American Legion Accepting Spirit of Service Award Packages

February 21, 2019 – For the 19th consecutive year, the American Legion will present the Spirit of Service award to an enlisted member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard during a presentation in August.

Packages for nominations are now being accepted and must be submitted by May 1.

Each service will select one winner based primarily on the level of volunteerism the service member performs off-duty in a local community. The award will be presented by American Legion National Commander Brett Reistad during the annual national convention in Indianapolis, Aug. 23-29.

Eligible Sailors must be E-5 or below, epitomize Navy core values and be nominated by the service member’s commanding officer (CO).

The main criterion of the award is the level of volunteer community service that a Sailor performs off-duty in the local community. Command-sponsored volunteer activities, either on duty or off, will not be counted. The period of service is Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2018, and nominees must be E-5 or below during the period of service. Nominees may be active or Reserve, and must be outstanding military professionals. Previous winners of this award are not eligible. If chosen as the recipient, the awardee must attend the American Legion National Convention.

Nominations must be on command letterhead and indicate the CO’s confidence in the Sailor’s professionalism and as a representative of the Navy, the validity of the volunteer efforts, and a commitment to facilitate their nominee’s attendance at the national convention if selected. Endorsements are not required.

The description of volunteer efforts must include quantitative data such as hours, days, or months spent on off-duty volunteer community service. Command-sponsored volunteer activities, either on-duty or off-duty, will not be counted. This description should be provided in a bullet format.

A high-resolution JPEG head and full-body photograph of the Sailor is required. If chosen as the award recipient, the nominee’s photo will be used in printed and online material to publicize and document the award ceremony. The photo should be similar to those commonly associated with Navy leader biographies and official portrait photos.

If chosen as the award recipient, the biography will be used in the Legion’s magazine and convention program. The biography should include hometown information, as well as professional highlights and qualifications.

A written and signed statement of consent by the Sailor, authorizing release of information contained in the nomination, is required per the Privacy Act of 1974. The following statement is a sample of written consent: “I, (rate/rank/full name), do hereby authorize the release of all information enclosed in this nomination package to those persons involved in the selection process.”

Nomination packages should be emailed to by May 1. The Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO) will consolidate all nominations, organize a ranking board, and recommend the top candidates to the American Legion, which will make the selection. NAVCO will inform the winner and also notify those not selected.

The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. Focusing on service to veterans, service members and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States.