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Adjutant General, Illinois National Guard; Director, Department of Military Affairs

Major General Rich Neely is the 40th Adjutant General of the State of Illinois and serves on the Governor’s cabinet as the Director of the Illinois Department of Military Affairs. General Neely is the Commander for both the Illinois Army and Air National Guard where he is responsible for daily operations and oversees approximately 13,000 military members, 2,200 fulltime military/federal employees and 230 civilian state employees.

As the Commander of the Illinois National Guard, he is responsible for the training, preparation and deployment of Soldiers and Airmen in support of combat operations worldwide. General Neely led the 2019 response to historic flooding in Illinois along with the unprecedented 2020/2021 COVID19 pandemic response and multiple deployments of the National Guard in response to civil unrest across the state and in support of the National Capitol Response mission. During his 32 years of service as a military officer, General Neely has served in numerous command, staff and operational positions, including the National Guard Bureau’s Principal Deputy Director for Air Operations where he oversaw Intelligence, Air, Nuclear, Cyber and Space Operations (A2/3/6/10) and the Air National Guard’s Chief Information Officer. Also at the National Guard Bureau, he served as the Chief of Current Operations (NG J33) where he was the focal point for National Guard Domestic Operations/Defense Support to Civil Authorities, and crisis management for federal interagency partners in support of the 54 States and Territories.

General Neely is a Master Cyberspace Officer with other specialties in operations, logistics and finance. He is joint qualified, a dual status commander and has two overseas deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. General Neely is a national leader in the area of cybersecurity and critical infrastructure as it applies to emergency management. He routinely speaks on the topic to include regular engagements at US Northern Command, National Governors Association, Business Executives for National Security, and the NG cyber law course. Serves as a member of the Atlantic Council GeoTech Committee, is the Chairman for the Army National Guard’s Cyber Readiness Advisory Council, and member of the National Guard’s Cyber General Officer Advisory Council.

1989 Bachelor of Science in Business and Finance, Illinois State University, Normal, Ill.
1991 Logistics Plans and Programs Course, Lowery AFB, Colo.
1996 Squadron Officer School, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Ala.
1998 Air Force Financial Management Staff Officer Course, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2003 Fixed and Deployable Communications Course, Kessler AFB, Miss.
2005 Communications and Information Officer Training, Kessler AFB, Miss.
2005 Air Command Staff College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Information Assurance Professional Certification (4011), National Defense University Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2008 Air War College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2009 Certified Defense Financial Manager, American Society of Military Comptrollers, Arlington, Va.
2009 Chief Information Officer Certification, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2010 Commander, Air Forces Forces (COMAFFOR) Senior Staff Course, Air Force Expeditionary Center, Fort Dix, N.J.
2011 Joint Task Force Commanders Course, USNORTHCOM, Peterson AFB, Colo.
2011 Air Force Cyber Operations Transition Course, Kessler AFB, Miss.
2011 Master of Science, Public Administration, Policy and Leadership (CIO), National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2013 Dual Status Commander Certification, USNORTHCOM, Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2014 Joint & Combined Warfighting School (JPME II), Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University, Norfolk Va.
2015 Homeland Security Senior Leaders Course, John F. Kennedy School, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2016 Cyber 400, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2017 Advance Space Operations School (Space 400), Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
2018 National Security Course, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2019 Senior Leader Orientation Course (SLOC); Joint Base Andrews, Md. & Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
2021 Eurasia Seminar – Regional Boundaries and Global Responsivities (Virtual)
2021 Cybersecurity – The Intersection of Policy & Technology; John F. Kennedy School, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2022 Homeland Security, John F. Kennedy School, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
(Current as of 25 July 2022)