Commander-in-Chief Biography

Commander-in-Chief Peter J HritskoCommander-in-Chief (2023-2024)

Peter J. Hritsko Jr of Vermilion, Ohio, was elected Commander-in-Chief at the 137th National Encampment of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in Nashua, New Hampshire on 5 August 2023. He is the 18th Ohioan to serve as Commander-in -Chief and the second Commander-in-Chief of Ohio to be elected in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Peter J. Hritsko Jr is the son of Peter J. Sr. and Rosemary Hritsko. His father was a U.S. Army Combat Solider during World War Two served in the European Theater part of 4th Infantry Ivy Division and 70th Infantry Trailblazers Division. Brother Peter graduated from Lorain Admiral King High School in 1977. After graduation he attended Lorain County Community College until a job opened up at US Steel where his father and grandfather worked and retired as Engineers for U.S. Steel. He followed his new career path as third generation steel worker that came to be 44 years at US Steel, USS/Kobe Steel Co, Republic Steel Co in Lorain, OH. Currently he has the same pension and work in the Mechanical Maintenance Dept. with Arcelor Mittal Cleveland Ohio now called Cleveland Cliffs. Cleveland Cliffs is the largest flat-rolled steel company and raw material in the United States and U.S. owned.

Brother Hritsko became a member of the SUVCW in 2006 with the James A. Garfield Camp #142 in Cleveland, Ohio where he served as Junior, Senior and Camp Commander for 4yrs and Council 8 years. At the Department level C-in-C Hritsko has held the position since 2009 to present as the G.A.R. Highway Officer, Council, Junior and Senior Vice Commander and was elected Ohio Department Commander 2016. At the National level, C-in-C Hritsko has served G. A. R. Highway Officer since 2013 to present, a full three year term as an elected member of the Council of Administration, Junior & Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief.

An SVR Member of the Ohio Naval Brigade since 2010 as Petty Officer and as of 26 March 2021 promoted to serve as Adjutant Ensign Officer of the Ohio Naval Brigade. Member of Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) served five years as Senior Vice Commander and Past Commander for 2 years of the Ohio Commandery; also, Past National Council-in-Chief of MOLLUS and currently a Companion of the Michigan Commandery.

C-in-C Peter is married to his wife Judy, and they have one adult son Patrick. Judy is active in the local ASUVCW where she has is a Past President of the Eliza Garfield #142 Cleveland, Ohio, additionally serves as National Junior Vice President of Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Peter and Judy enjoy and share many of the same interests.

C-in-C Hritsko’s membership in the SUVCW is through his great-great-grandfather 1st Lt. Elijah Hayden Commander of Co. H 8th O.V.I. who led the skirmish line during Pickett’s Charge who was killed in action on 3 July 1863 Gettysburg, PA. The 8th O.V.I Monument was placed not far away from the Albert Woolson Monument. Elijah’s body was brought back two weeks after the battle to his home town of Elyria, Ohio to be buried in Ridgelawn Cemetery in Elyria, Ohio. A Grand Army of the Republic Post was named after him, the Elijah Hayden GAR Post 49 Elyria, Ohio. Brother Peter is honored to keep Elijah’s memory alive and for all the memories and friends made through the years being involved with the Sons and the path it has led him in Sons of the Union Veterans now serving as Commander in Chief.