American Legion Post 191
                 1232 N. Miami Ave., Marshall, MO 65340    
                           Phone number 660-886-7377
Veterans serving Veterans, their families, and the community 

The American Legion Emblem


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Commander: Brian Ferguson 
That you have ability is recognized by your election to the office of post commander. Now you must draw on your ability and past experience while developing new skills so that you will succeed in helping the post prosper. The charge you have accepted, commander, is broad and difficult. How you respond will determine to a large degree the standing of The American Legion among your associates and within the community. Your own ability, the support of district and department officers, the information in this guide, and the help you will get from the post officers who form your team will together make the performance of your job possible. As you look to the overall operation of the post, you’ll realize that you have stepped to another level. You may feel the step is too high, but as you proceed, following the suggestions and recommendations in this guide, you may find that your year as commander is the most rewarding of your life.

Adjutant:  Ed Miller

The adjutant has the same position in the post as the secretary of any other organized body, and a bit more. Like the first sergeant of a company, post activities revolve around the adjutant. Most posts find it wise to retain a good adjutant in office over a period of years. The adjutant may well provide continuity in the post. While the commander’s duties are largely inspirational and executive, an adjutant’s duties are administrative. The commander navigates the ship, but the adjutant is the engineer who runs the ship’s machinery. The adjutant is the personnel officer and personal point of contact for individual members of the post. He or she maintains membership records and minutes of meetings, checks up and assists the work of the other officers and committees, and publishes official orders, announcements and instructions. Because all post records should be in the adjutant’s custody, for easy access, it is to his or her interest to develop a comprehensive filing system. The adjutant is primarily concerned with ways and means and, by virtue of a key position, can add effectiveness to all post activities. The office involves a great deal of work, and it is strongly recommended that some degree of compensation be paid the adjutant, particularly in large posts.

First vice commander: Kile Guthrie

 In the majority of posts, a first and second vice commander are elected, with membership the primary concern of the first vice commander. Frequently, the success or failure of the membership record during his or her year determines the chances of advancing to the office of commander the next year. In a few posts, one or two membership go-getters will secure the majority of dues, but the possibility of death, illness or a change of residence makes for a weak foundation on which a vice commander and the post are staking the post’s future. While each post is different, any membership campaign should cover certain fundamentals. Look at the methods used in the past. Were they successful? Do they need updated? Have new procedures been developed to improve the plans now being used? 18 In a successful post, a new commander is going to contact the post officers and committee chairs immediately after election to schedule a meeting where they can lay out a general plan of operation for the entire year. This is when the membership plan should also be decided.

Finance officer:  Dan Vermillion

The finance officer must be a person of proven integrity and experience in handling financial affairs. The post depends on finance, just as any other organization, and will do well to accept expert advice in formulating and administering its financial policy. The finance officer usually serves as the chair of the finance committee and is in charge of all receiving and disbursing of post funds. The post adjutant, in all matters relating to finance, should carry on the work in close correlation with the finance officer. Both officers must be covered by adequate bond. Department headquarters should be consulted for blanket bond arrangement. Post accounting forms are designed to meet the requirements of Legion posts in maintaining a correct and permanent membership and finance record. Because of their simplicity, they require no special knowledge of bookkeeping or accounting. Every post adjutant and finance officer should insist upon being provided with a set of forms to save time and money for the post. Consult the Emblem Sales catalog for prices and detailed descriptions, or go online to Be prompt in remitting national and department dues, along with the department record card, to department headquarters. Note all payments and other transactions on the post membership register.

