Department District Commanders


2021-2022 District Commanders are the first line in a Post's chain of command

Use the contact form below to reach your district commander

Michigan District Map

1st District - Karl Burnett
Posts in the county of Wayne and cities of Detroit, Grosse Pointe, and Hamtramck
2nd District - Micheal Greene
Posts in Jackson, Lenawee, Monroe, and Washtenaw County
Sonja Patrick3rd District - Sonja Patrick
Posts in Branch, Calhoun, Eaton, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo County
4th District - Earl Lash
Posts in Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, and Van Buren County
5th District - Pat Burns
Posts in Kent and Ottawa County
6th District - Roger Deaton

I joined the U.S. NAVY in 1986, serving in VFA-87 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Abraham Lincoln. During my time in service, I earned my undergraduate degree in Criminal Law. After serving eight years in the world’s greatest Navy, I went to work in the Public and Civil Service sectors. During my 20 years in the Automotive industry as a director of supply chain, I earned my master’s in business administration (MBA).  After leaving the automotive industry, I returned to serve 22 years in the public sector at the Department of Defense (DoD). Serving as a Branch Chief Supervisor and working on Programs BAMS, H-60 and EMALL. In November of 2022, my service to the public continues with my election to the prestigious Livingston Board of Commissioners.

For most of my adult life, I have been a Legionnaire and PUFL Member of the American Legion for 33 Years. I have served at the Post, District and State levels in the following positions: Color Guard, Sgt at Arms, Adjutant, ALR Member and past ALR Secretary, District Finance Officer, and Commander. At the State Level, Boys State Committeeman. As post adjutant, I was awarded the 2021 Department of Michigan Adjutant of the Year. And most recently, nominated to attend the 2023 National American Legion College.

Simple philosophy as District Commander: Back to the basics/4 pillars: Continue the synergy between the multiple Veteran groups, further my education to support Veterans and their families and improve our great communities.

Posts in Genesee, Ingham, and Livingston County

7th District - Jimmy Barrett
Posts in Huron, Lapeer, Macomb, Sanilac, and St. Clair County
8th District - Gene Nethaway

I enlisted and served in the US Army from February 18 1970 to May 28, 1973.

My initial PMOS was 91 A 10 Combat Medic, but I didn’t serve in that MOS because I was asked to become a 91 C 100 Clinical Specialist and when I graduated from this School I became a 91 C 200 this is what I served as during my time in Service during the Vietnam War before I go out of Service my PMOS changed to 91 C 300 (Experienced Clinical Specialist).  When I got out of the Service I took my state boards and became a Licensed Practical Nurse for the State of Michigan.  During my time in service I served in Fort Knox, Ky., Fort Sam Houston Tx, Fort Gordon Ga., Fort Mead, Md., and then I got orders for Vietnam (but never made it there).  I had my orders Changed to Over Seas Replacement Station Frankenmuth, Germany, because President Nixon said that we will no longer be sending anyone directly to Vietnam December 1971.  My plane landed on January 2 1972 at 11:30 p.m., we were taken off the plane for 4 hours then put back on the plane and the pilot said the next stop will be Tan Son Nhut Air Force Base in Saigon Republic of Vietnam.  The plane only lifted the front landing gear and put it down and taxied back to the control tower, where I was taken off along with 17 other soldiers then the plane flew off to Vietnam.  I got assigned to Manheim, Germany then to Berlin, Germany working as a nurse till I got out but over there I did get shot, stabbed and blown up twice.

I’ve been in the American Legion since 1998 and I started out being the Firing Squad Commander for American Legion Post 502 in 2,011, adding to my list I became the Service Officer for the Post by 2012 and am still the Post Service Officer to this date, I became the Post Commander in 2013 and just got out of that position in June of 2013 (10 years). For the District I’ve been the 8th District Service Officer for 8 years and just stepped out of that position to become the 8th District Commander in June 2023, was also the 8th District Senior Vice Commander for 2 years 2021 22 & 23, in November I received the Position of VAVS Representative to the VA Medical Center in Saginaw.

Posts in Clinton, Gratiot, Ionia, Montcalm, Saginaw, and Shiawassee County

9th District - Ed Herter
Posts in Benzie, Grand Traverse, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, and Wexford County
David Yahr10th District - David Yahr
Posts in Alcona, Arenac, Bay, Clare, Crawford, Gladwin, Iosco, Isabella, Mecosta, Midland, Ogemaw, Oscola, Oscoda,  and Roscommon County
11th District - Tom Chernetski

Tom is a veteran of the USMC and a proud member of Post 146 in Menominee. He joined the American Legion in 1983 after serving in Beirut, Lebanon. With 21 years of active duty, he retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1999. He has also worked in the Automotive industry and Menominee Granite Company, where he retired recently. Tom has held several positions in his Post including Commander, Adjutant, Public Affairs and Activities Chairman. He is currently in his second term as District 11 Commander.

