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Duties of Office from The American Legion‘s Officers‘Guide

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An Overview of the Duties of Legion Officers

Sergeant-at-Arms: ―You are the sentinel or tiller, the outer guard of this post. You will
guard especially against the loss of one of The American Legion‘s greatest possessions—
our deep and abiding spirit of comradeship. You will learn the identity of, and introduce
to the commander, all visiting comrades and guests of the post. You are responsible that
no one shall remain a stranger in our midst. Be ready at all times to assist your
commander. Into your hands is given charge of the stand of colors which you will
properly display at all post meetings and on ceremonial occasions.


Service Officer: ―You have been singly honored by this post by your election to
perform fundamental, unselfish work, not only for the benefit of the members of this
post, but for those War veterans particularly in need of your service. Yours is the choice
responsibility of looking out for the welfare of all concerned. The duties of a service
officer are highly important and exacting, and while your accomplishment will be deeply
appreciated by those immediately concerned, the work itself will not be sufficiently
conspicuous to catch the headlines in the newspapers. Depending upon satisfactory
performance of duty, there will come to you the heartfelt gratitude of each and every
member of this post. I congratulate you upon the opportunity to serve so constructively
and so unselfishly.


Historian: ―Your office is an important one. To you is given the responsibility of
preserving and compiling the records of this post. The future can only be judged by the
past. Be mindful the lamp of recorded experience may do much in guiding the footsteps
of those who follow. Ever remember that without the recorded history of this post, its
policies and accomplishments will be a blank to the ones who come after we are gone.


Judge Advocate: ―To you, my comrade, is assigned a most important duty for which
your legal training and/or past Legion experience so aptly prepare you. You are the
interpreter of the constitution and by-laws of your post, and may at any time be called
upon by the commander and other officers and members of the post to rule upon the
legality of their actions and decisions insofar as they affect the good of The American
Legion. You are also charged with protecting the integrity of our organization and
keeping alight the torch of truth and fidelity that symbolizes the high and ennobling
ideals under which our great American Legion was founded. Protect wisely that heritage.


Chaplain: ―To you is given the spiritual leadership of this post. You will, I know, lend
dignity and respect to your office. You should be in close confidence with the
commander and the other officers of this post, and should attend all meetings of the post.
You should be ready upon occasion to take your part in the initiation of new members,
the dedication of halls, monuments or colors, and the funeral services for a comrade. All
such ceremonies are made more commemorative by the use of our Ritual. Into your
keeping we place the spirit of comradeship of this post. May harmony and unity prevail.


Finance Officer: ―You are the keeper of the moneys and in you is reposed the financial
policy of the post. To you is given charge of the year‘s budget and to you is given the
duty of the payment of all obligations when proper authorization has been given for such
payment. Your position is an important one, demanding integrity and honesty. Your
election to this office signifies your comrades have implicit trust in you. Guard well that
trust.


Adjutant: ―My comrade, you have been chosen to assist in the wise and effective
administration of the commander‘s office and to serve not only your fellow Legionnaires,
but also those whose relationship to our organization has led them to look to us for
guidance and relief. You will find your duties many, varied and, at times, taxing of your
crowded hours and resources. The successful accomplishment of our program depends, to
a great extent, upon you and your performance of the duties of your office.


Second Vice-Commander: ―Into your helpful hands are placed the important
responsibilities of assisting the commander‘s office in all duties. Particularly should you
be interested in patriotic observances of all kinds, in developing post activities, and in the
entertainment features, which mark all meetings. Help to observe strict tolerance among
your members on all political, religious and civic matters. The application of Justice will
be your particular concern.


First Vice-Commander: ―To you is given the responsibility of an active cooperation
between yourself and the commander. Particularly should you interest yourself in the
membership of the post. You should be assisted by the most active and devoted members.
No single factor has so important an influence on the post‘s success as membership. You
will be the exponent of means of safeguarding the honor of the flag of our country. To
you are committed these endeavors with the expectation you shall fulfill each and every
one of them. You are the teacher of Democracy.


Commander: ―To you, comrade, is entrusted a very important duty of teaching and
protecting the cardinal principles of The American Legion throughout your entire post.
To you is entrusted supervision of the duties of all other officers of this post. To you may
come the needy and the distressed, and it is your duty to see no worthy comrade is turned
away without full justice. It is your duty to see Freedom is ever the watchword of those
with whom you may come in contact. Loyalty to your post, to its membership, to the state
and to the National Organization, are obligations which you now assume. You are more
than the presiding officer for meetings. You are guided by the Constitution and by the
decisions of the post as a body, yet the responsibility for the success of the year‘s
program is largely on your shoulders. You must initiate and carry through programs to
completion. You must thoroughly familiarize yourself with the policies and traditions of
your post and of The American Legion. By your sincere acceptance and earnest
performance of these duties, may the great trust, which your comrades have reposed in
you, be justified. To you, I extend the congratulations of the department, and I wish you
well as you assume the responsibilities of your office. I present to you a copy of the
Officer‘s Guide and Manual of Ceremonies to serve as your guide during the coming
year.

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