Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford: May 18, 2021

The American Legion

The Nation’s Largest Veterans Organization


Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford



Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, American Legion National Commander Bill Oxford has continued to lead the nation’s largest veteran’s organization as many American Legion posts closed their homes and postponed events due to coronavirus concernsAs a result of the cancellation of the organization’s national convention in 2020, Oxford’s term in office was extended for another year and he became the longest serving national commander in the 102-year history of The American Legion.


“While the nature and manner of our service many have changed, The American Legion has never stopped assisting veterans, our communities and our country during these challenging times,” Oxford said. “Today we are seeing a number of American Legion posts donating space in their facilities for VA to administer life-saving coronavirus vaccines. The American Legion has been supporting first responders, health care workers and people in need throughout this pandemic. It’s fitting that we are able to assist in putting an end to this horrific disease that has taken far too many lives.”


Despite the attention given to coronavirus, Oxford wants to ensure time-honored traditions continue. He is encouraging all patriotic Americans to wear a red poppy on May 28, which is National Poppy Day.

“The red poppy is a symbol of remembrance and hope,” Oxford said. “Memorial Day is another importance observance on May 31.  The entire American Legion Family believes that our country must never forget the fallen heroes who have made our way of life possible. Even if we must maintain social distance, gather outdoors or attend a virtual service, it is important to honor the men and women who lost their lives in defense of this great country that we call ‘America.’”



Among issues that The American Legion has focused on: 

  • Addressing the Forever Wars by urging Congress to repeal or replace the outdated post-9/11 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) and to properly resource the tools of diplomacy.
  • Recognizing the harmful effects that toxic exposures to open air burnpits, jet fuel and other environmental hazards have had on a generation of veterans.
  • Fighting the scourge of veteran suicides by encouraging all veterans to practice “Buddy Checks” and connect those in need with trained professionals.
  • Supporting veterans and their families by participation in The American Legion 100 Miles for Hope campaign.
  • Encouraging Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Providing transition assistance to military members and families separating from the service.
  • Congressional passage and executive enactment of the Pay Our Coast Guard Act, which would ensure the men and women who protect our shores would no longer experience pay interruptions in the event of a federal government shutdown.
  • Passage of a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to protect the U.S. Flag from desecration.


The American Legion is the nation’s largest veterans’ service organization with nearly two million members and about 12,600 posts worldwide. Legionnaires are involved in community-based support of veterans, servicemembers and their families. The American Legion is strongly committed to helping veterans and military families with its outreach programs and lobbying efforts, as a new generation of returning veterans reintegrate into the community. The American Legion’s motto is “Veterans Strengthening America.”


For more information go to:




Vietnam War veteran James W. “Bill” Oxford was elected national commander of The American Legion on August 29, 2019 in Indianapolis, during the organization’s 101st national convention. He has been a member of the nation’s largest veterans organization since 1986.


A native of Lenoir, N.C., Oxford is a paid-up-for- life member and past commander of Post 29 in Lenoir. He served as department (state) commander of the North Carolina American Legion from 2010 to 2011. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Oxford was an aviation electronic technician for the A-6 Intruder and served in Vietnam during his initial enlistment. After being discharged as a sergeant in 1970, Oxford joined the North Carolina National Guard.  He subsequently attended officer’s candidate school and transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve, where he ultimately retired as a colonel after more than 34 years of military service.


An active volunteer with several organizations, Oxford is a member of Masonic lodge-York and Scottish Rite. His theme as national commander of The American Legion is “a foundation for the future,” as the organization advances through its second century of service.


Speak Your Mind