MADISON, Wis. --
Gov. Scott Walker formally promoted Col. Gary Ebben to the rank of brigadier general during a Dec. 5 ceremony in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol in Madison, Wis.
Ebben, of Sun Praire, Wis., is the Assistant Adjutant General for Air. He has served more than three decades in the Wisconsin Air National Guard, enlisting as an air operations specialist with the 176th Tactical Air Support Squadron in Madison. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1982, and performed a variety of assignments - most recently as commander of Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center.
"As good as Col. Ebben's career has been, we you don't promote based on past performance," remarked Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin. "Promotions are about potential - it's about what we believe you can contribute going forward. We are promoting Col. Ebben to brigadier general because of his potential to lead the Wisconsin Air National Guard forward to an even higher level than it is today."
Walker echoed Dunbar's comments.
"We appreciate your more than three decades of service," the governor said, "and we appreciate your being willing to take on a new challenge."
Ebben noted that he was surrounded by people who had influenced his life, and thanked Walker and Dunbar for "this tremendous opportunity." He also thanked his wife Tina and sons Jace, Zach and Tanner, who took part in the pinning ceremony. His six older siblings in attendance also received thanks for their influence.
"If it was not for Dale, this would never have happened," Ebben said of his oldest brother. "He is the reason I joined the Wisconsin Air National Guard. Dale joined the Wisconsin Air National Guard in 1964, served a full career and retired. I'm proud to say that, between the two of us, we have more than 50 years in the Wisconsin Air National Guard."
His brother Dean enlisted in the Air Force at age 17 and served as a crew chief in Vietnam.
Ebben extended thanks to Brig. Gen. John McCoy, the Wisconsin Air National Guard's chief of staff and former holder of Ebben's new title. Ebben also singled out retired Maj. Gen. Fred Sloan, also a former Assistant Adjutant General for Air and assistant to the commander of the Air Combat Command, for special praise.
"There is nobody else in the room from the military that has had more of an influence on me than Gen. Sloan," Ebben said.
In his new role, Ebben is responsible to the adjutant general for all aspects of the Wisconsin Air National Guard's mission performance.
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