Maj. Gen. Raymond Rees will retire from his command of the Oregon Military Department later this month after more than five decades in the Army and the National Guard.
Since 2005, Rees has been the adjutant general, in charge of all of Oregon’s soldiers and Air Force personnel during deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. One of the big changes in the role of the National Guard over the decades is that citizen-soldiers who used to be weekend warriors now must be prepared to enter combat.
Rees was a guest Wednesday on OPB’s Think Out Loud. Host Allison Frost asked him if having Guard troops deployed overseas means international conflicts are more real for Oregonians.
Rees says Oregon Guard troops are scheduled to go to Afghanistan next year. But he says troop reductions there could mean that their planned deployment could be scrapped.
Rees’ successor — Brig. Gen Daniel Hokanson will replace him — and takes command on August 1.
You can hear the entire conversation on the Think Out Loud website.