Brig. Gen. Michael Venerdi was installed as the 38th Kansas adjutant general in a Transfer of Authority ceremony April 1 on the south steps of the Kansas Statehouse. Venerdi succeeds Maj. Gen. David Weishaar, who retired after 42 years of military service.
As commander in chief of the Kansas National Guard, Gov. Laura Kelly presided over the ceremony. Kelly noted that, during his military career, Weishaar had held every enlisted rank from airman basic to senior master sergeant and every officer rank up to major general.
“The fact that he holds these honors is a testament to his sense of duty, his values and his patriotism,” said Kelly.
“To Brigadier General Venerdi, I’m so glad you answered the call to lead,” said Kelly. “I’m confident you will carry on the fine traditions of the Kansas National Guard in your new role as adjutant general.”
During his remarks, Weishaar recapped the challenges the Adjutant Generals’ Department faced during his tenure.
“Our department... has continued to demonstrate unwavering commitment as our service members have deployed both domestically and abroad as our civilian employees mobilized in the wake of many disasters that have impacted our state. Our team has responded to or coordinated efforts to respond to floods, fires, tornadoes, ice storms, extreme cold weather, pandemic, civil unrest... this list continues to go on.”
Weishaar also expressed his confidence in Venerdi’s leadership.
“I know he is a leader of action, he is confident, he is capable, he is ready for this job,” said Weishaar. “The bottom line: You’re going to be in great hands with General Venerdi.”
As part of the ceremony, Kelly presented Weishaar with the Distinguished Service Medal and Kansas Medal of Excellence. Weishaar also received a traditional 13-gun cannon salute fired by Soldiers of the 130th Field Artillery Brigade and a final hand salute by personnel of the Kansas National Guard and Kansas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.
Following the passing of the command flag, Venerdi was welcomed as the new adjutant general with a pass in review by Soldiers and Airmen of the Kansas National Guard and members of the Kansas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.
“Governor Kelly, I want to thank you for the trust and confidence you have placed in me by selecting me as the 38th adjutant general for the state of Kansas,” said Venerdi. “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the Adjutant General’s Department, the citizens of Kansas and our great nation.”
Teamwork was a major theme of Venerdi’s address to the people under his new command.
“Team, I stand ready to be your next adjutant general,” said Venerdi. “Let’s get to work.”