Monday, December 8, 2008

Oregon Air Guard receives accolades during promotion of deputy IG to rank of major general

The Oregon Air Guard has another bright feather in its cap. And his name is Garry Dean.

Today, during a morning ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Dean, a 13-year member of the Oregon Air National Guard, was promoted to the rank of Major General.

Working with the United States Air Force Inpspector General's Office since February 2008, Dean has brought his expertise in both the active duty forces, and a long history of command experience in the Air National Guard, to the highest halls of the Air Force.

U.S Air Force Inspector General, Lt. Gen. Ronald Sams today, called Dean a "visionary", and a model leader, and referred to his second in command as one of his best "trusted advisors". When pressed about allowing Dean to return to Oregon after his tour is over, Sams quipped, "Can we keep him?"

What does that mean for Oregon? Well, besides one one for our "home team", and representation for Oregon at the highest levels of the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force, Dean is also a shining example of what can be accomplished by Oregon's citizen-Airmen and citizen-Soldiers.

But for the Air Force, this is a true example of how the total force concept works, and indeed, succeeds.

As the new Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton Schwartz has said in many interviews and speeches, it is time for our forces -- National Guard, Reserves, and active duty -- to come together and work in a total force process which benefits not only the individual parts, but the entire nation, and indeed the world.

Called a forward-looking visionary by his peers, a great teacher and mentor by his subordinates, and strategic planner and a "man to watch" by his supervisors, Dean is truly the face of our Air Force, and a model of the total force initiative.

Add to this the fact that he is the first African-American two-star general for the state of Oregon. While this shouldn't be the focus of any story, it bears mentioning, given how the new presidential administration has literally changed the face of politics in America. Regardless, there's also no denying Dean's abilities and talents as a commander, Airman, and citizen.

But there's a personal footnote that begs mentioning here. I have personally known General Dean since he was a lieutenant colonel in the Oregon Air National Guard. As many of his colleagues and friends will attest, he is indeed the model Airman, role model, and mentor every National Guardsman is lucky to know.

His promotion to the rank of major general is well-deserved... there's no denying that. His appointment to the IG staff is no fluke... he has the talent, drive and vision to go very far in this organization. But in addition to all those accolades, Maj. Gen. Dean is a trusted friend and all around nice guy, and I am privileged and honored to have worked with him and known him.

Whatever endeavors lay ahead for Gen. Dean after his tour at the Pentagon, Oregon supports and stands behind him. Congrats sir!

Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon National Guard New Media Manager

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