South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary

 

National Security

2017-2018

National Security Action Plan

Melanie Martens, Chairman

16761 Elk Horn Road

Piedmont, SD 57769

mmartens@midco.net

What is this program, and why do we have it?

The National Security Program maintains and promotes a strong national defense by strengthening and supporting military service members and their families. The National Security Program and the 2014-2019 ALA Centennial Strategic Plan; maintaining and promoting a strong national defense by supporting service members and their families helps us build brand loyalty (Goal 5) among a target membership population (Goal 1) while keeping us focused on our mission.

What can you do?

1. Support the emotional and social needs of active, reserve and transitioning military service members and their families.

                                            Ideas:

• Wear red on Fridays to “Remember Everyone Deployed.”

• As a gesture of appreciation for local service members’ military service, decorate

your community with yellow ribbons. Encourage others to do the same.

• Provide support on a spouse-to-spouse or family-to-family basis, such as to a

family member, neighbor or another military family.

• Provide assistance to service members and their families directly affected by

current conflicts.

• Become more informed about issues affecting a military family’s home life, such

as PTSD, TBI, domestic violence, financial literacy and other issues.

• Support active-duty military families by working with an installation Family

Readiness Group or an individual military family.

• Support reserve and transitioning service members and families by working with a

returning National Guard or Reserve unit.

• Follow-up periodically with the service member and/or military family you may be supporting.

• When a service member or military family you are working with is relocating to a

different community, help identify an ALA unit in the new community and make

introductions.

• Let your unit know of any military families or businesses that should receive a Blue Star or Gold Star banner in recognition of a service member’s service.

• Greet service members and families as they deploy and/or return from a deployment.

•Organize a Welcome To Our Hometown event to welcome military families that

are moving or transitioning out of the military to your community.

• Partner with an Operation Homefront field office for assembly of service member

care packages and family member support packages; providing hospitality,

refreshments or children and youth activities at Operation Homefront events.

• Work with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and refer a

survivor or caregiver for specialized support. Refer to How to Collaborate with

the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors for information and specific steps.

• Support military spouse job fairs organized by U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Foundation or The American Legion, or host one in your own community.

• Help to implement a Legion-sponsored job fair and/or co-host a Legion Family

information table at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation-sponsored job fair.

•Refer to the Welcome To Our Hometown Action Guide for additional information and specific

steps.

 2. Support the National Security programs of The American Legion.

                                                Ideas:

• Complete a Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) course. Refer to

How to Train for FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Teams for

information and specific steps.

• Build and/or help a neighbor build an emergency preparedness kit and plan.

• Junior members may be good candidates to participate in FEMA’s National

Youth Preparedness Council.

• Sign up for the Legion’s Legislative Action Alerts, be sure to act on the ones

regarding a strong national defense and affecting current and transitioning

service members and their families.

• Donate blood.  Assist with a blood drive in your community.

• Help identify candidates for The American Legion’s National Firefighter of the

Year Award.

• Help identify local candidates for The American Legion’s National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.  

• Get involved in the Citizen Corps Council to ensure citizens are prepared to respond to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, blizzards and manmade disasters and emergencies.

• Have a training exercise in your post home to give training in first aid, CPR or other types of emergency skills.

• Join with your Legion post to host a POW/MIA ceremony on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, commemorated annually on the third Friday of September.

• Follow the Legion’s POW/MIA Empty Chair Resolution 288 for designating a POW/MIA Empty Chair at all official meetings.

• Host a remembrance event for any MIA service members who have been identified from your area.

• Work with Legion posts to honor ROTC and JROTC cadets by having dinners and recognizing their accomplishments.

• Support you Legion Department and posts to raise funds for Operation Comfort Warriors to provide supplies to wounded service members.

• Work with your unit and post legislative committees to advocate for a strong national defense and topics affecting current and transitioning service members and their families.

 

                                                                   National Security Reporting

Mid-Year Report

Mid-Year reports reflect the program work of units in the department. Mid-year reports include activities from April 1 to November 1. Reports are due to District Presidents by November 15th and Districts Presidents to Melanie Martens by December 1st.

Year-End Reports

Annual reports reflect the program work of units in the department. It is requested that these reports are accompanied by photos of select unit projects. Year-end reports include all activities from April 1 through March 31.  Unit Presidents, please submit your end of the year report to your District President by April 15th.  District Presidents to Department Chairman by May 1st.  Each department National Security chairman is required to submit a narrative report by May 15, 2017, to the division National Security chairman.  

 

As part of your mid-year and years-end narrative report, please include answers to the following questions:

• Did Members organize Welcome To Our Hometown events? If so, what was most successful? Did they have any challenges?

• What types of National Security activities and/or projects were done at units in your department that weren’t near a military installation?

 

                                                                    National Security Awards

Each award application must include a current cover sheet. National Report and Awards Cover Sheet, deadlines and National Security Committee contact information may be found on the National Security committee page on the national website, www.alaforveterans.org.

 

1. Unit Award: Most Outstanding National Security Program Award

                              *Type of Award: Citation

                              *Presented to: One department in each division

Materials and Guidelines:

• Entries must include the award cover sheet.

• Each entry must be typewritten in narrative form.

• Include pictures and newspapers articles.

• Submit entries to Melanie Martens, Department National Security Chairman by May 15, 2018.

• Entries must be sent by the Department National Security chairman to your National

Security division chairman postmarked by June 1, 2018, or by email sent by 5 p.m.

EDT on June 1, 2018.

2. Department Award: Dorothy Pearl Best Department National Security Program

                                *Type of Award: Citation Plaque

                                *Presented to: One department

Materials and Guidelines:

• Entries must include the award cover sheet.

• Each entry must be typewritten in narrative form.

• Include pictures and newspapers articles.

• Submit entries to Melanie Martens, Department National Security Chairman by May 15, 2018.

• Entries must be sent by the department National Security chairman to national committee member postmarked by June 1, 2018, or by email sent by 5 p.m. EDT on June 1, 2018.

 

3. Department Award: Military Spouse Mentor Award

NOTE: This award is related to Academy Women’s eMentoring Program

                                 *Type of Award: Citation Plaque  

                                 * Presented to: One department

Materials and Guidelines:

• Entries must include the award cover sheet.

• For the department having the highest percentage of members actively participating in military spouse e-mentoring and connected to military spouses.

• Each entry must have a list/spreadsheet of participating members.

• Submit entries to Melanie Martens, Department National Security Chairman by May 15, 2018.

• Entries must be sent by the department National Security chairman to the National Chairman postmarked by June 1, 2018, or by email sent by 5 p.m. EDT on June 1, 2018.

• Each department’s participation percentage will be determined by the National Chairman. The percentage will be calculated based on the number of reported participating members who are serving as an eMentor, as reported by the eMentoring program staff, divided by the department’s membership number as of June for the current administrative year. (For example, if 250 of the 300 members listed on the department’s submitted spreadsheet were connected to military spouses, in a department with 5,000 members, the percentage would be 5 percent).

Additional Resources You Can Use:

1.      www.ALAforVeterans.org on the National Security page. 

2.     American Legion Auxiliary Military Family Readiness Action Guide

3.     Welcome To Our Hometown Action Guide

4.     ALA-Operations Homefront Action Guide

5.     ALA-USO Action Guide

Instructional How to Sheets found on the National Security program page on the National website:

·       How to Welcome Home Separating Service Members

·       How to identify Veteran and Service Member families in need of assistance

·       How to support troops and their families on military installations

Follow us on Facebook:

ALA National Headquarters: www.facebook.com/ALAforVeterans

The National Security Committee Facebook group, search for “ALA National Security”