FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 31, 2017
CONTACT: Colorado National Guard,
CENTENNIAL, Colo. – The 42nd Adjutant General of Colorado
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, retires March 31, after 43 years
of military service, including 36 years in the Colorado Air National Guard.
A retirement ceremony in General Edwards’ honor, attended by
civilian and military dignitaries, will take place at Hangar 801, Buckley Air
Force Base, Aurora, April 2, at 2:30 p.m.
“For the past 43 years, our entire nation has benefited from
the distinguished and noble service of General Edwards,” Governor John Hickenlooper
said. “Coloradans will long remember him as one of the most accomplished
adjutants general in our state’s history. Veterans across our state will long
benefit from his tireless efforts to serve those who have served. General
Edwards represents the best of our nation’s military, and we are forever
grateful for his service to Colorado and our country.”
“It's truly been a privilege to lead the Citizen-Soldiers
and Citizen-Airmen serving in the Colorado National Guard, the men and women
volunteering in the Colorado Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, and those who serve the
veterans of Colorado. My wife, Laury, and I also want to express our sincere
appreciation for the wonderful opportunity to assist the people of the great
state of Colorado," Edwards said.
Edwards grew up in Lyman, Neb. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy,
which commissioned him as a second lieutenant June 6, 1973. A command pilot
with more than 4,600 military flight hours, including 135 combat hours, he has
flown the A-7, AT-38, C-21, F-4, F-16, T-37 and T-38 aircraft.
Edwards has served as Adjutant General since 2007, when he
became the state’s top military commander.
Edwards has been responsible for the administration of more than 5,300
Colorado Army and Air National Guard members conducting both state and federal
missions. The National Guard is the first military responder during domestic
emergencies and, as the U.S. Army’s and U.S. Air Force’s combat reserve,
deploys overseas in support of the war fight.
A member of the governor’s cabinet, Edwards simultaneously served
as Executive Director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, which
provides guidance and support to its three divisions: Veterans Affairs;
National Guard; Civil Air Patrol.
Edwards protected the Veterans Trust Fund from dissolution during
the economic downturn, while ensuring repayment. He also administered the Veterans Assistance
Grant program, adding a second critical grant stream to help veterans. Under
Edwards, reimbursements for county Veterans Service Officers rose from slightly
over $1 per hour to above minimum wage, creating more access for veterans
needing assistance in filing claims for federal benefits.
During his tenure as Adjutant General, more than 6,000 CONG
Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen have mobilized in support of overseas
contingency operations. He also oversaw the CONG’s record-setting response to
some of the worst natural disasters impacting Colorado, including the High Park
Fire and the Waldo Canyon Fire during 2012, followed by the Black Forest Fire
and historic flooding along the Colorado Front Range in 2013.
Additionally, Edwards was instrumental in bringing a new National
Guard cyber protection team to Colorado, bolstering the state’s cyber defenses.
He also diversified the CONG through the appointment of its first female
Over a period of 10 years, Edwards significantly grew the
CONG’s enduring relationships with the Republic of Slovenia and the Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan under the National Guard State Partnership Program. The SPP military-to-military exchanges have
supported Combatant Command security cooperation objectives, promoted regional
stability, and increased partner capacity and interoperability.
Edwards has also overseen the missions of the Civil Air
Patrol's Colorado Wing, consisting of more than 1,600 volunteers.
Under Edwards’ leadership, the CAP took on a bigger role in
state response, flying fire watch and conducting flood damage surveys.
Colorado’s CAP was first to fly support of the U.S. Army’s on-base unmanned
aerial systems operations.
Edwards said that he plans to retire in Colorado.
On March 31, Hickenlooper announced his appointment of U.S.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael A. Loh as Colorado’s new Adjutant General and
Executive Director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Loh has 33 years of military service. He currently serves as the National Guard
Assistant to the Commander, Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base,
Va. Loh graduated from the U.S. Air Force
Academy in Colorado Springs in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical
Engineering. After serving as an F-16 fighter
pilot with the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and an instructor pilot at Luke Air
Force Base, Ariz., he joined the COANG in 1991.
He held command, staff, and supervisory positions including COANG
Assistant Adjutant General-Air, Air National Guard Council Chairman, Group Commander
and Squadron Commander. He deployed multiple times to both the Pacific and
Central Command regions and commanded combat operations during Operation Iraqi
Freedom. Loh more recently served as the Mobilization Assistant to the
Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
Springs, and as Guard Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force,
Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Loh’s appointment is effective April 10, 2017.
CONG equipment will be on display in the hangar during the
News media wishing to cover this event should ensure that
they have passed through the Mississippi Gate at Buckley Air Force Base no
later than 1:45 p.m. Base security
requires that all news media have current credentials as well as vehicle
registration and proof of insurance. Public
Affairs personnel will escort news media to the hangar.
#breaking news @CONG180