership growth, exposure of American Legion values to the youth of the community, and increased visibility of the American Legion family through service projects.
A post achieving this qualification will have had numerous post members involved in planning and achieving these goals. Many posts are most likely already active in these areas and will qualify without extra effort. Others, however, will need to increase their efforts in one or more areas to qualify for the award.
The standard to be achieved in each areas of concern:
- Membership. Must be at least one member greater than the previous year. At least one post officer attends district meetings.
- Youth activities. Must sponsor and actively participate in at least one primary youth program: Boys State, American Legion Baseball, Oratorical, Boy Scouts or Junior Shooting Sports.
- Community service. Must accomplish a community service project with members of the Legion family actively working in the community outside the post home. A wide range of potential projects exists, such as a project centered on one of Children & Youth’s emphasis areas to fulfilling a strictly local need. A monetary donation may be part of the project but may not constitute the entire project.
- Service to troops/veterans. Must accomplish a project supporting troops or veterans in the community with Legion family members outside the post home. Potential projects include the Family Support Network, Heroes to Hometowns, or simply helping a local veteran with needed updates to his or her home. Again, a monetary donation may be part of the project but may not constitute the entire project.
The district commander responsible for the post will certify a post as having achieved the four specified criteria. The district commander will submit a list of posts meeting the criteria to the department headquarters. That list should include the post name, post number, post address and post commander’s name. Ideally, the last two criteria are accompanied by copies of press releases submitted to the local media about the projects. That method ensures the projects were not only accomplished but that an attempt was made to enhance the image of The American Legion through local media. The copy submitted should include a date-time stamp showing receipt by the media outlet.
Post Membership Goals – The 2018 membership goals for each Post will be set by the 2017 final membership count 30 days before the Department Convention, plus 1%, with a minimum of 2 member increase. Posts that do not achieve their assigned 2017 membership goal will retain their assigned 2017 membership goal for the 2018 membership year. The minimum Post Goal will be 15 members.
INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP AWARDS
Texas Lone Star Individual Membership Recruiter Pin – This Award is for Legionnaires that recruit new member(s) into The American Legion. This award is based upon the total accumulative number of New Members the Recruiter signs up into The American Legion starting with the 2013 membership year through their Legion career. The pin will be awarded starting with the #1 for the first new member and then increase in increments of 5 (5, 10, 15, 20, etc.) based upon the accumulative total of new members recruited. Once the recruiter is awarded a pin level, he/she will work for the next higher pin level and once a pin level has been achieved a duplicate pin level will not be awarded. The Post Adjutant must submit the Texas Lone Star Individual Membership Recruiter Pin Certification Form to the Department Headquarters for member to receive the proper level award.
Gold Brigade Award – A Legionnaire who recruits 50 or more NEW MEMBERS into The American Legion by May 1st of the current membership year and are certified by the Post Adjutant identifying all 50 members, will qualify for enrollment in the elite GOLD BRIGADE of The American Legion. These very special Legionnaires will be awarded unique gifts that designate affiliation with the Gold Brigade of The American Legion. The gifts awarded to a Gold Brigader will depend on the number of times he/she has qualified for this award. The first time qualifier for the Gold Brigade will receive a choice of jacket or sweater with the Gold Brigade logo on the left breast or polo shirt; a cap pin, a Gold Brigade patch, and Gold Brigade certificate. A second, third or fourth time winner will receive a Gold Brigade Patch and certificate, a “hash mark” for the jacket sleeve, and the choice of either another jacket or a sweater with the Gold Brigade logo on the left breast or a polo shirt. (National Award)
Silver Brigade Award– A Legionnaire who recruits 25 to 49 NEW MEMBERS into The American Legion by May 1st of the current membership year and are certified by the Post Adjutant identifying all 25 members, will qualify for this award. A silver pin and certificate will be awarded. (National Award)
POST MEMBERSHIP AWARDS
In accordance with the Department Constitution, Article V, Section 4, Elections of Post Officers: Officers shall be elected at a Post meeting held not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the Department Convention and Article V, Section 5; It shall be mandatory for Posts Adjutants to certify to Department Headquarters the names of Post Officers elected/appointed for the ensuing year, immediately, but no later than 10 days after their elections.
Posts which have not submitted the Post Certification Form to Department Headquarters by July 1st of each year, a Consolidated Post Report by June 1st each year and do not have an up to date Post Constitution and Bylaws by June 1st each year will not be eligible for any Post awards. A Post Constitution and Bylaws is considered to be updated if it is dated after July 31, 2010.
Post Cash Award – Posts attaining 110% of their membership goal for the current membership year will receive $1.00 per member rebate, the membership must be at the Department Headquarters or post marked by December 31st to count.
Post 100% Award – Posts attaining 100% of Goal by 30 days before Department Convention of the current membership year will be awarded an American Legion Post Certificate, a Post Commander and Post Adjutant 100% membership pin and one (1) White 100% Goal Post Streamer to be awarded to the Post.
Texas Post Excellence Award – Posts that achieve this award will be recognized at the Department Convention and will be presented with a distinctive plaque by the Division and District Commander at a local community event to recognize the Posts efforts. The Department Headquarters will provide a press release to local media outlets. Post must meet the following qualification by 30 days before Department Convention.
