HomeNewsArticle Display

MTANG Airman promoted to Brigadier General

Helena, Mont. -- Standing before a packed hall of soldiers, airmen, family and friends, Brig. Gen. Ken Switzer was honored in a dual- promotion ceremony at Joint Force Headquarters in Helena on Saturday.
     Bozeman native, General Ken Switzer received his star in December last year and he serves as the chief of staff of the Montana Air National Guard.
     A very humbled and unassuming General Switzer said that he felt very lucky to be able to work with all of the Montana team. "Whether it is airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines, state, local or federal agencies and employees, we all share in the most important mission - which is protecting our state and nation."
     Fighter aircraft command attention with their lightning speed and agility; likewise, General Switzer's military career commands attention for his unwavering love of flying and a dedication and comrade to those he serves.
     A command pilot with more than 4,400 hours, 59 in combat, he has flown the F/A-18 Hornet, F-16 Falcon, T-34 Turbo Mentor, T-2 Buckeye, and the TA-4 Skyhawk. He has also had the very rare opportunity to fly a Russian MiG 29 and a Sukhoi 27. General      Switzer earned his pilot wings from Naval Air Station in Meridian Mississippi.
     General Switzer was federally activated after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and flew combat air patrol missions in support of Operation Noble Eagle from numerous locations throughout the United States. Additionally, he deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Southern Watch enforcing the United Nation's mandated No-Fly Zone over Southern Iraq.
     In 1990, General Switzer earned a spot on the highly competitive and very prestigious Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, more commonly known as the Blue Angels.
     "We had a great mission and I really enjoyed my three years on the Blue Angels Team," said General Switzer. "Everyone was extremely focused and very good natured."
     When the Berlin Wall fell, there was a lot of pressure to get a military demonstration team to Russia and other former Soviet Bloc countries recalls General Switzer. "This was a show of good will and friendship."
     He had the rare opportunity to fly into Russia, Bulgaria and Romania. "It was very interesting getting a chance to fly with each country's air force and get to know the people," said General Switzer. "Most of them were just like us, trying to do their duty and raise a family."
     General Switzer's decision to join the service was as natural as his love for flying. He comes from a strong military family. His deceased father retired as a master sergeant stationed at Malmstrom AFB and his mother retired as a colonel in the Army Reserve in Utah where she now serves as a federal judge. Brother, Doug Switzer, retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Marines, and his uncle, Air Force Lieutenant Hal Henderson was killed in action in Vietnam.
     As chief of staff for the Montana Air National Guard, General Switzer will serve as the primary advisor to the adjutant general and the commanding general.
     "I will be integral in moving the Joint Force Headquarters Montana Team towards fully operational capable status," said General Switzer. "My initial focus will be to continue to mold the joint staff to respond to any contingency, whether it is federal or state, and to incorporate all respective elements of the Montana National Guard."
     General Switzer, along with Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Matthew Quinn, will be part of the dual- promotion ceremony in Helena. This is the first joint promotion ceremony held by the Montana National Guard and the first double brigadier general promotion ceremony.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.