Ways our members can maintain commitment to ALA, mission

Posted On: Thursday, 27 June 2024

Servicemembers and their families know what it means to keep a devoted, steadfast eye on the mission. After all, a well-known credo in the military is that of “mission first, people always.” 
This mantra, which touts the dual value of focused mission advancement and constructive personal interaction, is no less applicable to the members of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Like the veterans we support, ALA members are most effective when they work collaboratively to advance causes that fulfill the organization’s mission. That means setting aside concerns that are not mission-aligned and overcoming personal differences to work together in the spirit of Service Not Self.
All organizations — from Fortune 500 companies to branches of the military — face distractions. When differences of approaches and opinions interfere with the “mission first, people always” spirit of teamwork, they can make an organization’s efforts less effective.
The notion of collaborating in support of our mission seems straightforward. But it requires us to regularly remind ourselves of the mission that initially drew us to join — even when our association has more than a century of history and a commitment to the noble cause of supporting veterans.
The American Legion Auxiliary stands for a variety of ideals, but supports the same overarching goal: improving the lives of veterans and enhancing our military communities, states, and nation they serve. When we evaluate the why and the work the ALA does to support the mission and the reasons it attracted us to join, we are better equipped to focus on those efforts when distractions threaten to steal our attention.
How can ALA members maintain their commitment to collaboratively supporting the mission? Here are two very important ways:

1. Stay positive. 
Belonging to the ALA means just that: belonging. It provides countless opportunities to be part of a group doing meaningful work. But group interactions can get complicated, whether it’s through negative talk about others or the formation of cliques that leave some feeling excluded. 
In these cases, the first step toward staying mission-focused is to look for occasions to work with others in positive ways. Whether through social gatherings or service activities, members can find opportunities to get together and serve that rise above individual differences and emphasize positive connections and veteran support.
2. Get educated. 
The ALA provides a host of resources that are valuable not only for those learning about the organization for the first time, but also for those seeking a refresher. Among the information and training tools available:
• ALA website. The About Us page at www.ALAforVeterans.org/about provides an overview of what the organization is and how it operates. The page offers links to a comprehensive set of topics and materials with details about the ALA’s mission and vision, as well as facts and figures showing its impact. 
• ALA Academy. Members have the option of taking free courses through this online training platform. Some ALA Academy courses are self-paced, and others are live webinars. 
The courses cover a broad range of subjects that can deepen members’ understanding of the organization and offer insights for working with other members in support of veterans. 
One of those courses, ALA 101, provides the perfect foundation for revisiting the benefits of supporting our mission. The course presents the story of the Auxiliary’s founding and explores the many ways members have worked to improve the lives of veterans and their communities since 1919.
By committing to regularly revisiting the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary and the reasons it attracted us to join, it goes back to the intended audience and ideological issues that can deter the important efforts of the ALA. Members can rise above the fray to put “mission first, people always.”

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.