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Indiana National Guard’s top officer to retire in May

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(Oct. 21, 2014) – The top officer for the Indiana National Guard will retire next May after serving in the Guard for more than four decades.

Adjutant General R. Martin Umbarger posted a brief letter on the National Guard’s website saying that he’d informed Gov. Mike Pence of his intention to step down.

Umbarger was appointed adjutant general in 2004, and he’s served in the post since then. Umbarger wrote that it’s time to pass the “colors of leadership” to the next generation.

He called it a “very happy day as I reflect on the honor of serving with the best men and women of our nation.”

Here’s the letter:

Dear Soldiers, Airmen, state employees, contractors, retirees and our families,

Yesterday evening Rowana and I met with Governor Mike Pence and informed him of my intent to retire next May after 45 years of service in the Indiana National Guard.

It has been my highest honor and privilege to have served as your Adjutant General.

There comes a time in everyones life and career to pass the “colors of leadership” onto the next generation. This is not a sad day but a very happy day as I reflect on the honor of serving with the best men and women of our nation.

God bless all of you and your families. Proud to Serve!

Very respectfully,

Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger

Pence released the following statement Tuesday thanking Umbarger for his service:

“With nearly five decades of service to the Indiana National Guard, Adjutant General R. Martin Umbarger is a patriot and true public servant to the people of Indiana. His leadership and insight have been invaluable to the Guard, our state, and this great nation, and I believe him to be a Hoosier hero in every sense of the word. In the months to come, I will work with him to transition to new leadership of our Indiana National Guard, the fourth largest in the nation. On behalf of all Hoosiers, the First Lady and I wish him, his wife Rowana, and his family the best upon his retirement in May.”