Oklahoma City, Okla. (Dec. 14, 2018) – Governor-elect Kevin Stitt announced today the re-appointment of Major General (MG) Michael Thompson as Adjutant General of Oklahoma and Commissioner Rusty Rhoades as Oklahoma Commissioner of Public Safety.
“I am pleased to announce the re-appointment of GM Michael Thompson as the Adjutant General and Commissioner Rusty Rhoades as the Commissioner of Public Safety,” said Stitt. “Both are deeply committed to the safety and protection of the state and people of Oklahoma, highlighted by their impressive depth of experience and passion to serve.”
MG Michael C. Thompson was first appointed as the Adjutant General in November 2017. In this function, he serves as the top military advisor to the governor and commands the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard. MG Thompson was commissioned in 1986 through the Oklahoma Military Department Officer Candidate School in Oklahoma City. In previous assignments for the Oklahoma Army National Guard, he has served as Assistant Adjutant General, Land Component Commander, Chief of Staff, and Commander of the 90th Troop Command. MG Thompson has commanded at the company, battalion and brigade levels. Prior to receiving his commission, MG Thompson served two and a half years as an enlisted soldier in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.
“Mike is a wonderful choice. He’s got the heart, spirit, and soul of a warrior, and he has proven time and time again his willingness to serve unselfishly. I cannot instill enough emphasis on the fact that his family is a dedicated family of the military. Both of his sons have served, and his wife Debbie is a marvelous woman to represent the guard. I think he is a wonderful choice.”
— Myles Deering, Major General (RET); former Adjutant General of the State of Oklahoma; current secretary of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs
“Congratulations to Governor-Elect Stitt on this announcement. GM Thompson is a highly respected, extremely ethical, and very experienced leader. He will continue to do great things for the National Guard and the state of Oklahoma.”
–Bud Wyatt, Lieutenant General (RET); former Adjutant General of the State of Oklahoma
Rusty Rhoades was first appointed the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety on Nov. 14, 2017. He has served with the Department of Public Safety for 29 years in a diverse array of assignments. His previous roles include: Oklahoma Capitol Patrolman at the Governor’s Mansion (1989), Highway Patrolman Troop L (1991), Highway Patrolman Troop A (1993), security detail for Governor David Walter’s (1994), member of the FBI Gang and Violent Crimes Task Force (1998), member of OHP Special Operations Division (2000), member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (2001), responsible for the Oklahoma Homeland Security Office “Critical Infrastructure Protection Initiative,” Highway Patrolman Troop R at the State Capitol (2003), Troop Commander of Troop R (2005),Legislative Liaison for the Department of Security (2006), and Zone commander (2009). Rhoades was promoted to Lieutenant in 2003, captain in 2005, and major in 2009. He is a graduate of the 46th Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy, class of 1991, and a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Class 230 in 2007.
“The Oklahoma State Troopers Association wholeheartedly support the decision to retain Rusty Rhoades as the Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. Commissioner Rhoades is a consummate professional who has served the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the State of Oklahoma for over 27 years. Morale among the Troopers and the OHP, in my opinion, has never been higher, and much of the credit goes to Commissioner Rhoades and Chief Harrell. Oklahoma is lucky to have Commissioner Rhoades serving in such an important role.”
–Trp. Keith A. Barenberg #415, president at Oklahoma State Troopers Association
“Rusty Rhoades is another high-caliber appointment from Governor-elect Kevin Stitt. I’ve known and worked alongside Commissioner Rhoades for the last eight years. He’s proven himself to be a man of integrity with a deep commitment and understanding of public safety issues. He’s been a great leader for the Department of Public Safety and will do a great job in guiding the agency forward. I look forward to continuing to work with Commissioner Rhoades on keeping our communities and our state safe.”
–Senator David Kim, incoming Majority Floor Leader of the Oklahoma Senate
“I want to commend our Governor-elect Stitt for his wisdom in re-appointing Commissioner Rusty Rhoades as his Commissioner of Public Safety! I have known Rusty for over 20 years dating back to his trooper days and as commander of Troop R. As Chief Justice I worked closely with Troop R in dealing with overall security of the State Capitol Building. Commissioner Rhoades has the respect of all the Troopers and civilian employees at the Department of Public Safety, and I am certain that they would all concur with me in Governor Stitt’s wise decision. The overall morale at DPS is the highest it’s been in years!”
–Justice Joseph M. Watt, Retired