National Security Division Update

Legislative Issues
• Support for Afghan Interpreters through the Special Immigrant Visa Program – The American Legion advocate for Afghan Interpreters who stood shoulder to shoulder with U.S. Forces and Diplomats contributing to saving countless American lives. The American Legion urges the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress to recognize the contributions of Afghan SIV recipients. (Resolution No. 16, 2018) Recognition for Afghan and Iraq Combat Translators.
• Availability of Healthcare benefits for residents at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in proposed language of the FY22NDAA – The American Legions support funding that provides long-term solvency and viability of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (Resolution No. 107, 2016)
• Quality of Life for Service members and their Families – We owe our military men and women a debt of gratitude we can never repay for all that they — and their families — sacrifice to serve our country. Ensure the Coast Guard is paid – The American Legion supports a fully funded United States Coast Guard (Resolution No. 23, 2016)
• Expedited Citizenship through Honorable Military Service – The American Legion supports measures to ensure the process of naturalization through military service is completed before discharge (Resolution No. 15, 2018)
• Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure – The American Legion supports refined processes and policies that will enhance interagency cybersecurity, promulgate best practices and standards, and protect critical infrastructure from cyber and other electronic attacks. (Resolution No. 20, 2017)
• Addressing the Forever Wars – The American Legion advocate for elevating diplomacy to build a better, safer world (Resolution No. 22, 2020)
Staff Activity:
• Staff Processed through the Military Equipment and Ammo & Rifle Program 58,280 rounds of ammunition, 100 ceremonial rifles, 164 clips, and two static displays to 21 American Legion Departments.
• Staff spoke with the Government Accountability Office concerning their recent G.A.O. report on repairing battle-worn ships. Diane Maurer, Director of the Defense Capabilities and Management Team, stated that “the Navy had implemented a plan on repairing these vital warships.”
• Staff attended the hearing on Space Force, military space operations, policy, and programs. General David D. Thompson, Vice Chief of Space Operations U.S. Space Force, stated, “The DoD is taking a proactive approach to acquisition to reduce bureaucracy to more quickly deliver technologies and systems to the warfighter and has made many important changes to improve space acquisition, including fully embracing the authorities Congress has provided.”
• Staff hosted an M.S. Teams meeting to discuss The AFGHAN INTERPRETERS PRESS CONFERENCE: “RECOGNIZE THE CONTRIBUTIONS” to be held June 16, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. EDT at the Capitol Hill Triangle.
• The National Security Division opened the meeting by discussing the following actioned items taken by The American Legion: Letter to the President, Letter to the Secretary of State, meeting with the National Security Council, visit the U.S. Embassy of Afghanistan; and an Afghan Translator featured article to be published in the July edition of The American Legion Magazine.
• The Legislative Division provided details for proposed legislation advocating for an amendment to the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 sponsored by Rep. Crow to waive the requirements to undergo a medical exam for aliens who are otherwise eligible for special immigrant status.
• The Media Division recommended a valuable press conference speaker and co-founder of the non-profit No One Left Behind, who assists interpreters and their immediate family members in obtaining Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs).
• 1st Degree Marketing and Public Relations is currently obtaining approval on the conference message map and a press release that will include distribution paths to civilian and defense media outlets.
Rhonda Powell, Director, National Security Division