This pillar of The American Legion is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of basic American concepts and principles. Much of The American Legion’s effort in this area is devoted to education programs and a wide range of citizenship-participatory activities for our nation’s youth.
The annual American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program “A Constitutional Speech Contest” provides thousands of young people an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the U.S. Constitution while competing for valuable college scholarships. Each state champion travels to Indianapolis in April for the National Finals.
The American Legion publishes a financial aid guide entitled “Need A Lift?” that provides information on scholarships, grants, and loans, plus a “road map” to a source of education financial assistance. It is available as an interactive CD-ROM and online.
The Samsung-American Legion Scholarship Program annually awards college scholarships to ninety-eight high school seniors who are descendants of wartime veterans.
Each year American Legion Boys State programs give nearly 20,000 high school juniors a better understanding of good citizenship and civic responsibilities during summer workshops in governmental operations. The two most outstanding leaders from each of these programs are selected to gain greater insight into federal government operations at the annual American Legion Boys Nation program held in Washington, D.C., American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a similar program for girls.
The American Legion has sponsored a nationwide youth baseball program for more than 85 years and has provided millions of young players with the opportunity to enjoy our nation’s pastime. Legion volunteers raise millions of dollars annually for the program that teaches players the importance of teamwork, discipline, leadership, and good sportsmanship.
American Legion School Awards are presented annually to 25,000 boys and girls in graduating classes of elementary and secondary schools and junior colleges. These awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in areas of service, honor, courage, leadership, patriotism, and scholarship.
Through the Junior Shooting Sports Program, The American Legion provides instruction in gun safety and marksmanship training for youngsters up to age 18, while offering a wholesome recreational activity through organized competition that culminates in The American Legion Air Rifle National Championship held each summer at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
The preservation and enhancement of basic American concepts and principles require an understanding of those forces that would undermine and destroy them. The American Legion is an active leader in the fight against opponent international terrorism and similar forces.
The American Legion is opposed to illegal immigration and amnesty, by any form or name, for any person(s) in this country illegally, regardless of race, sex, creed, color, or national origin. We believe the current laws governing immigration should be enforced impartially and equally. Helping prepare those immigrants who enter our country legally for naturalized citizenship and assimilation into American society is in the best interest of our nation. Providing assistance and instruction to immigrants following the legal path to citizenship has been a long-standing and proud tradition of The American Legion since its founding.
Although The American Legion is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse any political candidate, it strongly urges all American citizens to exercise their right and duty in our democracy – the right to vote. Through its “Get Out The Vote” program, the Legion emphasizes the importance of each citizen supporting the candidates of his/her choice.