In addition to the national commander and vice commanders, six national constitutional officers are appointed annually by vote of the National Executive Committee. They are the adjutant, treasurer, judge advocate, historian, chaplain and sergeant-at-arms. Officers elected by the national convention take office upon adjournment and serve until the end of the next convention.
Responsibilities of national officers:
Daniel S. Wheeler, National Adjutant
The administrative head of the organization, the adjutant oversees National Headquarters and all other national offices. He is charged in the Legion by-laws with administering the policies and mandates of the national convention and the National Executive Committee.
Daniel S. Wheeler is the national adjutant of The American Legion, a post he has held since October 2008. Prior to becoming national adjutant, he served as executive director of National Headquarters in Indianapolis (1995-2008). He joined the National Headquarters staff in 1979, during which time he served as The American Legion Magazine assistant editor (1979-1980), managing editor (1980-1981), assistant publisher/editor (1981-1985), publisher/editor in chief (1985-1995) and (2001-2007).
From 1994-2009, Wheeler also served as president of the Citizens Flag Alliance, devoting significant time to managing and administering this not-for-profit, nonpartisan coalition of civic, fraternal, veteran, business and labor organizations. The Citizens Flag Alliance's goal is to pass a constitutional amendment returning to Congress the power to protect the U.S. flag from intentional acts of physical desecration.
Wheeler was a U.S. Navy sonarman and journalist during the Vietnam War. His previous professional positions include staff writer for the U.S. Navy magazine All Hands; editor of the Navy Editorial Service; and staff member of Direction magazine.
Wheeler, a native of Richmond, Va., lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Kathy. He is a past president of the Veterans Day Council of Indianapolis, and a member of American Legion Post 137 in Virginia, the Indianapolis Rotary Club, and Mensa.
George A. Buskirk Jr., National Treasurer
George A. Buskirk Jr. was appointed national treasurer of The American Legion on Sept. 10, 1998, during the 80th National Convention in New Orleans. The national treasurer serves as the chief financial officer of The American Legion, and is responsible for the custody and management of the assets of the organization.
Buskirk is currently a member of American Legion Post 510 at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis. He is a paid up for life member of The American Legion.
Maj. Gen. Buskirk (ret.), Army National Guard, earned his eligibility for membership serving in the U.S. military from 1967 until 2005, of which he served from 1978 until 2005 in the Indiana National Guard. His career culminated as adjutant general of the State of Indiana, serving for Gov. Frank O'Bannon.
Buskirk is a graduate of Butler University in business administration (B.S.'71), the Indiana University School of Law (J.D.'75), the United States Air Force War College ("94) and the United States Army War College ('96). As an attorney, he is a current member of the American Bar Association, the Indiana State Bar Association and the Indianapolis Bar Association. In 1996 he served as president of the Indianapolis Bar Association. He is admitted to the practice of law in the United States Supreme Court, the United States Federal District Court for Southern Indiana, the United States Tax Court and the Supreme Court of the State of Indiana.
Buskirk is the past chairman of the board of St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terre Haute, Ind., and is currently a member of the board of directors of the Ivy Tech Foundation, and is also a co-trustee of St. Mary's Charities Foundation, Inc. He is a past director of the Boy Scouts of America of Central Indiana, past president of the Indiana War Memorial Commission and Foundation, the Day Nursery Foundation of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Humane Society, the American Red Cross of Central Indiana, the Indianapolis Veterans Day Council, and is a 32 nd. Degree Mason and member of the Scottish Rite.
Buskirk is a native of Indianapolis, and is the father of three children and five grandchildren.
Kevin J. Bartlett, National Judge Advocate
Kevin J. Bartlett, J.D., the ninth National Judge Advocate of The American Legion, started Jan. 1, 2018, after his appointment by then National Commander Denise Rohan. The national judge advocate advises The American Legion national officers and the National Executive Committee on legal matters, including the interpretation of the national constitution and bylaws.
Judge Bartlett, a member of American Legion Post 79 in Marshall, Mich., earned his American Legion eligibility by serving in the U.S. Navy from 1984–1990.
After service in the U.S. Navy, Judge Bartlett graduated from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University School of Law. He is a member of the Michigan Bar Association and admitted before the Western and Eastern Federal Districts of Michigan, the U.S. 6th Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Bartlett, a 30-plus year Paid Up for Life American Legion member, has held a variety of additional American Legion positions including National Finance Commission member, National Insurance Committee chairman, National Public Relations Commission member, Department Assistant Judge Advocate, various department committee chairmanships, district committeeman, district sergeant-at-arms, post commander, post adjutant, post judge advocate and other post positions. Additionally, he was elected the first president of the National American Legion College Alumni Association.
Prior to this appointment, Judge Bartlett managed his own law firm and owned or managed numerous other companies.
Judge Bartlett is an avid golfer who lives in both Marshall, Mich., and Indianapolis.His wife of 28-plus years is a practicing physician and board certified in Obstetrician/Gynecology and Obesity Medicine. Together they have three children.
Edward L. Harris Jr., National Chaplain
Edward L. Harris Jr., was appointed national chaplain of The American Legion on Aug. 29, 2019, at the organization's 101st national convention in Indianapolis.
Harris served in the U.S. Army from July 1948 to November 1971. During his career, he served in the Korean War from 1950 to 1951 and the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1969. He retired as a master sergeant in 1971.
Harris is a member of Post 711 in Indianapolis. He has served as the chaplain of the 11th District of the Department of Indiana for 18 years and district commander for one term.
He was previously a member of Tillman H. Harpole Post 249 for more than 20 years, where he served as post chaplain for 12 years and post commander for one term. The post presented him with an honorary life membership. During his time as chaplain, he developed a "Before and After Ceremony" to be conducted with funerals for veterans and members of The American Legion. He also identified a cemetery at which many veteran's graves were not having flags posted on Memorial Day. Post 249 annually works to post flags on veterans' graves throughout the cemetery.
Harris and his wife, Van, reside in Indianapolis.
James "Jim" A. Mariner, National Historian
James "Jim" A. Mariner was appointed as the national historian of The American Legion during the organization's 101st national convention in Indianapolis on Aug. 29, 2019.
James "Jim" A. Mariner served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from June 1974 to June 1977. He has been an American Legion member at Frank G. Frainier Post 90 in Los Alamos, N.M., since 1985. Mariner served as Post 90 sergeant-at-arms, commander and historian, district commander, district department executive committeeman, district adjutant, department vice commander and department historian. He has served as a member and vice chairman of the National Security Council also served as member, vice president, president and webmaster of the National Association of Department Historians of The American Legion.
David S. Shore, National Sergeant-at-Arms
The sergeant-at-arms preserves the order at national meetings and performs such other duties as may be assigned by the National Executive Committee or national
David S. Shore was appointed national sergeant-at-arms of The American Legion during the organization's 101st national convention in Indianapolis on Aug. 29, 2019.
Shore served in the U.S. Army from April 1967 through April 1969. He was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Polk, La., Fort Benning, Ga., and spent the last 16 months at Fort McClellan, Ala., where he helped train soldiers in light weapons infantry in preparation for Vietnam.
Following his Army service he studied at Appalachian State University where he received a bachelor's degree in business administration.
Shore is a member of the Joseph E. Martin American Legion Post 336 in East Bend, N.C. He has served as commander of the post several times, is a past department (state) commander of North Carolina and has served on various commissions and committees. Shore received appointments to the National Media and Communications Council, the National Homeland Security Council, the National Special Guests Council and the Americanism Commission.
Shore and his wife Cathy have five children and 11 grandchildren.