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District 16

District Sixteen serves The American Legion Posts, all 19 of them, in the counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura. In 2015 and 2016 we finished #1 in membership in the Department and exceeded 100% of our Department of California membership goal in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

District 16 supports our posts with training, program support and serves as an important liaison between the post and department.

The District Commander’s Guide states,

“According to Article VIII of The American Legion Constitution, departments have the authority to create intermediate bodies between the post and department to assist as a liaison between the two, and for the purpose of promoting American Legion programs.”

District 16 is just that, an intermediate body between our 19 local posts and the Department of California. Our by-laws define the powers and duties of the district as well as the duties of our district officers. Our district by-laws and standing rules can be found on the ‘Resource’ page of the District 16 web site @ http://districtsixteen.org/index.html

District Organization

The pyramid graphic shows the basic layers of The American Legion organization. The veteran is at the top of the pyramid because it is the veteran that every layer serves.

At each layer, leaders help guide the good work of the Legion to serve our veterans and their families. At the post level the post Commander is key leader responsible for guiding the post to success. Although post commanders are not members of the District Executive Committee (DEC), post commanders do represent their local post to the district. The district commander represents all the posts of the district as a member of Department Executive Committee. Important roles.

In the Department (State) of California we are organized into 6 Areas, 30 Districts, 460 local posts and have a sttewide membership of around 90,000. Each post is a distinct legal entity. The 30 districts and 6 areas are administrtive extensions of the Department of California.

The Department of California Executive Committee, is also referred to as the DEC (Department Executive Committee). The DEC meets at the annual Department Convention in June, a fall meeting and spring meeting each year.


Information on specific meetings of District 16, Area 6 or Department of California meetings can be found on the Calendar page  as the information becomes available.

District 16 Meetings, are determined by the District 16 By-Laws and occur:

  • Annual Meeting, 1st. Sunday in June — officer elections,
  • Organizational Meeting, 3rd. Sunday in July (Officer installation is the night before),
  • 1st. Meeting, 1st. Sunday after Labor Day,
  • 2nd. Meeting, 1st. Sunday before Thanksgiving, and
  • 3rd. Meeting, 2nd. Sunday after Lincoln’s Birthday.

Area 6 Meetings, are determined by the Department Vice Commander.
The four districts of Area 6 (District 16, District 18, District 20 and District 24) gather to caucus in the Spring and Fall.

Department of California Meetings, include the annual Convention held in June, a Spring Meeting and a Fall meeting. Additional meetings of Department Commissions may be called throughout the year. For an explanation of the difference between a ‘commission’ and a ‘committee’ visit the FAQ Page on the District 16 web site.

Generally, meetings of The American Legion are open to all Legionnaires in good standing (current dues paid).

The District Meeting

The location of District meetings is determined by the District Executive Committee during annual Organizational Meeting. The district meeting agendas are developed by the district commander.

District Meeting
Legionnaires and guests are to sign-in upon arrival at a district meeting, at the Sergeant-at-Arms table which is usually located near the entrance to the meeting room.
The District Executive Committee is the first to meet and normally start around 9 or 9:30 a.m. The District Meeting begins at 10 a.m. An agenda for the meeting is published on the district web site prior to the meeting.

Roll Call of Officers and Posts
Early in the agenda of the district meeting the district adjutant conducts a “Roll Call of Officers and Posts”. This is when each post commander is expected to rise and report how many elected delegates are in attendance from their post and how many paid members have been submitted, along with their percentage of membership goal attainment. Should the post commander be absent, a post vice commander would be expected to answer the roll call and make the post report.

Legion Uniform
All Legionnaires should wear a uniform cap to Legion functions. Legion leaders are expected to wear a uniform cap to all meetings. Purchase your Legion uniform cap online at: emblem.legion.org

Name Badges:
Leaders attending Legion meetings are expected to wear a name badge with their name, post number and leadership position.

District Executive Committee

The essence, influence and strength of District 16 is found within the leadership of the District Executive Committee (DEC) which is elected at the Annual Meeting in June of each year. The DEC is entrusted with the administration, governance and management of District 16. The District Commander is the executive head of the DEC and appoints officers and committees as required to complete the programs of the district.

Voting Members of District Executive Committee are:

The election of our district Commander and Vice Commanders rotate through the three counties in District 16: Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo

District officers are elected at the annual district meeting and serve a 1-year term of office. District officers assume office when the District Commander is installed at the Department Convention.

The Adjutant. Finance Officer, Chaplain, Sergeant-at-Arms, Judge Advocate, Historian, and Service Officer are all appointed by the Commander and they do not have voting rights on the District Executive Committee.

The Adjutant is the recording secretary. The Judge Advocate and Finance Officer are advisors to the DEC.
District committees include: Membership, Ways & Means, Media & Communications, Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, Boys State and Oratorical Committees. Each of our committees play a very important role in success of District 16.

