Story and Photos by: Tim Sproles
Rodney Strong was elected The American Legion, Department of Indiana state commander by delegates from the 11 districts throughout the state during the 100th annual Indiana American Legion Convention on July 14, 2018 in Indianapolis.
The American Legion is comprised of military service veterans who have served honorably during times of conflict in defense of their nation and has been active within Indiana since 1919. The Indiana American Legion has supported veterans from every major conflict since World War I to Iraq and Afghanistan within its membership.
Rodney is a proud member of Byron Cox Post 72 headquartered in Crawfordsville, Ind., where he has been a member for 28 years and served the post in various positions including membership chairman, Hoosier Boys State Chairman and post commander.
He has also served the Sixth District as a capable and proficient District Vice Commander, Sixth District Commander and is currently the 6th District Hoosier Boys State Chairman.
Rodney has served the Department of Indiana as Southern Vice Commander, Rehabilitation Commission Chairman, Americanism Commission Chairman and Internal Affairs Commission Chairman.
He is also a 54-year member of the Sons of The American Legion Squadron 72 and served as S.A.L. Detachment Commander of Indiana from 1993-94. Cmdr. Strong is the only person in Indiana to serve as both S.A.L. Detachment Commander and Department of Indiana Commander.
Rodney earned his American Legion eligibility by honorably serving in the United States Navy from 1980-84, where he completed two tours off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon and one tour off the coast of Grenada.
Rodney has a 100% American Legion Family. He has been married for 32 years to his wife, Sharon, who is an Auxiliary member of unit 72 in Crawfordsville and his three children, Ryan, Patrick and Nicole, who are members of are members of the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 72 and Auxiliary unit 72.
His motto this year is, “A century of service and still going Strong.”
“This is an exciting year for us as we are about to celebrate 100 years of service here in the great state of Indiana.," said, Strong. " There is a lot of work to do and we need to build on the momentum of what Cmdr. Marty Dzieglowicz was able to do before us. We will work to secure The American Legion for another 100 years."
Strong’s “Commander’s Project” this year is to help the friends of Ernie Pyle World War II museum to raise $30,000 or more towards the $90,000 they need to make improvements to Ernie Pyle’s birthplace and a museum highlighting the famous journalist’s life and writings as a correspondent during World War II.
The historic site is owned and operated by the Friends of Ernie Pyle, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of Pyle’s legacy in Dana, as well as throughout Indiana and the nation.
Story by Cpl. Hannah Clifton - 38th Infantry Division
Indiana Army National Guard Col. Todd A. Townsend, 38th Infantry Division chief of staff, receives his new rank from his wife, Kathy, during his promotion ceremony in Indianapolis at the Cyclone Division Armory, Friday, July 13, 2018. Townsend has served in the Indiana Army National Guard for more than 30 years and has participated in numerous operations, foreign and domestic. Photo by Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry
INDIANAPOLIS -- The 38th Infantry Division chief of staff, a Crawfordsville resident, was promoted to colonel today.
Indiana Army National Guard Col. Todd A. Townsend, a resident of Crawfordsville, received the rank of full-bird colonel during a promotion ceremony at the division armory.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the organization and what it takes to keep this machine running,” said Townsend.
Townsend directly supervises staff members to ensure mission assignments are properly executed and in alignment with the commanding general’s priorities. He assures the allocation of resources, task organization, coordination, employment, planning and control of divisional elements.
“I am here to solve the hardest problems the division needs to be resolved,” Townsend said when he spoke about the new responsibilities that accompany his new rank.
Townsend has served in the Indiana Army National Guard for more than 30 years and has participated in numerous operations, foreign and domestic. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007 to 2008 as well as other missions in Egypt, Germany and Slovakia. Townsend has also provided humanitarian relief during hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Irma.
Townsend and his wife, Kathy, reside in Crawfordsville. Together they have four adult children and five grandchildren.
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Indiana Army National Guard Col. Todd A. Townsend, at lectern and the 38th Infantry Division chief of staff, addresses troops, VIPs and guests during his promotion ceremony speech in Indianapolis, Friday, July 13, 2018. Townsend has served in the Indiana Army National Guard for more than 30 years and has participated in numerous operations, foreign and domestic. Photo by Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry
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