TESTIMONY BEFORE THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
Senator Cyrway, Representative Luchini, and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs:
My name is Aaron Chadbourne and I serve as Senior Policy Advisor to Governor LePage. It is an honor to be here today to present the Governor’s nomination of Colonel Douglas A. Farnham of Bangor to serve as The Adjutant General of Maine and Commissioner of the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management.
As you know, the Adjutant General leads the Maine National Guard and is responsible for administering the Department, which has statutory responsibility for coordinating and improving the discharge of the State Government’s responsibility for military affairs, veterans’ services and civil emergency preparedness.
Without question, Col. Farnham has already led a distinguished career of service to our country and our state. From his commission on active duty in the U.S. Air Force in 1984 to his most recent post as Wing Commander of the storied 101st Air Refueling Wing in Bangor, the MAINEiacs, Doug has demonstrated that not only is he a great pilot, he is an Airman of the highest integrity, dependability, and excellence. Under Col. Farnham’s leadership, the Wing recently received national recognition with the Air Force’s Outstanding Unit Award.
Before he attended the United State Air Force Academy, Doug Farnham was a graduate of Brewer High School. He serves as a great example to young men and woman who were born in Maine, have left for a period of time to pursue higher education and begin their career, and who ultimately want to return to the state they love. It was that love of Maine and his strong ties to his multi-generational, family-owned business, Getchell Bros., that compelled Doug to make the conscious decision to move home. He proudly credits the Maine Air National Guard for making that move possible. Since becoming a traditional guardsman in 1991, Doug’s involvement in the operations and leadership of Getchell Bros. has allowed him to contribute to his local community – serving on a multitude of local Boards – as well as employing and mentoring Maine people.
Col. Farnham is also the proud father of three children, doing his part to grown Maine’s population, and he is not the first member of his household to be called to service in this very room. I’d like to acknowledge his wife, Hon. Nichi Farnham, who is a former chair of this Committee.
In addition to my testimony, I would like to present a letter submitted by retired Brigadier General Robert Carmichael, who served on the 11-member search committee that advised the Governor on this selection.
To: MEMBERS OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
I highly recommend and support Colonel Doug Farnham for the position of Adjutant General of the Maine National Guard. I have known Doug professionally and personally for many years and have nothing but the greatest respect for his intellect, character, and leadership ability.
Doug is uniquely qualified to lead the Maine National Guard with over 31 years military leadership experience beginning with his graduation and commissioning from the United States Air Force Academy. He has the Tactical, Operational, and Strategic experience so necessary in the volatile world in which the National Guard plays such an important strategic role. This is an important time for the Maine National Guard and requires a strong leader, one who is equally adept at working on the state and national levels. Doug is highly respected both in and outside the State of Maine and he understands the type of engagement necessary to ensure Maine stays relevant in any future force structure discussions.
Doug brings a great understanding of the challenges our citizen soldiers face because he has been a traditional Guardsman while operating in his civilian capacity as a successful business owner. He blends his traditional Guard experience with the knowledge and wisdom gained in leading the finest Air Refueling Wing in the United States Air Force as a member of the full time force. His connection to the community is one of his greatest strengths and vitally important to this Cabinet level position and the unique responsibilities which also include MEMA and Veterans Services.
Having served at the highest levels of the Maine National Guard, I can’t think of another candidate who is more qualified or ready to lead this organization than Colonel Doug Farnham. He is one of the finest military officers I have ever met and has my highest recommendation. I hope you will quickly confirm his appointment to this position.
Robert G. Carmichael, Jr.
Brigadier General, USA Retired
On behalf of Governor LePage, it is my pleasure to present Col. Farnham’s nomination to serve as Maine’s next Adjutant General and Commissioner of the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management. Thank you for your consideration and thank you to the hard working men and women of the Maine Guard and the Department for their professionalism during this time of transition.
I would be happy to answer any questions.