July 10, 2014

Unanimous confirmation for Iowa National Guard’s leader

The Iowa Senate this week confirmed the leader of the Iowa National Guard for another tour of duty.

Senator Daryl Beall, a Democrat from Fort Dodge, says Major General Timothy Orr has a “distinguished” record.

“Certainly during the last four years, but indeed his 30-some years of service before that,” Beall says. “He’s a man of passion, vision, leadership and proven service.”

The state’s governor gets to choose the commander of the Iowa Guard. Senators are asked to confirm the nominee and Orr was confirmed unanimously. Four years ago Governor Chet Culver asked Timothy Orr to become adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard. Governor Branstad has asked Orr to stay on, for another four-year term.

Senator Beall notes there are 54 states and territories that have National Guard leaders like Orr, but Orr is the only one who is invited to formally address his state’s legislature each year.

“What he talks about is a family of the National Guard,” Beall says, “including the Airmen and the soldiers, their families and their civilian partners — civilian employers.”

Beall says Orr had a key role in transitioning the Air Guard base in Des Moines to a new mission, to avoid closure of the unit once its F16 fighter jets are retired.

“We are the only National Guard to be selected, among all the military, for the ‘Healthy Base’ initiative,” Beall says. “You talk about healthy Iowans. We have a healthy National Guard as well.”

Pentagon officials named Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa, and 10 other bases for full-time soldiers as sites for the Healthy Base program. Major General Timothy Orr’s office is at Camp Dodge. He oversees over 9400 soldiers in more than 100 Iowa National Guard units.