ROCHESTER — Gary Schacher, of Cobleskill was sworn in last weekend as the 100th Commander of the American Legion Department of New York.

A 26-year U.S. Navy veteran, Schacher served in Fallujah, Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and has dedicated his post-military career to supporting veterans across New York State.

Schacher succeeds Commander Rena Nessler, a U.S. Navy veteran who was also the first woman commander of the American Legion Department of New York.

“It is an incredible honor to have the opportunity to lead this incredible organization as we pursue another 100 years of making a meaningful impact in the lives of veterans and their families,” Schacher said. “I joined the American Legion more than 25 years ago because of its commitment to servicemembers of all ages and backgrounds and I am proud to say our commitment to all veterans is unwavering and stronger than ever before.”

Schacher joined the American Legion in 1991 and has held a number of leadership roles within the organization. He has previously served as New York Vice Commander from 2014 to 2015 and, most recently, as Membership Chairman from 2015 to 2018. He is a member of the American Legion Riders and an instructor at the American Legion Family College of New York.

During his military career, Schacher received numerous personal awards, including four Navy Commendation Medals, three Navy Achievement Medals, the Navy Expert Pistol Medal, the Navy Expert Rifle Medal and several campaign, service and unit awards. He is a recipient of the New York Conspicuous Service Star and the New York Medal for Merit. In 2017, he was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.