The American Veterans, Inc. (AMVETS) is a volunteer-led organization formed by World War II veterans of the United States. It advocates for its members as well as for causes that it deems helpful to the nation at large. The group holds a Federal charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. It is a 501(c)19 organization.
The AMVETS Silver Helmet Award is an annual award to "recognize excellence and achievement in Americanism, defense, rehabilitation, congressional service and other fields." Sometimes called the "Veterans Oscar," the award is shaped like a small, silver replica of a World War II helmet. Recipients have included Edmund Muskie, Lyndon B. Johnson, Lee Greenwood, and Jack Quinn.
The organization also gives out an award that used to be called the Peace Award, which in later years was called the Silver Helmet Peace Award, to honor people who promoted peace. AMVETS is frequently involved with ROTC and JROTC programs. A local chapter in the school's area may present awards, scholarships, and savings bonds to qualifying cadets in a unit. It has a number of subordinate organizations, which help to advance the aims and purposes of the AMVETS organization. These subordinate organizations are:
AMVETS Career Center-providing services such as training and employment assistance for veterans and current military members
AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary-wives and female relatives of members
Junior AMVETS-under-18 children and grandchildren of members, as well as those of the Ladies Auxiliary and the Sons of AMVETS
Sad Sacks-entertainment group
Sackettes-entertainment group of the Ladies Auxiliary
Sons of AMVETS-male relatives of members
AMVETS supported the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014 (H.R. 4031; 113th Congress). The bill would give the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs the authority to remove or demote any individual from the Senior Executive Service upon determining that such individual's performance warrants removal or demotion. The bill was written in response to a scandal indicating that some VA hospitals were keeping secret waiting lists for care, the length of which may have led to the deaths of some veterans. National Commander John H. Miller Jr. said that "under the current, antiquated and morbidly dysfunctional civil service system, it's nearly impossible to dismiss or do more than slap the wrists of incompetent, ineffective and wasteful Senior Executive Service employees." John Miller argued that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs needed "the ability to remove deadweight executives."