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Monahan sworn as Commissioner on U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

John D. Monahan of Essex, Connecticut was sworn in as Commissioner on the United States World War One Centennial Commission during the American Legion’s 57th annual Washington Conference last week. He was appointed to this position by the American Legion. He has served the Legion in the past as commander of La Place-Champlin American Legion Post 18 in Essex, Conn. and in various post, state and national levels.

Monahan swearing in 500John Monahan (left) is sworn in as a Commissioner by U.S. World War One Centennial Commission Chair Robert Dalessandro (right).The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission is a Congressional Commission, created to provide public outreach, education programs, and commemorative events for America’s involvement in World War I. Congress also authorized the Commission to create the new National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. Centennial Commission members are appointed by Congress, by the President of the United States, and by the American Legion and the VFW.

As representative of the nation’s largest organization of wartime veterans, Monahan joins fellow commissioners Col. Robert J. Dalessandro, chair; Edward L. Fountain, vice chair; Jerry L. Hester; Col. Thomas Moe; Ambassador Theodore Sedgwick; Dr. Libby O’Connell; Dr. Monique Seefried; Maj. Gen. Alfred A. Valenzuela; Debra Anderson; Terry Hamby; and Dr. Matthew Naylor. Monahan replaces the late Commissioner and American Legion representative James Whitfield, who passed away in December 2016.

A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army, Monahan served in uniform both as an enlisted soldier and as an officer. His military career was wide-ranging, including duties as a rifleman, tank company commander, foreign area expert, staff officer, linguist and arms-control inspector. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree in European studies from Cornell University.


Since his retirement from the Army in 1995, Monahan has been active in veterans leadership at the local, state and national levels. He has served as administrator for the Connecticut Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Fund, which provides financial assistance to needy veterans. He is commander of La Place-Champlin American Legion Post 18 in Essex, Conn., which was founded by highly decorated World War One U.S. Army Ambulance Service Pvt. 1st Class Morton C. Tiley. Monahan has also served as treasurer for The American Legion Department of Connecticut and has been a member of the national American Legion Finance Commission since 2007.

The Commission is excited to welcome him as a new addition to our efforts, and looks forward to our future endeavors together during the centennial period.