Col. David Mikolaities nominated to lead NH National GuardStaff Report
August 23. 2017 1:32PM
CONCORD — A Manchester-born combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is Gov. Chris Sununu's pick to be the next leader of the New Hampshire National Guard.
During Wednesday's Executive Council meeting at Keene State College, Sununu nominated Col. David J. Mikolaities to serve as the state's adjutant general.
The governor said in a statement he believes Mikolaities will serve "with honor and distinction."
"A decorated combat veteran, there is no doubt that Col. Mikolaities is an unwavering advocate for soldiers, airmen and veterans, and I am excited to work alongside him as he leads New Hampshire's National Guard," Sununu said.
Mikolaities said he was "truly humbled" by the nomination.
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"The responsibilities of this office are immense, and it will be both an honor and privilege to serve alongside our state's finest citizen soldiers," he said.
Once confirmed, Mikolaities will take over adjutant general responsibilities from Maj. Gen. William Reddel, who earlier this summer announced his plans to retire as of Sept. 30. Reddel has served in the post since 2009.
Last year, the U.S. Senate approved Mikolaities' promotion to brigadier general, which would occur once he starts his new position, according to Lt. Col. Greg Heilshorn, public affairs officer for the Guard.
Since 2010, Mikolaities has been serving as construction and facilities management officer for the New Hampshire Army National Guard, the senior engineer staff officer for the adjutant general. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Webster University and the U.S. War College. An Airborne, Ranger, Special Forces-qualified officer, he has received several awards and decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters and National Defense Service Medal.
His military career includes tours in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
He served with the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) as a platoon leader, executive officer, before leaving active duty in 1992.
He served with the Massachusetts Army National Guard in C Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and transitioned to the U.S. Army Reserves in 2001, assigned to Special Operations Command – Central (SOCCENT).
He joined the New Hampshire Army National Guard in 2007 and deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Special Forces Group in 2009 and again in 2010.
David Kenney, chairman of the State Veterans Advisory Committee, also chaired the governor's selection commission for the adjutant general position.
"I can say with certainty that New Hampshire can count on Colonel Mikolaities to protect, fight and advocate for the New Hampshire National Guard and support New Hampshire's veterans and their families," he said.
Mikolaities is a registered professional engineer in the state. He lives in Portsmouth with his wife, Sandy, and their three children.
The Executive Council is expected to vote on Mikolaities' confirmation on Sept. 13.