VFW elects first Iraq War veteran to lead the organization

KANSAS CITY, Missouri— Timothy M. Borland, of Benson, Arizona, was elected today as the new national commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), a congressional chartered veterans services organization made up of more than one million veterans and eligible military service members from all six branches of the armed forces.

“My slogan this year is ‘Every Veteran Matters,'” Borland said. “It is our service to the country and the courage to defend this country that makes us veterans. Every veteran of every war and conflict matters.

Borland’s election as the 114th Commander-in-Chief of the VFW took place at the conclusion of the organization’s 123rd national convention in Kansas City, Missouri. The rally was the first full national convention since 2019. During his acceptance speech, Borland urged members attending in person and watching via live video, to welcome the new generation of veterans eligible for membership. to the VFW, noting the significance of his election.

“There is a new wave of veterans who have returned home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and they are ready, willing and waiting to join our ranks. One of those veterans is standing right here behind that podium,” Borland said, referring to himself. “I am an Iraq War veteran and very proud to be the first as your Commander-in-Chief.”

Eligibility for VFW membership requires honorable service in war or expedition on foreign soil or hostile waters. Borland served in the United States Army from 1979 to 2007, the last having served in the 101st Airborne Division. He earned his VFW eligibility with service in Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Defense of the Republic of Korea. In recognition of his military service and contributions while deployed, he received numerous decorations, including four Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Medals, eight Army Medals of Honor, seven Good Conduct Medals , two National Defense Service Medals, the Army Reserve Component Medal of Honor. , the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal and four Overseas Service Ribbons. Among his many awards and accomplishments, he also earned the drill sergeant credential, as well as a bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in business administration from Touro University in Cypress, California.

Borland’s remarks struck a balance between welcoming younger members taking on leadership roles in the organization and honoring the service and loyalty of longtime VFW members.

“It’s time for a new generation, but without forgetting the old one. It’s time to pass the torch, but at the same time remember and appreciate the passing of the torch and by whom,” Borland said. “You see, comrades, brothers and sisters, every veteran in this room matters, just like those we have yet to search for.”

He became a Life Member of the VFW in 2000. He currently maintains his Gold Legacy Life Membership at VFW Post 9972 in Sierra Vista, Arizona, 35 miles from his home in Benson, where he resides with his wife, Shannon. Borland received 19 consecutive Century Awards for recruiting 100 or more comrades into the VFW. He has held elected and appointed positions at the post, district, and departmental levels, culminating in his election as Commander of the Arizona VFW Department from 2011 to 2012, in which he earned the distinction of Commander status. All-American and received the distinguished Triple Crown Award. At the national level, Borland served on several committees, including the National Board of Directors from 2012 to 2016, Vice Chairman of the National Legislative Committee from 2017 to 2018, Chairman of the National Programs Committee from 2018 to 2019, National Security and Business foreign. Business Committee, Rules and Resolutions Committee, Time and Place Committee and many other committees. Borland is also a member of AMVETS, the American Legion, and is a Lifetime Member of Disabled American Veterans.

“We will continue to recruit and mentor others to recruit,” Borland said. “Learn from each other for ideas that will help you develop new strategies, new tactics, and unique ways to manage membership and programs.

“So put your recruitment and retention plans to work!” cried Borland.

look Where Lily Borland’s acceptance speech.

Aubrey L. Morgan