In support of The American Legion’s five-year membership plan, and to encourage membership growth, National Commander Charles E. Schmidt created a new award for departments. And the challenge to win the award starts now.

A monetary award will be issued to the department with the largest percentage increase of new members from Jan. 1 to May 31. The national vice commander of the region with the department winner also will receive an award.

Departments will be broken into the following six categories:

Category I: Departments of 100,000 or more members

Category II: Departments of 70,000 to 99,999 members

Category III: Departments of 40,000 to 69,999 members

Category IV: Departments of 25,000 to 39,999 members

Category V: Departments of 10,000 to 24,999 members

Category VI: Departments of 9,999 or fewer members

Please keep in mind that a new member is defined as any eligible person joining for the 2017 membership year who was not a member of The American Legion during the 2016 membership year. Post transfers will not count.

Department membership challenge starts now