2019-2021 American Legion Auxiliary National Security
ALA Military Family Readiness Action Guide (click to download)
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?
A) Support the emotional and social needs of active, reserve and transitioning military servicemembers and their families.
Ideas for an Individual Member:
- Let your unit know of any military families or businesses that should receive a Blue Star or Gold Star Banner in recognition of a servicemember’s service.
- Provide support on a spouse-to-spouse or family-to-family basis, such as to a family member, neighbor or another military family. Refer to the ALA Military Family Readiness Action Guide for specific suggestions of the type of support military families may value.
- Provide assistance to servicemembers and their families directly affected by current conflicts.
- Become more informed about issues affecting a military family’s home life and the resources available to help, 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.
Ideas for the Unit:
- Support active-duty military families by working with an installation Family Readiness Group (FRG). Contact the Family Readiness Center on your nearby military installation for more information.
Support reserve and transitioning servicemembers and families by working with a returning National Guard or Reserve unit or an individual transitioning servicemember or family.
- Note: Units may find servicemembers and families independently or by working with the servicemember transition programs of the U.S. Department of Defense, the military service branches or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Members may provide support on a spouse-to-spouse or family-to-family basis, such as to a family member, neighbor or another military family to which they come in contact. Refer to the ALA Military Family Readiness Action Guide for additional information and specific steps.
- When a servicemember 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.
- Greet servicemembers and families as they deploy and/or return from a deployment.
- Work with a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program office of a local military unit (Reserve or National Guard) or a state National Guard Joint Force Headquarters to show patriotic and moral support at Yellow Ribbon events; offering hospitality, refreshments or children and youth activities; or making presentations on Auxiliary resources and services to family members of returning servicemembers.
- If you’re near a military installation, a U.S. Department of Defense policy makes it easier for you to get and provide information about our services and programs to servicemembers and military families. Refer to the “How to Support Troops and their Families on Military Installations” for additional information and specific steps.
- Coordinate for community donations and assemble servicemember care packages and family member support packages.
- Provide information about what Legion Service Officers do and sign members up to help them.
B) Assist military spouses in getting and maintaining employment.
Ideas for Individual Member:
- Serve as a mentor in the career e-mentoring network through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Employment Program and Academy Women. Current military spouses will be virtually paired with more experienced spouses and/or corporate and career mentors for guidance and support.
- Promote military spouse job fairs in your community and volunteer to help.
- Help staff an information booth about the ALA at a job fair for military spouses.
- Write an editorial about why military spouses make good employees.
- Contact school guidance counselor in your local area and offer to be “on call” for assistance with military children.
Ideas for the Unit:
- Support military spouse job fairs organized by U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation or The American Legion, or host one in your own community.
- Encourage local business to participate and hire veterans and military spouses.
- 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.
- Create a scholarship fund for military spouses learning a new skill.
C ) Support the National Security programs of The American Legion.
Ideas for the Individual Member:
Build and/or help a neighbor build an emergency preparedness kit and plan.
- Remember, new military families in your community may not be familiar with the types of emergencies that affect your area. As needed, help them update their emergency kit and plan.
- 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.
Ideas for the Unit:
- 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 - September 18, 2020.
- 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.
Get involved in the Citizen Corps Council (www.ready.gov) to ensure citizens are prepared to respond to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, blizzards and manmade disasters and emergencies.
- Junior members can get involved in and/or start a Youth Preparedness Program in their community.
Collect supplies for emergency preparedness kits and distribute them in your community.
- Remember: new military families in your community may not be familiar with the types of emergencies that affect your area. As needed, help them update their emergency preparedness kit and plan.
- Have a training exercise in your post home to give training in first aid, CPR or other types of emergency skills.
- 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.
- Support your Legion department and posts to raise funds for Operation Comfort Warriors to provide supplies to wounded servicemembers.
- Work with your ALA and Legion department legislative committees around topics that ensure a strong national defense and support current and transitioning servicemembers and their families.
Additional Resources You Can Use
1. www.ALAforVeterans.org resources on the National Security program page:
- American Legion Auxiliary Military Family Readiness Action Guide - A training package is also online for departments and units. It includes an instruction sheet, PowerPoint presentation and script, sample agenda, learning exercises, pre- and post-session survey, satisfaction survey and sample marketing text.
- ALA-Operation Homefront Action Guide
- ALA-USO Action Guide
2. Instructional How To sheets:
- How to Plan a Send Off or Welcome Home Event
- How to Support Troops and their Families on Military Installations
- How to Plan a POW/MIA Remembrance Service
3. The American Legion Resources:
- Blue Star and Gold Star Banner: www.legion.org/troops/bluestar
- Family Support Network: www.legion.org/familysupport
- Operation Comfort Warriors: www.legion.org/troops/operationcomfort
- POW/MIA: www.legion.org/powmia
- Legislative Action Alerts: http://capwiz.com/legion/home/
4. Follow Us on Facebook:
- ALA National Headquarters: www.facebook.com/ALAforVeterans
- The national National Security Committee Facebook group, search “ALA National Security”
National Security Reporting
Mid-Year Reports - Mid-Year reports reflect the program work of the Units in our Department, and are intended as an opportunity for mid-year adjustment. Each Unit is required to submit a narrative report to the Department National Security Chairman by December 5, 2020.
Year-End Reports - Annual reports reflect the program work of the Units in our Department, and may result in a National award, if award requirements are met. Each Unit is required to submit a narrative report to the Department National Security Chairman by April 15, 2021.
As part of your 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 in your Unit for servicemembers and their families?
- What types of National Security activities and/or projects were done in your Unit that weren’t near a military installation?
National Security Awards
Taking the time to share a favorite story about the positive impact you or someone you know has had on our mission is worth doing! It helps us tell the world “Who We Are, What We Do & Why We Matter.”
Unit Award: Most Outstanding Unit National Security Program
a) Award: Citation Plaque
b) Presented to: One Unit in Western Division
c) Materials and guidelines:
i) National Report and Award Cover Sheet must be included for each award submission
ii) Deadline: May 1, 2021 – sent to Department Chairman postmarked or emailed by 5 p.m.
iii) Entries must be typewritten in narrative form
iv) Include pictures and newspaper articles