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220513-O-QS269-1384 - Vaughn R. Larson
Brig. Gen. Matthew Strub speaks during a formal promotion ceremony May 13 in the Senate Chamber of the Wisconsin State Capitol building. Strub, a 35-year military veteran who most recently served as Wisconsin Army National Guard chief of staff, will begin duties as Wisconsin’s deputy adjutant general for Army. He follows Brig. Gen. Joane Mathews as the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s senior officer. Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs photo by Vaughn R. Larson

Since last May, Brig. Gen. Matthew Strub has been Wisconsin’s deputy adjutant general for Army, responsible for the readiness and training of the approximately 7,000 members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

Next month he adds a new responsibility — deputy commanding general for the National Guard at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Alabama. While the Wisconsin Army National Guard remains his primary responsibility, soon he will advocate for the entire National Guard in aviation matters.

“I’m excited about helping ensure that as the Army changes for the future, as the future vertical lift comes on board, National Guard equities are included in the conversation,” Strub said. “With the mission going from brigade-centric to large-scale combat operations, how we train and how we fight is on the table and up for discussion.

“I’m going to be there in that room for the National Guard as Army aviation changes for the future.”

Strub said the Army is expected to begin fielding the next generation of vertical lift aircraft perhaps as soon as 2030. In December 2022 the U.S. Army selected the Bell V-280 Valor, an advanced tiltrotor aircraft, as the replacement for the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

“They carry more people, they go faster,” Strub said. But the Valor will not replace the Black Hawk one-for one — fewer Valor tiltrotor aircraft will be expected to manage the same workload.

“So as that changes, the number of people we need changes,” Strub explained. “Our position for the Guard is equal and concurrent fielding, so that will change what states get it. That discussion’s going to be very challenging, and political.”

In order for the National Guard and Army Reserve to continue to function as strategic reserves for the active Army, new equipment fielding has to occur across the three components in an equitable manner. More than a decade ago, the Wisconsin Army National Guard benefitted from this practice when the Madison-based 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment was the first National Guard unit to field the UH-60 Mike model Black Hawk, and only the second in the Army.

“I hope I can advocate for the Guard and, really, advocate for our nation,” Strub said. “By doing it together, it’s the best thing for everybody.”

Strub’s new role, often referred to as a “dual-hat” responsibility, will last for two years and require about 60 days per year. He is not the first deputy adjutant general in Wisconsin to be assigned a dual-hat role. In 2009, Brig. Gen. Mark Anderson served as deputy commanding general for the Army National Guard at the Field Artillery Center in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and also in 2015 as the special assistant for diversity to the chief of the National Guard Bureau. In 2012, Brig. Gen. John McCoy served as the assistant to the commander of the 24th Air Force, Air Force Space Command. Additionally, in 2014 Brig. Gen. Ken Koon, assistant adjutant general for readiness and training, also served as deputy commanding general for Training Support Division (West) for First Army at Fort Carson, Colorado.

Strub was selected and assigned for this dual-hat role by Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, director of the Army National Guard.

“They looked at my background experience and selected me, and I just feel honored,” Strub said.

Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, noted that this is a huge honor, both for Brig. Gen. Strub and also for the Wisconsin National Guard.

“It reflects the caliber of officers we have working for the state of Wisconsin,” Knapp said. “I know Brig. Gen. Strub will do a fantastic job, as he has been doing already as Wisconsin’s deputy adjutant general for Army.”

Strub began his military career in 1986 by enlisting in the U.S. Army Reserve as a helicopter mechanic. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1990 and joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard in 1995. He has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and also responded to domestic operations in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina as well as North Dakota for the Red River floods. He commanded the Wisconsin Army National Guard flight facilities in Madison and West Bend, and also served as the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s deputy chief of staff for aviation and safety.

Strub said the relationships he developed over the course of his career make him “uniquely suited to fill this role and understand the complexity of each of these components. This is about making sure that not just the Wisconsin National Guard but the entire National Guard grows and matures as the future of the force with active duty.”