Montana’s Adjutant General, General John Walsh (ret.) joins Steve Bullock’s campaign as his Lieutenant Governor running mate.
Walsh, originally from Butte, has served in the Montana National Guard for over three decades, leading the organization since September 2008. He resigned as Adjutant General earlier this year.
General Walsh led the Montana National Guard into Iraq in 2004. Walsh commanded the 750-soldier 1-163rd Infantry Battalion and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his actions. The battalion was awarded the Valorous Unit Citation for outstanding performance in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“Steve and I will be a team, working together to improve schools, help small businesses create jobs, expand opportunities for young Montanans – especially those returning home from serving their country overseas, and make sure we fulfill the promise made to the men and women who wore the uniform of this country,” Walsh said. “I’ve served on many missions – including leading some of the finest men and women this state has to offer into combat. Today, I’m embarking on a new mission. I know it won’t be easy, but the important ones rarely are.”
Walsh is a graduate of Butte High School and studied at Carroll College. He received his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.
General Walsh and his wife Janet, a para-educator, have been married for 27 years and are long-time Helena residents. They have two sons, Michael and Taylor. Michael is married to April Schauer Walsh of Helena, who is graduating from dental school in June.
The Walsh’s oldest son, Michael, a pilot with the Montana National Guard, is currently serving his second tour of duty in Kuwait. Michael has flown Blackhawks in combat in Iraq and most recently fixed-wing aircraft. The Walsh’s younger son Taylor is pursuing an acting career in New York.
Walsh’s Major Awards and Decorations include: Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Badge (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Achievement Medal (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (with 1 Silver Oak Leave Cluster), National Defense Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star), Iraqi Campaign Medal (with 2 Bronze Campaign Stars), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with 1 Silver Hourglass and M Device), Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (with Numeral 2), Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, Army Valorous Unit Award and the Combat Infantryman Badge.