The American Legion, Department of Maryland

The American Legion, Department of Maryland, Inc. is a civilian organization, membership therein (open to wartime veterans) does not affect nor increase liability for military or police service. The Constitution and By-Laws of The American Legion, Department of Maryland, provides, among others, that a National Security / Foreign Relations Commission shall be permanently established and that such Commission shall consist of nine members with representation from each of the Department's seven Districts.


The Commission is supported by the following councils and Committees: (1) National Security Council, (2) Foreign Relations Council, (3) Blood Donor Committee, (4) Crime Prevention Committee, (5) Law and Order Committee, and (6) ROTC Committee.

The Commission, assisted by the Councils and Committees, conducts three Regional NS/FR Field Forums or Programs annually at participating American Legion Posts around the state. The success of these forums can be attributed, in large part, to the professional caliber of our keynote speakers, all of whom hold high level positions in the Department of Defense, Department of State or The American Legion. All regional forums are open to the public and are well advertised in advance. In addition, the commission, councils and committees meet at each Department Executive Committee Meeting. They keep the Committee and the General Membership in attendance appraised of national security and foreign policy events occurring around the world. Also, we conduct a comprehensive Legion College Class in conjunction with the Annual Department Convention.

Finally, the Commission, Councils and Committees serve a vital role for the Department of Maryland and the national organization of The American Legion, by functioning as a key part of a larger grass roots organizations reaching throughout the land to recognize and keep abreast of the unprecedented changes sweeping the world, urging the U.S. government to adopt sound bipartisan national security/foreign policy relations of "Democratic Activism " promoting democratic values, maintaining adequate military strength to deter or defeat aggression, cooperating with allies, encouraging free and fair trade, and assisting developing nations. Since the world operates on a national basis, U.S. sovereignty must not be abridged unless required by important U.S. national security interests.


These Councils keep the Commission and the General Membership appraised of national defense and foreign policy matters as well as on U.S. Government positions and relations dealing with Foreign Governments. In addition, they assist in drafting proposed major policy positions (Resolutions) for review, consideration and adoption by the Department of Maryland and the national organization of The American Legion.


The Reserve Officer Training Corps, established in 1916, has long been the largest source of junior officers for all branches of the military. The American Legion traditionally has supported ROTC and has remained at the forefront of legislative efforts to retain and expand the program. During the Vietnam War era, The American Legion lobbied to increase the number of college ROTC scholarships and subsistence payment to ROTC students. Also, the Legion sponsors ROTC medals as an incentive for outstanding ROTC cadets. Last year, 7,224 cadets, many of whom attend schools in Maryland, were recognized with medals from local American Legion Posts.


The American Legion remains the largest identifiable blood donor group in America and sponsors blood drives during the holidays when accident rates are high and hospital blood supplies are low. Many Maryland American Legion Posts sponsor blood drives throughout the year which brings the gift of life to countless people in communities around the state.


Many Posts have a crime prevention chairperson who works with the Department Crime Prevention Committee and local law enforcement agencies to set up effective crime prevention programs in their communities. The Chairman of the Crime Prevention Committee regularly visits many schools and senior citizen groups in communities throughout the state offering common sense tips on crime prevention measures. These seminars are FREE. If interested, contact Department Headquarters to arrange a visit at your facility.


The American Legion recognizes outstanding law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians for their service to the community. Many Legion Posts and most County and District Councils hold annual ceremonies at which plaques and certificates are presented. The Department also participates in the National American Legion Law Officer and National Fire Fighter of the Year and, on the State level, recognizes Law Officer, Career and Volunteer Fire Fighter and EMS personnel. All public safety organizations may contact the Department of Maryland Headquarters for information on how to participate.

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