VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS
NATIONAL COMMAND GROUP
2018 - 2019
NATIONAL COMMAND GROUP
2018 - 2019
2018 - 2019 National Command Group
Vincent “B.J.” Lawrence was elected Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. on July 25, 2018, at the 119th VFW National Convention in Kansas City, Mo. B.J. served with the United States Army from 1983 to 1986, earning his VFW eligibility by serving in Korea, where he earned the Korean Defense Service Medal. Upon joining VFW Post 7686 in Alamogordo, N.M., in 2000, he immediately began to dedicate his efforts toward moving the organization forward into the new millennium and beyond. He has proven to be a highly effective and dynamic leader, serving in a myriad of critical leadership positions, to include being elected to command his Post, District and the VFW Department of New Mexico, as well as serving on the National Appeals Committee, and as Vice Chairman of the National Legislative Committee. He was also elected to the VFW National Council of Administration in 2009. During the 2010 VFW National Convention, he joined the ranks of a select few when he was recognized for his distinctive membership recruiting achievements on the Post, District and Department levels by earning the coveted designation of “VFW Triple Crown Winner.” B.J. attended the New Mexico State Law Enforcement Academy, New Mexico Firefighters Academy, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration Narcotics Enforcement School. He served his community as a police officer for several years, including time as an undercover agent. Prior to his retirement in 2015, he was a private investigator and owner of Lawrence Investigations. In 2008 he became a Gold Legacy Life member. He is also a life member of the VFW National Home for Children and the Military Order of the Cootie. B.J. and his wife, Mary, reside in Alamogordo, N.M.
William J. “Doc” Schmitz was elected Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. on July 25, 2018, at the 119th VFW National Convention in Kansas City, Mo. Doc served in the United States Navy from 1966 to 1970. He served in Vietnam as a corpsman attached to United States Marine Corps infantry and artillery. In recognition of his service, he received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He joined the VFW in 1971 at Post 524 in Corning, N.Y., where he maintains his Gold Legacy Life membership. He has served as Department Commander, Post Commander, Southern Tier County Council Commander and District 5 Commander. He was also editor of the New York State Overseas Veteran publication for nine years. In 2007, he was elected Department Surgeon for the Department of New York where he served for five consecutive years. He served as the National Surgeon General from 2010 to 2011, and as the Inspector General from 2015 to 2016. Doc worked for the Department of Corrections as a registered nurse and acting nurse administrator for 30 years before retiring. He currently is employed as the Director of Veterans Issues for Congressman Tom Reed of the 23rd Congressional District in New York. Doc and his wife, Deborah, reside in Corning, N.Y.
Hal J. Roesch II was elected Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. on July 25, 2018, at the 119th VFW National Convention in Kansas City, Mo. Hal served in the United States Air Force from 1982 to 2002. He is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield/Storm and Southern Watch, and the recipient of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with three campaign stars, the Humanitarian Service Medal (for Hurricane Hugo relief in South Carolina), and the Kuwait Liberation Medal. He joined the VFW in 1991 at Post 3034 in Sumter, S.C., later transferring to Post 4542 in Spring Lake, N.C., then to Post 3219 in Phoebus, Va., where he maintains his Gold Legacy Life membership. He has served in elected and appointed positions at the Post, District and Department levels, culminating with his election as VFW Department of Virginia Commander from 2008 to 2009, in which he achieved All-American status. On the national level, he served on the Council of Administration from 2010 to 2012, and as the Inspector General from 2016 to 2017. Hal is currently a financial advisor with First Command Financial Planning. He received his Associate of Arts degree in avionics system technology from the Community College of the Air Force. He is a life member of Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, the American Legion and the Military Order of the Cootie. Hal and his wife, Beth, reside in Hampton, Va.