Tafanelli sworn is an new adjutant general
Tafanelli was confirmed as adjutant general by the Kansas Senate Jan. 27.
Tafanelli, Ozawkie, was selected Dec. 10 by Gov. Sam Brownback as adjutant general. He was recently promoted to brigadier general, receiving recognition by the Kansas Senate in October and by the U.S. Senate in late December. During the ceremony, Tafanelli’s two stars will be pinned on his shoulders by Brownback and Tafanelli’s wife, Tammy.
“General Tafanelli’s leadership skills, military background and political experience will be extremely beneficial in his role as adjutant general,” said Brownback. “I’m pleased to have him as a part of my team.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to serve the people of Kansas in this role,” said Tafanelli. “The men and women of the Adjutant General’s Department are dedicated, professional and extremely good at what they do. It will be a privilege to lead them and be a part of Governor Brownback’s team.”
As adjutant general, Tafanelli is responsible for the preparation and training of more than 7,700 Kansas Army and Air National Guard citizen soldiers and airmen. As director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, he is also responsible for directing and coordinating state and local government agencies when emergencies and natural disasters strike in the state.
In addition to the part-time soldiers and airmen, the Adjutant General’s Department includes approximately 2,300 full-time state and federal employees. Tafanelli also serves as director of Homeland Security for Kansas, where he works to ensure security in the state is a top priority.
For budgetary and administrative purposes, his department is responsible for the Civil Air Patrol.
Tafanelli has been a member of the Kansas National Guard for more than 30 years. He assumed the position of assistant adjutant general of the Kansas Army National Guard July 19, 2010, and was the commander of the Kansas Army National Guard. 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 Reserve Officer Training Corps 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 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.
Prior to becoming the adjutant general, Tafanelli was a state representative for the 47th District in the Kansas Legislature. He also worked at Kansas State University as a program coordinator for the National Agricultural Biosecurity Center.
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