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Minnesota Guard's top officer to retire

Major General Larry Shellito, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, is retiring from his position at the end of his current seven-year term, in October.

"General Shellito has been a thoughtful, positive and inspiring leader for the Minnesota National Guard," Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said. "During the past seven years, our Guard soldiers, airmen, and their families have served with distinction here in Minnesota and around the world. General Shellito's leadership has been a critical part of building our Guard's outstanding reputation and our nation-leading programs to support Guard members when they return from deployments. On behalf of a grateful state, we thank General Shellito for his exemplary service."

Pawlenty appointed Shellito to the position of Adjutant General in November 2003. His military career began in 1968 when he enlisted in the active-duty Army. Shellito received his commission as a second lieutenant - Infantry in 1969. In 1970, he went to Vietnam as a Mobile Advisory Team Senior Advisor.

In 1973, Shellito enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard. Over his 37-year career in the Minnesota National Guard, Shellito served in many capacities including command assignments at the platoon, company, battalion, brigade and division levels.

Shellito's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman's Badge, and the Parachute Badge. His military education includes U.S. Command and General Staff College, U.S. Army War College and Defense Strategy Course.

Before accepting the position of Adjutant General, Shellito served as President of Alexandria Technical College in Alexandria.

"I'm thankful for the support of the citizens of Minnesota, Gov. Pawlenty, and First Lady Mary Pawlenty, during my time leading the Minnesota National Guard," General Shellito said. "My focus for my remaining term of service is on maintaining the readiness that our fellow citizens have come to expect of the Minnesota National Guard and ensuring that our nation-leading 'Beyond the Yellow Ribbon' program is well-positioned for a sustainable future. I am extremely proud of the Minnesota National Guard and am honored to have had the chance to serve."

Minnesota has the nation's fifth largest National Guard formation, with more than 14,000 members operating in 63 facilities throughout the state. Since 2003, the Minnesota National Guard has deployed more than 18,000 Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen in support of military operations around the world. The Minnesota Army National Guard's 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, holds the record for the longest serving unit in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Minnesota National Guard also provides a ready, reliable force capable of assisting local authorities during floods, forest fires, blizzards, and in search and rescue efforts.

Shellito was instrumental in establishing the state's "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" initiative, which is now the foundation of a national program to reintegrate National Guard and Reserve military service members following deployments.

Pawlenty also announced the creation of an Adjutant General Search Committee to screen and recommend top candidates for the position.

The members of the Adjutant General Search Committee are:

·Retired Lt. General H. Steven Blum (Chair) served as Deputy Commander, United States Northern Command from 2008 to 2010, and served as the Chief of the U.S. National Guard Bureau from 2003 to 2008. He lives in Maryland.

·Retired General John W. Vessey, Jr. served as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Reagan from 1982 to 1985. He began his military career as a private in the Minnesota National Guard. He resides in Garrison.

·Retired United States Air Force Brigadier General Dennis Schulstad recently served as the Minnesota Chair of the Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). He is a former Minneapolis City Council Member and is involved in a variety of civic organizations. He lives in Edina.

·Ginny Morris is President of Hubbard Radio. Her current and former civic board experience includes the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Gillette Children's Hospital, the Children's Cancer Research Fund, and St. Paul Academy. She lives in St. Paul.

·Ron Schutz heads the Intellectual Property Litigation Group at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. and serves as the Chair of Governor's Commission on Judicial Selection. He served as a Captain in the United States Army from 1981-85. Schutz lives in Medina.

The committee will accept applications until Wednesday, June 23, 2010. All applicants should include a letter of interest, a resume, and references. The information should be sent to:

Paul T. Anderson, Deputy Chief of Staff

Office of Governor Tim Pawlenty

130 State Capitol

St. Paul, MN 55155

FAX: 651-797-1631