After participating in numerous American Legion events and serving in several leadership positions within the American Legion, Pierre businessman, Royce Loesch, decided it was time to throw his hat in the ring and run for state vice-commander. The Eastern region includes all of South Dakota east of the Missouri River.
Loesch, who currently serves as State Membership Chairman, hopes to be elected at this summer’s State Convention to be held June 6-9th, in Rapid City. Loesch has served as Post 8 Commander, District 10 and District 3 Commander and for the last four years as State Lobbyist for the American Legion.
In 2009, Loesch was named South Dakota Recruiter of the Year, and was awarded the Gold Brigade Award for recruiting 50 new members in one year by the National Commander. Previously, Loesch was chosen as District 10 Legionnaire of the Year for 2007, and was elected Post 8 Commander in 2008.
In 2010, he was elected District 10 Commander and upon District Reorganization within the Department of South Dakota taking effect in the fall of 2011, was elected District 3 Commander.
In 2012, Loesch completed the American Legion Extension Institute Training Course for Legion members who want to learn the inner workings of the American Legion.
Also in 2012, he was appointed as State Membership Chairman and State Lobbyist by State Commander Byron Callies of Watertown. Lastly, at the 2012 State Convention in Watertown, Loesch was awarded the Robert C. Gabrielson Memorial Leadership Award.
Loesch said, “The next several years will be very important within The American Legion as to where we go in membership. With a considerable number of our older veterans leaving us, it is imperative that we gain the newer Iraqi and Afghan War veterans.
“It is paramount that we carry on the National Commander James Koutz’s plan to sign up thousands of new members in the next five years, and I intend to help do that.” Loesch said. “We need more new veterans to help fill the ranks in the American Legion in order to look after and take care of those veterans who have come back from our recent wars needing a little help getting the benefits they have coming to them.”