Posts in Alger, Chippewa, Delta, Luce, Mackinac, Menominee, and Schoolcraft County

12th District - TIm Walters

Tim earned his eligibility for Legion membership in the US Army, with over 23 years on active duty. Retiring in December 2004. Joining the American Legion in 2006 at large Post in Virginia and later in 2008 he joined Post 320 in Spotsylvania VA. While at Post 320 Tim served as the 3rd, 2nd, 1st Vice for 2 years in each position and then for 5 years as Post Commander. He also served as the ALR Chapter Director for a total of 10 years while with Post 320. Tim was also the 12th District 3rd, 2nd and 1st Vice Commander and 1 year as District Commander while at Post 320. Tim moved his membership to Post 148 in Colonial Beach VA, and continued for another year as the 12th District Commander and the Chapter 148 Director for 2 years.

Tim also held served on positions at the Department level, with the ALR Subcommittee (7yrs), Membership (9yrs), Athletics, Convention & Conference committees. He was also next in line from his District to serve as the Department Vice Commander for the Eastern Region of Virginia, but his move out of state prevented that.

Tim fully retired and moved his family from Fredericksburg Virginia to Watton Michigan in May of 2022. He transferred his PUFL membership to Post 114 in Greenwood Michigan in April of 2022. He offered his service to fill a vacant position within Post 114 and was sworn in as 2nd Vice Commander in August 2022. He has also received approval from the Post 114 Executive Committee to start a American Legion Riders Chapter located at Post 114. He is currently been elected to serve as Post 114 1st Vice Commander for the upcoming Legion Year. He was elected to serve as the next 12th District Commander of the Department of Michigan, U.P. western region

Military Units and Position: 1980 (Aug – Nov) Basic & AIT at Ft Lenardwood MO, 1980-1982 – Michigan National Guard in Howell MI, 64C – Truck Driver, 1982 (Jan – July) Infantry Basic Training at Ft Benning GA (Mortarman), 1982 – 1983 – 3rd BN 77th Armor, 1st Bde, 5th Infanty Div, Ft Polk LA (Track Driver & Asst Gunner), 1983 – 1986 – 1st BN 5th Inf Reg and 3rd BN 21st Inf Reg, 1st Bde, 25th Infantry Div Hawaii (Asst Gunner, Gunner, Squad Ldr, Assistant BN Schools NCO), 1987 (Feb – Jun) Intelligence School, Ft Huachua AZ, Imagery Analyst, 1987 – 1990 – 30th Engr BN (Topographic) (Army) Ft Belvoir and moved to Ft Bragg, (Imagery Analyst/Database NCO/Classified Document Custodian), 1990 – 1994 – 7th Special Force Group (Airborne) Ft Bragg, NC. (Imagery Analyst/Collection Manager/Central American Team Chief, Jump Master), 1994 – 1997 – 1st BN 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Stuttgart Germany. (Imagery Analyst/Battalion Special Security Officer, Jump Master), 1997 – 2001 – 3rd BN 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Ft Bragg, NC. (Imagery Analyst/All Source Section NCOIC/Military Intelligence Detachment NCOIC/ Acting First Sergeant, Jump Master), 2001 – 2004 – National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) renamed to National Geospatial – Intelligence Agency (NGA) Imagery Analyst working POW/MIA cases from World War II to the present day. With 7 confirmed finds that lead to the return of remains from Vietnam; Assisted in the 507th Maintenance Company Rescue & Recovery Operation (PFC Jessica Lynch), also designated as NGA’s Congressional Liaison for POW/MIA issues.

Posts in Baraga, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Marquette, and Ononagon County

16th District - Jim Joslin
Covers the following Posts in Wayne County - 67, 75, 173, 200, 217, 231, 232, 251, 285, 319, 337, 364, 389, 409, 426, 447, 472, 478
18th District - Larry Chase
Posts in Oakland County
19th District - Bob Wallin

At the post level I have served as Post Service Officer, Post Sgt of Arms ,Post Captain of Honor Guard,Post Membership committee chairman, and proudly as Post Commander. Beyond the post I have been District Commander, Past District Commander, District Color/Honor Guard, District Service Officer, and County 1st Vice Commander.

I am also a member on our County Veterans Committee.

Posts in Alpena, Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmett, Kalkaska, Mt. Morency, Otsega, and Presque Isle County