Pacific, Philippines & Post 2485 Commanders and staff

This is a list of our current and previous Department of the

Pacific, Philippines District VII, and Post 2485 Commanders and Staff.


"In Comradeship and Service to Veterans"

Current Department of the Pacific Commander

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John H. Gilbert

2017-

'All American'

District Commander Gilbert became the Commander, VFW Department of Pacific Areas, on June 14, 2017. His area of responsibility includes 26 VFW Posts in nine countries. He served in the United States Army from 1970 until 1993, with tours of duty in Berlin, Germany, Korea, Japan and the Middle East. He retired from the US Army following the Persian Gulf War, where he served as the Chief Operations NCO for US Army Forces Central Command. Following Military Retirement he completed a second career as a High School Teacher and Counselor in Public Education. John holds an earned Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and is a  graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy. 

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Current Philippines District Commander

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Current VFW Post 2485 Commander and Staff Members

Post Commander

Norme Smith
Commander Smith served in the US Air Force from June 1980 and retired as Master Sergeant in July 2000. Commander Smith was trained in Aerospace Defense and held a wide ranges of positions including satellite tracking and nuclear ballistic missile warning, ground mobile radar deployable to conflict zones, and radar surveillance and identification of air traffic entering and within North American and Central American airspace to include narco trafficking surveillance and interdiction. He was deployed to the crisis in Kosovo in support of Operation Noble Anvil and it's aftermath. 

In Comradeship and Service to Veterans.

Post Senior Vice Commander

James "Jim" Collins
James E. (Jim) Collins is the Senior Vice Commander of VFW Post 2485.  Jim was born 19 August 1954 in Lowell, Mass and graduated from Tewksbury Memorial High School in 1972.  After graduating from High School Jim attended college for a couple of years before enlisting in the US Army in September 1974.  Jim served 2 years in the 1/75th Rangers, 4 years in Infantry assignments in Korea, and 24 years in US Army Special Forces assignment throughout the Pacific Theater.  While on active duty he pursued his civilian education earning a Bachelor in Political Science from the University of the State of New York in May 1990 and Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma in May 1998.  Jim retired from the US Army in October 2004 after 30 years at the rank of Sergeant Major.  Jim is a graduate of the US Army Sergeants Major Academy and his numerous awards include the Legion Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and US Army Meritorious Service Medal (5th award)  After completed his military career, Jim worked as a military contractor in Korea for 2 years, Iraq for 5 years, and Afghanistan for 5 years.  Jim is now retired and lives in Angeles City, Philippines. 

Post Junior Vice Commander

Eric Zarriello
Junior Vice Commander Zarriello Is originally from Hawaii and retired from the Honolulu Police Dept. as a Lieutenant after 28 years of service.  He also retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a Master Sergeant with 26 years of service.  In 2004, his Reserve unit at Hickam AFB, Hawaii was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which he deployed to Kuwait as an Air Transportation Supervisor/Manager where he had the honor and privilege to serve with members from the various branches of the DOD, military or civilian both foreign and domestic to accomplish the mission. 

Post Treasurer

Name, Dates held, Short bio

Post Mailmaster

Name, Dates held, Short bio

Post Webmaster

Gordon Ross

Gordon has worked with the post since October 2017 and has assumed the

position of Webmaster.

Born in Baltimore, raised in Germany and England, his family eventually settled in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. 

Enlisting in 1971, Gordon served as a Navy Radioman during the Vietnam campaign aboard a Nuclear Submarine Command ship based in Agana, Guam. After retrofit to the new POSEIDON missile system,  Gordon was transferred to the Nuclear Submarine base in Charleston, SC. An honored 'Golden Shellback', he discharged in 1977. Gordon has many years of webmastering experience. Gordon retired as a telephone company lineman in 2005 and moved to Angeles City in mid 2017. 

