Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Dec 14, 2010
Jimmie Foster of Anchorage, Alaska, was elected national commander of The American Legion on Sept. 2, 2010, during the 92nd National Convention in Milwaukee. Born and raised on a farm, he attended and graduated from Northeastern A&M College in Miami, Okla., with a degree in agriculture education. While there, he met and married his wife, Rehta, and started a family. After working in the textiles and grocery business, he pursued a military career.
Foster joined the Marines and was stationed at Camp Pendleton and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. Upon his discharge from the Marines, he returned to school for a short time. Then, wanting to get back into action, he enlisted in the Army, ultimately retiring on Aug. 1, 1994, while stationed at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., as chief legal NCO. He returned to Alaska on the day of his retirement.
He and Rehta have two sons, Christopher and Michael, and four grandchildren. All have been active members of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion in Anchorage. Rehta is a past unit, Western District and department president in Alaska.
Foster's 28 years of American Legion experience include offices and appointments at all levels. He is a member of Spenard Post 28 in Anchorage, where he has served as adjutant for many years and as post commander in 1989-1990. He has been the Western District adjutant for seven different department commanders.
He has served on numerous department committees, including Americanism, Citizens Flag Alliance, Economics, Employment, Internal Affairs, Legislative, Membership & Post Activities, Military Affairs, National Security and Naval Affairs, to name a few. During his term as Membership chairman, the Department of Alaska finished first in the nation on target-date membership. He served as department commander in 1999-2000.
Foster also served as Alaska's Alternate National Executive Committeeman from 2000 to 2002, and as National Executive Committeeman from 2002 to 2006.
On the national level, he served on the National & Homeland Security Council, and the Economic, Internal Affairs and Legislative commissions. He also was vice chairman of the Subcommittee on Resolutions and, most recently, chairman of the National Legislative Commission.