NASHVILLE — Tennessee Gov.-elect Bill Lee announced on Thursday the appointment of a former top leader in the Tennessee National Guard as the state’s new adjutant general as well as a just-retired state representative and military veteran to head the state’s Department of Veterans Services.
Jeff Holmes, currently deputy commanding general of the First U.S. Army, will serve as state adjutant general and head of the state’s Department of the Military.
Retired Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers, who chose not to seek re-election this fall to her Sumner County state House district, will lead the Department of Veterans Services.
“We are pleased to add two experienced military leaders to our cabinet today,” Lee said in a statement. “Our veterans and active duty personnel will be in good hands with these appointments and I look forward to working with them.”
Maj. Gen. Holmes currently serves as the deputy commanding general of First Army, the oldest and longest established field army of the U.S. Army, which saw service in both World War I and World War II.
It provides training and readiness oversight to reserve component units deploying worldwide. He previously served as deputy adjutant general of the Tennessee National Guard.
Holmes previously commanded Tennessee National Guard units at all levels and has served in multiple combat deployments. His experience in command at the brigade level includes commanding the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Knoxville, and the 194th Engineer Brigade, headquartered in Jackson.
He also has served in several national level positions serving as deputy chief of engineers at the Pentagon. Holmes is a registered architect and currently resides in Rutherford County.
Rogers currently serves as the director of recruiting and retention for the Tennessee State Guard, the all-volunteer arm of the Tennessee Military Department.
Besides her 28 years of military service with the U.S. Air Force and the Tennessee Air National Guard, Rogers also served three terms as the representative of state House District 45t. As a legislator, Rogers, who was a member of the Tennessee Legislative Veterans Caucus, pressed veterans’ issues, including work on tax breaks for veterans with 100 percent disabilities.
Lee will become Tennessee’s 50th governor on Jan. 19 when he takes the oath of office.