Adjutant General of Oklahoma
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The Adjutant General of Oklahoma is the highest-ranking military official in the state of Oklahoma, subordinate only to the Governor of Oklahoma. The highest officer of the Oklahoma National Guard, the Adjutant General is the principal advisor to the Governor on military affairs and the head of the Oklahoma Military Department as the Secretary of the Military.
The current state adjutants general of Oklahoma is Major General Myles Deering. Major General Deering was appointed by Governor Brad Henry on February 3, 2009, following the promotion of Harry M. Wyatt III to director of the Air National Guard at the Pentagon.
Eligibility and appointment
To be eligible for hold the office of adjutant general, an officer must be federally recognized as being part as of the Oklahoma National Guard and the United States National Guard and must hold at least the rank of colonel for at least three years prior to appointment. However, should the Oklahoma National Guard be federalized and no person in the state meets these requirements, the governor may appoint anyone that meets these requirements that served in the previous ten years with at least two years of federal service at the rank of colonel or higher.
The governor is the Commander-in-Chief of the Oklahoma Military with the Adjutant General responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the Military Department of Oklahoma. According to state law, the Adjutant General is subordinate only to the governor and is also his or her principal military adviser. The Adjutant General is responsible for the supervision of direction of the Oklahoma National Guard when in the service of the state at the direction of the governor. The Adjutant General is also responsible for the organization, training and other activities of the National Guard. As the second highest commander in the state, the Adjutant General is responsible for carrying into effect the orders of the governor as Commander-in-Chief. The governor may proscribe “other military and defense duties” to the Adjutant General as deemed necessary.
As the head of the Military Department, the Adjutant General has full control over funds allotted to the National Guard armories. Funds are controlled, deposited, expended and accounted for at the sole direction of the Adjutant General. The Adjutant General may order any record kept at individual armories audited at his discretion. Also, the Adjutant General is the Trustee of the Military Department and may act as such when accepting funds, land, or property to be used for the National Guard. When building new armories, the Adjutant General appoints a three member board that selects all architects and contractors for the project.
The Oklahoma Legislature authorizes the Adjutant General to commission a state police force under OS title 44, section 230. To protect the Oklahoma Military Department's assets and personnel, the Adjutant General may commission state police officers to the Oklahoma Military Department Police to serve in that function. The Oklahoma Military Department Police, with the sole exception of the serving or execution of civil process, shall retain all the powers vested by law as state peace officers. The Oklahoma Military Department Police is a state law enforcement agency that satisfies the criteria for Posse Comitatus. The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 18, 1878, with the intention of substantially limiting the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. The act prohibits members of the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, and state National Guard forces when such are called into federal service from exercising nominally state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers including those that maintain "law and order" on non-federal property such as state, county, and municipal property within the United States.
The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress. The Coast Guard is exempt from the act. The Oklahoma Military Department Police satisfies this stringent criterion. Officers sworn to this office are non-military, civilian state law enforcement personnel.
The Adjutant General is granted the power to lease to any person(s), company(s), or agency(s), the armories of the State, with contracts not to exceed one year. The contract may be terminated by order of the Adjutant General after a written notice of 30 days is given to the other parties in the contract. If legal action is necessary, the Adjutant General can order the Attorney General of Oklahoma to investigate the claims.
The governor has the power to allow National Guardsmen to voluntarily serve under federal authority in certain instances. At the pleasure of the governor, this power may be delegated to the Adjutant General. The Adjutant General, at the consent of the governor, may assist other states in cooperative enforcement programs.
At the discretion of the Adjutant General, an Oklahoma Recruiting Medal may be awarded to any member of the Oklahoma National Guard who is “personally and solely responsible” for recruiting five new member to the Oklahoma National Guard within one year’s time.
The governor may appoint two assistants to serve under the adjutant general, an assistant adjutant general to manage the Army National Guard of Oklahoma and an assistant adjutant general to manage the Air National Guard of Oklahoma.
Both assistant adjutant generals serve under the rank of brigadier general and at the pleasure of the governor. The assistant adjutant generals are the highest official within their respective branch, only under the adjutant general and the governor.
Within the Department of the Military, the adjutant general may appoint employees of the Military Department to the position of executive assistant and program manager to assist him in running the Military Department.
As of 2010, the annual salary of the adjutant general is set at $162,598.
|BG||Carson Jamison||December 23, 1894||July 10, 1897|
|BG||Phil C. Rosenbaum||July 10, 1897||March 26, 1898|
|BG||Bert C. Orner (acting)||March 26, 1898||March 11, 1899|
|BG||Harry C. Barnes||March 11, 1899||September 4, 1901|
|BG||E.P. Burlingame||September 4, 1901||February 28, 1906|
|BG||Alva J. Niles||March 1, 1906||November 16, 1907|
|BG||Frank M. Canton||November 16, 1907||June 30, 1916|
|BG||Ancil Earp||July 1, 1916||January 30, 1918|
|BG||E.P. Gipson||February 1, 1918||January 30, 1919|
|MG||Charles F. Barrett||February 1, 1919||January 28, 1923|
|MG||Baird H. Markham||January 28, 1923||June 30, 1925|
|MG||Charles F. Barrett||July 1, 1925||September 19, 1939|
|BG||Louis A. Ledbetter||September 20, 1939||September 13, 1940|
|MG||George A. Davis||September 14, 1940||May 6, 1947|
|MG||Roy W. Kenny||May 7, 1947||March 7, 1965|
|MG||La Vern E. Weber||March 8, 1965||September 30, 1971|
|MG||David C. Matthews||October 2, 1971||January 12, 1975|
|MG||John Coffey, Jr.||January 13, 1975||November 19, 1978|
|MG||Robert M. Morgan||November 20, 1978||January 11, 1987|
|MG||Donald F. Ferrell (ANG)||January 12, 1987||January 13, 1991|
|MG||Tommy G. Alsip||January 14, 1991||June 19, 1992|
|MG||Gary D. Maynard||June 20, 1992||March 31, 1995|
|MG||Stephen P. Cortright (ANG)||April 1, 1995||October 21, 2002|
|MG||Harry M. Wyatt III (ANG) (acting)||October 22, 2002||January 12, 2003|
|MG||Harry M. Wyatt III (ANG)||January 13, 2003||February 3, 2009|
|MG||Myles L. Deering||February 3, 2009||Present|
- Adjutant General Major General Myles L. Deering, Oklahoma National Guard. (accessed October 9, 2013)
- Barbara Hoberock, "New adjutant general named," Tulsa World, February 4, 2009.
- Oklahoma Title 44. Militia Laws, Oklahoma Statutes. (accessed October 9, 2013)
- Wood, COL Billy R. (2011). Lords of Darkness: A History of the 45th Avn Bn (Sp Ops) and OKARNG Aviation. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse. pp. 601–603. ISBN 978-1-4620-2724-8.
- Adjutant General Major General Myles L. Deering at Oklahoma National Guard website (accessed April 4, 2010).
- "Secretary of the Military" in ABC Oklahoma: Agencies, Boards, and Commissions (Oklahoma Department of Libraries, September 1, 2009), p. 25.