M. Scott Carter reports on politics, legislation and other issues from the State Capitol.
Gov. Mary Fallin is naming Major Gen. Myles Deering as her Secretary of Veterans Affiars, Oklahoma Watch has learned.
Fallin’s spokesman, Alex Weintz, confirmed the changes Friday afternoon. Weintz said Deering would replace Gen. Rita Aragon, who was stepping down as state VA secretary. Aragon has been named to a new post: governor’s liaison for veterans affairs.
Weintz also confirmed that Fallin will name Brig. Gen. Robbie L. Asher as adjutant general, replacing Deering. Asher will command the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard.
Appointed Oklahoma adjutant general in 2009 by Fallin, Deering has served in the military for more than four decades, including commanding the military rescue operations during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and also commanding the 45th Infantry Brigade, deploying to Iraq in 2007.
Asher previously served as director joint staff, joint force headquarters in Oklahoma, and commanded the 45th’s First Battalion 279th Infantry, deploying to Afghanistan in 2004.
In her new role, Weintz said, Aragon will be responsible for developing collaborative efforts for all Oklahoma agencies to better integrate services for Oklahoma’s veterans and their families.
Fallin’s office will also name four new members to the nine-member Oklahoma War Veterans Commission. The new appointments to the War Veterans Commission will come from three veterans groups not previously represented on the WVC: the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the National Guard Association of Oklahoma.
Fallin is also expected to name a fourth veteran who will serve as an at-large member. Previously, the commission was made up of representatives of just three veterans groups, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans.