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Brig Gen David Newman retires from Missouri National Guard after 38 years of service

Maj. Gen. Steve Danner, adjutant general for the Missouri National Guard (l) stands beside Brig. Gen. David Newman of Pittsfield, Ill. who retires from the Missouri Air National Guard with 38 years of military service.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Sean Navarro)

Maj. Gen. Steve Danner, adjutant general for the Missouri National Guard (l) stands beside Brig. Gen. David Newman of Pittsfield, Ill. who retires from the Missouri Air National Guard with 38 years of military service. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Sean Navarro)

SAINT LOUIS, Mo -- Brig. Gen. David Newman of Pittsfield, Ill. retired from the Missouri Air National Guard with 38 years of military service.

His last assignment, which he held since June 2012, was with Missouri National Guard Headquarters located in Jefferson City, where he was the joint chief of staff.

"When we started this process of starting a new joint team, then-Colonel Newman was the candidate that came to mind," Maj. Gen. Steve Danner, adjutant general for the Missouri National Guard.  "I can always trust what he tells me to be the truth, and I think that's what made him great.  He took programs that were important to me and easily handled them better than anyone else I could have chosen."

Newman was commissioned into the Air Force in 1977 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program.  He served on active duty for 6 years until he joined the Kansas National Guard.

In 1990, Newman came to the Missouri Air National Guard.  His previous assignments include the base commander of the 157th Air Operations Group and the 121st Air Control Squadron at Jefferson Barracks. 

"When I first got here, all of my decisions were not the best decisions," Newman said.  "I can tell you that the leaders in the 121st were there to keep me on the straight path.  I started my time in the Missouri Air National Guard with them at Jefferson Barracks, and I can't think of a better place to end than here."

He served in numerous contingencies as well as in support of Operation Noble Eagle. His awards include the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Missouri Legion of Merit.

Newman gave his last two bits of mentorship to the military members in attendance.  The first was to never give your boss a reason not to promote you.  The other was to recognize that you never know where you are going to be in two years.

"I got stopped by an ROTC recruiter at college when I had no interest in joining the military," Newman said.  "The next thing I knew, I was graduating college with a commission.  My wife and I had agreed that I was only going to spend four years serving, but you never know how the truth is going to change."

Newman took the time to recognize all of the people who have influenced his career including his military mentors and his family.  He gave special recognition to one person in particular.

"I want to thank who is most responsible for being here, and that would be me," Newman said jokingly. "Do you ever wonder why you don't ever hear someone say that?  It is because it is not true.  The reason I am before you here today is my wife, Karen Newman.  Through the 38 years of my military service, I can tell you that the Newman family had to sacrifice, and she kept the family going."