He's well known to Vermonters, especially military families, the leader of nearly 4,000 Green Mountain Boys.
Maj. Gen. Michael Dubie has been Vermont's senior guard leader for the past five years. Now he's getting a major national promotion. He's set to become deputy commander of Northern Command in Colorado, which was established after the Sept. 11 terror attacks to help protect the United States. It's known as NORTHCOM.
"They're primarily responsible for three main areas: homeland defense, civil support and disaster relief," explained retired Col. Stephen Pomeroy of Norwich University.
The news was celebrated at Dubie's alma mater, Norwich University, where he got his master's degree in international relations.
"It's good news for Vermont," Pomeroy said.
Dubie has overseen massive deployments of Vermont soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan-- the largest call up since World War II-- and the transformation of the Army Guard's mission. Under Dubie's watch the Vermont Air Guard is being considered for the next generation F-35 fighter jet. Now his focus will be on national security elsewhere in a top U.S. post. There are only nine deputy commanders in the country.
"Their area of responsibility is North America, continental U.S., Hawaii, Alaska and the coastal waters," Pomeroy said.
The elite position at NORTHCOM has only ever been filled by a National Guard leader once before.
"A lot of the forces that are going to respond to a national emergency or disaster will be local Guard forces and having a guardsman deal with local forces really makes sense," Pomeroy said.
Dubie's nomination must be approved by the U.S. Senate. He'd then become a lieutenant general and transfer to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. That is expected to happen.
Gen. Dubie said he's extremely humbled by the nomination, but won't speak about it until it's confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
It's not clear when he'd step down as adjutant general in Vermont. But when he does, Brigadier General Thomas Drew will be named in the interim until the Legislature comes back in January to vote on General Dubie's replacement.
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