The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.
High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. The contest caps off with a final round that decides the three top finishers. Speaking subjects must be on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to ten minutes long; three-to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest.
(Qualification info, Application & Certification Forms Included)
Applications must be submitted to Department Headquarters by 06 January 2023
*Certifications must be submitted to Department Headquarters by 10 February 2023
Contest will be held on Saturday, 11 March 2023 at 10:00 AM
Location to be announced at a later date
2022 Contest Awards
3rd Place - Tu Nguyen, Fort Smith, Southside High School
*Certification for the Department (State) contest means that a student must present
his/her oration to the Post and/or a civic organization three (3) times as organized by the
Post Oratorical Chairman.
Posts can certify all students who apply and follow the above rule or Posts can sponsor a contest
to determine whom they will certify for the Department (State) contest
Students certified by a Post will proceed to the Department (State) Contest
The Department of Arkansas First Place Winner - $2,000.00
plus an all expense paid trip, with chaperone, to Indianapolis, IN. to compete in the
National American Legion Oratorical Contest for a chance to earn
$25,000.00 as a 1st Place, -- $22,500.00 as a 2nd Place finish -- $20,000.00 as a 3rd Place finish.
The Department First Place Winner who participates in the first round of the National Contest
will receive a $1,500.00 scholarship. Each first round winner who advances to the second round,
but does not advance to the Final Round will receive an additional $1,500.00 scholarship.
Department of Arkansas Second Place Winner - $1,500.00
Department of Arkansas Third Place Winner - $1,000.00
The 2023 National Finals will be April 21-23 in Indianapolis at the
Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel, 2544 Executive Drive, Indianapolis, IN.