The American Legion, since its inception in 1919, has stood for the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy, and has abhorred hatred and arbitrary discrimination in any form leveled against any person, group or organization.
We also believe in maintaining the strongest military possible and every aspect of service should be aimed at maximum readiness to fulfill the mission.
Any requirement that disqualifies an able-bodied person from serving in our armed forces should be based solely upon its proven adverse effect on readiness, and nothing else.
Furthermore, we believe that the mental and physical qualifications of all military personnel, regardless of gender or age, should be held to a single standard. Should that standard become questionable, The American Legion relies on the judgment of the senior leadership of the military.
Charles E. Schmidt
The American Legion
Resolution No. 25: Civil Rights Protection Origin: Montana and West Virginia Submitted by: Americanism Commission
WHEREAS, The American Legion dedicated to the principles of justice, freedom and democracy abhors hatred and discrimination in any form leveled against any person, group or organization; and
WHEREAS, The American Legion has steadfastly championed the cause of human rights evidenced by the sacrifice and devotion of its war veterans for the preservation of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, By the National Executive Committee of The American Legion in regular meeting assembled in Indianapolis, Indiana, on October 19-20, 1994 That The American Legion reaffirms its long standing support of all law enforcement agencies at local, state and federal levels in their mission to protect and preserve the civil rights and property of all our population regardless of race, creed, color, sex or national origin.
NINETY-EIGHTH NATIONAL CONVENTION OF
THE AMERICAN LEGION Cincinnati, Ohio
August 30, 31, September 1, 2016
Resolution No. 221: Military Occupational Specialty Standards Origin: North Carolina
Submitted by: Convention Committee on National Security
WHEREAS, The American Legion has long recognized the significant role and the contributions of women serving in the military services of the United States of America; and
WHEREAS, Women veterans have been eligible for full membership in The American Legion since its founding in 1919, prior to the full franchise of women to vote in presidential elections; and
WHEREAS, There are approximately 205,000 women serving on active duty in the military comprising 15.3% of the total active force, and approximately 130,000 women serving in the National Guard and Reserve comprising 18% of the total Guard and Reserve all serving with distinction, honor, and valor; and
WHEREAS, In 2013, the Department of Defense issued an order mandating that women have the same opportunities as men in combat jobs; and
WHEREAS, On April 1, 2016 all military combat professions were opened to females; and WHEREAS, Three females have graduated from Army Ranger School; and
WHEREAS, Women have and still are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in low intensity
combat, truck convoys, military-police units, female engagement teams, where they have interacted and assisted Afghanistan women and a number of other military occupations; and
WHEREAS, Wherever any member of our armed services serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are on the battlefield, which undergoes a constant changing definition, there are no truly secure areas; and
WHEREAS, More than 1,000 female servicemembers have been wounded due to military action in Iraq and Afghanistan; and
WHEREAS, A growing number of female servicemembers are suffering from what is termed the “signature wounds” of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury; and
WHEREAS, The Congress and the courts have held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ensures all individuals are treated equally before the law with respect to civilian employment, does not apply to the military profession, no less than seven major Supreme Court decisions are distilled in these words from Goldman v. Weinberger; [T]he military is, by necessity, a specialized society [separate] from civilian society…‘The military must insist upon respect for duty and a discipline without counterpart in civilian life,’ in order to prepare for and perform its vital role…The essence of military service ‘is the subordination of the desires and interests of the individual to the needs of the service.’; and
WHEREAS, Some countries have repealed “combat exclusion policies” in recent years, while others such as the Soviet Union and Israel have maintained their “combat exclusion policies”; and
WHEREAS, Retired Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, former Commander of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, spoke for many Americans when he declared, “Decisions on what roles women should play in war must be based on military standards, not women’s rights”; and
WHEREAS, There are valid concerns about the physical demands required of soldiers to qualify and service in the combat arms; Army and Marine Corps infantry, armor, artillery, Army Special Forces and Navy Seals; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in, Cincinnati, Ohio, August 30, 31, September 1, 2016, That The American Legion strongly believes that the Department of Defense and all branches of the military services must maintain the current physical and mental requirements and qualifications for acceptance into military service that have created the best and most respected military in the world; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, That the mental and physical qualifications of all military personnel, regardless of gender or age, should be held to a single duty position specific standard depending on Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and not be amended without Congressional authority.