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
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 emblem.legion.org.
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.
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.