Iraq War veteran, Purple Heart recipient to take over Missouri National Guard


(Photo courtesy of the Governor’s Office

A 26-year Missouri military member will lead a new mission – the state’s 12,000 National Guard soldiers. During a press conference today at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, Gov. Mike Parson announced Col. Levon Cumpton as the next adjutant general.

“We want the Missouri National Guard to be the best in the country – to be held to the highest professional standards, to represent the values of honor, integrity and patriotism,” says Parson.

Cumpton will replace the retiring Maj. Gen. Steve Danner beginning August 2.

“A unique aspect of the military service is that it’s the ultimate team sport. I like it,” says Cumpton. “We must operate as one team to ensure we are successful in a complex world.”

Cumpton says the greatest challenge Missouri’s military organization has is maintaining its competitive edge.

“We will always do that. But to do that, you’ve got to train, fight and win every day,” says Cumpton.

He says the strength of its organization lies with its people.

“The strength of our soldiers and airmen lie with their families,” Cumpton says. “Our families sacrifice so much for the success of our organization and we cannot thank them enough. I want to ensure the family end is never forgotten as we perform our critical mission.”

Both Cumpton and Parson thanked Gen. Danner for leading the soldiers and for Danner’s many years of military service. Danner has served in the top spot since January 2009, including during the Joplin tornado and 2014 protests in Ferguson.

Cumpton earned a Purple Heart from an improvised explosive device situation while serving in Iraq. He has served as a Ranger and in combat, also earning the Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star Medal.

Cumpton has been deployed to Germany, Macedonia, Bosnia and Bosovo. He has also been activated during several Missouri emergency and disaster responses.

Through his service as the CENTCOM operations officer for the National Guard Bureau, Cumpton also gained a high-level understanding of Washington operations, intelligence, and planning.

He grew up on a farm in western Missouri’s Bates County and currently lives with his wife in Jefferson City. They have two children who serve in the military.

Copyright © 2019 · Missourinet

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