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Nash succeeds Shellito as state's Guard commander

Major General Richard C. Nash has been appointed the 30th Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. Nash succeeds Major General Larry Shellito who announced his retirement in June.

The Adjutant General is the administrative head of the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs and the leader of the Minnesota National Guard. Minnesota has the nation's fifth largest National Guard, 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 in support of military operations around the world. The Guard also assists local authorities during natural disasters at the direction of the governor.

"Major General Rick Nash is a strong, seasoned, and conscientious leader of the Minnesota National Guard and he will be a tremendous Adjutant General," Gov. Tim Pawlenty said. "Whether fighting floods at home or fighting for freedom around the world, Major General Nash understands the multiple missions the Minnesota National Guard. He has a proven track record and will continue the tremendous work of Major General Larry Shellito in leading the Minnesota Army and Air National Guard in the future."

Nash is currently the Commander of the 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division headquartered in Rosemount. He led more than 1,200 Citizen-Soldiers representing 273 Minnesota communities and 14 states who deployed with the Red Bulls during an historic 12-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009 and 2010. The Red Bulls provided command and control of military forces in the southern third of Iraq and led a force of approximately 14,000 U.S. service members throughout nine of Iraq's 18 provinces.

Nash's military service began with his enlistment into the Infantry in 1972. Prior to his current assignment, Major General Nash served as Special Assistant to the Combatant Commander, North American Aerospace Command, United States Northern Command. He also served as the commanding general for the Minnesota National Guard's peacekeeping deployment to Bosnia in 2003-2004. More than 1,100 members of the Minnesota Army National Guard were deployed in support of the mission.

Nash had a successful 32-year career in the construction industry as well as continuing a successful military career as a traditional Guardsman in the Minnesota National Guard. He has been awarded 10 patents as the sole or co-inventor of manufacturing equipment that has revolutionized the process of producing pre-stress concrete construction components.

Nash's awards include Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, and NATO Medal. His Minnesota awards include the Commendation Ribbon with Pendant, State Active Duty Ribbon, and Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon.

Nash earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Mankato State University and graduated from the Army War College. Originally from Jordan, Nash and his wife Jeanette now reside in New Prague. They have a son, Ryan, and daughter, Kelly.

"I am humbled. I couldn't be more honored to lead the fine men and women of the Minnesota National Guard," stated Nash.

Shellito will end his current seven-year term as Adjutant General on Oct. 31. 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. General Shellito was instrumental in establishing the state's nation-leading "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.