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NEWS | April 14, 2022

Walker promoted to major general in Capitol Rotunda ceremony

By Dale Greer, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Charles M. Walker, the Kentucky Air National Guard’s chief of staff, was promoted to the rank of major general during a ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda here March 12.

Walker — who since 2021 has also served as director of the Office of Complex Investigations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia — will now work exclusively at NGB, effectively ending his 16-year tenure with the Kentucky Guard.

OCI investigates allegations of sexual assault that are not thoroughly scrutinized by civilian or military law enforcement agencies because of jurisdictional issues or other legal reasons.

“This is a terrific day,” said Army Maj. Gen. Haldane B. Lamberton, adjutant general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. “Chuck is now overseeing the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations, an office that is very necessary and crucial to the entire National Guard.

“Chuck, I’m proud of you. I’m certainly appreciative of what you’ve done for all of us, and in particular what you’re already positioned to do for the entire organization. (You are) making a difference not just for the folks here in Kentucky, but all 54 states and territories.”

Lamberton then presented Walker with a Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal, followed by a pinning ceremony to attach new rank insignia to Walker’s uniform. Pinning the general were his wife, Suleena, and J. Michael Brown, secretary of the Executive Cabinet for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“It is indeed my honor and my privilege to stand before you today, humbled and completely overwhelmed by this moment,” Walker told an audience of family, friends and colleagues.

“This is really recognition of all the people that have sewn something positive in my life over 32 years as a military officer. I am so pleased to have known and worked with all of you. It’s not my deeds — it’s your teamwork and your dedication and your willingness to put up with my faults and overcome them — that have allowed me to succeed.”

Walker also expressed appreciation for the support of his family.

“To both my daughters, there’s about three years of their lives that I’ve missed because of my Guard service,” he said. “But they’ve been so incredibly supportive and understanding. They’re both phenomenal children — the best a father could ask for.

“My wife, Suleena, has always put up with the military and my crazy notions of putting things off. This January, when we were on our 25th wedding anniversary, three days of it was consumed with preparing for testimony before Congress. And the fourth day was testifying before Congress. And she put up with that. So, for that, I owe you big.”

Walker received his commission through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at Auburn University in December 1990. He served on active duty for seven years, primarily in personnel and communications posts, before separating from the Air Force in 1998 to pursue a civilian career as an attorney. In 2004, he returned to the military as a staff judge advocate in the Air Force Reserve, then transferred to the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing in Louisville in October 2005. During his tenure with the Kentucky Guard, Walker held positions as staff judge advocate; two temporary postings as judge advocate at U.S. Northern Command’s Combined Air Operations Center; and Chief of Staff — Air, Joint Forces Headquarters, Kentucky National Guard.

In his closing remarks, Walker challenged Kentucky Guard leadership to maintain a course of excellence.

“Being a Kentucky Guardsman has truly been the highlight of my 32 years of military service, and this is a fine organization. I hope that you will continue all that we know to do in Kentucky: think differently, be diverse, understand that the force multiplier we have is giving everyone an opportunity at the table. Diversity of thought is what we need. This organization is too important to our nation not to be the absolute very best that we can be.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to call Kentucky my home.”

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