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New California Adjutant General Makes History

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
The California National Guard is the nation’s largest and busiest, with 21-thousand members, so it’s a big deal when a new leader– or Adjutant General takes over. There was a ceremony at the former Mather Air Force Base  near Sacramento complete with a color guard, hundreds of members in uniform and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to do the honors:

"I Mary Kight, do solemnly swear….I Mary Kight, do solemnly swear.”
Brigadier General Mary Kight has been a member of the Guard for more than 25 years, but she admitted she was a bit overwhelmed at the promotion:

“I didn’t know I was going to get here to this point in my life – but here I am – I’m still here…let me hold onto this podium!”

Democratic Assembly Speaker Karen Bass – the first African-American female Speaker of a legislative body in the country gave the opening remarks:

“I’m proud to be here today, welcoming General Mary Kight as the Adjutant General of the California National Guard, and as the first African American woman to lead a state National Guard in our state or in any other….clapping fades.”
Kight takes over from General William Wade, who’s held the post for more than four years. Wade is headed to Italy to help command a NATO force.  Kight served as second-in-command under Wade, and Governor Schwarzenegger says he already knows what kind of job she’ll do:

“She has been described as a strong leader, a hard worker and a pioneer, and every time you say to her, you’re doing such an unbelievable job, she says “I’m just doing my job,” so she’s very humble.
Looking forward, Kight says she’ll focus on maintaining and improving the quality of the Guard:

“We will advocate for that necessary training and we will work with one another to develop those visions, those missions that support our readiness and also make sure that the CA national guard remains competitive with the other states.”

Kight says she’ll also focus on getting Guard equipment back from overseas missions and on keeping family members involved in activities. 
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