U.S. Air Force veteran David R. Riley Sr. of Rome is expected to become the 2021-22 state commander of The American Legion, his campaign committee announced Saturday, April 13.
He has been endorsed by the committee of past Department of New York commanders. His term would run July 2021 to July 2022. Riley would be the third Oneida County resident to become state commander in the Legion’s 100-year history. (The others were Moses G. Hubbard of New Hartford, 1931-1932, and Ronald C. Bertrand of Lee Center, 1996-1997.)
Members of the Legion, Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion from around Oneida County joined Riley for an announcement celebration at Henry P. Smith Post 24 in Rome.
Riley served four years in the Air Force from 1978 to 1982. He completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and security police training at both Lackland and Camp Bullis, Texas. He then was assigned to K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in upper Michigan as part of the security police force.
A life member of The American Legion, Riley joined Utica Post 229 in 1995 and transferred in 2000 to Rome’s Henry P. Smith Post 24, where he served as commander from 2004 to 2006. In addition to many other positions at the post level, Riley was 2012-2013 Oneida County commander. He served on several committees on the county level, and also was appointed vice commander at the district level. On the Department, or state, level, Riley has been an instructor and vice dean of Legion College of New York, and served four years as Membership chairman and three years as Law and Order chairman. On the national level, he was a facilitator at American Legion College in 2012 and he serves as a consultant on the Membership & Post Activities Committee.
Employed by the State Department of Correctional Services (NYSDOCS), Riley is active in a number of veteran’s circles. He is secretary/treasurer of the Rome Memorial Day Association and secretary for the Rome Veteran’s Council. He is a member of the VFW Auxiliary, DAV, American Legion College of New York and National American Legion College Alumni associations, the Stanwix Veteran Men’s Club, Frank J. Steczko Post PAV, Forty & Eight Voiture Locale #1220, Rome Polish Home, Oneida County Past County Commanders Club, Smith Post 24 Past Post Commanders Club, National American Legion Press Association, and the NYSDOCS Emerald Society Mid-State Chapter.
Riley is married to the former Laurie Evans. They have four children, David Jr., Lindsay, Katelyn and Kurt; and two grandsons, Chase and Apollo.