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Parnell names point person for National Guard reforms

  • Author: Jill Burke
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published September 19, 2014

Brig. Gen. Jon K. Mott will lead the effort to restore the Alaska National Guard's confidence in its leadership. Mott's appointment by Gov. Sean Parnell on Friday comes a little more than two weeks after an outside investigation found serious problems within the Guard's senior command.

Findings by the National Guard Bureau's Office of Complex Investigations -- of favoritism, ethical lapses, failures to deal with misconduct, lack of trust among sexual assault and other victims, and fear of retaliation -- resulted in the immediate resignation of Maj. Gen. Thomas Katkus.

Mott, who currently serves as the assistant adjutant general for the Connecticut National Guard, was highly recommended by the National Guard Bureau to head the project team in Alaska. Parnell's press secretary, Sharon Leighow, said he is "known as a man of integrity and is well-respected in the National Guard."

Mott will travel to Alaska next week with legal counsel and an expert in equal employment opportunity issues, according to Leighow. The state's EEO program is among the six areas of focus identified for improvement within the guard. Mott is tasked with leading the special project team assembled by Parnell to implement the OCI's wide-sweeping recommendations for reform.

The full special project team should be in place within a few weeks, Leighow said.

"I appreciate General Mott's willingness to help assemble and lead the team to implement the recommendations in the report, so we restore a more healthy and safe work environment for the men and women of the Guard. They deserve nothing less," Parnell said in a prepared statement Friday. "Guard members have my commitment that we will take all steps necessary to restore trust and confidence in Guard leadership."

Mott is a decorated pilot with a record-setting number of hours in the U.S. Air Force's specialized A-10 "Warthog" fighter jets. He has flown combat missions in support of U.S. efforts during the Bosnian and Kosovo wars and in Iraq. By May 2007, he'd logged more hours than anyone else flying the jets -- more than 4,500 hours -- only to be surpassed the following year by a younger pilot he'd mentored.

Mott assumed his position with the Connecticut guard in 2012, just months after his promotion to brigadier general and after serving as vice commander of the Air National Guard Readiness Center in Maryland.

In his role at the center, Mott ran day-to-operations and assisted the Air National Guard director "in formulating, developing, and coordinating all policies, plans, and programs affecting more than 106,000 Guardsmen in units throughout the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands. He has also worked with congressional members, Department of Defense officials and high-ranking U.S. and foreign dignitaries," according to a story on his promotion by the Air National Guard.

Mott has more than two dozen military awards, including the Legion of Merit, an honor given for "exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements," and the Bronze Star.