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Commander's Column

Mid-Year, your Commander's half way point. It is a time for the Department of Ohio to now look forward to the future. My responsibility to our membership is to provide leadership into the future, direction, goals and continuity. A Department Commander is one who should be active, a visionary and have the overall image of the organization in constant over watch and I'm striving to live up to those ideals. Mid-year brings on many challenges. I want to first speak on membership. Although your 1st Vice will cover this in detail, I ask us all to continue with energy and commitment, after the Mid-Winter conference, to look to the goals of membership growth for this year. Now is the time to become more energized. Let us all continue. National Commander Barnett has challenged Ohio to be a Quota Department before we host the National Convention this year. We are so close, let's reach this goal showing the National Commander our "can do" spirit. This is within reach for us, determination will be the key. We have not been a Quota Department since 1993. We can do this! Commander Barnett eluded to how close we are.

We had the opportunity to have National Commander Barnett visit headquarters to show him the rebirth of Ohio after the fire. Commander Barnett was impressed with YOUR headquarters, even in the rebuild state it is in. He has visited many Department Headquarters and had many compliments for Ohio. We are completely under roof and ahead of schedule in the rebuild. Work on the interior has started and it looks like June may be the completion date. Overseeing the day to day coordination at headquarters is being done by Directors Jerry White and Brenda McGowan. Thank you for the great job you are doing.

Website - The New Look: When I was elected, one of the goals I had for Ohio was the creation of a new website. If it has not launched as of the printing of this edition, it will be in the very near future The Ad-Hoc committee met, the staff of Department Headquarters made many suggestions for improvements as well. Bids were submitted, presentations made to the committee by vendors and an award made to Vivid Points Technology to create the new and more user friendly website. We feel we have met these requirements. As time goes by and usage teaches us more of what we need our website to be, more adjustments and improvements could follow. I would like to thank the Ad-Hoc Committee for their help in making this a reality through their commitment to Ohio. A special thanks to the Finance Committee and the DEC for their support of this project. I encourage you to explore and use this new asset. As we move into more technology, it will help us all do things quicker and smarter. It brings new ways to do simple tasks. The website will have a new addition, the Commanders Corner. Look for it. On line Officers Certification forms are here, CPR's are on line and much more. We are looking forward to our membership embracing this change.

Department Adjutant: As our membership became aware, Roger Hight retired as of 31 December 2015. Upon notifying Department of those intentions, an Ad-HOC Adjutant Screening Committee was put in place by the DEC at my request. Through a lengthy process, 12 candidates from Ohio and out-of-state were interviewed. The committee began with no guidelines from the past, for it has been 22 years since this was done. The Committee established guidelines, protocol during interviews and a way to conduct a professional interview. The integrity of the Committee was constant by all members. On 15 January 2016, your DEC ratified the selection of the AD-HOC Committee of THOMAS SIMONS. The DEC was professional in the ratification process during the Special DEC meeting held prior to the start of the Mid Winter Conference. They understood the future of Ohio relied on their decision. I would like to thank all the members of the DEC for their sincere interest in the future of the Department of Ohio and its service to our membership. Tom comes to us with an extensive background, 22 years active Army, retiring as a Lt. Col. He then was a Chief Operations Officer for a Waste Management Company, after retiring, before being hired at Department Headquarters. Tom is an OIF/OEF decorated veteran and a 16-year Legionnaire. I want to thank Committee members PDC Robert Klostermeier, PDC/Alt NEC Dennis Clausing, 1st Vice Ron Chapman and 2nd Vice Dave Jackson who sat on this committee with me. After 22 years, we have another face in the Adjutants office who will move Ohio into the future for years to come. Welcome aboard Adjutant Simons. Take time to welcome him aboard when at Department Headquarters.

Commander's Project - Honors Ohio: I have met with the Berlin Township Zoning Inspector on my vision for building a lasting veterans monument here at Department Headquarters. If you have not donated to my project to date, I ask all Posts, Counties, Districts and Legion Riders to help me make this project a success.

Any donation to my project, HONORS OHIO, should be made out to the Department of Ohio and in the memo portion of the check indicate "HONORS OHIO Project". To those who have already donated to this project, thank you. This tribute is something that ALL of us can say we were a part of.

All monies received in this format will be set aside for THIS PROJECT ONLY. Be part of a lasting tribute to our veterans, past, present and future and a tribute to every Legionnaire in Ohio. Join me in a project that will last for generations to come.

DMS888 Program: In the last edition, I spoke of a trip to National with reference to our DMS program by 1st Vice Chapman and myself. After submitting our findings to the DEC, it was agreed to transfer the responsibility of this program to National Headquarters.

This will allow our staff to place their energy to other responsibilities at Department Headquarters. Department of Ohio will actually save money by this transition. We still have access to the same DMS information as before.

The Future: The American Legion Department of Ohio is on a new path into the future. New concepts and ideas, new technology and a determination to continue to be a Department recognized throughout the nation.

Be part of the rebirth of Ohio, from our mortar building to new ways of commitment. We are The American Legion, we are OHIO. Thank you for allowing me to serve YOU.

I am proud to be a Legionnaire. Be proud to be a member of the largest veteran's organization in the nation, helping veterans every day.

I will continue my commitment to you and this organization. I look forward to the next part of my year with even more determination to assure YOU, who ARE The American Legion of Ohio, my continued pledge to assure we are doing everything we can in service.

I have made email to the Commander to be the same now year after year. The email address is simple, it is "Commander@ohiolegion.com."

The Commander's cell phone number is 740-602-6559. These will not change from year to year, they will stay constant. Make note of this unique change and put them in your files. The following addresses will be constant as well, "1stvice@ohiolegion.com, 2ndvice@ohiolegion.com, Treasurer@ohiolegion.com and Adju-tant@ohiolegion.com."

It is believed that by making these standard to the office, it will cause less confusion from year to year.

More challenges, more determination, more results is my hope for remainder of my term.

As I conclude I ask all of you to join me in making OHIO a QUOTA DEPARTMENT. We are O-H-I-O!!

Jim Campbell, Commander