The American Legion Department of Tennessee

                                                     Robert Alan Harris, SR.

February 15, 2024

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Today, I am announcing my candidacy for Commander, American Legion Department of Tennessee.  Upon request, I will be happy to provide you with details about my civilian and military background and experience.  For now, let me say I want to serve you to the best of my ability, and I’m committed to advancing the ideals stated in our Legion Preamble.

I am a retired civil engineer from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and have almost 40 years of service in the U.S. Army and Tennessee Army National Guard.  Enlisting in the Army in 1974 for one purpose; to secure the G.I. Bill, I found the military way of life good for me.  I especially enjoyed the comradeship and sense of belonging to a higher purpose.  After being discharged from active duty and enlisting in the Guard, I made good on my educational goal and earned a degree in civil engineering, thanks to Uncle Sam.

For the next 30+ years, I, along with my wife Susan and two children, lived and worked in the Chattanooga area, first with Combustion Engineering, then TVA.  My travels with TVA took me all over the valley, from Memphis in the west to Rogersville in the east, from Central City, KY in the north, to Kosciusko, MS in the south.  Similarly, my military duties took me from Memphis to Kingsport and all parts between.  I have deployed to a combat zone three times in Iraq, first in 1990-1991 and finally in 2009-2010.  I’ve served in leadership positions from the company to the Division level.

My Legion College profile indicates my strengths are I am Determined, Decisive, and Persuasive.  My weaknesses are I am not very Attractive, Charming, or Soft Spoken.

That’s who I am.

My priorities as Department Commander

1. PROMOTE THE NAME BRAND OF THE AMERICAN LEGION – In my view, The American Legion comes in second in people's minds when they think of Veterans organizations.  Probably because the word “Veteran” is not in our name.

2.PERPETUATE AND IMPROVE CONTACT BETWEEN OUR VETERANS AND VSOS – In most, if not all, counties, VSOs are part-time jobs paid for by the county.  I want to work to make them full-time jobs.

3.INCULCATE a working relationship with other veterans’ services organizations such as VFW, DAV, AMVETS, Team Rubicon, Team Red, White, and Blue, and others.

Of course, my GOAL is to improve our membership.  By improving our brand awareness, engaging with our fellow veterans’ organizations, and demonstrating our Legion’s value to ALL veterans, our Department can consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by devotion to mutual helpfulness.

Thank you and I will appreciate your vote during our Department Convention in June.




It is an honor to be a member of an organization that has done so much for veterans for the past century. My GOAL is to do my part to strengthen and preserve the American Legion for future generations and their families. It is no secret that we have much work to do to revitalize certain posts and share the many outstanding benefits of being a Legion member with the next generation of men and women who have served our nation. We must think "outside the box" and elect leaders with vision, purpose, and dedication.

I am an individual who has the ability to see opportunity when there doesn't seem to be any. I seek out the potential in others and help them develop that potential. I create and foster relationships within the veteran and local community to assist with carrying out the mission.

I ask that you review the resolution that has been submitted in my name to be the next Middle TN Vice Commander. You will see what CAN BE DONE!!! with teamwork and vision.