An Indiana veterans affairs commissioner has been elected national commander of the American Legion.
The Legion said Thursday that delegates to its national convention in Indianapolis chose James Koutz of Boonville to lead the 2.4 million-member group for the coming year.
Koutz joined the Army in August 1969 and reported to Vietnam the following January for an extended tour with an engineering battalion. He was honorably discharged with the rank of specialist 5 in March 1971.
Koutz retired from the Amax Coal Co. in 1995 after 21 years and was appointed service officer for the Warrick County Veterans Affairs office that year.
Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Koutz to the Indiana Veterans Affairs Commission in 2005.