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Oregon Air Guard’s First African-American General is Promoted

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by Salem

ronsamsA 13-year member of the Oregon Air National Guard was promoted to major general during a ceremony at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes, Dec. 8th 2008, here.

Maj. Gen. Garry C. Dean, who has been working with the Air Force Inspector General’s office at the Pentagon since February 2008, drew accolades from his colleagues and supervisors during the morning ceremony.

“He defines total force,” said Lt. Gen. Ronald F. Sams, Inspector General of the Air Force. “Garry Dean is a highly-experienced commander who served in numerous positions throughout the Oregon Guard and the Air Force, all of which accents his leadership resume.”

Indeed, Maj. Gen. Dean has held several high profile positions during his tenure in the Oregon Air National Guard, including wing commander, deputy of operations and assistant adjutant general at Joint Forces Headquarters-Oregon. Before coming to the Air Force Inspector General’s office, Maj. Gen. Dean also served as assistant to the commander at 1st Air Force.

“He is my most trusted advisor,” Lt . Gen. Sams added. “We’re keeping him forever.”

Col. Ronald Kessinger, Chief of Staff for Air, Oregon National Guard, said Maj. Gen. Dean’s promotion is well-deserved.

“He’s one of those guys that comes along once in a while,” Col. Kessinger said. “He’s a strategic visionary, and a great example to follow.”

Maj. Gen. Dean thanked his coworkers, mentors and supervisors in Oregon as well as at the Pentagon for the chance to serve as a major general.

“This is an awesome honor to be considered for this rank,” he said. “But I’m especially proud of my Air Guard heritage, and it’s very humbling to see my Oregon Air Guard brothers here supporting me.”

Maj. Gen. Dean said he often thinks about the Oregon Guard, and his fellow guardsmen there.

“As I work with my active duty brothers, I’m so proud of the job we do back there,” he said. “I think about you all the time while I’m out here serving at the Pentagon.”

Maj. Gen. Dean invited other Guardsmen to consider what they can do to help out with the total force concept.

“Come and join us out here,” Maj. Gen. Dean said. “The work we do here is very important, and I’m proud of everyone who is willing to serve here with us and support the total force concept.

Maj. Gen. Dean is Oregon’s first African-American two-star. He also was the first African-American Guardsmen in Oregon to attain the rank of colonel, and eventually, brigadier general. His 30 year career spans various command positions in the active duty Air Force as well as the Air National Guard, with 13 years as a member of the Oregon Air Guard.


Written by Symphony

December 8, 2008 at 9:18 pm

One Response

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  1. I fully concur with the accolades bestowed on now Major General Dean. I was fortunate to have General Dean as my
    T-38 instructor pilot (back when he was 1LT Dean) during UPT at Reese AFB in 1981-2. He was a superstar then as now.

    Miles E. Maynard

    January 4, 2009 at 3:00 pm

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