Memorial Day 2018 Speaker Announced

Rye American Legion Post 128 is delighted to announce that fellow Legionnaire and Rye resident Kenneth Rathje will be the main speaker  at this year’s Memorial Day ceremony.  The ceremony begins at 10:30am at Rye City Hall on Monday, May 28, 2018.

Kenneth W. Rathje, Jr. is currently the Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for FEMA Region II covering New York, New Jersey, the Caribbean Islands and all federally recognized tribes within these states. In this capacity he is on point to implement the concepts and principles of the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) throughout the Region and the Nation, often leading interagency teams of over 20 Other Federal Agencies.


Over the past several years, Ken has been deployed to coordinate federal support in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands’ Hurricanes Irma and Maria recovery efforts and six other active recovery missions. He also led new recovery policy formulation in the National Recovery Exercise in 2014 and 2017, and co-authored the first federal Recovery All Hazards Plan in 2015 as well as the first Regional Response Position Task Books in an Incident Support structure.

Prior to his experiences with FEMA, he has had executive and strategic business experience with Wells Fargo Bank (VP), Dawn Foods (CCO), Bertelsmann AG, Electronic Data Systems, and PepsiCo. As a Colonel in the US Army Reserves, he served on the Army Senior Staff as well as commanded at the Brigade level. His combat experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan leading joint and interagency teams were instrumental in affirming his views on leadership.

Ken’s education includes a B.S. Degree from the U.S. Military Academy, a MBA Degree from Monmouth University and a Masters of Strategic Studies Degree from the U.S. Army War College. His highest military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and the Combat Action Badge. He has also earned the Ranger Tab and the Army Parachutist Badge.

He currently resides in Rye, New York and enjoys public speaking, working with Veterans in his non profit Colonel of Hope and spending time with his family and friends. He is also writing about his experiences in Iraq and looks forward to publishing his first book in 2018.