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 Michael Thompson. Thompson was appointed by Governor Mary Fallin on November 15, 2017.

Eligibility and appointment[edit]

The adjutant general is appointed by the Governor of Oklahoma, and confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate, to serve at the pleasure of the governor with no set term.[1]

Once appointed, the adjutant general is elevated to the rank of major general.[1]

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.[1] 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.[1]


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.[1] According to state law, the Adjutant General is subordinate only to the governor and is also his or her principal military adviser.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1] The governor may proscribe “other military and defense duties” to the Adjutant General as deemed necessary.[1]

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.[1] 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.[1] 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 from exercising law enforcement powers, including those that maintain "law and order" 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 Adjutant General is the commander of the Oklahoma State Guard when the State Guard is organized and active.


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.[1]

Both assistant adjutant generals serve under the rank of brigadier general and at the pleasure of the governor.[1] The assistant adjutant generals are the highest official within their respective branch, only under the adjutant general and the governor.[1]

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.


Territorial government[edit]

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

State government[edit]

BG Frank M. Canton November 16, 1907 June 30, 1916
BG Ancel S. Earp July 1, 1916 January 30, 1918
BG Ennis H. Gipson[2] 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[3] February 3, 2009 February 1, 2015
MG Robbie L. Asher[4] February 2, 2015 August 9, 2017

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Oklahoma Title 44. Militia Laws, Oklahoma Statutes. (accessed October 9, 2013)
  2. ^ Northeast Missouri State Teachers College Alumni Roster 1924, Truman State University. (accessed June 23, 2014)
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "Fallin Names Asher As Adjutant General, Others To Veterans Commission | The McCarville Report". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 

External links[edit]