District 16 Posts:

San Luis Obispo County

  • Paso Robles, Post 50 (link to Post Directory
  • San Luis Obispo, Post 66
  • Arroyo Grande, Post 136
  • Templeton, Post 220
  • Cambria, Post 432

Santa Barbara County

  • Santa Barbara, Post 49
  • Santa Maria, Post 56
  • Lompoc, Post 125
  • Solvang, Post 160
  • Lompoc, Post 211
  • Guadalupe, Post 371
  • Orcutt, Post 534

Ventura County

  • Oxnard, Post 48
  • Ventura, Post 339
  • Ojai, Post 482
  • Simi Valley, Post 484
  • Moorpark, Post 502
  • Oak View, Post 686
  • Camarillo, Post 741

The American Legion Family

The American Legion Family includes The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, The Sons of The American Legion and American Legion Riders and comprises a total membership of over 4 million members. Our Legion Family has been a key to the long term success and influence of the Legion on so many levels.

The American Legion Auxiliary is a separate organization with their own legal status which is independent from The American Legion. Although the two organizations are independent, The American Legion Auxiliary has worked tirelessly at the side of Legionnaires since 1919 in our pursuit of service to our nation.

The Sons of the American Legion (S.A.L.) began in 1932 and exists to honor the service and sacrifice of Legionnaires. Membership in the Sons of The American Legion is open to males of all ages whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military and were eligible for American Legion membership.

Although Sons has its own membership, the organization is not a separate entity. Rather, S.A.L. is a program of The American Legion and is subject to supervision of their parent post. Many Legionnaires hold dual membership in S.A.L.

Our American Legion Riders are the newest member of our family came to be in Garden City Michigan with a few key Legionnaires who were also motorcycle enthusiasts. Membership in the American Legion Riders is available to members of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion that also meet specific requirements linked to motorcycle ownership. exists to honor the service and sacrifice of Legionnaires. Like the Sons of The American Legion the American Legion Riders are program elements of The American Legion and as such are subject to oversight by their parent American Legion post.

ALEI Graduate
The Legion Family, as in many families, on occasion experiences strife among the members of the family. We know there are many reasons for the strife and many solutions exist to bring the family members back into harmony. Desire for harmony among the Legion Family members is essential if it is to be found. Understanding that all member of our Legion Family are dedicated to serving our veterans, their families and our community is key element that binds all the family members together. One way to help us all remember our common desire to serve others is through training. Those Legion posts who have members well trained in the literature generated by their element of the family are better prepared to maintain family harmony. All members of the Legion Family are highly encouraged to take The American Legion Extension Institute (ALEI) as a foundation of their Legion Family training.

County Executive Committeeman

Who can be elected as a County Executive Committeeman? Any Legionnaire who has the best interests of the American Legion at heart. That being said, the individual should be prepared to expend personal time visiting their “County Posts,” and be able to provide feedback about the health and well-being of their respective County Posts to the District Commander. In addition, the member needs to be a member of a post in that county. There are no prerequisites for holding any office in the Post/District other than a desire to “serve.” Executive Committee members represent the District Commander. Knowledge of the direction of the District is a must. Understanding the Four Pillars of the American Legion is a very big plus.

The individual should be an extension of the District Commander and the American Legion. They should be willing to help the Post in any way he/she can. The County Executive Committee Member is not an individual who dictates how the Post should conduct their business. The Executive Committee Member should be there to help out the Post and help resolve issues, “when asked” by the Post.

By the way, anytime the District Commander visits a Post in a County, the County Executive Committee Members should accompany the Commander to the Post.

Submitted by:

