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Governor names new Indiana National Guard leader

Colonel R. Dale Lyles is 32-year military veteran
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Posted at 2:40 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 14:40:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS-- Governor Eric Holcomb has selected a new adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard.

Colonel R. Dale Lyles will take over the role on October 1.

Most recently, Lyles has served as the deputy chief of staff for operations at the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C.

“I am confident that Colonel Lyles has the proven leadership skills, ethical character and practical know-how to lead the Indiana National Guard,” Gov. Holcomb said. “His vision for the Guard will create a culture of safety, success and
stability that is critical for the defense of Indiana.”

Lyles has served most of his 32-years in the military in Indiana, according to the governor’s office. He replaces Major General Courtney Carr, who stepped down in August at the request of Holcomb.

Carr is facing a lawsuit from a former Indiana National Guard contractor, Shari McLaughlin, alleging Carr had an affair with a subordinate, and when McLaughlin spoke out, she was subjected to intimidation and retaliation.

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“After reviewing the lawsuit and being briefed by my team, I felt it was in the best interest of the state and for himself that he resign and I am grateful that he took that recommendation to heart and made the decision to do so,” Holcomb said in August.

The governor is the commander of the Indiana National Guard during times of peace.

Colonel Lyles was deployed to Bosnia shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in support of Operation Joint Forge.

He also served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lyles will be promoted to the rank of brigadier general.

As the deputy chief of staff for operations at the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., Lyles focused on the operations training and readiness for the Army National Guard.

“During his time in Indiana, he served as the director of Atterbury Muscatatuck operations, commander of the 219th Engineer Brigade and commander of Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, among many other assignments. Lyles earned the Legion of Merit and a Bronze Star Medal, among numerous other military awards and decorations,” read a release from the governor’s office. “As Indiana continues to strengthen its defense strategy, Lyles will partner with Major General Omer C. (Clif) Tooley Jr. at the Indiana Office of Defense Development [calendar.in.gov] under the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to further grow Indiana’s defense sectors.”

During times of national emergency, National Guard members may be called into active federal service by the President of the United States.

In its state role, the National Guard helps local law enforcement agencies during emergencies at the direction of the governor.

Holcomb told Call 6 Investigates last month he wanted to choose the right leader for the agency. “We are going to take our time and get it right,” Holcomb said in August. “We want to make sure that any and all matters at the Indiana National Guard are addressed. We are under no timeline.”

Brigadier General Timothy Winslow has served as the interim leader.

Call 6 Investigates asked Holcomb whether his office or any state entity was looking into the allegations of retaliation and affairs among higher-ups within the Indiana National Guard.

“I can’t comment on the ongoing lawsuit,” Holcomb said. “I asked for his resignation, he took me up on that, and I am pleased about that. All the other affairs, you will have to direct toward the folks that are involved in that lawsuit.”

The Indiana Attorney General’s office represents current and former state employees, including Carr.

A spokesperson said the AG’s office will respond to the allegations against Carr in court at the appropriate time.