Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs

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Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Seal of Oklahoma.svg
Great Seal of Oklahoma
Agency overview
FormedJune 6, 1986
Headquarters2311 N. Central
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Employees1998 (FY2011)
Annual budget$130 million (FY2011)
Minister responsible
Child agency
WebsiteOffice of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

The Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs is a member of the Oklahoma Governor's Cabinet. The Secretary is appointed by the Governor, with the consent of the Oklahoma Senate, to serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Secretary serves as the chief advisor to the Governor on veterans healthcare and benefits.

The current Secretary is Major General Rita Aragon, USAF (ret.), who was appointed by Governor Mary Fallin in 2011.


The position of Secretary of Veterans Affairs was established in 1986 to provide greater oversight and coordination to the energy activities of the State government. The position was established, along with the Oklahoma State Cabinet, by the Executive Branch Reform Act of 1986. The Act directed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to advise the Governor on policies and operations of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs.

Unlike any other Cabinet Secretary, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is the only Cabinet position to have statutory requirements in order for an individual to hold that office. Under Oklahoma state law, any person the Governor appoints to serve as the Secretary must be an honorably discharged veteran and be eligible to receive benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Oklahoma state law always for Cabinet Secretaries to serve concurrently as the head of a State agency in addition to their duties as a Cabinet Secretary. Historically, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has never served in any such dual position.


The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is responsible for overseeing the provision of financial assistance, vocational rehabilitation, survivors' benefits, medical benefits and burial benefits to all honorably discharged veterans of the United States military or their dependants or survivors.

As of fiscal year 2011, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs oversees 1998 full-time employees and is responsible for annual budget of over $130 million.


The annual salary of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is set by state law at $65,000.[1]

List of Secretaries[edit]

# Name Branch Rank Took Office Left Office Governor served under
1 ? ? ? 1987 1991 Henry Bellmon
2 John Willis USAF ? 1991 1995 David Walters
3 Norman Lamb USA Colonel 1995 2003 Frank Keating
2003 2011 Brad Henry
4 Rita Aragon USAF Major General January 10, 2011 Present Mary Fallin

See also[edit]


External links[edit]