James K. Roberts, III., a 33-year member of the Sons of The American Legion, is serving as the organization's national commander for 2011-2012. Roberts is eligible for SAL membership through the military service of his grandfather (World War II) and father (Vietnam War). Roberts' father, James K. Roberts Jr., also is a member of The American Legion.
Roberts is an Honorary Life Member of Squadron 4 in Lakeland, Fla., and resides in Kissimmee, Fla. He began his service to The American Legion family in 1978 when he served as squadron sergeant-at-arms and was the youngest member of the post family color guard. Over the years, Roberts has served in many offices within the Detachment of Florida from the squadron to detachment levels, including squadron commander, district commander and detachment commander. He continues to serve the Detachment of Florida as a detachment assistant adjutant, detachment Membership chairman and detachment Disaster Preparedness chairman. He also helps the members of the Detachment of Florida by continuing their education about the organization. He can be seen teaching workshops after every detachment convention and conference. "This organization has given me so much and this is my way of giving back," Roberts said.
Roberts began his service at the national level in 1995 when he was elected to serve as Florida's National Executive Committeeman. He later stepped back to become the Alternate National Executive Committeeman as an opportunity to mentor and assist those who would follow in the position. Roberts continued his service to the national organization and in 2002 accepted the appointment to serve as the aide to then-National Commander Steve Laws of North Carolina. In 2004, amidst the worst hurricane season in Florida's history, Roberts was elected to serve as the national vice commander from the Southern Region. He has also served on many commissions and committees, including chairman of the National Membership Committee and, most recently, vice chairman of the National Internal Affairs Commission.
Jim is currently employed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management and serves as a regional coordinator. His day-to-day responsibilities include coordinating activities in nine counties in Central and East-Central Florida. Jim has responded to many emergency and disaster incidents across the state.
Jim and his wife, Anita, have been married for 19 years and have two teenage girls, Jessica and Jasmine. Both of his daughters are active members of the American Legion Auxiliary Juniors Unit 286 in Pine Castle, Fla.