Americanism is an unfailing love of Country, loyalty to its institutions and ideals, eagerness to defend it against all enemies, individual allegiance to the flag, and a desire to secure the blessings of liberty ourselves and our posterity.
Our forefathers laid the foundation for a civilization that is the envy of the world. It has brought us greater spiritual and material wealth than any people has ever known. This is our heritage. The many activities of the National Americanism Commission of The American Legion are designed to acknowledge and preserve that heritage, recognizing all the inalienable rights of man.
Jr. Law Cadet
American Legion departments and posts are encouraged to sponsor Junior Law Cadet programs in cooperation with their State Police or Highway Patrol. From state to state the name of the program may vary and include such terms as Trooper Week Program, Law Enforcement Training, and State Police Youth Week.
The program provides first-hand experiences and insight into the operations of law enforcement agencies. The program also affords these highly motivated young people an opportunity to consider law enforcement as a potential career choice. Recruitment of high school students, both male and female, representing all communities and backgrounds in the state, is one goal of the program. Once these young people have been selected to attend the program, the law enforcement community is challenged to present a program that will instill an understanding and respect for law enforcement professionals and their techniques.
The program is available to male and female high school students who have completed their junior year of high school and are in good academic standing. They should be of good moral character and possess a desire to learn more about the law enforcement profession. Their high school should recommend students who meet these qualifications to local posts who are sponsoring the Junior Law Cadet Program.
Download the Jr. Law Cadet Brochure
Law Enforcement Officer of The Year
Each year, The American Legion gives its National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award to a well-rounded law enforcement officer who has exceeded the duty requirements expected of his or her position and has demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service coupled with professional achievement. The award, which especially takes into account heroic acts, is presented annually at the Legion’s national convention.
Department Law and Order Committees are encouraged to select and honor a Law Enforcement Officer of the Year at their conventions. Departments nominate their winners for the national award by submitting an application to The American Legion, Attn: National Security-Foreign Relations Division, 1608 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006. Applications must be received no later than Feb. 1. Departments may only submit one nomination per year. Only department winners are eligible for the national award, which should be accepted at the national convention.
Nominees must be U.S. citizens and living, active, full-time and paid, sworn law enforcement officers entrusted with full authority and the powers of arrest. Posthumous awards will be acceptable only if the nominee’s death has occurred after the department’s selection.
Nominees must be assigned to or fully recognized by municipal, county, district or state police; highway patrol; sheriff’s office or as a sworn federal law enforcement officer (FBI, Secret Service agent,
U.S. Marshal, National Park Police, U.S. Capitol Police, etc.) Military police officers or investigators are eligible if they are state law enforcement certified.
Nominees must also reside and be assigned or attached for duty in the nominating department. Federal agents serving overseas should be nominated by the overseas department.
The American Legion will provide the award winner and spouse with travel, hotel and other reasonable expenses for a round trip to the national convention city. Winners receive a letter of commendation signed by the national commander and a distinctive lapel pin noting the selection year. Law officers who are members of The American Legion will also be entitled to wear the embroidered National Law Enforcement Officer designation on the right side of their Legion caps.
The National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award recognizes officers who go above the call of duty. A major secondary purpose of this award is to encourage further development of department and post Law and Order Committees through continued recognition of law enforcement officers. It is firmly believed this award serves to promote public trust and support of our law enforcement agencies.
Download Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Application Guidelines
Firefighter of The Year
Starting in 2010, The American Legion will give a National Firefighter of the Year Award to a firefighter who has exceeded the requirements expected of his or her position and has shown a distinct pattern of community service and professional achievement. The award, which takes into account heroic acts, will be given annually at the Legion’s national convention.
Fire departments are encouraged to submit nominations to their state’s American Legion department adjutant. Applications must be received by Feb. 1. Departments may only submit one nomination per year. Only department winners are eligible for the award, which will be accepted at the national convention.
Nominees must be active firefighters and U.S. citizens. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are eligible only if they are certified firefighters. Posthumous awards will be acceptable only if the nominee’s death occurs after the department’s selection.
Nominees must also reside and be assigned within their nominating department’s state.
The American Legion will provide the award winner and spouse with travel, hotel and other reasonable expenses for a round trip to the national convention city.