By Senior Master Sgt. Jerry R. Bynum
Air National Guard Special Staff
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (1/29/13 ) - Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, Air National Guard director, retired after more than 40 years of military service during a ceremony Tuesday hosted by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin here.
The Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the Air Force chief of staff; Army Gen. Frank J. Grass, the chief of the National Guard Bureau; Master Sergeant of the Air Force Chief Master Sgt. James A. Cody and other dignitaries attended.
Wyatt was awarded the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility. The award recognized his leadership, professionalism, initiative, dedication, and an devotion to the welfare of service members, civilians, and their families. As the director, Wyatt propelled the Air Guard through a pivotal transition and adaptation of policy and processes, and provided strategic direction for the ANG.
Wyatt's wife, Nancy Wyatt, was presented with the Exceptional Service Award for her work with military spouses, Airman and their families. The award recognized her activism on behalf of military families. Nancy Wyatt was instrumental in communicating initiatives on behalf of Dr. Jill Biden and first lady Michelle Obama to take care of those who cared for wounded warriors. Nancy Wyatt reinvigorated a national family support program at senior National Guard levels revitalizing family support initiatives directly benefiting nearly 500,000 Guardsman.
Wyatt, an Oklahoma Air National Guardsman, had served as director since Feb. 1, 2009. He was responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans, and programs affecting more than 106,700 ANG members in 89 wings and more than 200 geographically separated units throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
Wyatt entered the Air Force in 1971 and completed undergraduate pilot training at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, in 1973. He was a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours in a variety of aircrafts to include: A-7 Corsair II, C-26 Metroliner, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-100 Super Sabre, F-106 Delta Dart, T-33 Shooting Star, T-37 Tweet and T-38 Talon. Before assuming his position as the ANG director, Wyatt served as the Adjutant General of Oklahoma, where he was responsible for commanding the Oklahoma Air and Army National Guard.
Following Wyatt's departure, Air Force Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, the commander of the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, 1st Air Force, is scheduled to assume the top leadership role in the Air Guard in late February.