PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday picked an Arizona Air National Guard colonel from Tucson to take over what a report earlier this year concluded was an agency plagued with problems.
In becoming the adjutant general of the Guard, Michael T. McGuire will also serve as director of the state Department of Emergency and Military Affairs. The move is effective Sept. 9, the day Maj. Gen. Hugo Salazar, who has held both titles since 2008, retires.
In a prepared statement, Brewer praised Salazar for his three decades of military service, including 24 years with the Arizona National Guard, calling him a “true leader” and saying he has served “with dedication and dignity.”
But nowhere does the governor or her staff say that a date for Salazar to retire was never mentioned until the day of the release of the report critical of the Guard. That 107-page report concluded the agency had lax discipline and unethical leadership. It also said the Guard failed to protect victims of sexual abuse.
Brewer, in releasing the report, did not blame Salazar, though the incidents happened on his watch. In fact, she directed him to come up with a plan for reforms, which was released the same day as the report.
McGuire has been commander of the 162nd Fighter Wing for the Arizona Air National Guard in Tucson since 2011. Brewer’s office said it is the nation’s largest Air National Guard fighter wing, including more than 1,500 military members and four flying squadrons totaling 78 aircraft.
In his new job he will oversee an agency of about 8,000 personnel.
A 1987 graduate of the Air Force Academy, McGuire has more than 4,000 flying hours. In 2010 he commanded the 214th Reconnaissance Group at Davis-Monthan, where he flew the MQ-1B Predator and also commanded an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance unit.