PHOENIX – On Thursday, Governor Doug Ducey appointed the first woman to commander of the Arizona National Guard. Brigadier General Kerry L. Muehlenbeck will replace Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire as the new Adjutant General and Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA).
McGuire announced his retirement on March 5, 2021. He served as Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs and Adjutant General since 2013, and will officially retire on April 10, 2021.
“General Muehlenbeck’s impressive military experience and continued leadership are amplified by her legal and teaching background. She joined the Arizona Air National Guard in 1997 and served in many roles until she became Arizona’s Deputy Adjutant General in 2018. I look forward to working with General Muehlenbeck on protecting Arizonans, supporting our communities, and tackling the challenges ahead,” said Ducey.
Muehlenbeck served as the Deputy Adjutant General and the Director of Administrative Services. She was responsible for oversight of: the United States Property and Fiscal Office (USPFO); the State Risk Management Office; State Purchasing and Contracting; the State and Federal Human Resource Offices; the Public Affairs Office; the Office of the Inspector General; the General Counsel, the Tribal Liaison; the Legislative Liaison; the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator; the State Equal Employment Manager; and the Ordnance and Industrial operations within the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs. She also served as the Adjutant General’s delegate.
“I’m proud to have the opportunity to serve our great state as Adjutant General and Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs,” said Muehlenbeck. “Having served and taught for years, I look forward to leading Arizona DEMA and the Arizona National Guard to help protect and support Arizona communities. It is an honor to succeed General McGuire after his years of admirable service, and I’m grateful to Governor Ducey for this tremendous opportunity.”
Muehlenbeck is currently a professor at Mesa Community College’s Administration of Justice Studies Department, where she also serves as Department Chair. She taught at Arizona State University between 2002 and 2014, specializing in crime, criminology, justice and social inquiry. Muehlenbeck was also an adjunct professor for the Criminal Justice Department at American Military University in West Virginia from 2009 to 2013 and for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University from 1995 to 2001.
Prior to teaching, Muehlenbeck served as deputy county attorney at the Pima County Attorney’s Office from 1998 to 2001. In this role, she prosecuted felony offenders in superior court. She also served as an assistant prosecuting attorney for the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office from 1992 to 1993 and Assistant Staff Judge Advocate at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base from 1993 to 1997.