A Legion post has a number of layers of organization, some are internal and some external annd they are all important to your post operation.
Post relationship to District/Area
Levels of authority
The pyramid graphic shows the basic layers of The American Legion organization. The veteran is at the top of the pyramid because it is the veteran that every layer serves. At each layer, leaders help guide the good work of the Legion to serve our veterans and their families. At the post level the post Commander is key leader responsible for guiding the post to success. Although post commanders are not members of the District Executive Committee (DEC), post commanders do represent their local post to the district. The district commander represents all the posts of the district as a member of Department Executive Committee. Important roles. In the Department (State) of California we are organized into 6 Areas, 30 Districts, 460 local posts and have a sttewide membership of around 90,000. Each post is a distinct legal entity. The 30 districts and 6 areas are administrtive extensions of the Department of California. The Department of California Executive Committee, is also referred to as the DEC (Department Executive Committee). The DEC meets at the annual Department Convention in June, a fall meeting and spring meeting each year.
"I've seen so many first-rate non-profit services services fail because they were just offered, instead of the non-profit managers making sure that everybody who has to do something knows what has to be done, is trained to do something knows what has to be done, is trained to do it, has the tools." Peter Drucker
The leaders of a successful American Legion post have many challenges, as everyone works hard to make their post a success. This is especially true when it comes to the overall success of their post family of units.
The American Legion Auxiliary is the oldest member of the Legion Family of units and the most independent. The Auxiliary is a separate organization with their own legal and corporate identity.
The Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Riders are each a subsidiary of their parent post. As subsidiaries, owned by their parent post, there are special rules that apply to the relationship between the parent post and their subsidiaries.
Sons of The American Legion and the American Legion Riders – have requirements they must follow. Here is the essence of these requirements:
All officers, directors, trustees, etc. must be named by the post (usually nominated by the post commander and confirmed by the Post Executive Committee).
All vacancies in the subsidiary unit must be filled by the post.
The subsidiary must report to the post, no less frequently than monthly. These reports must include financial reports.
The post treasurer or finance officer must be a signatory on all accounts.
All amendments to articles of incorporation or by-laws must be approved by the post. (If the current text has not been approved by the post, it too must be so approved.
* * The original text of the requirements were modified for the purpose of clarity. References to Department in the original text were replaced with Post and the word corporation was replaced with unit or removed when appropriate.
These rules apply to subsidiaries of posts, squadrons and Rider chapters.
The rules discussed here, about the relationship and rules of subsidiary units, are covered in the Name and Emblem Use and Protection Guide. The guide also makes it clear every member of our Legion Family is to make certain The American Legion name and emblems are in exclusive Legion use, while our protection of them "offers constant and continuous control."
The idea of a "Post Best Practice" clearly extends to the relationship of a post and their subsidiary family of units. When everyone knows, undestands and agrees to follow the guidelines, that we are all expected to follow, it is much easier for each of our posts to be their best.