Past Department of the Pacific Commanders

E. Ralph Milward

1994-1995

'All American'

Joseph Carsley

1995-1996

'All American'

Robert Zaher

1996-1997

'All American'

'Triple Crown'

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Kenneth Schaefer

2006-2007

'All American'

'Triple Crown'

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Past Philippines District Commanders

Paul Morgenthal

1995-1996

'All American'

Kenneth Schaefer

1997-1998

'All American'

Robert Zaher

1999-2000

'All American'

B.K. Hubbard

2001-2001


Jerry Prinz

2003-2004

'All Pacific'

Albert Mitchell

2008-2009

'All Pacific'

Dale Barsy

2009-2010

Robert Chesko

2011-2012

'All American'

Carl Burke

2014-2015

'All American'

Carl Damien Burke served with the  U.S Army's 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)  at Camp Evans Vietnam from January to December 1970.Burke joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Sacramento, California Post 67.He transferred his membership to VFW Post 2485 in 2009 where he became a Gold Legacy Life Member.Burke "moved up the chairs" serving as Adjutant, Junior Vice Commander, Senior Vice Commander and then became VFW Post 2485 Commander in 2014. He was elected to serve as District 7 Commander of the Philippines for the  2015-2016 Term.His additional duties were Boy Scouts of America Troop 485 Business Executive and Member of the Post House Committee.Burke was voted Outstanding Post Commander at the 2016 Department of Pacific Areas Convention and achieved All State and All American for the Post and District 7 levels." A high tide lifts all boats" was his motto and reflected the tremendous support he was given while in office.  The National VFW in 2016 awarded  Post 2485 the  Fred  C. Hall Memorial Outstanding Post Special Project Award in honor of its "Burial Assistance Program" project.The Post also won VFW National's top honor of National Veterans of Foreign Wars Community Service Award for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.The Post continues to be recognized for having the largest membership in the Gold Legacy Life Membership Program. "My  greatest honor was to serve on the Clark Veterans Cemetery Committee for six years. I became the Chairman of CVC for  2015-2016."  Burke said.
 "Thank you for those that served and participated in Post activities  during my two terms as Commander for Post 2485, Angeles City in the  Philippines. I would not have done as well without your support!"

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Past VFW Post 2485 Commanders

Joseph Carsley

Commander

1987-1989

Richard Norrell

Commander

1989-1990

Eugene Herrman

Commander

1990-1991

'All American'

Robert Zaher

Commander

1991-1993

'All American' (2)

Edward Lyons

Commander

1993-1995

'All American'

Kenneth Schaefer

Commander

1995-1997

'All American'

Lafayette Donaldson

1998-1999

'All Pacific'

B.K. Hubbard

1999-2000

'All American'

Jerry Prinz

200-2002

'All American'

Buddy McGuire

2002-2004

'All American'

Albert Mitchell

2004-2006

Dale Barsy

2006-2008

'All American'

Larry Heilhecker

2008-2010

'All Pacific'

Robert Chesko

2010-2012

'All American'

John H. Gilbert

2012-2014

'All American'
District Commander Gilbert became the Commander, VFW Department of Pacific Areas, on June 14, 2017. His area of responsibility includes 26 VFW Posts in nine countries. He served in the United States Army from 1970 until 1993, with tours of duty in Berlin, Germany, Korea, Japan and the Middle East. He retired from the US Army following the Persian Gulf War, where he served as the Chief Operations NCO for US Army Forces Central Command. Following Military Retirement he completed a second career as a High School Teacher and Counselor in Public Education. John holds an earned Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and is a  graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.   

Carl Burke

2014-2016

'All American'

Carl Damien Burke served with the  U.S Army's 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)  at Camp Evans Vietnam from January to December 1970.Burke joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Sacramento, California Post 67.He transferred his membership to VFW Post 2485 in 2009 where he became a Gold Legacy Life Member.Burke "moved up the chairs" serving as Adjutant, Junior Vice Commander, Senior Vice Commander and then became VFW Post 2485 Commander in 2014. He was elected to serve as District 7 Commander of the Philippines for the  2015-2016 Term.His additional duties were Boy Scouts of America Troop 485 Business Executive and Member of the Post House Committee.Burke was voted Outstanding Post Commander at the 2016 Department of Pacific Areas Convention and achieved All State and All American for the Post and District 7 levels." A high tide lifts all boats" was his motto and reflected the tremendous support he was given while in office.  The National VFW in 2016 awarded  Post 2485 the  Fred  C. Hall Memorial Outstanding Post Special Project Award in honor of its "Burial Assistance Program" project.The Post also won VFW National's top honor of National Veterans of Foreign Wars Community Service Award for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.The Post continues to be recognized for having the largest membership in the Gold Legacy Life Membership Program. "My  greatest honor was to serve on the Clark Veterans Cemetery Committee for six years. I became the Chairman of CVC for  2015-2016."  Burke said.
 "Thank you for those that served and participated in Post activities  during my two terms as Commander for Post 2485, Angeles City in the  Philippines. I would not have done as well without your support!"

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