Thursday, July 30, 2020

American Legion National Membership Workshop is open to everyone

Legion's virtual Membership Workshop starts Aug. 3
From The American Legion
JUL 29, 2020

Restrictions and uncertainties related to the global COVID-19 pandemic forced The American Legion National Headquarters to cancel summer events and programs, including the annual National Membership Workshop held in Indianapolis in August.

A virtual session of the 57th annual National Membership Workshop will now be held Aug. 3-6. The theme this year is "Growing a Post."

This virtual National Membership Workshop is open to anyone; it is not specifically geared around any one position at the post as the goal is to provide a broader knowledge of the organization at the post level.

The workshop will be hosted live through Microsoft Teams. National Headquarters staff will be the presenters and moderators.

Below is the schedule with links. All times are Eastern. Links will not be active until 15 minutes prior to each training session.

Monday, Aug. 3
4-5 p.m.: Introduction to The American Legion

7-8 p.m.: Develop a mission and vision

Tuesday, Aug. 4
4-5 p.m.: Build an effective membership team

7-8 p.m.: Recruitment of volunteers

Wednesday, Aug. 5
4-5 p.m.: Membership retention

7-8 p.m.: Every Legionnaire is a recruiter

Thursday, Aug. 6
4-5 p.m.: Define a great post
7-8 p.m.:

Because a topic of discussion is a brief introduction about The American Legion, Legion Family members are encouraged to take The American Legion's free online Basic Training Course if you have not already completed it. The course covers five topics: history and organization; Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation; National Security; Americanism; and Children & Youth.

Take the course at

Mark Sutton
Public Relations Director
American Legion Department of Michigan

Monday, July 13, 2020

2021 Post Membership Incentives

Post Commanders, Adjutants, and Post Membership Teams,

Please relay to your TEAMS!!

The American Legion Department of Michigan's Membership Committee presents the 2021 Membership Incentive Program. 

Membership within our organization has been on the decline, and it's up to all of us to make a commitment to turn this slide around. This year the Membership Committee is taking a fresh approach to membership.

Training on how to use tools available to your post to obtain and retain members will be provided. Incentives in three different categories with CASH prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. What post couldn't use $2000 cash for just a little bit of effort? We want to help serve you by providing the tools you need, so that you too can be successful and reach your goals.  

Three Categories

Exceed Membership Goal by the Highest Percent
Exceed Membership Goal by the Highest Actual Number of Members
Most Improved (Current Year % - Last Year % + #of Members above Goal)
All Whole Numbers

Incentive will be based on the May 12, 2021 100% Target Date. May 12, 2021.

First Place $2,000
Second Place $1,000
Third Place $500

For more information please contact:

Membership Director – Brian Mohlman,, 269-579-6458
Asst. Membership Director – Scott Nichols,, 517-449-1549
UP Membership Director – David Spencer,, 906-322-2554
DMS Coordinator – Jena Wilmers,, 231-629-1274


Brian Mohlman

Brian Mohlman
Department Membership Director

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Help with Executive Order 2020-143 and the 70% rule

Dear Post Commanders and Adjutants,

Last week the Governor issued Executive Order 2020-143, and LARA (Licensing and Regulatory Administration clarified that the order pertained to clubs licenses).

The order stated that if 70% of your gross recipients for 2019 are from alcohol sales indoor service must stop.

I wanted to share with you an email from the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association that was sent out. The information might clarify what you need to be below 70%, even if you don't sell much food.

I hope this helps.

There has been some confusion about the 70/30 distinction and what exactly constitutes a food service establishment. The required 30% in gross receipts is not limited to food only. Establishments that make 30% or more of their gross receipts from food, lottery, apparel sales, memberships (e.g. mugs, dues), rentals, glassware and any other form of revenue, are able to remain open. Any non-alcohol revenue counts. 
Per the EO:
1. Food service establishments, as defined in section 1107(t) of the Michigan Food Law, 2000 PA 92, as amended, MCL 289.1107(t), that hold on-premises retailer licenses to sell alcoholic beverages must close for indoor service if they earn more than 70% of their gross receipts from sales of alcoholic beverages.
6. For purposes of calculating its percentage of gross receipts from sales of alcoholic beverages under section 1, a food service establishment must use:
  1. Gross receipts from 2019; or
  2. If the establishment was not in operation in 2019, gross receipts from the date the establishment opened in 2020.
Many have been confused by the term "food service establishment." Food service establishment does not mean a place must sell food. The definition also includes establishments that only prepare drinks for consumption. 
The definition per 1107(t) of the Michigan Food Law, 2000 PA 92: 
(t) "Food service establishment" means a fixed or mobile restaurant, coffee shop, cafeteria, short order cafe, luncheonette, grill, tearoom, sandwich shop, soda fountain, tavern, bar, cocktail lounge, nightclub, drive-in, industrial feeding establishment, private organization serving the public, rental hall, catering kitchen, delicatessen, theater, commissary, food concession, or similar place in which food or drink is prepared for direct consumption through service on the premises or elsewhere, and any other eating or drinking establishment or operation where food is served or provided for the public.
If you are a bar that sells no food but 15% of your gross receipts are generated from lottery, 10% of your gross receipts are generated from renting rooms and 5% of your gross receipts are generated from mug club membership dues, you can remain open. 


