TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) The next head of the Kansas National Guard is moving up the ranks.
Colonel Lee Tafanelli was promoted to Brigadier General Tuesday.
He says the military has always provided him with opportunities and he couldn't have done it without the men and women who serve.
When Governor elect Brownback becomes Governor in January, Brigadier General Tafanelli will be his nominee for Adjutant General ... a position he says he's looking forward to.
Tafanelli currently serves as the assistant adjutant general and commander of the Kansas Army National Guard.
He also serves in the state's house of representatives.
From the rank of Colonel to General.... Tafanelli says he's excited for his new position.
Tafanelli plans to leave the legislature next month to focus on the Adjutant Generals department and the Kansas National Guard.
BG Lee Tafanelli bio: (courtesy: The Adjutant General's Department)
Tafanelli assumed the position of assistant adjutant general of the Kansas Army National Guard on July 19, 2010. He is also the commander of the Kansas Army National Guard and has been a member of the Kansas National Guard for over 30 years. Tafanelli previously served as commander of 69th Troop Command and the director of operations for the Kansas Guard.
He joined the Kansas Army National Guard in 1980 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers through Pittsburg State University’s ROTC program in 1982.Tafanelli has served in a wide variety of command and staff positions as a traditional Guardsman, Active Guard and Reserve and Active Duty Soldier at the company, battalion, brigade, state headquarters and Department of the Army level. In 2005 he was deployed with the 891st Engineer Battalion (Combat) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 1999, Tafanelli received a master’s degree in Environmental Planning and Management from Kansas State University and is a 2008 graduate of the U.S. Army War College. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge.
In his civilian career, Tafanelli is a state representative for the 47th District in the Kansas Legislature. He is also a program coordinator for the National Agricultural Biosecurity Center at Kansas State University.
Tafanelli and his wife, Tammy, live in rural Ozawkie with their two children, Nicholas and Francesca.