Press release provided by the state of Minnesota
Today, Aug. 12, Governor Tim Walz announced his appointment of Brigadier General Shawn Manke to serve as Minnesota’s next Adjutant General, filling the vacancy created upon the resignation of Major General Jon A. Jensen, who was recently promoted to Lieutenant General. Jensen assumed his new role as Director of the Army National Guard at a ceremony on August 10.
“In recent months, the Minnesota National Guard has been called to serve our state in unprecedented ways, and we are grateful for General Jensen’s service and steady leadership,” said Governor Walz. “Having served in the Minnesota National Guard for 24 years before becoming Governor, I know General Manke’s experience commanding Soldiers, concern for National Guard members’ well-being, and dedication to public service have prepared him to be an effective Adjutant General. I look forward to working with General Manke to serve the people of Minnesota.”
General Manke, a native of Cambridge, Minnesota, has served in a number of leadership roles in the Minnesota National Guard since 2003. Manke currently serves as the Assistant Division Commander of the 34th Infantry Division based in Rosemount, Minnesota, providing training and readiness oversight for ten National Guard brigades with more than 23,000 Soldiers across Minnesota and eight other states. General Manke also recently served as Chief of Staff at the Joint Force Headquarters, where he was an advisor to the Adjutant General. Prior to that, he served as the Commander of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade (now known as the 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade) leading nearly 1,300 Minnesota Soldiers, and approximately 3,000 Soldiers total. Since joining the Minnesota National Guard, Manke has also served in overseas deployments to Kosovo and Iraq.
“It is a true honor to be named as Minnesota’s next Adjutant General,” said General Manke. “The Minnesota National Guard is a tremendous organization, and I am humbled and eager to lead the great Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen in service to the State of Minnesota, and the United States of America.”
Prior to his service in the Minnesota National Guard, General Manke had a career in the United States Army, being commissioned as an Army aviator in 1991 and serving overseas with the C Company, 6-159th Aviation Regiment in Pirinclik, Turkey, northern Iraq, and in Giebelstadt, Germany. Manke’s military service also includes service at Ft. Rucker, Alabama and Ft. Hood, Texas, before coming back to Minnesota to join the Minnesota National Guard in 2003. He lives in Cambridge with his wife Mary, a teacher. They have two children, Kalie and Lucas, who both serve as Lieutenants in the United States Army.
As the Minnesota National Guard continues to support missions abroad, they have also been mobilized for domestic missions here in Minnesota. Since March, hundreds of guardsmen have served in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing logistics, planning, and transportation missions, as well as assisting with the state’s testing response. In recent months, thousands of members of the Minnesota National Guard were mobilized in response to the civil unrest following the tragic death of George Floyd.
The Governor is the Commander-in-Chief of the Minnesota National Guard, and the Adjutant General serves for a term of seven years and is appointed by the Governor. The Adjutant General is a member of the Governor’s cabinet and head of the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs, and is the top commander of the Minnesota Air and Army National Guard Forces.