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Starting A New Squadron

Have you ever considered starting a new Squadronof
The Sons of The American Legion?

The two most important things to consideras you prepare to start a new Sons of The American Legion Squadron areresearch and planning. It is essential that you know as much as possibleabout the community before establishing a new Squadron. Community size,Legion Post history, annual events and activities are all part of the planningprocess.

The first step in starting a new S.A.L.Squadron is the establishment of a Post S.A.L. Committee, usually consistingof three to five Legion members, appointed by the Post Commander. A CommitteeChairman should be selected to provide leadership and to assign tasks toCommittee members. This Committee is responsible for recruiting S.A.L.members, organizing the Squadron and conducting S.A.L. Squadron activitieswith the sponsoring Post. The Committee should establish a plan of action,including a calendar of activities which allows you to set goals, suchas recruiting 20 members in 20 days.

The second step in the process is to requestan Application for Squadron Charter from Department Headquarters. DepartmentHeadquarters will furnish individual application blanks and applicationsfor charter on request from any American Legion Post in the Department.There is only one form of charter, and there is no fee charged in connectionwith its issuance. A Post cannot sponsor more than one Squadron of theSons of The American Legion. Both internal and external communicationsare necessary when developing a new Squadron. Internal communications shouldbe maintained with the officers of the sponsoring Post. It is importantthat your external audience also remains informed. Keep all members ofyour Legion Post, as well as surrounding Posts that lack S.A.L. Squadrons,notified of your progress and activities. They can assist by letting othersknow a new Squadron is being established and help with the referral process.

The first step in a successful recruitingcampaign is to develop a list of eligible individuals using the Post MembershipRoster. A letter of invitation should be sent to every Post member askingtheir sons and grandsons to become members of the new S.A.L. Squadron.Included with each letter should be a S.A.L. Brochure and Membership Application.Follow up phone calls can be made to those who did not respond to the letter.Signed membership applications and dues should be collected from thosewho wish to join.

Once you've received applications anddues for ten or more members, its time to complete and submit the Applicationfor Squadron Charter. The Post Commander signs the application signifyingthe Post's endorsement of the application. The signed Charter Applicationalong with ten SAL. membership applications and a check for the amountof National and Detachment dues are all transmitted to Department Headquarters.

Once Department Headquarters approves theCharter Application, it is sent to National Headquarters which issues thenew Squadron's Charter and mails it to the Post Commander or Post S.A.L.Chairman.

Following the submission of the CharterApplication, an organizational meeting should be held for the members ofthe new Squadron. Several important tasks need to be accomplished duringthis meeting. First and foremost is the adoption of a Squadron Constitutionand By-Laws. A suggested form for a Squadron Constitution and By-Laws isincluded in the S.A.L. Handbook. The election of Squadron officers, adoptionof a meeting schedule (day, time and place) and presentation of a calendarof events will complete the agenda for this meeting. In addition, S.A.L.Squadron Handbooks should be distributed to each member present at themeeting.
Once the Squadron charter has been issuedand received, an initiation meeting should be held. New members admittedinto the Sons of The American Legion should be initiated with full ceremony.First impressions are the most lasting impressions. An S.A.L. uniform cap,Squadron Membership Card and embroidered emblem patch should be presentedto each member as part of the initiation ceremony.

Arrangements should be made to have anAmerican Legion Department Officer or S.A.L. Detachment Officer formallypresent the new Squadron's Charter. The visiting Legion or S.A.L. membershould make a narrative presentation on the history of the S.A.L. and it'sprogram of service.

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