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New commander for the Washington State Guard

Col. Joseph Maassen photo, when serving in the Washington National Guard. Photo credit: Joseph Siemandel

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During state emergencies, the subject matter experts of the Washington State Guard provide critical support to first responders who safeguard lives and property. When the state Guard needed a new commander, the Military Department leadership knew Washington National Guard Lt. Col. (Ret.) Joseph Maassen was the right guy for the job.

"I am humbled and honored to be selected as the commander of the Washington State Guard," said Maassen during his introductory speech during March drill. "I am excited about working with such great volunteer soldiers that are committed to being prepared to help their state and nation."

Maassen, a life-long Washingtonian, graduated from Lake Washington High School in Kirkland before earning a bachelor's degree in political science and government from Seattle University and commissioning through the university's Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Maassen served in the Washington Army National Guard and rose to the rank of Lt. Col. before retiring. He will receive a promotion to the rank of Colonel with the State Guard.

"I am excited to work with you as we prepare to be a part of the statewide response to wildfires and look at the possibility of standing up an Unmanned Aerial System program that will be a force multiplier for the director of joint forces," said Maassen. "With your input, you can let me know if we are on track to effectively accomplish our mission."

The Washington State Guard is an all-volunteer unit organized under the Washington Military Department. The mission of the Washington State Guard is to provide organized units that are equipped and trained in the protection of life or property and the preservation of peace, order and public safety under competent orders of state authorities.

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