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6 generals are finalists to lead Minnesota National Guard

The command photo of the Commanding General of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Richard Nash.

ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton will interview five brigadier generals and a major general this week in his quest to replace longtime Minnesota National Guard Adjutant Gen. Richard Nash.

Nash, a major general, will step down this fall after seven years as the leader of the Minnesota National Guard.

He had served under both Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Dayton, a Democrat, and won a one-year reprieve from an age-mandated retirement to finish his service on Oct. 31 of this year.

Dayton, who has not served in the military, appointed a special selection committee to help him find the next adjutant general.

The committee includes Dayton administration officials, a district judge, military officials and others.

This week, the governor will interview six people who came out of that selection process.They are:

• Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, who was appointed the commanding general of Minnesota's 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division earlier this year.

• Brig. Gen. Sandra Best was the Minnesota National Guard's first female general when she was promoted last year and has served as the chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard.

• Brig. Gen. Frank Stokes is a command pilot with thousands of F-15 and F-16 flying hours who serves as the deputy director in the Strategy, Plans and Programs Directorate of the U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart-Mohringen, Germany, in the Air Force.

• Brig. Gen. David Hamlar was the first African-American member of the military to achieve one-star rank in the Minnesota Air National Guard and is a physician who has done surgery all over the world.

• Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne, who was the first first woman in the rank of brigadier general in the Minnesota Army National Guard and is a lawyer who specializes in family law.

• Brig. Gen. Greg Haase is a special assistant to the director of the U.S. Air National Guard, based out of the Pentagon.

The adjutant general position is a seven-year term, meaning whomever Dayton picks to lead the Guard will last past the governor's term.

There are more than 13,000 members of the Minnesota National Guard, who can be stationed around the world and help in Minnesota emergencies.

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.