43rd Adjutant General of Colorado National Guard takes command at ceremony

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Elena O'Bryan
  • JFHQ-Colorado

Gov. John Hickenlooper will oversee the transfer of the Colorado National Guard colors to U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael A. Loh from retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards at a change of command ceremony at Buckley Air Force Base, May 5, at 3 p.m.


Hickenlooper appointed Loh as the Executive Director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs effective April 10.  Loh is a member of the Governor's Cabinet. 


"Colorado is fortunate to have an officer like Major General Loh whose distinguished service speaks to the kind of leader he will be as Adjutant General," Hickenlooper said during his announcement of Loh's appointment. "He will ensure that Coloradans and the nation are protected both at home and abroad. Major General Loh brings the kind of experience that makes all of Colorado proud."


"I am honored to serve as The Adjutant General of Colorado," Loh said at the time of his appointment.  "I am committed to ensuring that our Colorado National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are ready for our federal and state missions.  I will continue to support our military families and to serve and honor the 400,000 veterans who call Colorado home."


Loh is a 1984 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.  He served seven years on active duty as an F-16A/C instructor and strike pilot with U.S. Air Forces in Europe and as an Instructor Pilot in the F-16C at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.   He joined the Colorado Air National Guard in 1991 and has held command, staff, and supervisory positions including assistant adjutant general of Colorado for air/space, Air National Guard council chairman, group commander, and squadron commander.  He deployed multiple times to both the Pacific and Central Command regions and commanded combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Provide Comfort II.  He also served as the National Guard assistant to the chief of staff, U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., and to the commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs.

Loh is a command pilot with more than 3,200 flight hours including 2,900 hours and 128 combat flight hours in F-16A/B/C/D fighters.


The DMVA consists of the Colorado National Guard, Division of Veterans Affairs, and Colorado Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, totaling more than 6,700 Soldiers, Airmen, state employees, and volunteers.  The DMVA works to support the National Guard to mobilize for overseas contingency operations, coordinates National Guard disaster response in Colorado and the region, supports the missions of the Civil Air Patrol and provides services to our veterans to receive the federal benefits that they deserve. Loh is also responsible for supporting State Partnerships with Slovenia and Jordan and a strategic partnership with Israel's Home Front Command.     


Edwards has served as adjutant general since 2007.


The change of command ceremony will take place at the Chief Warrant Officer 5 David R. Carter Army Aviation Support Facility, BAFB.


The change of command ceremony is a time-honored military tradition that emphasizes the continuity of leadership and unit identity despite changes in individual authority.  With the transfer of colors goes the transfer of responsibility. 


The custom of acknowledging a change in command, in a formal ceremony, is rooted in military history as early as Roman times.  At that time, organizational flags, standards and guidons had color arrangements and symbols particular to units.   Historically, the flag or colors of a unit served as the point around which the Soldiers of the organization rallied as they moved forward into battle. The colors have traditionally been at the side of the commander and were carried forward even when the commander fell in combat.