Service officer: Leo Femmeler
 A good service officer should be retained. The value of a post service officer increases with length of service. As the service officer’s reputation grows, so will the prestige of the organization in your community. The job calls for a competent and dedicated person, preferably one who lives and works nearby and is readily available to those needing assistance. He or she is responsible for bringing to the attention of all veterans and their dependents the rights and benefits granted them by law – law The American Legion helped craft. The service officer must know how to access and utilize the expert services available through Legion channels and other community agencies. The job requires timely submission of information to full-time professionals so that every veteran and his or her dependents are adequately represented. The service officer’s report should be a standard part of every meeting. Beyond the post, The American Legion maintains a full staff of appeals representatives in Washington. A small mobile staff of field representatives provides a constant flow of information concerning conditions in VA hospitals, domiciles and regional offices. Other Legion representatives assist veterans who petition Department of Defense boards for review of less than fully honorable discharges or dismissal from the military. They also help veterans obtain deserved decorations and medals. Department service officers can provide necessary claims forms. Additional information comes through department publications, National Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation bulletins, memorandums and VA pamphlets. Many departments conduct training schools for post service officers to add to their knowledge and contacts, and all have trained service officers in VA regional offices and hospitals. With most of today’s veterans population composed of those who served during the Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the work of the post service officer continues to be vital. Even more than older veterans, these men and women are likely to not be fully versed in veterans benefits and programs. Meanwhile, older veterans need advice on how to integrate possible benefits into their retirement plans. Dependents should be visited as soon as feasible after a veteran’s death. Every Congress considers legislative matters of importance to veterans and to The American Legion. Working in cooperation with the post legislative committee, the post service officer can aid in the post’s support of the national organization’s efforts.

Chaplain:  David Van Horn

The chaplain need not necessarily be a clergyman, but must be a person capable of moral and intellectual leadership and one who gives dignity and respect to the office. The chaplain should be in close touch with the commander and other post officers of the post, and should attend all meetings of the post executive committee. The leadership in many post activities belongs by right to the chaplain, and when this office is filled by the right person, the post’s usefulness to the community only increases. The Manual of Ceremonies (see Section 2) gives an important place to the chaplain in the conduct of meetings, the observance of patriotic occasions, funeral services and dedication ceremonies. At all these events, the chaplain is the moral leader. The chaplain should cooperate with the post historian on graves registration work and inspire the post to see that graves are decorated on Memorial Day. Besides officiating at post members’ funerals when requested, the chaplain can also be of service to their bereaved families. The chaplain may also chair the post’s Veterans Administration Voluntary Services (VAVS) Committee, which coordinates volunteer work at nearby VA facilities. The American Legion’s “Service to God and Country” handbook, available through department headquarters, offers guidance for the post chaplain and religious emphasis committee.

Sergeant-at-arms: Jim Brown

The sergeant-at-arms knows how to arrange the meeting hall and assists the post commander and adjutant in preliminary arrangements for meetings, including leading the color detail during presentation and retirement ceremonies. He or she is the expert on flag etiquette and should know proper flag display and procedures in operating a meeting. The sergeant-at-arms should also play a leading role in the post color guard, burial detail and other pageantry. The sergeant-at-arms is the logical person to chair a welcome committee, which can have a tremendous influence on the post’s image, membership and relationship with members. Every Legionnaire wants to feel part of the group, particularly the new Legionnaire attending his or her first few meetings. The sergeant-at-arms must make certain new members are welcomed, introduced and made to feel they are important to the post. The welcome committee also encourages present members to attend meetings and advises the commander on who should be acknowledged.

Historian: Mike Zeka 
The work of post historian is cumulative. It is wise to leave it in the hands of one person as long as it’s being handled well. The office is a suitable position for a past post commander. There should be close cooperation between the post adjutant and the historian. The former works with the records on matters of current interest, the latter on matters of historical interest. The post historian should also keep in touch with the department historian and be prompt in answering inquiries. An annual report should be made to the department historian just before the department convention. Copies of whatever is printed concerning the post should be deposited in local and state libraries, as well as in the post and department archives. This will prevent complete loss of valuable records through fire or other calamity, as well as provide material for those looking for information about the Legion. The post historian should attend department conventions and make a point of knowing what historians of neighboring posts are doing. The department historian can advise post historians on department and national post history contests, historians associations, and materials that will assist in doing a better job.