Award Qualification requirements:
- Minimum 90% Retention of previous year’s members
- Minimum 10% Increase in recruiting new members
- Participate in at least one (1) National Security Award Program
- Law Officer of the Year
- Firefighter of the Year
- EMT of the Year
- Outstanding Enlisted National Guard or Reservist of the Year
- Participate in three (3) American Legion youth Programs.
|High School Oratorical Contest||School awards|
|Flag Education Week||Education & Scholarship Program|
|American Legion Baseball||Boys Scouts|
|Junior ROTC Program||Junior Shooting Sports Program|
American Legion Retention Award – Posts that attains 90% retention of previous years members by 30 days before Department Convention will receive a framed certificate. new members do not count.
Post Recruiting Award – Posts that recruit new members equal to or greater than 10% of their current goal by 30 days before Department Convention will receive a framed certificate. For each new member in excess of 10% of their current goal a post will receive $10.00. A new member is defined as an individual that has never been a member of The American Legion or has been expired for the previous three (3) years.
Post New Member Award – A Post in the following membership goal categories that recruits the most new members by 30 days before Department Convention of the current membership year will earn a $250 for their Post: (In the event of a tie the award will be divided equally by all Posts achieving the award in their category). A new member is defined as an individual that has never been a member of The American Legion or has been expired for the previous 3 years.
- 301 and above
New Post Cash Award – Each new Post organized within the Department during the current membership year will receive $10 per new member on first year’s membership. A new member is defined as an individual that has never been a member of The American Legion or has been expired for the previous three (3) years.
Department All-Time High Award – Posts that surpass their All-Time High membership by 30 days before Department Convention of the current membership year will be presented an All-Time High Membership Citation. (Note: All-Time High Membership for each Post will be the highest year since 1976. New Posts are not eligible.)
National Post Honor Ribbon – Post Honor Ribbons will be awarded to all Posts whose membership for the current membership year (as of December 31), achieves an advance membership (for the year about to begin) equal to or greater than the final membership for the year just ending. (National Award)
Certificate of Meritorious Service All-Time High Award – This certificate will be awarded to all Posts who have, by December 31, enrolled an advance membership for the membership year equaling or surpassing the Post’s previous All-Time High membership. (National Award)
District 100% Post Award – The District Commander with the highest percentage of Posts meeting goal by 30 days before Department Convention of the current membership year will receive $100.00.
District Commanders Cap Award – All District Commander’s earning 100% both years in office will qualify for a Past District Commander’s Service/Uniform Cap.
Top District Commander – The Top District Commander who has attained GOAL by 30 days before Department Convention for the current membership year and who has achieved 100% Consolidated Post Reports by June 1st will receive three (3) nights paid hotel accommodations at the National Convention during the official business session of the National Convention and will include two (2) tickets to the National Commander’ banquet for the current membership year. Other District Commanders with 100% or more of their goal by 30 days before Department Convention of the current membership year and who has achieved 100% Consolidated Post Reports by June 1st will have their names placed in a drawing for two (2) night’s hotel accommodations during the official business session of the National Convention for the current membership year. This award is non transferable.
The #1 Gold Pin Award – Beginning with the Fall D.E.C. a 10k gold #1 pin with a diamond will be awarded to one District Commander who has the highest membership percentage on the below award date. This pin will travel, with the winner, until the next award date. The final recipient will be presented the #1 Gold Pin at the Department Convention and will keep the Gold Pin. Membership must be at the Department Headquarters by 12:00 pm of the award date to count, postage marks will not be counted for any award date.
Award Cutoff Date
1. Fall DEC Friday of the Fall DEC Meeting
2. Midwinter Friday of the Midwinter Conference
3. Dept Convention 30 days before Department Convention
The “Top 10” District Commanders Pins – The District Commanders of the Districts with membership placing them in the “Top 10” places at 30 days before Department Convention will be awarded a “Top 10” award pins. This Award will signify the District Commanders who put forth the additional time and effort needed in Membership to put their Districts on Top.
The Harold L. Gregory Trophy – The Division Commander reporting the highest percentage of Goal in Department on the January Target Date will be recognized on the Harold L. Gregory Membership Trophy to be displayed in Department Headquarters. In addition, a replica will be presented to the Division Commander.
The #1 Gold Pin Award – Beginning with the Fall D.E.C. a 10k gold #1 pin with a diamond will be awarded to one Division Commander who has the highest membership percentage on the below award date. This pin will travel, with the winner, until the next award date. The final recipient will be presented the #1 Gold Pin at the Department Convention and will keep the Gold Pin. Membership must be at the Department Headquarters by 12:00 pm of the award date to count, postage marks will not be counted for any award date.
Award Cutoff Date
1. Fall DEC Friday of the Fall DEC Meeting
2. Midwinter Friday of the Midwinter Conference
3. Dept Convention 30 days before Department Convention
Top Division Commander – Top Division Commander with the highest percentage of Goal by 30 days before Department Convention will receive a plaque and an American Legion Blue Service Cap with the wording “(Year) Top Division Commander”.
DEPARTMENT VICE COMMANDER AWARD
Goal Award – The Department Vice Commander will be awarded a Legion Blazer, name badge and plaque at the Department Convention if Department Membership equals or exceeds 100% of goal by 30 days before Department Convention of the current membership year.