By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 13, 2021

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A retired three-star Marine Corps general is Gov. Roy Cooper’s choice as North Carolina’s next military and veterans affairs secretary.

Walter Gaskin, who retired from active duty in 2013 as a lieutenant general, will join Cooper’s Cabinet, the governor announced on Wednesday. He’ll succeed former state Rep. Larry Hall, who served as secretary during Cooper’s first term. Hall announced last month he would step down.

Gaskin, whose last duty station was in Belgium as a military adviser for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, served between 2006 and 2008 as commanding officer of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune.

Gaskin had joined the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission in September. He most recently was the CEO of an Indiana-based defense contractor.

Like other Cabinet choices, Gaskin is subject to state Senate confirmation.

Gaskin “understands well the challenges and opportunities faced by active duty military personnel, veterans and their families and he shares my belief that North Carolina should be the most veteran- and military-friendly state in the nation,” Cooper said in a news release.

The department manages state veterans’ nursing homes and cemeteries, and promotes activities to support military installations in North Carolina and the quality of life for current and retired service members.

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