Renaming the American Legion to Ronald Reagan Post Was a 15-Year Process

(Left to right) Commander Jim Cragg, Joe Mantegna, Chaplin Joe Ramierez, Eric Measles and John Lehrn at the renaming ceremony on January 28.

The renaming ceremony of American Legion Post 283 on La Cruz Drive in Pacific Palisades to the Ronald Reagan Palisades Post 283 was a 15-year process.

The idea came from former Post 283 Commander Eric Measles who served in Pacific Palisades in 1988-1989.

He remembers looking at photos on the walls in the Legion and seeing one of President Ronald Reagan wearing a Legion 283 “cover” hat. Measles thought it was unique that a past president of the United States was a local Legion member.

Measles, who also served as a District Commander before relocating to the northern part of the state, is now the American Legion chairman of the National Veterans Education, Other Benefits & Homelessness Committee.

He asked other legion members, “how come we are not naming this post after the President?”

He said for a time there didn’t seem to be support from members, so the idea of a name change stalled.

But Measles persisted. When new commanders were installed, he would ask them the same question. Finally, with Commanders Scott Wagenseller and Jere Romano, the idea gained traction.

In Romano’s second term, he told Measles to see what it might take to rename the Post.

Before the Reagan name is used, approval must come from the family. Measles reached out to Reagan’s son Mike and his daughter Ashley, who sent him to the Reagan Foundation for approval.

“It was favorable, and I was excited,” Measles said.

The next step was convincing Post 283 to make a name change. Measles wrote a resolution, legionnaires voted on the name change, and it passed overwhelmingly.

After the resolution passed on the Post level, Measles then had to take the name change idea to Department (state) to receive approval. Once that was accomplished, it had to go to the National level.

Although official approval was given by the Reagans, and the State and National American Legion organizations, the naming ceremony was delayed.

“The timing was bad,” Measles said. Covid hit, and then the long-planned renovation of the Post delayed ceremonies.

But yesterday (January 28) at a renaming ceremony, Measles was proud. “The naming had been accomplished – it was overwhelming,” he said. “I was so happy that I was almost at the point of tears.

“It was an outstanding event, and the turnout was incredible,” Measles said. “If I have no other legacy, I’m thrilled that I got this done.”

Bagpipe players welcomed people on the red carpet to the newly renamed American Legion Post.

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2 Responses to Renaming the American Legion to Ronald Reagan Post Was a 15-Year Process

  1. Mo McGee says:

    What is the record of Ronald Reagan’s military service

  2. Sue says:

    Ronald Reagan enrolled in a series of home-study Army Extension Courses on March 18, 1935. After completing 14 of the courses, he enlisted in the Army Enlisted Reserve on April 29, 1937, as a Private assigned to Troop B, 322nd Cavalry at Des Moines, Iowa. He was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Cavalry on May 25, 1937. On June 18, 1937 Reagan, who had just moved to Los Angeles to begin his film career, accepted his Officer’s Commission and was assigned to the 323rd Cavalry.

    Lieutenant Reagan was ordered to active duty on April 19, 1942. Due to his poor eyesight, he was classified for limited service only excluding him from serving overseas. His first assignment was at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason, California, as liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office. Upon the request of the Army Air Forces (AAF), he applied for a transfer from the Cavalry to the AAF on May 15, 1942; the transfer was approved on June 9, 1942. He was assigned to AAF Public Relations and subsequently to the 1st Motion Picture Unit in Culver City, California. Reagan was promoted to First Lieutenant on January 14, 1943 and was sent to the Provisional Task Force Show Unit of This Is The Army at Burbank, California. Following this duty, he returned to the 1st Motion Picture Unit, and on July 22, 1943 was promoted to Captain.

    In January 1944, Captain Reagan was ordered to temporary duty in New York City to participate in the opening of the sixth War Loan Drive. He was assigned to the 18th AAF Base Unit, Culver City, California on November 14, 1944, where he remained until the end of the war. He was recommended for promotion to Major on February 2, 1945, but this recommendation was disapproved on July 17, 1945. On September 8, 1945, he was ordered to report to Fort MacArthur, California, where he was separated from active duty on December 9, 1945.

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