Florida District Commander’s Training

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Florida Sons of The American Legion College System – Course . 6. Course . Instructors. Jim Roberts – . Detachment Assistant Adjutant. Squadron 4 Lakeland. 35 . Years of . Service. Past Detachment Commander. ID: 467735 Download Presentation

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Florida District Commander’s Training

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Florida District Commander’s Training

Florida Sons of The American Legion College System – Course 6


Course Instructors

Jim Roberts – Detachment Assistant AdjutantSquadron 4 Lakeland35 Years of ServicePast Detachment CommanderPast National Commander

Ed Sheubrooks

– Detachment AdjutantSquadron 40 Fort Pierce39 Years of ServicePast Detachment CommanderPast National Vice CommanderNational Assistant Adjutant

John Jennings – National Vice Commander

Squadron 72 Mulberry

20 Years of Service

Past Detachment Commander


The objective and purpose of the Florida SAL College System is to increase, improve and enhance the administrative and managerial skills of current and future leaders of the Florida Sons of The American Legion through education and direct skill development.

Florida SAL College System Objective


NameSquadron Number and LocationYears of Membership in the SALWhat made you want to be a District Commander?








You are now your District’s representative to our organization.Please take seriously the position you now hold.You are the eyes, ears, and voice of your District.Together, with your fellow District Commanders you will guide and shape the overall operation of the Detachment of Florida.Through this course we hope to give you a perspective of the duties and responsibilities of a District Commander.



Where Do You Fit In?





The National Organization is responsible for Policy & Programs

The Detachment is responsible for Administration & Publicity

The District is responsible for Communication & Coordination

The Squadron is responsible for Membership & Activities


If this is your first time as a District Commander, and you are not quite sure what the job entails, don’t feel alone! You’re not! Every year many Sons across the nation are elected to the position of District Commander and very few have experience. As a District Commander you have a unique opportunity to help the Sons of The American Legion work and in turn to HELP AMERICA WORK. Your term in the office of District Commander can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences of your life . if you meet your—

What is a District Commander?


In many ways the District Commander is the most important person in the Sons of The American Legion. You, as District Commander, have the responsibility for providing the link between members, Squadrons and the Detachment. Each squadron in the Sons of The American Legion is a separate and distinct unit of our organization .Without your leadership, the Squadrons in your District will have no way of linking their operations to our much larger Detachment and National network.



Official SAL District CapYour dress is determined by the activity that you will be participating inREMEMBER – Image - Because you represent the organization.

Dress Code



You represent the Sons to our American Legion Family and the Public.Act ProfessionallyDress Appropriately Speak Respectfully Indulge Moderately!

Represent the Organization


Not just the presentation as it relates to your job as Commander.But we can build camaraderie, share ideas, and build relationships that will stay with us and this great organization of ours.We want you to feel free to share triumphs, defeats and new ideas, receiving in turn guidance, a nonjudgmental audience and constructive criticism.Positive attitude is an asset toward your success!

This Officers Orientation Can Be a Valuable Resource


If your District has been successful in the past few years, then by all means carry on.But if you can identify areas that need attention (i.e.: membership, programs or committees) then you need to make the necessary adjustments to turn them around.You are the Commander of your District and your leadership and what you bring to the table will shape the level of your success.

Success Spawns Success


A strong team is the only way you achieve success.Teamwork is the essential key from the Squadron level all the way to and including the National Commander!You are the coach of your District’s team.

A District Commander is Not Just One Person


Try as you will, you just can’t be everywhere and you can’t do it all.You must have a good working Staff and Chairman.

Pick Your Staff Wisely


As District Commander, your first order of business is your “team” - the people with whom you can work and those who can best perform the tasks necessary for a successful year during your term of office.You must select the cast, set the stage, and it’s up to you to: (1) Move those projects that are most important, following a definite timetable. (2) Determine both long-range and immediate objectives. (3) Organize fully and communicate exactly your ideas and your enthusiasm. (4) Make sure the lines of communication are tightly drawn so the flow of information will be easily available to the Squadrons and District.

Organize “Team”


The first couple of months following the election of the District Commander can determine the success or failure of the entire administration.This is the time the selection of the key persons who will assist the Commander is completed, a timetable of future events is established, and it’s made certain the Squadrons are getting organized.The District Commander is normally the elected representative of the Squadrons in the District, but an obligation to provide guidance and supervision is also implied.

Organizing Your District


Responsibilities must be assigned to District Vice Commanders. Other District officers must clearly understand the duties of their respective offices. The most effective way to organize is to use an early meeting to bring together the team that will make the District function.Prior to that meeting, the District Commander should learn what has caused past successes or failures of programs and objectives of the Squadrons and the District.

Supervision means organization!


District Commanders of previous years should be consulted. The Commander should study all that is possible to find out about the District, and should have clearly defined objectives and assignments to present.