Mark Sutton
Public Relations Director
American Legion Department of Michigan

Friday, July 3, 2020

1st District Commander Year-End Report

        1st District Commander Year-End Report

  -By Jeff Haeseker

As a crazy Legion year comes to an end, who knew? Unfortunately, the COVID-19 virus outbreak has forced the cancellation of all of our youth programs (which we were making a lot of progress on), not to mention canceling the State and National Conventions. However, the first year with the newly merged 1st District has gone fairly well. There are a lot of awesome post commanders in the district and they are making an impact.  

I am always proud of our Livonia Post 32 Honor Guard. This group of members assists in many military honors for deceased veterans throughout the year and will provide a 21-gun salute. They did exactly that at the Vietnam War Wall Memorial when it came to Livonia in August. The Honor Guard was on-site 24/7 for this entire event. PDC Dick Chatman was the honored guest speaker for the Opening Ceremony, while our Finance Officer Roger Avie addressed the crowd on that Friday evening. The Honor Guard also performed a 21-gun salute at the graveside service for the funeral of former Congressman John Conyers, Jr.

Dan McCrary, our 1st District Americanism Co-chair, and Grosse Pointe Post 303 Commander is doing an amazing job with our District Junior Shooting Program. Dan is the SSP SPOC and John Burke, Post 86 Commander, is our JROTC SMSAP SPOC. These programs are running very strong on the east side of the district. Both Post 303 and Post 86 are always happy to support recognition awards for these high schools. The District 1 Oratorical Contest was also completed by Dan McCrary, with a winner and two runners up sent to the 1st Zone.      

The 1st District passed our “Resolution of Support for the Restoration of the Brodhead Naval Armory”, located in downtown Detroit next to Belle Isle. Several of our posts had passed the resolution before it was put to a vote at our March 9th District Meeting. The Resolution was presented to Jim Semerad, CDR, USN (Ret), Chairman of the Board for the Brodhead Association.  
Our District has many volunteers from a couple of different posts that volunteer to help staff the Freedom Center at Metro Airport on a regular basis, as well as one member on the Board of Directors. We are proud of the work that they do. 

Sadly, the district recently lost our 2nd Vice Commander Guadalupe Luna to the COVID-19 virus. Guadalupe was also the Post Commander for Post 505 in Detroit. We also lost Freeman Chandelier, who was the Sergeant-at-Arms for Post 86, to his long battle with cancer. They will be missed. Commander Dan Newton has been appointed as 2nd Vice Commander until such time as we get to come together to vote. Welcome aboard Dan!

District Adjutant Gary DeMars developed and maintains our web page “District 1 Blog” ( ), to provide an information portal that has access by any web browser. It contains notes, articles, and links to sites the Post Commanders and members that may be interested in reviewing. It is an excellent place to start for retrieval of information about our District, the VA, or any of the National American Legion programs.

It has been an honor to serve as our 1st District (and 17th District) Commander for the last couple of years and my hope is that I have served you well. Please, everyone, stay safe and we’ll see you on the other side. 

-May you have fair winds and following seas! 

Jeff Haeseker
District 1 Commander
American Legion -Michigan

(734) 516-0270

Opinion of Post Elections

Opinion of the Judge Advocates of The American Legion, Department of Michigan concerning Post holding in person elections at a meeting for the 2020-21 Legion Year.

