Randy Frank was elected commander of Kansas American Legion Fourth District on Friday in Emporia, a step the 14-year Army field artillery veteran said was in keeping with the spirit of his unit.
“Our motto was ‘answering the call,’ and that’s my motto for the next two years,” Frank said. “I believe it’s my turn to stand up and do what I can to help progress what we have for our Legionnaires.”
Frank is a member of Hillsboro Post 366, and brings both local and district leadership experience to his new assignment. Most recently, Frank has been district sergeant-at-arms and an executive committee member.
The district is comprised of 54 posts serving over 3,000 members across 14 counties. Frank said there is room for growth in both numbers and developing the next generation of Legion leadership.
“I saw an opportunity and a need to engage younger veterans serving in the Legion,” he said. “They’re truly going to become our leaders before long. I’m really looking for a way to inspire them, encourage them, and educate them to understand the process of the Legion, why it was created and what it’s for.”
Frank was in the Army from 1980-1994, serving during conflicts in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, and the Persian Gulf war. With the ranks of World War I, II, and Korean conflict veterans dwindling, responsibility for Legion leadership has shifted to younger generations, and Frank said it’s important to begin building future leadership now.
“Every good leader will be mentoring his or her replacement so the legacy continues,” he said.
Frank said his calendar already has started to fill with requests to attend local post meetings and activities including Veterans Day and Memorial Day observances. A vice commander and three executive committee members are available to cover what he can’t, he said.
Whether he’s visiting a local post or representing the district at state and national events, a common theme will guide his activities, Frank said.
“With the veterans who are here now, and those who didn’t make it home, I want to continue to find a way to honor all the veterans we have,” he said.