AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has chosen a colonel from the Maine Army National Guard as Maine’s next adjutant general, the state’s top military officer who also serves as commissioner of the state Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management.
LePage on Tuesday said he’s appointing Col. James Campbell to the adjutant general post.
Campbell’s appointment comes almost four months after Major Gen. John W. Libby stepped down from the position. Robert McAleer, who directs the Maine Emergency Management Agency, has been serving as acting commissioner.
The department includes the Maine Emergency Management Agency, the Maine Army National Guard, the Maine Air National Guard and the Bureau of Veterans Services.
“Col. Campbell has distinguished himself as a soldier and a scholar, in addition to his recent service in Afghanistan,” LePage said in a statement. “He is the right man to lead our soldiers and airmen in the years to come.”
According to an announcement from LePage’s office, Campbell joined the Maine Army National Guard in 1995 after nine years of active duty service. He has held a number of positions in the Guard, including as executive officer of the University of Maine’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) battalion.
Campbell is currently on assignment with the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., as deputy division chief of the Operations Plans Division.
Campbell holds three degrees in history: a bachelors from Colby College in Waterville and a masters and doctorate from the University of Maine. In 2007, he published a research paper urging the U.S. Armed Forces to refamiliarize themselves with “irregular warfare,” which involves partnering with local, often informally trained militias, and other armed groups.
According to the announcement from LePage’s office, Campbell will first be sworn in as acting commissioner in the coming weeks when he finishes his Central Command assignment. He will then face confirmation votes before the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee and the full Senate.
Two members of LePage’s cabinet, Labor Commissioner Robert Winglass and Public Safety Commissioner John Morris, sat on the seven-member selection committee that recommended Campbell to the governor.