Past VFW Commanders-in-Chief

In Memory Of:


Robert E. Hansen

State Commander 1956—1957

National Commander-in-Chief  1961—1962


Robert E. Hansen was a Life Member of South St. Paul Post 295

during his Service as State Commander.  Bob served in the

United States Navy during World War II.  Bob’s

accomplishments while in a Leadership Role at the State and

National levels are still unequaled. 


  Bob passed away on July 25, 2015 at the age of 89. 

He served his Country and Community with Honor.  

They don’t make Leaders like Bob anymore.



     Robert E. Hansen, a native of South Saint Paul, Minnesota, was elected Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States during the 62nd Annual Convention (1961) in Miami, Florida. 

     This was the first time in VFW history, a father (Chris B. Hansen, then a 42-year VFW member) had the honor to place in nomination, the name of his son for the office of VFW Commander-in-Chief.  The nomination was seconded by then U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and former Governor of Minnesota, Orville L. Freeman. 

     Robert Hansen became a member of the VFW in June, 1945 while still on active duty with the U.S. Navy.  He is a member of VFW Post 295 in South Saint Paul, Minnesota, and has served as Post Commander, District Two Commander, and commanded the Department of Minnesota in 1956-57. 

     During his term of office, Hansen traveled extensively throughout the world and U.S. meeting with leaders of many nations, including President John F. Kennedy.  He also traveled to Southeast Asia, as a Naval Reserve Officer on active duty, and obtained the latest information available on situations occurring in the pre-Vietnam era. 

  Under his leadership, the VFW became the sole sponsor of the Voice of Democracy Program after the American Broadcasting Association decided to drop the sponsorship of the program.  Today, the Voice of Democracy Program is one of the most successful youth projects sponsored by the VFW, annually donating hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to youth.

© 2019 Department of Minnesota VFW