All VFW Posts are urged and should endeavor in every way to strengthen and extend their efforts to provide activities that will enhance the moral and physical well being of today’s action-oriented youth.
By sponsoring both physical and moral character building and leadership training programs for youth, every VFW Post can be a powerful force in preparing today’s youth for tomorrow’s challenges.
The need for more and better Youth Programs has never been greater than it is today. This demands a better effort on our part to support all Youth Programs in our Communities. Be sure to appoint a comrade who relates well with the youth and is aware of the problems that the youth face in your community. Help is always available from your Department Chairman and members of the committee. PARTICIPATION is the key word. Please refer to the National Commander’s Manual/Section 5 – VFW Programs
SPECIAL AWARD NOTE: Awards will be presented for Youth Activity reporting for First, Second and Third Place based on the total reports, projects, hours and funds spent. 


A youth athletic team sponsorship will qualify a Post/Auxiliary in this category.

Supporting Boys or Girls Scouting unit or any worthwhile youth organization can qualify in this category.

Any special event conducted in your local community that involves and benefits youth.

Many opportunities exist to teach children skills and/or experience or knowledge. Service fair sponsorship!

Recognize youth in your community for the achievements and honors they earn. Sponsor them for Summer Camps or Workshops! 

1. Youth Cadet Awards Program – VFW awards for special recognition of Outstanding Achievement and Exceptional Leadership are available for Junior and Senior OTC Programs, Naval Sea Cadets and Civil Air Patrol Cadets. If any of these programs exist in your community, these awards provide your Post an outstanding opportunity to honor these patriotic young people.

2. Criteria for Civil Air Patrol and Naval Sea Cadets:
*Good academic standing
*Satisfactory progress in the Cadet Program
*Outstanding achievement in Community Service and/or the Cadet Program
*Outstanding Leadership in the Cadet program
*High moral character
*Exceptional professionalism in appearance and actions (Officer Award)
*Outstanding Military Bearing and Conduct in and out of Uniform (NCO Award)
*Involvement in Patriotic Programs, Drill Team, Color Guard, etc.
*Demonstrated potential and willingness to assume higher levels of responsibility

3. Additional Criteria for JROTC & SROTC Awards:
*Positive attitude toward the ROTC program.
-Must be enrolled as a 10th - 12th grade JROTC student.
-Must be an undergraduate student enrolled in Military Science I thru IV.
-Must maintain a "B” average in ROTC curriculum and a "C” average in all remaining subjects with no failing grades in the previous semester.
-Active in at least one other student extra-curricular activity (Music, Athletics, Government, etc.).

Do a project that improves or provides facilities for youth to participate in recreation or other positive activities. The category can also be used to report activities not otherwise covered by the other five categories. Check with your State Chairman for details on the listed programs.
  • VFW Youth Hero Award: A product of the VFW’s Life Saving Award is the Youth Hero Award. Each year, the VFW reviews the files of those submitted for a Life Saving Citation from the Departments and pulls out all those recipients under 18 years of age at the time of their heroic act.
  • The VFW’s "Special Projects Judging Panel” reviews those submitted and selects one to receive a $2,000.00 U.S. Savings Bond and an expenses-paid trip (including a chaperone) to the National Convention. Only those young people who have been nominated for a VFW Life Saving Award during the previous year will be eligible for this award. National Deadline for all nominations is January 15.
  • See the Life Savings Awards details in the National Commander’s Manual.
State Chairman
Leander Daigle