The American Legion Department of Florida
State Commander William “Rick” Johnson
William “Rick” Johnson, a Legionnaire from Post 275 in Dunedin, Florida, was elected Department Commander on June 29, 2019 in Orlando, FL, during the 101st Department Convention. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Department Convention was cancelled, and all Department Officers remained in their current positions. Commander Johnson is the first to serve a two-year term as Department Commander for Florida.
Commander Johnson is a sixteen-year continuous member, earning his eligibility through his honorable service in the United States Army from 1976-1991.
Commander Johnson served as a Tank Company 1st Sergeant during Operation Desert Storm. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal in Desert Storm for actions against the Republican Guard.
Commander Johnson has served in many positions over the years including Post Adjutant (2011-13 & 2015-17), Department Public Relations Chairman (2013-14), Department Children and Youth Chairman (2015-16), 9th District Commander (2012-13), Southern Area Commander (2013-15), Department 3rd Vice Commander (2016-17), Department 2nd Vice Commander (2017-18), Department 1st Vice Commander (2018-19), National Security Council (2012-19), and National Legislative Council (2013 & 2018-19).
Commander Johnson is an Honorary Life Member of the Sons of The American Legion. He is also a member of the Forty and Eight, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, VFW, Loyal Order of Moose, Master Gunner Association and the United States Army Brotherhood of Tankers. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, however his number one priority is supporting veterans through his service with The American Legion.
Commander Johnson has lived in Florida for the past 59 years with grassroots in Greatlakes, Illinois. He is married to Reenie of Palm Bay, Florida and together they have 4 children, and 8 grandchildren. Mrs. Johnson is an active member of The American Legion Auxiliary.
Like the Army, Commander Johnson chose “Service, Honor, and Sacrifice” as his motto for 2019-2021 to show his passion in helping veterans. He feels that veterans are honored to sacrifice for their country since they continue to serve their fellow veterans and their families well after they are discharged. His fundraising project will be PROJECT: VetRelief and Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). PROJECT: VetRelief is an initiative backed by The American Legion, Department of Florida. Its mission is to provide a Legion of support for our service men and women they transition into civilian lives. COTA helps children and young adults who need life-saving transplants by providing fundraising assistance and family support. Funds raised for PROJECT: VetRelief and COTA will stay in Florida.
The American Legion, Department of Florida boasts over 130,000 veterans still serving their country and the State of Florida, and with 2 million-members at the National level, The American Legion is the Nations Largest Veterans Organization. The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a Strong National Security, Veterans Affairs, Americanism and Children & Youth Programs.