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Jan-23-2013 17:38printcomments

Dan Hokanson Appointed to Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard

Every now and then the government does something that makes a lot of sense.

Col. Dan Hokanson will succeed Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees as the Adjutant General, Oregon, in the summer of 2013.
Col. Dan Hokanson, in a photo from Camp Adder in Iraq where he was commander of the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, will succeed Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees as the Adjutant General, Oregon, in the summer of 2013.

(SALEM) - Today, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber announced the appointment of Brigadier General Daniel R. Hokanson, a longtime resident of Keizer, Oregon, to succeed Major General Raymond F. Rees as the Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard. He will transition to the position in the summer of 2013.

Dan Hokanson in a C-130 near the
Uzbekistan border photo by: Tim King

I know both men and have been with them in some interesting places. In fact I accompanied both on a trip from Camp Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan, to Mazur-e-Sharif which is where the first American was killed in the war in Afghanistan. In order to reach this place we had to fly a considerable distance, then land and travel overland in a convoy of HUMVEE's to reach this remote base, where General Reese and other general officers on that trip presented medals to soldiers in a semi formal ceremony.

I first met Dan Hokanson when he was Lieutenant Colonel Hokanson - the pilot almost always slated for media flights when I worked at KATU Channel 2 in Portland. I have flown with Dan over Oregon fires, and other news-related occasions like rescue training. One day Dan and his crew dropped me off on an island in the Willamette River along with a rescue dummy, and I was able to shoot the story from a ground view perspective, very interesting stuff. Nothing like having a Blackhawk hovering fifty feet directly over your head, I always say.

Dan Hokanson boarding a C-130 aircraft for
Mazur e Sharif in Afghansitan. Photo: Tim King

As the state explains in a news release, Hokanson founded the National Guard's first Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic and the Military Air Rescue Team program where he commanded approximately 100 air rescue and fire-fighting missions throughout the Pacific Northwest.

General Hokanson graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1986 and served on active duty in Air Cavalry, Attack Helicopter and Aircraft Test organizations prior to joining the Oregon National Guard. He has commanded at company, battalion and brigade combat team levels, as well as an Army Aviation Support Facility. General Hokanson commanded the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Iraq and served as Chief of Staff for Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix in Afghanistan.

What sets Dan Hokanson apart from so many of his contemporaries, is the way that he is equally respected by those above and below him in rank. Many officers who care greatly about their troops and operations get caught up and do not advance in rank as quickly as those who are more aggressive and less sensitive. This man's character simply strikes the perfect balance.

I think this his selection to succeed Major General Rees as the Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard is one of the wisest moves that the state could make.

Col. Dan Hokanson, Tim King and Major Arnold Strong,
all of Oregon, after a rigorous hike to the top of Ghar.

One of my memorable adventures with Dan was climbing the mountain outside of the Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC) known as The Ghar. I actually followed Dan up that mountain, to say the least. Leaving the base to do the climb as zero dark thirty, Dan and a select band of regular Ghar climbers set out first and reached the top long before I did, but I made it, with the urging of another good friend, Arnold Strong of Salem, who was at that time a Major in the Oregon Guard. Arnold, who today is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, offered kindly to help carry my television camera up the mountain but I remained stubborn and insisted on hauling it to the top. However, coming down, Dan Hokanson graciously offered to carry it because we both knew my butt was seriously kicked and coming down takes a lot of effort also.

Carrying my camera down the mountain, that is another example of who Dan Hokanson is. I just can't stress how competent and admired this new Oregon Guard top officer is within the military structure, and I know a few things about the Oregon Guard, having spent time with their units in both Afghanistan and Iraq covering military operations in those countries, and I think leadership is key. It has been good under Raymond Rees, and it will continue under Dan Hokanson's watch.

"I'm pleased that General Hokanson has agreed to lead the Oregon National Guard," said Governor Kitzhaber.

"He brings a keen understanding of the Guard's dual mission to respond to emergencies here at home and serve the nation when called to active duty. I thank General Rees for his longstanding leadership of the Oregon National Guard and know that General Hokanson will continue to be a strong advocate for our Guardsmen and their families."

General Hokanson has been serving as the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) at the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. He holds graduate degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School and the United States Naval War College, and is a graduate of fellowship programs at Harvard University and National Defense University.

Official Biography: http://www.ng.mil/ngbGomo/library/bio/2295.htm

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Tim King in Iraq

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.

Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu

In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.

Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide. You can write to Tim at this address: tim@salem-news.com. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)

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