Commander’s Corner

Commander Dean Noechel

Colorado American Legion Family,

We are off and running in our 2021 year and have continued the momentum from 2020 and with your support and dedication, we as TEAM COLORADO will continue to be the best in the WEST!

WOW, all I can say is THANK YOU for coming together and working our programs this last year and for all the great things we have accomplished in light of the pandemic we have encountered. The COVID-19 has not been easy for our Posts and our Veterans. Our Posts have stepped up to conduct “Buddy Checks” worked diligently on “Operation Recall” and made personal contact with members in our communities and it shows.

As we enter into August, I ask that we continue to conduct our “BUDDY CHECKS!” Remember that we must continue to engage our members and make sure that they are doing ok. They need to hear from us. Our members are the most important asset we have in our organization. Membership retention needs to be our biggest focus for 2021. We want to keep the members who have joined for 2020 and get them to renew for 2021. You may ask how you can do that? Make that personal contact with the member through a phone call. From our Posts with 15 members to our Posts with 1100 members each Post can reach out to all our members. Build Post engagement Teams that are willing to contact our members to let them know that we as The American Legion are here and we care about them.

I would like to highlight an event that will be hosted this month in Cripple Creek, Co. The 28th Annual Salute to American Veterans Rally will be held August 21-23, 2020. This is a time for Veterans to come together as Patriotic Americans and celebrate AMERICA! We are proud of our Service, American and our brothers and Sisters. This year will be a little different with all the COVID-19 requirements and social distancing, however it is a great weekend in the mountain community of Cripple Creek to meet other Veterans. There is always a great ceremony on Saturday after the ride comes into town from Woodland Park. If you have never attended and are looking for a little event to get away, consider joining the Salute to American Veterans Rally in Cripple Creek, Co August 21-23, 2020.

In closing, TEAM COLORADO you make me proud every day. Your dedication and hard work with Veterans and our 4 pillars are to be commended. Our Posts continue to do amazing things across this great state, and I could not be prouder of the support you have given and shown to so many. You are the backbone of this great organization. Keep up the great work in your communities and remember the children and youth are the future of this great country. We must mentor them and teach them the ideals and principles of what makes us the greatest country in the world. We are proud Americans and we must stand together!

The 2019-2020 Year has been really exciting, we have accomplished a lot of great things and I look forward to accomplishing many more things in 2020-2021. This is the first year since 2014 that the Department of Colorado has hit 100% membership and a renewal rate of 91.1%. This couldn’t of been done without all of your hard work, commitment and dedication. We truly are TEAM COLORADO!!  The Department of Colorado is growing its membership and we will make our goal of 25,000 members in 5 years that I set out to achieve in 2019. This is the first step in achieving that goal, this year as most of you know our quota from National was very aggressive at 21,119 members and WE achieved that. I cannot Thank you all enough for your support to RE-IGNITE PATRIOTISM!

The Post Consolidated Post Reports (CPR) are a vital piece of our mission, we need all Posts to complete these forms and get them turned in to Department. The deadline was June 1, 2020. If you have not turned it in please do so now! Remember this is a requirement to receive your 2021 membership cards. Please get them turned in, the National Commander and Officers utilize this information when talking with our legislative representatives and elected officials on the impact that we as The American Legion have contributed to our communities across this great state.

Your Department leadership will be starting our vigorous travel schedule to get out and visit with Posts and Districts again here in the coming weeks and throughout the Fall as we schedule the District Fall Conferences. I look forward to seeing all our members as we travel, remember if you have an event or anything that you would like to have myself or any Department Officer at please get it on the schedule and we will try our best to accommodate. All you have to do is call the Department Headquarters at 303-366-5201.

As we navigate to reopening our Posts for meetings and functions, lets continue to conduct our “BUDDY CHECKS” our members need to hear from us, we need to let them know we are here and care about them. “BUDDY CHECKS” are very important and we must continue them well into the future of 2020-2021.

Communication is the key to our success, we can do that through email, phone or written. Our members need to hear from you and what is going on at the local American Legion Post that they joined. Our members are ready and eager to get out and volunteer, we just have to let them know what we have planned and ask them to be involved. The more we communicate with our members the stronger TEAM we will build and the stronger TEAM we have the louder and more VETERANS we can help here in Colorado. WE ARE A WINNING TEAM!

Don’t forget that we have rescheduled out Training and Education Conference for November 6-8, 2020 at American Legion Neil Thomas Jr Centennial Post 209 in Colorado Springs. Our special guest will be National Vice Commander Rob Leibenow, after the Training and Education Conference is over we will be traveling and visiting members and Posts in Districts 3, 4 and 5. Please plan on attending the annual training event in Colorado Springs. We are planning to have training on Post Dues Direct, your Post Commander and Adjutant must attend training to be able to start the Dues Direct process.

It has been my pleasure and a distinct honor to serve as your 100th Department Commander, I look forward to serving as your 101st Department Commander for 2020-2021. We have made some great strides in Colorado and we want to keep Colorado moving forward for 2021. As always if there is anything that we can do to assist you please reach out to me by email at we are here to help and support you.


Purchase a pin now and support the Colorado Veterans Assistance Fund! This fund was created to give immediate assistance to Colorado veterans in need. It fast, fair and red tape free, thus getting the assistance to those in greatest need faster! We veterans are stubborn, we have a hard time ever asking for help, this gives the relief where it is needed when the veterans finally ask for help.
Join the American Legion today