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
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
NATIONAL SECURITY/FOREIGN RELATIONS COUNCILS
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
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
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
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. Also, the Department participates in
the National American Legion Law Officer of the Year and, on the state level, recognizes an American Legion Firefighter of the Year and American Legion EMT of the Year. All public safety organizations may contact the Department of Maryland Headquarters for information
on how to participate.