Siloam Post 29 Commander 2017-18
2016-2017 Department Commander J.W. Smith
Commander Smith was born in Rosebud, Texas and later graduated from Rosebud High School in 1961. He enlisted the U.S. Air Force in June of 1961 and served at several Air Forces Bases around the world until retiring in 1981 as the First Sergeant of the 89th Missile Security Squadron at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. He joined the American Legion while serving on active duty, and is a Paid-Up-For-Life Member (PUFL).
After retiring from the Air Force, Commander Smith worked in production management as a Manufacturing Department Supervisor. Due to the economy, he then changed career paths working in the automotive industry first in accessory sales, then working his way up to District Manager, and later a Regional Sales Manager before receiving early retirement from Ryder Systems in 1995. He then became an Arbitration Manager with Manheim Auto Auctions of Utah, and later moved back to Arkansas in 2005 to start his own company. Commander Smith sold that company in 2013 and began devoting more time to the American Legion.
Commander Smith has served in many capacities throughout his time as a Legionnaire such as Post 29 (Siloam Springs) Commander, Post Adjutant, Post Finance Officer, and Post Honor Guard. He has also served as the District 1 Vice Commander and Executive Committeeman, and has served at the Department of Arkansas level as the Department Judge Advocate and member of the Department Membership Committee. Nationally, Commander Smith has served as a member of the Americanism Commission, and currently serves on the National Constitution and By-Laws Committee.
Commander Smith’s Goals for his tenure as Department Commander included: to support and follow the four pillars of the American Legion organization; to encourage and support membership growth programs; and to lead the way in increasing the American Legion brand recognition across the Department. In addition, Commander Smith plans to both seek and aide in the development of a quality training program for Post, District, and Department officers.
Commander Smith has been married to his wife Carol for 52 years. They have two children and six grandchildren, and are active members of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
He also serves on the City of Siloam Springs Planning Commission/Board of Adjustments.