Harley Santos,
Vice Commander, Area 6

District 16: Past Commanders

2016-17 Michael Stadnick Santa Maria Post 56
2015-16 Janice Somers San Luis Obispo Post 66
2014-15 Dave Forney Oxnard Post 48
2013-14 John Velasquez Guadalupe Post 371
2012-13 Ashley White Paso Robles Post 50
2011-12 Pete Duncan Moorpark Post 501
2010-11 Guy “Buck” Barker Wm Proud Post 211
2009-10 Alvin Evenson Arroyo Grande 136
2008-09 Dan Crow Camarillo Post 741
2007-08 Marvin Douglass Santa Maria Post 56
2006-07 *Wilbert “Whip” Wilson Cambria Post 432
2005-06 Dennis Fercho Camarillo Post 741
2004-05 Harley T. Santos Jr. Vandenberg Post 125
2003-04 Wallace Boyance Paso Robles Post 50
2002-03 Steve Weber Oxnard Post 48
2001-02 *Gil Sattler Jr.* Vandenberg Post 125
2000-01 Charles Overkleeft Simi Valley Post 484
1999-20 *John Paulson Wm Bill Proud Post 211
1998-99 *E. Lee Jennings Arroyo Grande Post 136
1997-98 *Oscar Escarcega Roy L. Nichols Simi Valley Post 484
1996-97 *La Varge Scott Vandenberg Post 125
1995-96 *Russell K. Powell San Luis Obispo Post 66
1994-95 Roy Lee Nichols Pleasant Valley Post 382
1993-94 *George R. Frazier Orcutt Post 534
1992-93 *Catherine Barttelbort Arroyo Grande Post 136
1991-92 Richard T. Lee Jr. Camarillo Post 741
1990-91 *Peter Collins Jr. Marshall Braden Post 56
1989-90 *Wilbert “Whip” Wilson Cambria Post 432
1988-89 *Richard “Dick” Hiser Ojai Post 482
1987-88 *Emanuel “Dusty” Rapitis Vandenberg Post 125
1986-87 *Raelan Wells Arroyo Grande Post 136
1985-86 *Patricia Jennings Camarillo Post 741
1984-85 *George Ward Wm Bill Proud Post 211
1983-84 *Michael Morris Arroyo Grande Post 136
1982-83 *Charles F. Dorsey Oxnard Post 48
1981-82 *Allison E. Driesbach Vandenberg Post 125
1980-81 *Ernest J. Wheeler Sr. Cambria Post 432
1979-80 * Garland Packer Ventura Post 339
1978-79 John Fazzone Marshall Braden Post 56
1977-78 *Clayton D. Welch Arroyo Grande Post 136
1976-77 *Lee Jennings Camarillo Post 741
1975-76 *Bernard E. Monahan Goleta Valley Post 610
1974-75 *Harry 0. Wells Arroyo Grande Post 136
1973-74 *Andrew Kotik Camarillo Post 741
1972-73 *Donald Aswegan Marshall Braden Post 56
1972-73 * Humphrey J. Nixon Santa Barbara Post 49
1971-72 *Dink Hall San Luis Obispo Post 66
1970-71 *E. Marjorie Smith Ventura Post 339
1969-70 *D. Merrow Jr. Santa Barbara Post 49
1968-69 Larry Rasmussen Pismo Beach Post 727
1967-68 *George Conahey Oxnard Post 48
1966-67 *Lee Turnmire Marshall Braden Post 56
1965-66 Clyde Cox Arroyo Grande Post 136
1964-65 *Dean Nutt Conejo Valley Post 814
1963-64 *Charles H. Lynch Santa Barbara Post 49
1962-63 *Napoleon Howard Templeton Post 220
1961-62 *Donald W. Foote Ventura Post 339
1960-61 *Humphrey J. Nixon Santa Barbara Post 49
1959-60 *Ralph “Chief” Jorey Cambria Post 432
1958-59 Richard Pervorse Carnarillo Post 741
1957-58 *John C. Selover Santa Barbara Post 49
1956-57 *Cleo Vreeland Paso Robles Post 50
1955-56 *John B. Burson Fillmore Post 481
1954-55 *Ray Paaske Santa Ynez Valley 160
1953-54 *Dr. A. J. Madson Pismo Beach Post 727
1952-53 *Leveij H. Prosky Ojai Post 482
1951-52 *Elvin R. Morgan Santa Barbara Post 49
1950-51 *Edward S. Bennett San Luis Obispo Post 66
1949-50 *Everett T. Carnage Santa Paula Post 480
1948-49 *Cecil C. Brown Marshall Braden Post 56
1947-48 *A. F. Kunkee Atascadero Post 109
1946-47 *Al Mehn Oxnard Post 48
1945-46 *H J. Kohlstedt Pismo Beach Post 727
1944-45 *E. S. Milligan San Luis Obispo Post 66
1943-44 *Robert J. Parr Ventura Post 339
1942-43 *E. P. Brine Santa Barbara Post 49
1941-42 *John C. Hudson Morro Bay Post 703
1940-41 *B. B. Jenkins Ventura Post 339
1939-40 *Thomas Parks Lompoc Post 211
1938-39 *Claude S. Young San Luis Obispo Post 66
1937-38 *Walter J. Fourt Ventura Post 339
1936-37 *J~ Beverly Alexander Santa Barbara Post 49
1935-36 *Audrey E. Gano Paso Robles Post 50
1934-35 *R. S. Vreeland Santa Paula Post 480
1933-34 *E. D. Solari Carpenteria Post 62
1932-33 *Dr Ray Swartz Lompoc Post 211
1931-32 *H. H. Wright Saticoy Post
1930-31 *William H. Nuss San Luis Obispo Post 66
1929-30 *William S. Main Santa Barbara Post 49
1928-29 *William S. Main Santa Barbara Post 49
1927-28 *Charles W. Wright Oxnard Post 48
1926-27 *Charles W. Wright Oxnard Post 48
* Transferred to Post Everlasting

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