Department Commander

Roger Friend

740-362-7478 |

Roger L. Friend was appointed to the high office of Commander of The American Legion Department of Ohio by unanimous vote at the 101st Department Convention on June 29th, 2019. As Department Commander of the largest Veteran’s organization statewide, Friend will serve a 1-year term as the lead Ambassador of over 540 Post and 90,000 members.

Prior to being elected as Department Commander, Friend retired from the United States Navy Reserves after 22 years and eight months of service as an electrician mate. Commander Friend service began during the Vietnam War and with Operation Enduring Freedom. Commander Friend retired from Acuity Brands, Inc after 44 years.

Commander Friend is married to Cynthia “Cindy” for 50 years and they have two adult daughters, Kalani and Felicia.

Commander Friend is a member of Melvin Mayfield American Legion Post 804 of Saint Louisville, Ohio



Jean Wilson | 1st Vice Commander

The First Vice Commander serves under the Commander of the Department of Ohio. Her responsibilities include being Membership Committee Chairman, ensuring that the Legion message is heard by all veterans, and providing the overall mission for the membership year.

Jean Wilson is a Post awarded life member of both Yeager-Benson Post 199 and AmVets Post 13 and a Unit awarded life member of Yeager-Benson Auxiliary Unit 199. Jean earned her eligibility in these organizations by serving in the United States Army 1969-1971. Jean has served her American Legion Post in all the offices; she served as Post Commander 1990-1992 and is currently serving her 18th year as Post Finance Officer. She is both a past Hamilton County American Legion Commander and Fabulous Fourth District American Legion Commander. She was the Big Brown Jug Commander 2000-20001. Jean serves the National American Legion on the Americanism Committee.
Jean met and married her husband, Jerry while both were serving in Ft Jackson SC and they have two children, Tammie and Woody and seven grandchildren.

She served on the Joseph House Board for ten years serving twice as President; she served on the Cincinnati Fisher House for ten years and currently serves on the Friends of the Fisher House at the Cincinnati VA.
Since 2011 Jean has served on the Hamilton County Veterans Service Commission and was appointed by Governor Kasich to the Ohio Women’s Task Force. For the past seven years she has served on the Harrison Mayor’s Fund and currently serving as the Board President. Recently Jean was recognized by the Xi Eta Lota, Chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority of Harrison as the First Lady of Harrison Community Service award for 2018. The City of Harrison recognized Jean’s support of not lonely Veterans and their families but her Community by bestowing the honor of being the Grand Marshall of the City of Harrison July 4, 2018 parade.
Jean was elected to serve 2018-2019 as the Department of Ohio 2nd Vice Commander on Sunday July 1, 2018.

Brad Teis | 2nd Vice Commander

Brad Teis is a member of Canton Post 44, where he has served in every Post Position including Post Commander 2015-2019. Brad is also a Post 44, SAL Squadron member. He is on the Canton Post 44 Honor Guard.

In 2017, he was elected to10th District 2nd Vice Commander and in 2018, to 1st Vice Commander, and was instrumental in helping the 10th District achieve Quota and win the National Race-To-The-Top Award in 2017 and 2018. He then served as 10th District Commander 2018-2019 and was National Runner-up in the 2019 Race-To-The-Top Award. Brad received the Department Commanders Award and The Department Adjutants Award for 2018. He is a post awarded PUFL member.

Brad earned his eligibility by serving during The Vietnam Era in both the Navy and Army. He also served in The Ohio National Guard at the Akron–Canton Airport. He is the 10th District Committee Chairperson for Special Olympics, is a National Appointee to The Americanism Commission, and a Commissioner to Ohio Buckeye Boy’s State.

He is a member of The Greater Canton Veterans Council and has served on the Board of the Homes for Heroes. Is a Co-Founder of The Aultman-Woodlawn Compassionate Care Center Honor Team serving our Hospice Veterans and their families in their time of need. He is serving as the 2019-2020 Vice President of the 10th District Past Commanders Association and serves on the 10th District Task Force and Advisory Committee.

He is very active in his community where he visits veterans in area Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Hospice Centers.

He retired from The Hoover Company in 2006, after 33 years.

He has been married to his best friend and wife Roxanne for 30 years and they have four children, Bradley Jr, Michael, Brittany, Ryan and four grandchildren.

