2022-2023 Commander David R. Riley Sr.
U.S. Air Force veteran David R. Riley Sr. of Rome is the new state commander of The American Legion. His election as Department of New York commander concluded the 104th Annual Department Convention, held July 14-16, 2022 in Binghamton. During his one-year term, Riley visits counties all around the state to share The American Legion message of veteran advocacy and community involvement.
Riley is the third Oneida County resident to become state commander in the Legion’s 103-year history. (The others were Moses G. Hubbard of New Hartford, 1931-1932, and Ronald C. Bertrand of Lee Center, 1996-1997.)
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 Family College of New York, and served four years as Membership chairman and four 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.
Retired from the State Department of Correctional Services (NYSDOCS), Riley is active in a number of veteran’s circles. He has served as secretary/treasurer of the Rome Memorial Day Association and secretary for the Rome Veteran’s Council. He is a member of the Sons of the American Legion (18 years), 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, 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 (married to Fabiola); and two grandsons, Chase and Apollo.