Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen has been sworn in as the 31st adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard.
Gov. Mark Dayton administered Jensen's oath of office during a formal ceremony Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Minnesota National Guard Armory in St. Paul. Back in August, the governor appointed a committee that ended up selecting Jensen as a finalist.
As the leader of Minnesota National Guard, Jensen will be in charge of more than 13,000 soldiers and airmen who live and work throughout the state.
Taking over after the retirement of Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, Jensen, 53, worked in Rosemount as commanding general of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division.
"My focus is going to remain on being people-centric with organizing and a lot of my focus will be placed on our soldiers, airmen and families and we want to recruit talent and diverse people and work on training them," Jensen said in an interview. "We want to make sure everyone understands we will be providing appropriate leadership opportunities to make sure all are as successful as they can be in a military career because I view it this way, that we can see potential in all service members."
He added: "My mentors and leaders saw potential and helped drag me along the way, and I want to thank my mentor, Maj. Gen. Nash who played a big role in my career since 2002."
When he first came to Minnesota, Jensen said he learned from Nash's leadership and mentoring.
Saying goodbye to Rosemount, Jensen said: "I will miss being a division commander and while I didn't get the opportunity to do it for as long as I would have liked, I will always cherish that division command."
The 34th Infantry Command holds tremendous lineage and honors, Jensen said.
"I am grateful to have been a part of that as a commander and to be a part of that stellar lineage and history as a commander," he said. "I have enjoyed working with the city of Rosemount and the city leadership who have been great supporters of the National Guard."
The Rosemount Yellow Ribbon Network has been a great partner to military families and all the networks across Dakota County, he said.
"We have been fortunate to have a relationship with and to have received support and I don't think we could have a better or closer relationship - we really appreciate our Yellow Ribbon Networks and all they provide us," Jensen said.
His prior military resume includes leadership roles working on the U.S. Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint State and Minnesota National Guard Assistant General-Army.
Jensen lives in Apple Valley with his wife Cindy. Their three children and family was present to celebrate during the ceremony Saturday.
"My oldest traveled back from Boston at school, and my mother and father came from Council Bluffs and Cindy's father came, too," Jensen said. "I am here because of the large support and love I receive from my family because you do not get to a position like this by yourself, and for me, my family provided a lot of that support," Jensen said.
Jensen said he is humbled to lead "a force of dedicated and talented soldiers and airmen."
"I am excited to lead this organization into the future as we continue to ensure the Minnesota National Guard is prepared to respond to our communities and state during times of disaster and serve our nation during times of conflict," he said.