BRIGADIER GENERAL SANDRA L. BEST
Brig Gen. Sandra L. Best serves militarily as the Chief of Staff, Minnesota Air National Guard, and full-time as the Deputy Adjutant General for the Minnesota National Guard. She advises and assists the Adjutant General on providing guidance, leadership, support, and oversight to the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs where she builds and maintains strategic partnerships with state and federal interagency organizations. She represents the Adjutant General for state and government matters as the designated Deputy Commissioner. General Best also directs, coordinates, and supervises the activities of the Minnesota Joint Force Headquarters Air staff and manages programs in accordance with the Adjutant General’s intent and established polices.
General Best enlisted into the Minnesota Air National Guard in 1984 and commissioned in 1991. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University, and a Master of Business Administration from University of St Thomas. General Best has honorably served 37 years in a broad variety of positions. Her assignment locations include Saint Paul, MN, Bagram, Afghanistan, and Washington DC. General Best served as The Interim Adjutant General during the 2020 transition in leadership. Prior to her current assignment, she served as Special Assistant to the Chief, National Guard Bureau for Diversity, where she advised and assisted leaders across the 54 states and territories in institutionalizing diversity and inclusion in order to attract, recruit, and retain a quality, inclusive, and equitable work force that reflects the communities the National Guard serves.
1988 Associate of Applied Science in Human Resource Management, Community College of the Air Force, Montgomery, Ala.
1988 Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management, Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul, Minn.
2000 Master of Business Administration, University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, Minn.
2008 Air War College, by correspondence
2015 General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2015 National Security Policy Studies, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2018 National Security Studies Management Course, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.
2018 Senior Leader Orientation Course; Joint Base Andrews, Md. & Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
2020 Continuous Process Improvement for Executives (CPIE), San Antonio, TX
1. January 1991 - September 1994, Military Equal Opportunity Officer, 133rd Airlift Wing, Saint Paul, Minn.
2. October 1994 - May 2001, Personnel Officer, 133rd Mission Support Flight, Saint Paul, Minn.
3. May 2001 - December 2002, Executive Support Officer, 133rd Airlift Wing, Saint Paul, Minn.
4. December 2002 - January 2005, Military Personnel Management Officer, Joint Force Headquarters, Saint Paul, Minn.; dual hatted, Jun 2004 - Jan 2005 Interim Deputy Chief of Staff (Air), Joint Force Headquarters, Saint Paul, Minn.
5. January 2005 - February 2006, Lead Operational Readiness Inspection Planner, 133rd Airlift Wing, Saint Paul, Minn.
6. February 2006 - March 2008, Operations Officer, 133rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, Saint Paul, Minn.
7. March 2008 - March 2011, Commander, 133rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, Saint Paul, Minn.; deployment, Sep 2008 - Mar 2009, Force Rotations Chief, Combined Joint Task Force 101, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
8. March 2011 - August 2014, Director of Government Relations, Joint Force Headquarters, Saint Paul, Minn.; deployment, Jun 2014 - Jul 2014 Senior Training Coordinator, Norwegian Exchange 41, Norway
9. September 2014 - February 2016, Commander, 133rd Mission Support Group, Saint Paul, Minn.; dual hatted, Sep 2014 - Feb 2016 Director of Strategic Relations, Joint Force Headquarters, Saint Paul, Minn.
10. February 2016 - August 2019, Chief of Staff (Air), Joint Force Headquarters, Saint Paul, MN.
11. April 2019 - August 2019, Special Assistant to the Chief, National Guard Bureau, for Diversity, Washington, DC
12. September 2019 - March 2021, Special Assistant to the Chief, National Guard Bureau, for Diversity and Inclusion, Washington, DC
13. August 2020 - August 2020, The Adjutant General, Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
14. March 2021 - Present, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters - Minnesota, St Paul, Minn.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with five oak leaf clusters
Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Services Medal with five oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with gold star
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border
Air Force Longevity Service with four oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with gold hour glass, 'M' device and numeral two
United States Air Force Non Commissioned Officer Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Rifle)
Air Force Training Ribbon
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS & AFFLIATIONS
Air Force Association
American Legion Post 491
Association of the United States Army
American Veterans Post 24
Metropolitan State University Alumni Board of Directors
Military Officers Association of America
National Guard Association of the United States (Life Member)
Reserve Officers Association
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9024
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Feb. 14, 1991
First Lieutenant Feb. 20, 1993
Captain Feb. 27, 1995
Major March 20, 1999
Lieutenant Colonel May 18, 2003
Colonel May 24, 2012
Brigadier General Feb. 1, 2016
(Current as of March 2021)