Charles Stennis

Post 336 Brakeman-King
Department Treasurer

Treasurer Charles Stennis

Melissa Fowle

Post 586 Frank E. Robinson
Department Chaplain

Chaplain Melissa Fowle

Mary Austin

Post 8 Spirit of 76
 Assistant Chaplain

Asst Sgt-At-Arms Mary Austin

Robert Schmitt

Post 587 Conn-Weissenberger
Past Department Commander

Past Department Commander Robert Schmitt

Robert Klostermeier

Post 553 Adams Township
Nat’l Exec Committeeman

National Executive Committeeman Robert Klostermeier

Steve Masowick

Post 685 Streetsboro
Alternate Nat’l Executive Committeeman


Douglas Whitney

Post 586 Frank E. Robinson
Department Judge Advocate

Judge Advocate Douglas Whitney

Al Beyer

Post 535 Irvin Hiskey
Department Historian

Historian Al Beyer

Greg Elsbernd

Post 199 Yeager-Benson Memorial
Department Asst. Historian

Assistant Sgt-At-Arms Greg Elsbernd

Roy Terry

Post 457 Colonel Benson Hough
Department Sergeant-At-Arms

Sergeant At Arms Roy Terry

Mel Baher

Post 91 Albert E. Baesel, Inc.
Asst. Sergeant-At-Arms


John Murphy

Post 469 Theodore Roosevelt
Asst. Sergeant-At-Arms

Asst Sgt-At-Arms John Murphy

George Mussi

Post 798 Reynoldsburg
Asst. Sergeant-At-Arms

Asst Sgt-At-Arms George Mussi

Albert “Andy” Atkins

Post 682 Hopedale
Asst. Sergeant-At-Arms

Asst Sgt-At-Arms Andy Atkins

David Jones

Post 184 Schnell-Westfall, Inc.
Asst. Sergeant-At-Arms

Asst Sgt-At-Arms David Jones

Gerald White

Post 283 David Johnston Memorial
Department Parliamentarian


Jason Rue

Post 541 Winnow-Arn
“Great” First District Commander

1st District Commander Jason Rue

Frank (Joe) Navarre

Post 468 Joseph W. Diehn
“Great” First District 1st Vice Commander

1st district 1st Vice Frank Joe Navarre

Walter Meharg

Post 323 St. Marys
Second “To None” District Commander

2nd District Commander Walter Meharg

Mike Homan

Post 241 New Bremen
Second “To None” District 1st Vice Commander

2nd District 1st Vice Mike Homan

Joe Law

Post 598 Kettering
“Thundering” Third District Commander

3rd District Commander Joe Law

Betsy Law

Post 598 Kettering
“Thundering” Third District 1st Vice Commander

3rd District 1st Vice Betsy Law

Stephen Foster

Post 288 Williamsburg, Inc.
“Fabulous” Fourth District Commander

4th District 1st Vice Stephen Foster

Steven Ervin

Post 484 Mt. Washington, Inc.
“Fabulous” Fourth District 1st Vice Commander


Jarrett “Ken” Estep

Post 16 Earl D. McVey, Inc.
“Fighting” Fifth District Commander


Ron Dull

Post 88 Harry Higgins
“Fighting” Fifth District 1st Vice Commander


Scott Horsington

Post 285 Hebron
“Sizzling” Sixth District Commander

6th District 1st Vice Scott Horsington

Gary Cox, Jr.

Post 584 Harold L. Bradley
“Sizzling” Sixth District 1st Vice Commander


Kenneth Crawford

Post 363 William Baker
“Magnificent” Seventh District Commander

7th District Commander Kenneth Crawford

James Pinson Jr

Post 23 James Dickey
“Magnificent” Seventh District 1st Vice Commander

7th District 1st Vice James Pinson

Richard Donovan

Post 283 David Johnston Memorial
“Great” Eighth District Commander

8th District Commander Richard Donovan

Harold Smathers

Post 476 Joseph Freeman
“Great” Eighth District 1st Vice Commander

8th District 1st Vice Harold Smathers

Frank Adley

Post 103 Dewey Howlett
“Dynamic” Ninth District Commander

9th District Commander Frank Adley

William Runyan

Post 743 Neal
“Dynamic” Ninth District 1st Vice Commander

9th District 1st Vice William Runyan

Larry Glasgow Jr

Post 549 Weimer-Widder
“Great” Tenth District Commander


Robert Rhode

Post 139 Tuscarawas, Inc.
“Great” Tenth District 1st Vice Commander


Russell “Joe” Peters

Post 750 Lowell
“Elite” Eleventh District Commander

11th District Commander Russell Joe Peters

John Robinson

Post 641 Belle Valley, Inc.
“Elite” Eleventh District 1st Vice Commander

11th District 1st Vice John Robinson

Ricky Garren

Post 144 Southway
“Capital” Twelfth District Commander

12th District Commander Rick Garren

Tom Poulton

Post 171 Young-Budd
“Capital” Twelfth District 1st Vice Commander


Joseph Ruland

Post 572 Joseph J. Jacubic, Inc.
“Tenacious” Thirteenth District Commander

13th District Commander Joseph Ruland

Richard Wright

Post 703 Parma Heights
“Tenacious” Thirteenth District 1st Vice Commander

13th District 1st Vice Richard Wright

Christopher Hawkins Jr

Post 496 Portage
“Phenomenal” Fourteenth District Commander

14th District Commander Christopher Hawkins Jr

Robert Carson

Post 566 Garfield Memorial
“Phenomenal” Fourteenth District 1st Vice Commander

14th District 1st Vice Robert Carson