Sunday letters: Let governor appoint adjutant general

February 2, 2014 


— Now that the Legislature has given the governor more administrative control, it is time to pass legislation allowing the governor to appoint the adjutant general, the leader of our National Guard.

South Carolina is the only state that elects its adjutant general. We still use this antiquated method of electing the senior officer of our National Guard prevalent in the militia decades ago.

The adjutant general is responsible for the training and readiness of our National Guard members, whose lives one day may depend on how well he performs these duties. He should not have to waste valuable time campaigning for election and raising money.

We are the only state that does not have set qualifications for its adjutant general. Bills in the House and Senate would require the adjutant general to possess the education and professional requisites for federal recognition as a general, the same as any active-duty general.

It is time to ensure only professionally qualified officers become adjutant general. Give the governor the authority to select that officer. We owe that to the dedicated and professional members of the S.C. National Guard and to the citizens of the Palmetto State.

Harvey Shackelford


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