COMMANDER’S CALL DECEMBER
“Ahoy there, Matey!”
When the ship leaves its berth for the freedom of the seas, sailors have
often commented it must be something like an infant breaking out of
the womb. When the umbilical is loosed, the infant may set sail on an
adventure of a lifetime --- much like a ship on its maiden voyage. But,
how do you explain the turn-over of a post into a vibrant community of
Legionnaires without any recruits on the horizon? Can the skeleton crew
of Legionnaires really make the post ship-shape, much like the skilled
crew of a warship? Let’s take stock, shall we?
For one, you need a leader with a good following. Second, there has to
be some kind of goal that meets the demand of the general membership
for self-expression as former U.S. Armed Forces persons now serving
their community. Third, that goal needs to have measurable objectives
that illustrate steps taken to achieve that goal in a timely manner. Fourth, that leader needs to represent the ideals and practical application of those former military stratagems in such a way as to assure that post plans are heading into the wind for relatively smooth sailing. OK, OK. All of you are not swabbies. So, what’s up with the maritime talk, you’re asking? It’s simply this. Like in the military, the objective of each post is written in stone: recruit, retain,
and revitalize. It’s not just the Commander’s job to reach out to fellow veterans. It’s EVERYONE’S business. And, how do you, a mere Legionnaire, do that to the extent that it positively impacts your post, as well your district, area, and department? You do it by just being yourself.
Remember those times back in the day --- aboard ship, in a firebase hooch, stretched out on a sandy hill, in a steamy forest, in a crowded command center, or detailed to any number of assignments, when your buddies were the folks you served with. You all depended upon each other, knowing that all of you had each other’s “six.” Is there really a change now, in your post, where you have other veterans who could benefit from your heartfelt compassion to help them get through what you know about full well?
Times have changed, but veterans are veterans. Your current generation of
Legionnaires have in common a given epoch of service for America. The next generation of veterans --- not yet Legionnaires
--- have given their service to America, too, but have developed a different source of release and reintegration that parallels the current socio-culture’s preoccupation with a new set of communication channels called the social media. Yes, it’s different, strange, and sometimes appears to be addictive
--- but it is a reality for the foreseeable future.
What may be done about reaching that new generation for the Legion? Why not use your imagination by checking with your own family of experts on social media, like grandkids and other grade-schoolers you know? In other words, your world has gone off and left you bereft of a compass, map, and a starting point. Well, guess what? I hear that a “smart” phone has GPS (global positioning
satellite). It’s a start.