Organizing Cont’d


DelegatingMotivatingDelivering criticism, discipline or praiseWorking under pressureMeeting tight deadlinesTraining future leadersOrganizing people, projects and schedules

You Wear A Lot Of Hats!


Whenever possible, the chair should be someone with personal interests in the program assigned. It is essential to distribute appointments over the entire District. Once a District Commander has decided upon the chairs, personal contact should be made with each head to determine a willingness to serve. The District Commander has an additional obligation to see that each chair and committee is furnished with all needed information and materials.

Selection and Use ofCommissions & Committees


Commissions & Committees

CommissionsAmericanismChildren & YouthInternal AffairsLegislativePublic RelationsVeterans Affairs & Rehabilitation

CommitteesDisaster PreparednessSpecial OlympicsChildren’s Miracle NetworkAdvisoryConstitution & By-LawsMembershipSquadron ActivitiesCommunity Affairs


Appoint one for every committee & nominate the same person for Detachment Committee.Be sure the person is interested in the subject matter.Have all active committees report regularly at District meetings.



May be the strongest personality in the District.Willing to work as hard as you, maybe harder.Needs to visit Squadrons, especially those having membership problems. (In addition to your visits.)Needs to be well supplied with application, pamphlets, etc.

Membership Chairman


Sources of Assistance

Your own DistrictDon’t be afraid to consult past District OfficersConsider forming an advisory committee of Past District CommandersDetachment Officers Vice CommandersPast Detachment CommandersAdjutantCommander

District or Area AdvisorsConsult your Legion Counterpart for their information.Department HeadquartersWilliam Hoppner – Department AdvisorDepartment HQ Program Staff


You are charged with the responsibility of visiting every squadron in your district.As the installing officer, you need to have ready the objectives of the Detachment Commander and your own.Let them know what areas we need to work and why. Be prepared for every visit!Use this as an informational event as well as the installation.

Squadron Officer Installations


Encourage Participation

Challenge new blood by asking them to serve on committees.Utilize proven achievers in more challenging positions.

Build our future leadership by direct mentoring. Through your leadership, the years you serve at the helm of your district will have a lasting effect on the successful future of your district.


Squadron VisitationsDistrict Commanders Visitation ReportDistrict MeetingsDetachment Executive CommitteeOther Official Functions

District CommandersResponsibilities


While all your duties are important, the visitation is the most essential! This is why we require you to visit each at least once during your year. However, the more the better.These visits should be for official business or an event. Stopping in for a drink does not satisfy the requirement for a visit.These Squadron visits should be timed to facilitate one or more of your requirements.It is essential to have a good relationship and understand the make up of all the Squadrons in the District.

Squadron Visitations


District CommanderSquadron Visitation Report




Your District Meeting is the best avenue to inform your squadrons about the programs and share information.Every Squadron within your District should be represented at your District Meeting!District Meeting should be informative, organized, and convenient for all squadron representatives to attend.

District Meetings


The District meeting is the largest Sons meeting the average Son may ever attend.Therefore, the District meeting becomes primarily the one opportunity to impress the average Son and to instill within each the knowledge and idealism of our accomplishments and aims. District Commanders should get together with the host Squadron officers to work out details of the meeting, possible entertainment, and a meal if there is to be one.

District Meeting Cont’d


All Squadrons should be sent notices of the meeting as far in advance as possible. The notices should outline:The time the meeting will start. Where it will be held.Agenda (if available)Whether or not there will be refreshments or a meal. Any other miscellaneous information that would make for a better informed District membership.

District Meeting Cont’d


Notice of the meeting should definitely be sent to all District chairmen and those who are expected to report should receive an additional follow-up, probably including a telephone call, to be certain they will be present and ready to report. Occasionally at District meeting there maybe dignitaries of the Legion, Sons or Auxiliary. Be certain you are familiar with the proper method of presenting these people and the proper time for receiving any message they might have. The intent and meaning of the business part of a District meeting is to improve the performance of the Squadrons and make them more effective for the veterans in the surrounding areas.

District Meeting Cont’d


Time and PlaceMake sure it is not in conflict with any squadron events AttendanceJust setting a meeting date doesn’t ensure a crowd.Arrangements for MeetingAs soon as the place for the meeting has been confirmed, the District Commander shall contact the squadron commander to make all arrangements to conduct a district meeting

Check List for Meetings


In conducting your meeting, as the presiding officer you will command more and greater respect, and have better control over such meeting, by standing whenever the group is addressed or presiding over business.Remember, as the presiding officer, you are the “boss” of the meeting. When anyone wishes to address the chair, have that person stand, give their name and Squadron number and be properly recognized before you grant permission to address the conference.

Final Thoughts for Meetings


As a District Commander, you along with your elected District Vice Commander represent your District to the Detachment Executive Committee.The two of you are responsible to bring information from your District to include issues or concerns.These meetings are very important to the success of the Detachment.

