Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed Major General Richard Nash as the new Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. Nash acknowledged he’s coming in at a tough time saying “There’ll be challenges with restrained budgets going forward.” But on the budget shortfall, Pawlenty said if his unallotments were permanent the $6 billion deficit shrinks to about $2 billion and he called that “relatively easy.” Minnesota has the 5th largest Guard force in the nation (not the 6th as Pawlenty said during the press conference).
Nash is currently the commander of the 34th Infantry Red Bull Division that has roots back to the Minnesota First Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. Pointing to the painting in his ornate offices, the governor called the MN First and now Red Bulls a “storied tradition with historic results and they’ve met those standards and exceeded it.” Pawlenty said their leadership in the Iraq is a “point of great pride” and that affirms his confidence in General Nash. The new National Guard head had a private sector career in construction and invented “pre-stress concrete” components.