Head of Defense, Veterans, and Emergency Management Stepping Down

February 22, 2012

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

Governor LePage commends Major General Libby for his dedication to the State of Maine

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage regretfully accepted the resignation of Major General John W. “Bill” Libby on Tuesday, February 21, 2012. Major General Libby serves as Adjutant General of the State of Maine and Commissioner of Defense, Veterans, and Emergency Management. The resignation is effective March 16.

“I have accepted the resignation of General Libby on his request. It is not something I wanted to do because the State of Maine is better for his service. He put Maine before himself when I asked him to stay on at the end of the last administration.

For over eight years, General Libby has led the men and women of the Maine Army and Air National Guard, and he has done so with distinction. Our soldiers and airmen respect him, our veterans respect him, and our state was prepared for any emergency because of his leadership.

Luckily for the State, he has offered to serve in other capacities in the future and I will certainly be calling upon him at the appropriate time. I wish him and his family nothing but the best,” said Governor LePage.

Major General Libby began his military career upon commissioning from the ROTC program at the University of Maine in June 1966 and held a variety of active duty command and staff positions in both Vietnam and the Federal Republic of Germany before joining the Maine Army National Guard in July 1975.

During his time as Adjutant General, he has overseen the mobilization of over 4,000 Mainers in support of the Global War on Terror. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters, and a variety of service and campaign medals.

"It has been my greatest privilege and honor to lead the Maine National Guard. Over the past decade, the Middle East and Afghanistan continues to test our Maine men and women in uniform and their families,” said Major General Libby. “As I tell our WWII veterans, they are the greatest generation but this nation is currently being served by another great generation who are 100% volunteer for the first time in our modern history have fought with distinction in two simultaneous wars,” he continued.

“A decade of War has taken its toll on this nation, its treasure and this generation of warriors and we owe them what we promised them, our full support and necessary resources as they recover from their visible and invisible wounds. The support of our Governors during this decade has been magnificent and Governor LePage and the First Lady have continued that tradition," concluded Major General Libby.

The Administration will announce an Acting Commissioner in the coming weeks. Maine law spells out certain requirements to serve as Adjutant General/Commissioner and the Governor will send letters to eligible National Guard personnel letting them know the process to apply. A thorough search will be conducted and the Governor expects to have a nomination for the Legislature’s summer confirmation session. The nominee will be subject to review by the Veterans’ and Legal Affairs committee and confirmation by the Senate.