“To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America”
ROTC — 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 curbed efforts to eliminate the Junior ROTC program and lobbied to increase the number of college ROTC scholarships and subsistence payments to ROTC students. In addition to legislative support, the Legion sponsors ROTC medals as an incentive for outstanding ROTC cadets. Last year, 7,224 cadets were recognized with medals from local American Legion Posts.
POLICE CADETS — In cooperation with the state police and highway patrol, several American Legion Departments conduct annual training sessions to acquaint teenagers with law enforcement procedures and concerns. The week-long sessions feature training in firearms and water safety, instruction on legal codes and techniques, as well as other equipment. Participants in the program learn the responsibilities of law-abiding citizens and many develop an interest in law enforcement as a career.
BLOOD DONATIONS — The American Legion remains the largest identifiable blood donor group in America, contributing more than 98,000 units of blood to the national supply in 1995-96. The Legion sponsors blood drives during the holidays when accident rates are high and hospital blood supplies are low. At each National Convention, the Legion sponsors a drive which brings the gift of life to countless people in the host city.
CRIME PREVENTION — Many Posts have a crime prevention chairperson who works with the National Crime Prevention Council and local law enforcement agencies to set up effective crime prevention programs in their communities. Also, the Legion recognizes outstanding law enforcement officers and firefighters for their service to the community. Free crime prevention tips are available through The American Legion’s National Security-Foreign Relations Division, 1608 K Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20006.
FOREIGN RELATIONS — The American Legion, as a grassroots organization reaching throughout the land, recognizes the unprecedented changes sweeping the world and urges the U.S. government to adopt a bipartisan national security/foreign relations policy 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.