139th News

Gov. Nixon appoints a new adjutant general

  • Published
  • By Governor's Transition Office
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon today appointed Col. Stephen L. Danner, of Hollister, to the position of adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard.

As adjutant general, Danner will hold the rank of brigadier general and will oversee the operations of the Army and Air National Guard units assigned to the state by the federal government.

"When disaster strikes, Missourians count on the National Guard to be ready to respond," Gov. Nixon said. "Steve Danner has the training, experience and leadership skills to ensure that the Guard performs at the highest level whenever duty calls. Having served overseas, Steve also understands the obligations we have to our returning veterans and their families. Throughout his long career, Steve has shown that he is a dedicated, loyal and professional citizen-soldier, and he will make an excellent Adjutant General."

"For almost 30 years, I have proudly served in the Missouri National Guard, and I firmly believe in our mission of protecting both our state and our country in times of emergency," Danner said. "I am honored to have this opportunity to continue to serve our state under Gov. Nixon's leadership. I appreciate the confidence Gov. Nixon has shown in me, and I look forward to working closely with our Commander in Chief to make sure that our state is prepared for any challenges we might face in the years to come."

Danner has served in the military for more than 30 years, first enlisting as a combat engineer in 1972 and continuing on active duty through 1974. Danner joined the Judge Advocate General's Corps in 1981, and his assignments have included tours with the 35th Engineer Brigade, the 135th Field Artillery Brigade, U.S. Army Headquarters-Europe and Staff Headquarters-Missouri Army National Guard.

Danner served as deputy chief of staff of the Missouri National Guard from 1998 to 2000; as the commander of the 140th Regiment at Fort Leonard Wood from 2002 to 2004; and as assistant adjutant general from 2004 to 2005. From 2005 to 2007, he was activated in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, during which he served as command judge advocate with the 35th Area Support Group in Balad, Iraq.

Upon his return from Iraq, Danner was named the state's staff judge advocate, with responsibility for serving as special staff legal counsel to the adjutant general and overseeing about 25 attorneys and legal assistants. Throughout his career, Col. Danner has received several military awards, including the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal and the National Defense Medal with Two Bronze Service Stars.

In addition to his service with the National Guard, Danner has held a variety of positions in both the public and private sectors. He served in the Missouri State House of Representatives from 1982 to 1987 and in the State Senate from 1990 to 1994. From 1980 to 1982, he was legal counsel to the speaker of the Missouri State House of Representatives, and from 1989 to 1990, he served as deputy lieutenant governor and chief of staff to then-Lt. Gov. Mel Carnahan. Danner also has served an administrative law judge for the Missouri Department of Transportation and was city attorney in Chillicothe. He continues to practice law and operates a construction and management company that has employed as many as 146 individuals.

Danner earned his bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1977 and his juris doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in 1980. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He also received a Masters in Strategic Studies from the Army War College in 2004.

Danner, 55, has four children and one grandchild and resides with his wife, Kathleen Steele Danner, in Hollister.

Approximately 11,000 men and women serve in Army and Air National Guard units in about 65 communities across Missouri. On the state level, the Guard's role is to respond in times of disaster and emergency. The Guard also routinely deploys its forces worldwide in support of the Army and Air Force. The governor appoints the adjutant general with the advice and consent of the state senate.

Source: Governor's Transition Office