The Judges have reviewed all relevant documents and have come to the following opinion. 
 In April the National Executive Committee passed Resolution No.3 which resolved that That due to these serious and sufficient reasons, the following American Legion events in Louisville, Kentucky, are cancelled: (1) the Pre-Convention National Executive Committee meeting scheduled for August 31, 2020; (2) The American Legion’s 2020 National Convention scheduled for August 28–September 3, 2020; (3) the Post-Convention National Executive Committee meeting scheduled for September 3, 2020; and (4) all regular- scheduled national commission and committee meetings that would have been held in Louisville; and, 

 That all nationally elected and appointed officers continue serving in their current positions until the close of the next National Convention scheduled in Phoenix, Arizona, from August 27 through September 2, 2021; and, 

That all national commission and/or committee chairpersons and the current commission and committee members continue serving in their current positions until they resign or are either reassigned or reappointed at the 2021 Fall Meetings scheduled in Indianapolis, Indiana, October 12–15, 2021; and, 

That due to numerous health and safety reasons and needs of our members, the American Legion National Executive Committee strongly urges that the national Sons of The American Legion, the national American Legion Auxiliary and all American Legion departments follow a similar course of action, to-wit: (1) cancel their 2020 conventions and elections; and (2) maintain the status quo of their officers until next year.

As a result of this resolution the Department of Michigan passed Department Resolution 20-8 which allowed for the creation of Emergency Constitution and Bylaws and Resolution 20-9 which cancelled the Department Convention for 2020 and rolled Department Officers over for the 2020-21 Legion year. 

The Emergency Bylaws were drafted and approved by the Department Executive Committee. They were drafted in a manner that was intended to attempt to disrupt the post as little as possible while giving post directions on how to hold elections for the 2020-21 year should the post choose.

The Emergency Constitution and Bylaws provisions shall become effective upon declaration of a state of emergency by any federal, state, or local authority, pursuant to MCL 450.2261 of the nonprofit corporation act, MCL 450.2101, et seq., and Department of Michigan resolutions 20-7 and 20-8, and shall remain in effect for 60 days after the state of emergency is lifted, unless otherwise provided herein in the emergency bylaws.

These provisions supersede the Constitution and bylaws of the American Legion Department of Michigan only to the extent stated herein, and all other provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Legion Department of Michigan shall remain in full force and effect.

The Emergency Constitution Article VII Post Organization Section 10 reads:

 In the event of an emergency, when Post elections cannot be held in person, the Posts may elect to not hold elections as recommended by Department Resolution 20-9 and National Resolution No. 3. Should Posts choose to hold elections, they may do so in one of the following manners. If the posts did not hold an election by one of the manners provided by the Emergency Constitution and Bylaws, they, by default, chose to not hold elections and roll officers from 2019-2020 over for the 2020-21 year.
Four options were available, Video or Conference Call election, an e-mail vote election, vote by mail or simply not hold elections and roll officers from 2019-2020 over for the 2020-21 year. 
These options were not with indefinite dates. Post were expected to adhere to the requirements of the Post Bylaws and the Department Bylaws. Because of unusual circumstances allowances were made to give post addition time. All of the above options were available to the post from late April until the end of the Legion fiscal year which was July 1, 2020. 
The Department of Michigan has been able to hold necessary Department Executive Committee meetings on the dates required by the Department Constitution and Bylaws by using the video and conference call option using the video and conference call option. 
Nowhere in the Emergency Constitution and Bylaws was there an option to wait until the post can hold an in-person meeting to hold elections. Any post that chose this path is in violation of the Emergency Constitution and Bylaws. 
Since the new fiscal Legion year has begun only one option remains for post that chose not to hold elections in one of the manners provided by the Emergency Constitution and Bylaws. That option is to roll the officers of the 2019-2020 year over to continue to hold office until the close of the 2020-21 year. 

Kim Hillock Howard - Department Judge Advocate
Brett Holt - Assistant Department Judge Advocate

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Michigan American Legion Post Lounges Ordered to Stop Indoor Service

Attention Post Commanders & Adjutants,

Posts in Region 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 7 with Club Liquor Licenses are ordered to stop indoor-service of liquor as of 11 p.m. July 1, if the gross receipts of alcohol sales exceeds 70%.

Executive order 2020-143 was issued yesterday afternoon by Governor Whitmer. Region 6 & 8 (Traverse City, Upper lower Peninsula, and the U.P) are exempt.

District Commanders, please inform your Posts.
Thank you for your attention on this matter,

Mark Sutton

Mark Sutton
Public Relations Director
American Legion Department of Michigan