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Skills of Leadership

The "Do" of Leadership

"What leaders DO emerges from who they are (BE) and what they KNOW."

Job Descriptions

Official versus realistic

Legal duties

Corporate responsibilities


Job Description

What are post leaders responsible for? In the broad view, they are responsible for the success of our post. To find a more detailed answer to the question of what leaders do, look in these document:

Post leaders are elected by the post membership or appointed by the newly elected Post Commander, per the post bylaws. The key post leadership roles are Commander, First Vice Commander, Second Vice Commander, Adjutant and Finance Officer. Good post commanders work with and through other post leaders.

To help our newer Legionnaires better understand what these key leaders do, here is our “grass roots” perspective

Post Commander:

"First among equals." is a good way to look at the relationship of the Post Commander to other post members. The Commander ensures the post's vision of success is completed and keeps the post family together in the process. The Post Commander traditionally serves as the President of the Board of Directors for incorporated posts. The Post Commander is also the voice of the post, within the post and at meetings beyond the post. Post Commanders also work with and through other leaders to complete the business of the post, as they cultivate and guide them for future leadership roles. 

First Vice Commander:  

The American Legion "Officer's Guide" states this about the First Vice Commander, "In the majority of posts, a first and second vice commander are elected, with membership the primary concern of the first vice commander." In too many posts, the First Vice Commander serves as a Membership Committee of one. A post, even a small post, should have a true Membership Committee to help with recruitment, Post 1000 transfers, renewals, retention and with ensuring the post routinely has personal (by phone or in person) contact, with every member of the post. A Membership Committee of two (or more), is far more effective than the committee of one.

Second Vice Commander:

The duties of a post Second Vice Commander can vary from post to post. Most posts ask their Second Vice Commander to follow the guidance given in the 'Post Officer's Guide', "The second vice commander is responsible for building an “I like my post because …” atmosphere in which Legionnaires have fun while doing the work of the Legion." 

Finance Officer:

Much of the Post Finance Officer's work is defined and determined by standard accounting practices and the needs of the post. The Post Finance Officer is the person of integrity that helps develop a post budget and administers the post book of accounts. Finance Officers also advises post leaders on the formulating and administering of financial policies, including the annual Post budget.

Post Adjutant:  

Whether the Post Adjutant is seen as a Post ‘First Sergeant’ or a Continuity Officer, the Adjutant is a critical leader in the long term success of a post. Adjutants are responsible for keeping official records of post business, minutes of meetings and a number of key administrative duties.

The post Commanders, Finance Officer and Adjutant, working with and through the post Executive Committee, make up a significant portion of a post's leadership team. They have a big influence in the success our posts achieve. Good Post leaders must give an adequate commitment of time, sufficient personal energy and must communicate effectively, to give our posts strong roots in the communities where we serve our veterans. Our post leaders should ensure good green grass grows at our posts and the roots grow strong. The grass roots of The American Legion, always grow best at local posts. You can find more information on the skills of leadership on the District 16 web site. 

Executive Committee

Check post by-laws for details





Post Sergeant-at-Arms:

According to the 2017 Officer's Guide and Manual of Ceremonies,

"The sergeant-at-arms knows how to arrange the meeting hall and assists the post commander and adjutant in preliminary arrangements for meetings, including leading the color detail during presentation and retirement ceremonies. He or she is the expert on flag etiquette and should know proper flag display and procedures in operating a meeting. The sergeant-at-arms should also play a leading role in the post color guard, burial detail and other pageantry.

The sergeant-at-arms is the logical person to chair a welcome committee, which can have a tremendous influence on the post’s image, membership and relationship with members. Every Legionnaire wants to feel part of the group, particularly the new Legionnaire attending his or her first few meetings. The sergeant-at-arms must make certain new members are welcomed, introduced and made to feel they are important to the post. The welcome committee also encourages present members to attend meetings and advises the commander on who should be acknowledged.?