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Leader of Michigan National Guard retires

January 25, 2011

LANSING, MICH. - Maj. Gen. Thomas G. Cutler, who served as adjutant general and director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs during one of Michigan's most active mobilization periods in history, will retire Jan. 29, 2011.

"It has been an honor to serve as Michigan's Adjutant General over the past eight years," Cutler said. "We have been at war for this entire period and I have been incredibly impressed with the dedication of the young men and women who serve in our National Guard. They have made huge sacrifices as they've answered our nation's call and I am deeply appreciative of their service. I'm also very thankful for the great support of our fellow citizens here in Michigan. They too have sacrificed to support our soldiers, airmen, and their families."

Cutler began his military career by attending basic military training in 1970. He attended officer training school and received a commission in July 1971. Following undergraduate pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., he received his wings in September 1972. He held a variety of leadership positions at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base between 1972 and 1987. In August 1987, he took command of the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in Alpena, Mich. Eight years later, Cutler moved to southeast Michigan to command Selfridge Air National Guard Base from 1995 to 2002. In 2003 he assumed the helm as Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard where he led until his retirement.

During Cutler's tenure, deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) have been extremely demanding. More than 17,000 Soldiers and Airmen from Michigan National Guard units have been deployed since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Michigan National Guard and the National Guard as a whole has transformed in the past eight years, becoming an operational force for the nation's armed forces rather than a strategic reserve force. As adjutant general, Cutler took every opportunity to visit deployed troops, thanking each and every one for their service.

Gen. Cutler and his wife Chris are looking forward to increased family time and opportunities to travel and pursue some neglected hobbies in the months and years ahead.

Michigan's newly elected Governor Rick Snyder offered these words during the change of command ceremony held Jan. 8, 2011 at the Guard Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing, "For the past eight years, Major General Tom Cutler has served with distinction as the adjutant general for Michigan. He has a phenomenal record of accomplishment in the Air National Guard with 40 years of service, 40 years of progressively greater rank and responsibility. Tom was always selected for the tough jobs, always picked for the positions where we needed our very best, and he was always known for his leadership, his integrity, and his passion for people. I am truly grateful for the high performance bar you set and I wish you the very best of luck in your years ahead."