Commander-in-Chief (2017 – 2018)
On August 12, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan, the 136th National Encampment, of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War elected Mark R. Day of Lynchburg, Virginia as their Commander-in-Chief.
Mark, the son of Ronald and Henrietta Day, grew up in the small village of Red Hook, New York. He attended Red Hook Central Schools and graduated in June of 1970.
In October of 1971 he enlisted in the United States Navy and began a career that spanned almost twenty-four years. He served as an Operations Specialist seeing service on the United States Ships Leahy CG-16 (1972-1975), Nassau LHA-4 (1979- 1984), and Wisconsin BB-64 (1987-1991). He also served as an Instructor and Recruiter during periods of shore duty. His career took him to many places in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Some of his more notable deployments were the 1975 Naval Exchange, which was part of Détente between the Soviet Union and the United States, Operations off the Coast of Lebanon, and the First Persian Gulf War; Desert Shield / Desert Storm. He completed his active duty as the Master Chief for the Combat Systems Training Department at Fleet Combat Training Center Atlantic, Dam Neck, VA and retired from the service in June of 1995. While in the Navy Commander-in-Chief Day completed his collegiate education, and was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the State University of New York, Excelsior College. Additionally, during his last shore duty assignment, he attended Old Dominion University in a Troops to Teachers Transition licensure program.
Following his retirement from the Navy, Commander-in-Chief Day quickly began a second career in Public Education in Virginia’s Bedford County Public School System in 1995. He was employed as a Social Sciences / History teacher at Liberty High School from August of 1995 through June of 2017. His duties included teaching United States Government, United States History, Advanced Placement United States History, World History, and Advance Placement European History. He served as the Department Chairman of the Social Science Department for more than ten years and was a member of the Virginia SOL United States History Test Content Committee for four years
Commander-in-Chief Day joined the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Camp 20, at Roanoke, Virginia in 1997 and in 2005 transferred to the Taylor-Wilson Camp 10 at Lynchburg, Virginia where he is a charter member. He has served as his camp’s Patriotic Instructor, JVC, SVC and CC; his Department’s Patriotic Instructor (2010-11), JVC (2011-12), SVC (2012-13), and DC (2013-14); and at the National Level a member of the Americanism Committee, Chairman of the Promotions and Marketing Committee (2012- 2016) , Chair of the Programs and Policies Committee (2016-17), JVCinC (2015-2016), SVCinC (2016-17), and now CinC.
His membership in the SUVCW is based on his Great, Great, Grandfather Private Richard Martin Lown of Company F, 150th New York Volunteer Infantry regiment. Private Lown saw service in the 12th and 20th Corps during the war and was in action at Gettysburg, Chattanooga, Resaca, Atlanta, Sherman’s march to the Sea, the campaign in the Carolina’s and the Battle of Bentonville, NC.
Commander-in-Chief Day is active in the field of history education and preservation. He has served as President of his local Civil War Round Table, he is a member of the CWT, served on Lynchburg’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee from 2010 – 2015, portrays General E.O.C. Ord in the Appomattox NMP’s visitors center film, “With Malice Toward None,” and portrayed Colonel Charles Helpine in the Chesapeake Region Emmy Award-winning documentary film, “Hunter’s Raid the Battle for Lynchburg.”
The Commander-in-Chief is also active in local civic and heritage organizations such as the Sons of the American Revolution, Mason’s, Royal Arch, and Knights Templar.
Wife Barbara, a native of Willow Grove, PA and Commander-in-Chief Day were married while he was on active duty at Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center, Folsom, PA. The Days’ have a married son Matthew of Raleigh NC, a married daughter Carolyn of Sterling, VA, and two grandchildren: Isabelle, 8 and Jacob, 5.