Shellito to leave top Guard postThe man who led the Minnesota National Guard through its largest post-World War II deployment leaves the job this fall. Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito steps down as state adjutant general Oct. 31.
By: Don Davis, E/P State Capitol Bureau
ST. PAUL -- The man who led the Minnesota National Guard through its largest post-World War II deployment leaves the job this fall.
Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito steps down as state adjutant general Oct. 31. The search for a new Guard leader begins immediately, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said this afternoon.
Shellito said he reaches retirement age, 65, in August and he has not decided what he will do next.
"There have been offers that kind of interest," he said.
Shellito, who has homes in Woodbury and Alexandria, graduated from Moorhead High School and what now is Minnesota State University Moorhead, and when Pawlenty picked him to lead the state's military unit he was Alexandria Technical College president.
He assumed his adjutant general duties on Nov. 3, 2003.
About 2,700 soldiers under Shellito's command soon will head to Iraq and Kuwait for a year to support the drawdown of American troops in that region. Those soldiers leave shortly after more than 1,200 Guardsmen returned home from the region.
Since becoming the state's top military man, Shellito has seen 18,000 Minnesota airmen and soldiers sent overseas. That is the most since World War II.
Shellito's military experience extends back to when he enlisted in the Army in 1968. He was commissioned a second lieutenant the next year and in 1970 went to Vietnam as a senior advisor.
In 1973, he became a Minnesota Army National guard member, where he has remained in many capacities, including several command assignments. Shellito became a brigadier general in 1997.
The general and his wife, Evonne, have been married 32 years. They have two grown daughters and two grandsons.
He received his bachelor's degree at the school then known as Moorhead State University in 1972, and seven years later earned his master's degree in business education. After attending military colleges, he earned his education doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 1998.