Without our nation’s veterans, America wouldn't be the great nation it is today. Our youth deserve to learn about our rich history, traditions and the role of our veterans in creating and shaping America.
Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars selects elementary, middle, and high school teachers to participate in the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher program.
Please review the new rules and eligibility requirements and the 2023 entry form will be available soon to nominate a teacher you know. Teacher nomination entries must be received at a local participating VFW Post by the Oct. 31 deadline.
Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars selects elementary, middle and high school teachers to
participate in the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher program.
Effective this year, VFW Post Teacher Award Chairman may submit one candidate to their
Department Headquarters by January 1, unless your state does district judging. The
Department will select a single candidate and submit them to VFW National Headquarters
by February 1 for national judging. VFW’s Department Teacher winners that are received at
National Headquarters will receive a VFW National citation for both the winning teacher and
NOTE: The only item the National VFW Programs Department requires is the completed
"VFW Department Teacher Award Citation Request Form” which is now available on the VFW
website. Simply visit vfw.org/#login, log in to My VFW, then look under Member Resources,
click on VFW Training & Support, then click on Community Service & Youth Programs, then
look under Additional Resources. The Teacher Entry form, Instruction sheet, Citation request
form and Chairman’s Manual will be up on the VFW website in the near future.
Who Is Eligible?
1. Teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism are prime
candidates for this award. For example, do you know a teacher who plans field trips to city
hall or organizes community volunteer projects? Maybe you know an instructor who
invites veterans into the classroom to discuss their military experiences. Perhaps you are
familiar with a teacher who fosters the development of democratic values and beliefs
through special projects. If you know of such a teacher, honor him or her today.
2. All current certified/licensed teachers in grades K-12 are eligible. Previous national
winners are ineligible. Nominations can be submitted by themselves, fellow teachers,
supervisors, family members or other interested individuals.
Documentation Required for all Candidates:
1. All Post-level nominees should provide a one-page resume as a minimum or up to five
pages as a maximum of documentation of their teaching experience (for example:
references, news articles, etc.) and a head-and-shoulder photo of themselves, if available.
These items will be forwarded on to the Department with the winning teacher entry form.