In most posts, a first and second vice commander are elected, with membership and retention being the primary concern of the first vice commander.
While each post is different, a membership campaign should cover certain fundamentals. Look at the methods used in the past. Develop new procedures to improve the methods being used.
In a successful post, a new commander is going to contact the post officers and committee chairs immediately after election to schedule a meeting where they can lay out a general plan of operation for the entire year. This is when the membership plan should also be decided.
It is recommended that a vice commander execute a plan to conduct a Buddy Check twice a year at a minimum.
The four W’s of planning
• WHO – Who’s going to execute each step necessary to reach the goal?
• WHAT – What steps are required to reach the objective?
• WHEN – When is the work going to be done?
• WHERE – Where do you want to go? What’s the objective?
The commander and post best know the membership potential in their community. The steps to get there are similar for every post. Answer the following questions for the post and community to outline your job and know how to reach goals:
• Mailed dues notices will bring in about 80 percent of current member renewals. Who is going to
contact the remaining 20 percent who do not respond?
• How is the post going to contact and recruit prospective members? Who’s going to contact them?
How will new recruits be assimilated into the post?
• Who can be counted on to work at membership and how will they be organized?
• What awards or special recognition will be given?
• What special events can be tied in with membership, such as Veterans Day, team competition,
contests with other posts, The American Legion’s birthday, etc.?
Membership may be the primary assignment of a first vice commander, but during a normal year, this person will have many other duties. The vice commander should be familiar with the ceremonial protocol for regular meetings and will likely be called upon to conduct one or more meetings during the year due to an absence of the post commander. Knowing how to develop an agenda, run a meeting and follow protocol are useful skills to develop. The vice commander should be ready to fill in for the commander at a moment’s notice