Gov. John Kitzhaber has appointed his military and veterans affairs adviser to lead the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs.
The nomination of Cameron Smith was announced on Tuesday and is still subject to Senate confirmation.
Smith replaces Jim Willis, who is retiring on March 1.
Smith has been an adviser to Kitzhaber and former Gov. Ted Kulongoski, and he's a former Marine Corps captain who served three tours of duty in Iraq. He says the state must focus on connecting all veterans to their benefits as operations wind down overseas.