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Cotter earns promotion to Brigadier General

Col. Stephen Cotter, Missouri National Guard Chief of Staff, was promoted to Brigadier General at Rosecrans Air National Guard base, Mo. on July 11, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Crane) (RELEASED)

Col. Stephen Cotter, Missouri National Guard Chief of Staff, was promoted to Brigadier General at Rosecrans Air National Guard base, Mo. on July 11, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Crane) (RELEASED)

Rosecrans ANGB, Mo. --      Standing with his family at his side and in front of hundreds of airmen who have worked alongside him for more than three decades, Stephen Cotter was formally promoted to Brigadier General July 11 in a ceremony at Rosecrans. 

Cotter, the former 139th Airlift Wing commander recently elevated to Chief of Staff for the Missouri Air National Guard, proudly stood while his children pinned the stars on his jacket and his mother and fiancée slid the shoulder boards on his blue shirt. 

Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Danner, the adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, said Gov. Jay Nixon told him to pick "the best and brightest to move the Guard forward," when selecting his leadership team. 

"I feel that's exactly what I'm doing with (Brig. Gen.) Cotter," Danner said.
Danner said researched Cotter before interviewing and selecting him for the job. 

"I got a year's worth of Airscoops and read Col. Cotter's commander's columns," Danner said, before cracking a grin. "And they were pretty good." 

Cotter praised Danner, who is new into the "TAG" position, having been selected earlier this year. 

"He's the real deal," Cotter said. "I think we've accomplished more in the last five months than we have in 25 years." 

As he often has in the past, Cotter praised the people of the 139th Airlift Wing. 

"Thank you for your support and for putting me where I am today," he said to the members in formation. The 139th is the only wing Cotter ever served in, beginning with his commission in the mid 1970s. 

Cotter also thanked the many "mentors" - past and present - who were in the audience. 

"Some good, some not so good," he joked with his typical light sarcasm. 

Cotter said he was very excited about the opportunities ahead working for Danner toward what the TAG called a "purple Guard." 

"All I can do is whatever I can to promote the Missouri National Guard," he said, "and I'm honored to do it."