American Legion accepting Spirit of Service award packages

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 an in-person presentation tentatively scheduled for August 2021.

Due to the pandemic, it is still unknown if the ceremony will be virtual or in person. If in person, it will be presented by the National Commander, James W. Oxford at the Legion’s national convention in Phoenix, Arizona, Aug. 27- Sept. 2.

Packages must be submitted by May 19. Service members will be nominated by their commanding officer based primarily on the level of volunteerism they perform off-duty in a local community. Commanding officers may nominate only one Sailor from their command.

Eligible Sailors must have served from Jan.1-Dec. 31, 2020, be E-5 or below during the period of service and epitomize Navy core values. Nominees may be active or Reserve, but must be outstanding military professionals. Previous winners of this award are not eligible.

Nomination packages must be contained in one PDF and be submitted on command letterhead. The package must include the following:

  • Indication of the CO’s confidence in the Sailor’s professionalism as a representative of the Navy
  • Description of the Sailor’s volunteer service performed
  • High-resolution JPEG full body photograph and a high-resolution JPEG head-and-shoulders photograph of the Sailor
  • Sailor’s biography
  • Signed consent for release of information

The CO must also note a commitment to facilitate their nominee’s mandatory attendance at the American Legion national convention if selected. Endorsements are not required.

The CO’s description of their nominee’s 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.

If chosen as the award recipient, the nominee’s submitted JPEG photos 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.”

The American Legion will provide travel and lodging expenses for the individual winner only. The winner is responsible for travel expenses for family members or guests.

Nomination packages should be emailed to kristine.garland@navy.mil by May 19. 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.

For further information, please contact Kristine Garland at kristine.garland@navy.mil. The NAVADMIN can be found here: https://www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Portals/55/Messages/NAVADMIN/NAV2021/NAV21076.txt?ver=cRVW2w_iJSWFas0wMurg2w%3d%3d

To view a sample package of a previous winner, visit https://www.outreach.navy.mil/Outreach/ExecutiveOutreach/.