Kirkland relinquishes command of Nevada Guard

Nevada National Guard Domestic Operations Public Affairs Office
Courtesy Story

Date: 06.14.2009
Posted: 06.25.2009 18:31
News ID: 35629
Adjutant General of Nevada, Maj. Gen. Cynthia Kirkland, Relinquishes Command

Maj. Gen. Cynthia Kirkland, the state's adjutant general for the past four years, relinquished command of the Nevada National Guard on June 20 in a military ceremony at the Nevada Air National Guard base here.

Kirkland retires with 31 years of military service, 27 of them in the Nevada Air Guard. She initially served four years on active duty in the U.S. Navy during the mid-1970s.

Former Gov. Kenny Guinn first appointed Kirkland in 2005 to become the state's first female adjutant general and only the third in the nation at the time.

Gov. Jim Gibbons has not named a successor. The adjutant general is the military chief of staff to the governor and is responsible for both the federal and state missions of the Nevada National Guard.

In prepared remarks, Kirkland said she was appreciative of the 4,000 men and women who serve in the Nevada National Guard.

"It's a privilege and honor to serve each and every one standing here today," she said.
Kirkland reflected on her four-year stint as adjutant general and remembered the challenges of the job after she succeeded now retired Maj. Gen. Giles Vanderhoof on June 11, 2005. One month prior to the change of command, the Base Realignment and Closure Committee had recommended to shutter the Hawthorne Army Depot and realign the Nevada Air Guard by removing its C-130 military transport aircraft.

"We assembled a tremendous team and put on a presentation with the governor and our elected officials, and we won," she said.

Kirkland said the past four years have been challenging because of the number of guardsmen who have deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan.

"We have experienced the highest rate of mobilization the state has ever seen," she pointed out.

Recently, more than 600 Army Guard soldiers from two units have deployed overseas. About 70 percent of the state's guardsmen have seen action in either Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11.

Kirkland said the leadership team in the Nevada National Guard has done everyone it can to ensure deployed Soldiers and Airmen have received the proper training and equipment to succeed in their missions.

She also noted how Nevada has received state-of-the-art facilities and how many armories in the state have been refurbished.

The outgoing adjutant general said her thoughts will be with the men and women still serving their country.

"I salute you. I honor you. I will be there rooting for you every inch of the way," she said.

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who represented Gibbons at the one-hour ceremony, praised Kirkland and the importance of the ceremony.

"There's no place I would rather be than being here to honor you," Krolicki said.

After recognizing dignitaries, Krolicki said the Nevada National Guard has played an important role with the military mission in protecting the country. He also said the Nevada Guard is technically and tactically proficient "to serve alongside its active brethren."

After reading a proclamation from the governor, Krolicki said he hopes the next adjutant general will have the same sense of honor and grace as Kirkland.