I offer a little 40 & 8 history along with some personal impressions from my time in the organization.
La Societé des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux ( The Society of 40 Men and 8 Horses) or more commonly referred to as the 40 & 8 was established in 1920 as an organization within the American Legion. The French Box Car used to transport troops to the front in WWI was chosen as its’ symbol and the offices/titles and terminology are based on the organization of the French railroad. The Box Car was marked with the 40/8 emblem indicating a capacity for 40 men or 8 horses. In 1959, the 40 & 8 became a separate organization.
The Chef de Gare compares to the Post Commander, Chef de Train to the First Vice Commander, Correspondant to the Post Adjutant, Commissaire Intendant to the Finance Officer and so on for an equivalent structure, but using French titles. The Cheminot is our Executive Board.
The programs are similar to those of the American Legion; however the 40 & 8 added Nurses Training for which we provide scholarship money when we can. Locale 240 has presented many at NDSU over the years. Another area currently unique to the 40 & 8 is support for research of Hanson’s disease or Leprosy. The 40 & 8 Flags for 1st Graders program visited over 30 area schools giving a program on flag etiquette, flag care and presenting flags to students, distributing over 1900 flags. The 40 & 8 also conducts BINGO at the Fargo VA hospital; visiting with the patients, providing them with coffee, cookies and juice and giving away $50 in prize money each night. The 40 & 8 has been described as the fun organization as opposed to the American Legion’s serious nature. Rather than fun, enjoyable is probably more appropriate. The tasks and obligations are taken very seriously, but accomplished in an enjoyable, fun-loving way. The 40 & 8 has a place for the clowns and jokesters.
Membership is by nomination by a current member and a vote by the local unit or Voiture Locale. A Grand Voiture or Grand officers are at the state level. The local level is more like county-wide. Our Locale 240 is primarily Cass County but does extend beyond to cover an area more like the North Dakota Legion’s First District. The membership used to be drawn exclusively from the American Legion membership, but has now been opened up to other veterans.
Robert Jacobson, Voiture Locale 240 Chef de Gare
New District 1 Leadership for Membership Year 2018
Post 2 is proud to announce that two of their members were selected tonight to serve as the incoming leadership of District 1! Christopher Hanson was selected as District Vice Commander (Elect) and Michele Olson was selected as District Commander (Elect) for membership year 2018!
From the National Commander
CLICK HERE to read the latest from our National Commander Charles Schmidt.
Hawaii Fights to Save WWI Memorial
The Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium has fallen into disrepair. Now the Legion and preservationists are trying to save it from being torn down. CLICK HERE to read more.
National Poppy Day Supports Veterans, Honors the Fallen
The American Legion Family leads the effort to keep all who served front and center heading into Memorial Day weekend. CLICK HERE to read more.
Purple Heart Lie Results in Six Guilty Verdicts
A former Holly Springs police officer was found guilty Tuesday of falsely claiming he was a Purple Heart recipient four years after an investigation showed he lied about his military affiliation. CLICK HERE to read more.
Vietnam Veterans Day: An Unforgettable Medal of Honor Message
The President signed legislation honoring Vietnam Veterans Day, and a speech about coming home- CLICK HERE for more.
An "Ideal Setting" to Honor a Veteran
Post 27 in New Hampshire hosted a ceremony for a World War II veteran who received medals earned decades earlier. CLICK HERE to read on.
"They Served Each Other"
At a World War I centennial event, our American Legion national commander praised the generation that fought the Great War and founded The American Legion. CLICK HERE to read more.
Seabees Celebrate 75 Years of Successes
The Seabees have played a role in every U.S. conflict since World War II, providing national security, alleviating humanitarian crises and responding to natural disasters. CLICK HERE to read more.
America's Military is Losing Its Technology Edge
The global war on terrorism and reduced defense spending have taken their toll, even as rival nations are modernizing their forces. CLICK HERE to read on.
National Commander Used Legion Legacy to Advance Legislative Agenda
National Commander Schmidt testifies before joint session of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs committees. CLICK HERE to learn more!
OMW Delivers Largest Grant to a VA Facility in Two Years
The New Mexico VA Health Care System in Albuquerque received $10,000 for the purchase of needed items for its veterans. CLICK HERE to read more!
The 9/11 Never Forget Exhibit
We're working to help in the efforts to bring this incredible exhibit to West Fargo at the Red River Valley Fair this summer. Stay tuned for more details. But, for now, go check out the information on the 9/11 Never Forget Exhibit. It's worth your time. CLICK HERE to learn more!
VALOR at NDSU
VALOR (Veteran Alliance Organization) was created to improve the campus climate for military and veteran students at North Dakota State University. The concept is to create a network of ADVOCATES made up of staff, faculty, and administrators at NDSU who are identified to our veteran students as people that they can go to for guidance and direction.
VALOR materials and training opportunities provide:
VALOR is sponsored by American Legion Post 400 and an Advisory Board that provides guidance and oversight.
Questions on the program can be directed to Commander Christopher Hanson or Past Commander Brad Aune, both who are Advisory Board members of VALOR.
New Mexico Man Admits Stolen Valor Charge
Anthony Gambino, 43, has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and violating the Stolen Valor Act. CLICK HERE to read more.
Department of Maryland Legionnaires Attend a Sendoff Ceremony
Department of Maryland members show support to 200 National Guard troops headed to the Middle East for nine months. CLICK HERE to read more!
Legion Assessing Damage in Storm-Ravaged Georgia
Tornadoes killed at least 15 in state, caused $100 million in damage. CLICK HERE to read more.
"We're Saving Lives"
After a brutal cold spell hit Portland and caused multiple deaths, Legion Post 134 set up a warming shelter that has housed more than 20 area residents each night. CLICK HERE to read more.
Appeals Modernization, Choice Program, Cannabis Research
New American Legion Legislative Director Matthew Shuman talks key issues facing veterans on Capitol Hill. CLICK HERE to read more.
Why Join the Legion?
Looking for good reasons to join or convince someone to join the American Legion? Wondering if it would be worth it to start up again after letting your membership lapse? CLICK HERE to read more about why you should join us in our mission and cause!