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On February 16, 2018, Governor Matt Bevin appointed Brigadier General Benjamin F. Adams III, Commissioner
of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. Through 40 years in the U.S. Army and Kentucky National Guard, Commissioner Adams has served with honor and distinction, culminating in his position as Commander, Land Component Command, Kentucky Army National Guard and Assistant Adjutant General.
As Assistance Adjutant General, he serves as an advisor to the Adjutant General of Kentucky. He is directly responsible for the Joint Force Headquarters' contingency planning and execution when called to federal active service or for state emergency disasters. He is responsible for providing direction to all elements of the Kentucky Army National Guard for developing and executing concepts, policies, plans and programs in the preparation for and execution of assigned missions.
General Adams received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Mississippi in 1978. He earned a Master’s of Business Administration Degree from Xavier University and Masters of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College. He has commanded at the company, battalion, and brigade level and served as Deputy Commanding General of the United States Aviation Center of Excellence. His significant active duty assignments include tours at the United States Army Aviation Center, Fort Rucker, Alabama, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Army Reserve Personnel Center, Saint Louis, Missouri and the Combined Forces Land Component Command, Kuwait and Baghdad, Iraq. When not serving on federal active duty, General Adams served as a military technician in the Kentucky National Guard as the Commonwealth's State Army Aviation Officer, J1, Army Chief of Staff and Director of the Joint Staff.
He has earned numerous awards and decorations to include the Legion of Merit (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters) and Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters). He is a Master Aviator and is Airborne and Air Assault qualified.
General Adams is a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, and numerous professional organizations. He is a past president of the Kentucky National Guard Association and the Bluegrass Chapter of the Army Aviation Association of America and the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Kentucky National Guard Memorial.
General Adams lives in Lexington with his wife, Shelley, with whom he has four children and three grandchildren.