Virginia Boys State Program: Supporting the Next Generation of Government Leaders

For the past 20 years, DCI Group partner Dan Combs has served as a counselor for the American Legion Boys State of Virginia program and for the last three years, he has served as the Program Director and Chief Instructional Counselor. Dan, himself a participant of the Boys State program in West Virginia and a member of Sons of the American Legion, is a strong supporter of Legion and the ideals of patriotism, democracy and self-government that are at the core of the program.   

As the program director, Dan helped coordinate the he 78th Session of the American Legion Boys State of Virginia which was held this past June on the campus of Radford University. The event brings together an impressive group of rising high school seniors from around the Commonwealth of Virginia and allows them to get a hands-on lesson about state and local government. 

The students get the chance to meet and visit with the individuals who serve in government positions around Virginia, including mayors, sheriffs, state legislators, commonwealth’s attorneys, judges, cabinet and agency heads, the Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, and the Governor. As the week progresses, the students run campaigns for these same offices, and if elected, actively serve in those roles.  Members of the Boys State legislature are able to draft legislation that is debated and voted on.  The Boys State Governor has the chance to sign or veto the legislation approved by the legislature. The Circuit Court Judges are able to conduct mock trials in their cities and the Boys State Supreme Court is able to hear and rule on a mock court case.

The American Legion Boys State and Girls State programs have a presence in all 50 states and they have served as a powerful seed for individuals to better understand governing and appreciate the importance of public service. Alumni of the programs have gone on to serve our nation and their states in many important ways – including serving as President, Members of Congress, Governors, State Legislators as well as military officers, business leaders, and teachers. 

For more information about the program and ways to support it, visit

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