DetachmentExecutive Committee


You are representing our Detachment.You should be in uniform (coat and tie), neat and clean.Give the Squadron a run-down of the current goals and objectives and upcoming events.During Squadron visitations encourage participation at the District level from their membership.Be prepared for the purpose of your visit.

All Official Visits


Things you should attend eventhough you aren’t paid to attend

Functions to AttendLegion Family Events within your DistrictFall ConferenceHave report prepared for the DEC Mtg and General Session.Constitutional ConferenceDetachment ConventionHave report prepared for the DEC Mtg and General Session

Other RecommendationsDetachment Commander’s HomecomingDepartment Commander’s HomecomingDepartment President’s HomecomingArea / District BallsOther District EventsProgram EventsFunerals & memorial services


Who or how many serving on your staff will be ready to assume the mantle of leadership of your District?You have many important jobs as District Commander, mentoring future leaders is vital for the future of our organization.As you visit all the Squadrons in your District encourage the workers at the Squadron level to attend your District meetings.From there don’t be afraid to take a chance on new talent. Invite them to events and offer them a ride to the events.Help Educate your members – Offer a Florida SAL College Course.

Who is going to replace you when your term is up?


Although your duties are many, varied, and time consuming, the one most important thing you are charged with is to obey ALL deadlines.The correspondence you receive are almost always time sensitive. They sometimes require you take action immediately! Don't wait until the next Squadron or District meeting before you open these correspondences.When acting upon these correspondences always do so by the date on the letter or form.



Detachment Membership TargetsNational Reporting FormsConsolidated Squadron ReportsOfficer Reporting FormsDetachment Executive Committee MeetingsDetachment Convention DelegatesSAL College Applications

Key Deadlines To Watch


Communication is THE key to your success as a District Commander!Newsletters are an excellent source in getting the word out.Personal contact is still the most effective way to communicate.



The Source is the publication of the Florida Sons of The American Legion.It is available on our website each month and it is sent electronically using our Florida SAL and Newsletter Networks.We depend on you and your squadrons to send in items for our newsletters!

The Source


Our Networks


How does HQ communicatewith our Squadrons??

A completed Squadron Officers Report is the only way that Squadrons will receive mailings!!


Every Son is involved in public relations.Everything an individual member or Squadron does says something about the Sons of The American Legion.

Who is responsible forPublic Relations?


To be effective you need to communicate information to all of your Squadrons in your DistrictHow? Newsletters, Flyers, E-mails, Facebook, Website and etc.Share information from the Squadrons, Detachment and National with your members to keep them better informed.Encourage your members to sign up for the Florida SAL Email NetworkEncourage all to send in an article for The Source or advertise events using the Detachment Website & Facebook Page.

Information Flow


Each District Commander will have squadrons that range from highly successful to dormant ones.Your success is going to depend to a large extent upon how effectively you can get the greatest number of Squadrons to cooperate during your year(s) in office.When a Squadron has a completely successful operation, it needs a minimum of supervision.

The Value of Organized Squadrons


As a District Commander you will still want to be familiar with the procedures followed by the Squadrons, so ideas and programs used there can be presented to less successful squadrons in the District. On many occasions, new squadron officers are eager to do a job but lack the background.The District Commander has several options as to how best help the Squadron.

Organized Squadrons Cont’d


SAL Educational Opportunities


The Florida Sons of The American Legion College System Courses are available for delivery.Florida SAL College is made of 3 courses that are the basis for the rest of the FSCS Courses.Completion of the 3 core courses result in the graduation of the college and is a one year commitment if applicant is selected.All other courses are open to all members of the Legion FamilyAll courses are available at no cost to the member

Florida Sons of The AmericanLegion College System


Course AvailableFlorida SAL College – FSCS-01Course A – CommunicationsCourse B – Personal AdministrationCourse C – Personal DevelopmentFSCS-02 – SAL OrganizationFSCS-03 – A New SquadronFSCS-04 – SAL AdvisorsFSCS-05 – Grassroots LobbyingFSCS-06 – District Commander’s SchoolFSCS-07 – Ambassador’s Course

Courses In DevelopmentCommander’s & Adjutant’s SchoolFive Star ClassTen Ideals ClassProtocol

Florida Sons of The AmericanLegion College System


A course of study on the history, programs, policies, developments, positions, and future goals of The American Legion. Upon successful completion of the course, graduates receive a pin and a certificate.https://www.legion.org/aleiCost - $4.95

The American Legion

Extension Institute


Department Headquarters

Physical - 1912 Lee Road, Orlando, FL 32809Mailing - PO Box 547859, Orlando, FL 32854


Roundtable Discussion

Question and Answer Session


Let the us know what you thought of this program. We need your feedback to make this successful. Please take the time to complete your surveys as this will help us to develop and update our college courses.Jim Roberts – jim.robertsfl@gmail.com Ed Sheubrooks – Fishermn9@aol.com John Jennings – jjennings22@tampabay.rr.com



Course Certificates


Florida Sons of The American Legion College System



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