RICHMOND, Va. — In his 20th executive order, Gov. Ralph Northam transferred Virginia’s Department of Military (DMA) Affairs from the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs.
With the majority of the budget for the Virginia National Guard coming from federal funds and the need to increase recruitment and retention opportunities, the agency transfer is occurring at a crucial time to meeting end-strength goals, according to Northam’s office.
“The national defense assets that we have in the Commonwealth of Virginia are unmatched by any other state,” said Governor Northam. “The Virginia National Guard is essential to growing our military mission and to protecting these important assets, a charge that is led by the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs.”
The new alignment for DMA under the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs will not reduce DMA’s support for the Commonwealth’s emergency management operations. What will change is the agency that will have administrative oversight.
Realignment is also consistent with the General Assembly’s intent in having the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs serve as the Governor’s defense liaison in support of military activities within the Commonwealth, added Northam’s office.