The Position of Adjutant General


The Department of Military Affairs shall be attached to the Office of the Governor, have charge of and be responsible to the Governor for the proper functioning of the Kentucky National Guard, militia, and all other military or naval matters of the state

Federal Mission

The National Guard also has a federal mission and at the call of the President of the Untied States can be ordered to active duty as a part of the Armed Forces of the United States as many were during the Persian Gulf War.

According to KRS 36.020 the Governor, immediately on induction into office, shall appoint an Adjutant General.

The Adjutant General commands soldiers and airmen in the Kentucky Army and Air National Guard (full-time and traditional) and serves as the principal military advisor to the Governor. The Adjutant General is also responsible for all other military or naval matters of the state.

The governor is the commander and chief of the Kentucky National Guard and he has the authority to ask the National Guard to carry out state active duty missions such as assisting in snow emergencies or flooding.

Oath of Office

Official Seal of the Adjutant General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Official Seal of the Adjutant General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my ability, the office of The Adjutant General according to law; and I do further solemnly swear (or affirm) that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, nor aided or assisted any person thus offending, so help me God.

Flag of the Adjutant General of Kentucky

Kentucky Flag for Adjutant General prior to federal recognition of rank

This flag of the Adjutant General of Kentucky is the flag authorized for use of the Adjutant General who has not received Federal recognition. Once Federal recognition is awarded the Adjutant General will fly the standard General Officer’s flag. For Army, two stars with red background; if an Air Guard officer, two stars with blue background.

The clasped hands and trumpet vine is the crest of all Kentucky Guard units. All unit colors of the Kentucky Army National Guard depict this crest over the eagle’s head as part of their coat of arms. The symbolism of the hands is derived from the State seal in which two Kentuckians are shown shaking hands. The trumpet vine was the State flower before the goldenrod was adopted. This crest has been used by the Kentucky Army National Guard since 1940, when it was used as a part of the crest of the 38th Division. The two white stars are those of a Major General, the authorized grade for the Adjutant General. The blue field is derived from the State flag and serves to further emphasize the state as the source of the rank rather than the Federal recognition.

Additional Information - AR 840-10 (Flags, Guidons, Streamers, Tabards, and Automobile and Aircraft Plates), para 3-37 (General officers of the Army National Guard whose ranks are not federally recognized).

Adjutant Generals of Kentucky (1774-1824)

Percival Pierce Butler

Percival Pierce Butler
Percival Pierce Butler

Adjutant General of Kentucky: 1793 - 1817.

Born: 4 April 1760, Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Assigned to position: Exact date unknown. Ca. 1792-93. Served under Governor(s): Isaac Shelby, James Garrard (2 Terms), Christopher Greenup, Charles Scott, and Isaac Shelby (2nd Term), George Madison, and Gabriel Slaughter. Died: 9 September 1821, Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky. Buried: Butler Family Cemetery, Butler State Park, Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky.

Detailed Biography of Percival Pierce Butler

Oliver Garnett Waggoner / Waggener

Oliver Waggoner
Oliver Waggoner

Adjutant General of Kentucky: 1817 - 1828.

Born: 3 March 1788, Culpeper County, Virginia. Assigned to position: 19 September 1817. Served under Governor(s): Gabriel Slaughter, John Adair, and Joseph Desha. Died: ca.1873, Hart County, Kentucky. Buried: Unknown. The 1870 Kentucky Census has him living with his brother John (V – 1801-1873). John also died in 1873.


Past and Present Adjutant Generals

The Position of Adjutant General