Friday, June 7, 2013

First female promoted to major general in Oregon National Guard

Maj. Gen. Julie A. Bentz is pinned by her husband, Dr. Brendan Plapp, during her promotion ceremony at Heritage Park at the Oregon Military Department in Salem, Ore., June 7. Bentz is the first female in the Oregon National Guard to be promoted to the rank of major general. (Photo by Spc. Matthew Burnett, 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Brig. Gen. Julie A. Bentz was promoted today to the rank of major general at Heritage Park at the Oregon Military Department in Salem, Ore. Bentz is the first female in the Oregon National Guard to be promoted to the rank of major general.

Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, presided over the ceremony, attended by many members of the Bentz family, to include Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario, District 60).

“You have had a fantastic career, you have earned this promotion and we are delighted to share this moment with you,” Rees said to Bentz during the ceremony. “This is history we’ve made here today.”

As the former Director of the Strategic Capabilities Policy with the National Security Council in Washington, D.C., Bentz has been responsible for writing presidential policy, coordinating interagency dialogue, informing presidential budgetary decisions and building consensus on interagency initiatives in programs that develop United States Strategic capabilities to meet 21st century requirements.

Her new rank was pinned on by her husband, Dr. Brendan Plapp, and her uncle, Ken Bentz. The promotion came on the 27th anniversary of when Bentz first became a commissioned officer through the Oregon State University ROTC program.

Upon being promoted, Maj. Gen. Bentz will begin her new assignment as the Director of Nuclear Defense policy for the National Security Council in Washington, D.C.

“Thank you for this honor,” Bentz said. “Major General Rees, you have always been my mentor, you’ve always had a love and a responsibility towards all of your Oregon Guardsmen.”

“The National Guard is a place where you have family, it is a close-knit organization,” Bentz continued. “Since I joined the National Guard 14 years ago, I always knew you had my back and were looking out for me.”

Bentz has served more than 27 years in variety of active, reserve, and National Guard assignments involving nuclear defense, homeland security, health physics, environmental sciences and traditional nuclear, biological and chemical officer assignments. She has a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in Radiological Health, as well as a master’s degree and a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Bentz is also a graduate of the National War College with a masters in national security strategy.

According to the National Guard Bureau, there are currently 27 female general officers in the National Guard nationwide; 18 are from the Army National Guard and nine are from the Air National Guard. Of those 27 female general officers in the National Guard, five are the rank of major general.

For the general’s official biography, please visit this link: http://www.nationalguard.mil/ngbgomo/bio/bio-show.aspx?id=2397&name=Julie%20A.%20Bentz%20

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