South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary

 

National Security

2016-2017

National Security Action Plan

Jane Benzel, Chairman

27949 Horse Camp Road, Hot Springs, SD 57747

605-745-6375

jane.sdala@gmail.com

 

 

 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 servicemembers and their families.

What can you do?

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

Ideas:

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

• As a gesture of appreciation for local servicemembers’ 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 servicemembers 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.

• Refer servicemembers with financial assistance needs to the American Red Cross

Armed Forces Call Center at 1-877-272-7337.

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

Readiness Group or an individual military family.

• Support reserve and transitioning servicemembers and families by working with a

returning National Guard or Reserve unit or an individual transitioning servicemember or family.

• Follow-up periodically with the service member and/or military family you may be supporting to see if additional assistance is needed.

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

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

introductions.

• Work to identify recipients and present Blue Star and Gold Star commemorative

materials to individuals and businesses.  Work with a Yellow Ribbon program office of a local military unit.

• Greet servicemembers 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.

• Co-host or participate in a Holiday Mail for Heroes event with your local

American Red Cross chapter.

• Partner with an Operation Homefront field office for assembly of servicemember

care packages and family member support packages; providing hospitality,

refreshments or children and youth activities at Operation Homefront spouse

support and welcome home 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.

 

3. 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, and be sure to act on the ones

regarding a strong national defense and affecting current and transitioning

servicemembers and their families.

• Donate blood.  Assist at 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 servicemembers 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 future military by presenting ROTC and JROTC recognition awards.

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

 

National Security Reporting

Mid-Year Report

Mid-Year reports reflect the program work of units in the department.  Reports are due to District Presidents by November 15th and Districts Presidents to Jane Benzel 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. Unit Presidents, please submit your end o 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 narrative report, please include answers to the following questions:

• How were Blue Star and Gold Star Banners presented?

• How were MIA families recognized following notification of remains?

• How were servicemembers honored during welcome-home events?

• How were military families connected to other units when moving?

National Security Awards

Each award application must include a cover sheet. All awards will be announced at National Convention during the National Security pre-convention meeting.

Department Award: Department National Security Program Award

Type of Award: Citation

Presented to: One department in each division (5 overall awards)

Materials and Guidelines:

• Entries must include the award cover sheet located in this program Plan.

• For the most outstanding overall National Security program in the division.

• Each entry must be typewritten in narrative form.

• Include pictures and newspapers articles.

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

Security division chairman postmarked by June 1, 2017, or by email sent by 5 p.m.

EDT on June 1, 2017. Her address can be found on the front page of this program

Plan.

Department Award: Dorothy Pearl Civil Preparedness (CERT) Plaque

Type of Award: Citation Plaque

Presented to: One department

Materials and Guidelines:

• Entries must include the award cover sheet located in this program Plan.

• For the department having the highest percentage of units participating in civil

preparedness.

• Each entry must either be a narrative report or spreadsheet of participating units,

CERT training dates, the number of participants registering for the program and number of participants completing the program.

 

• Entries must be sent by the department National Security chairman to national committee member postmarked by June 1, 2017, or by email sent by 5 p.m. EDT on

June 1, 2017. Her address can be found on the front page of this program Plan.

Department Award: Military Spouse Mentor Award

Type of Award: Citation Plaque   Presented to: One department

Materials and Guidelines:

• Entries must include the award cover sheet located in this program Plan.

• 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.

• Entries must be sent by the department National Security chairman to the National Chairman postmarked by June 1, 2017, or by email sent by 5 p.m. EDT on June 1,2017.

• 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 e-mentor as of June 8, 2017, as reported by the e-mentoring program staff, divided by the department’s membership number as of June 8, 2017. (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).

Unit Award: Military Support Unit Award              Type of Award: Citation

Presented to: One unit in each division (5 overall awards)

Materials and Guidelines:

• Entries must include the award cover sheet located in this program Plan.

• For demonstrating the most outstanding overall program serving and supporting military families, with special emphasis on helping military families through times of deployment and/or injury (severely wounded).

• Each entry must be typewritten in narrative form.

• Include pictures and newspaper articles.

• Entries must be sent by the unit National Security chairman to her National Security division chairman postmarked by June 1, 2017, or by email sent by 5 p.m. EDT on June 1, 2017. Her address can be found on the front page of this program Plan.

There is a long list of Additional Resources You Can Use found at  www.ALAforVeterans.org on the National Security page. 

Follow Us on Facebook:

• American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters:

www.facebook.com/ALAforVeterans

• ALA National Security Facebook group:  www.facebook.com/groups/ALANatlSec/ or search for “ALA National Security”