Department Commander

2019-2020 Department Commander Barry Wood

Department Commander Barry Wood

Barry Wood from American Legion Post 45 in Hastings was elected the 2019-2020 Department Commander.

Commander Barry Wood earned his eligibility in the American Legion through his service in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War Era.  He shipped to basic training in January of 1966 at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago. 

Commander Wood was born in Grand Rapids and graduated from Hastings High School.

He served four years in the Navy as a military intelligence collector and analyst, leaving the Navy at the rank of Petty Officer Second Class.

After leaving the Navy Commander Wood earned two associate degrees from Kellogg Community College and went to work for the E.W. Bliss Company until 1973 when the economic effects of the oil embargo contributed to a career change.

In 1973, Commander Wood reenlisted in the U.S. Army, in the military intelligence field.  He served in the enlisted ranks for seven years until being commissioned as a chief warrant officer.  He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 3 in 1989.  He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a masters degree in public administration.

In 1995, Commander Wood was elected to the Hastings City Council where he served for 18 years.  A member of the council at the time introduced the Commander to the American Legion, and in 2000 he joined the Hastings Post 45.  Since then he has served in many officer positions in the post, district, zone, and department.

Commander Wood is married to Margaret; they have two daughters and two grandchildren.  

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Immediate Past Commander

Delegates at The American Legion, Department of Michigan 2018 Annual Convention in Kalamazoo elected U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Steve Striggow as their 100th Department Commander.

Commander Steve Striggow joined the Marine Corps in 1969 and received training as a avionics calibration specialist assigned to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in California.

 National Executive Committeeman

John Knox, U.S. Air Force Veteran, from the Vietnam War-Era.