HNN Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) included remarks in the Congressional Record today to acknowledge and recognize the service and achievements of Major General Allen Tackett upon his retirement as The Adjutant General of West Virginia’s National Guard.

“General Tackett is one of West Virginia’s most beloved sons, a genuine and proven leader, an American patriot, and my dear friend,” said Rahall. “After 48 years of faithful service to our state and our nation, General Tackett steps down as Commander of our West Virginia citizen soldiers and airmen and begins his retirement having earned the outstanding distinction of not only being the longest-serving adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, but also of being our nation’s longest-serving adjutant general.”

Below is the full text of Rep. Rahall’s Extension of Remarks:

 

Extension of Remarks

U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall, II (D-W.Va.)

Honoring Major General Allen E. Tackett, The Adjutant General, West Virginia National Guard

January 20, 2011

Mr. Speaker,

Today, I rise in recognition for one of West Virginia’s most beloved sons, a genuine and proven leader, an American patriot, and my dear friend, Major General Allen Tackett.

Tomorrow, after 48 years of faithful service to our state and our nation, General Tackett will step down as Commander of more than 6,000 West Virginia citizen soldiers and airmen.  He will begin his retirement having earned the outstanding distinction of not only being the longest-serving adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, but also of being our nation’s longest-serving adjutant general.

In West Virginia, the men and women of our National Guard are held in high regard by their fellow citizens.  Since 1995, through the leadership of General Tackett, they annually rank number one in the country for mission readiness.  Whether it is a perilous flight mission in the depths of winter to rescue military personnel trapped in our deep, snow-covered mountains, or a mission to provide aid and comfort to fellow West Virginians ravaged by flood waters, or deployed to far corners of the world to protect our democracy and ensure peace around the globe, the West Virginia National Guard has answered the call, time and again.

From the Civil War that gave birth to my state, to present-day wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the record of service by so many patriotic West Virginians places our state in the top percentage of all Americans who have donned America’s uniform.  As Mountaineers, we are incredibly proud of our record and extraordinary military leaders, like Major General Tackett, who rise from the ranks to train, lead, and mentor our soldiers and airmen with great honor, personal pride, commitment, and sacrifice, and an enduring passion for the freedoms in our democracy.

The American people owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our 362,192 men and women members of the National Guard, who in service to the United States, maintain the Guard’s multi-mission role—providing nearly 33 percent of America’s combat power globally – and, simultaneously and with great skill – serving their fellow citizens in defense of our homeland, in support of state and local civil authorities, and fulfilling emergency response needs.

For decades, there has been a significant evolution in the missions and capabilities of the National Guard.  As General Tackett has so aptly stated, “Not since World War II has the Guard been so vital to our overseas mission, and not since the founding of our nation has the Guard been so vital to the defense of our homeland.”

For over 34 years, I have been privileged to represent the people of southern West Virginia, and it is with humbleness and sincerity that I say, from the home front to the front lines, our West Virginia National Guard is a model of the commitment to excellence and professional dedication to America’s defense, thanks to the commitment, vision, and leadership of Major General Tackett.

Therefore, it is my honor and great privilege to commend Major General Allen E. Tackett, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard:  For his 48 years in service to our country; for his 25 years served in Special Forces units; for his vital contributions – with the force and voice of U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd – working to block the closing of the 130th Airlift Wing by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 2005; for his passion for education and creating hope and opportunity through his support for programs such as, the West Virginia National Guards’ Tuition Assistance; and for his work with at-risk youths through the National Youth ChalleNGe program.

Mr. Speaker, on occasion, Senator Byrd enjoyed comparing General Tackett’s skills to those of the Carthaginian General, Hannibal.  I agree with the Senator – when Allen Tackett tackles a problem, it is as if his opponents are facing a thunderous herd of raging bull elephants.  Today, I join my fellow West Virginians in recognition and congratulatory acknowledgement of the great achievements of Major General Tackett, as he begins this new chapter in his life with his beloved wife, Sallie.