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Doughboy Foundation Executive Director

Jari Villanueva has been named new Executive Director of the Doughboy Foundation

I’m really honored to have been asked to be the Executive Director of the Doughboy Foundation. The Doughboy Foundation supports programs, projects and activities that educate the public about America’s participation in World War I. My thanks to Foundation President Dan Dayton for placing faith in me to take over the operational aspect of the Foundation. This includes lots of work as we prepare for the installation of the sculpture “A Soldier’s Journey”, the daily Taps at the National WWI Memorial in Washington, and other projects as I begin my vision for the Memorial heading toward the 250th anniversary of the United States. World War I, “the forgotten war” was a major turning point in our nation’s history that made it a global power. We plan to tell the story of the 4.7 million Americans who served through their personal stories.

It’s going to be an exciting time for me and it’s the culmination of a dream of remaining active on a national scene.

After serving for 23 years in the Air Force and then almost 10 in the Maryland Military Department, I thought I’d be heading into retirement. But that was not quite to be. Along the way of my 30+ year career I’ve tried to stay busy as a trumpeter and arranger while finding time to teach at UMBC. Taps For Veterans and Taps Across America has been an important part of my life and I plan to remain a proud part of those, although I will be stepping back to allow a new Executive Director for TFV to assume the duties. While I plan to remain active in honoring our Veterans by sounding Taps, I will step back from other musical activities. Not completely to be sure….

My training as been as a musician but my love of history and my background of being in leadership roles has led me to this position. I will say, I was a bit disappointed when I missed out being selected (I was no. 2) for the CEO of the Air Force Memorial in Washington in 2017. This was nothing new for me. During my entire life, I’ve always seemed to be the runner up for positions and promotions. I was actually the runner up for the Air Force job in 1984 but got it when the no. 1 could not be enlisted. While in the Air Force I kept missing out on promotions so much that was called the Susan Lucci of the band. LOL. I will never regret that and will always thank those who helped me during my time in the band especially Chiefs Joe Tersero, Larry MacTaggart, and Ed Teleky. During my time with Maryland Military Department, I was blessed to work for some great people including Generals James Adkins and Peter Hinz and had a great staff whom I could always count on. To have been responsible for providing military honors for over 30,000 veterans including two former Governors, one former Adjutant General and one Medal of Honor recipient was an honor and privilege.

My sincere thanks to the board of Directors of the Doughboy Foundation and the supporting staff and team who handle the running of the organization. I look forward to working with each one

My thanks to the buglers who sound Taps every day at the Memorial. This is, perhaps, the most meaningful aspect of what we do at the National WWI Memorial. Each day at 5 PM a bugler is there in a WWI uniform to honor them. We filmed a video 2 years ago that was narrated by Gary Sinise. The Gary Sinise Foundation is the founding sponsor for  Daily Taps at the WWI Memorial

We are now approaching 800 continuous days of paying tribute to the Doughboys. You can support the Daily Taps by visiting (scroll down the page for reserving Taps)  You can request Taps for anyone who served, not just WWI. Each donation helps continue the Daily Taps in perpetuity.

The Daily Taps is presented in cooperation with Taps For Veterans. Together with 100 Nights of Taps Gettysburg, Taps For Veterans supports over 465 performances of Taps each year, not including the hundreds of Taps sounded at the funerals for veterans. As mentioned above, I’m proud of that organization and happy to say we will be announcing a new Executive Director of TFV in the next few weeks.

The National World War I Memorial is located on Pennsylvania Ave between 14th and 15th Streets NW, two blocks from the White House. The memorial is located in front of the historic Willard Hotel where General Pershing and thousands of Doughboys marched in review in 1919.

Last by not least, thanks to my wife Heather for her support and to all my friends with whom I rely on for advice and suggestions. I will continue to rely on their help and friendship.

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