Earlier today, in a Change of Command Ceremony held at Camp Blanding, located near Starke, Florida, Major General Douglas Burnett made it official.
Major General Douglas Burnett, longtime leader of the Florida National Guard and father of local attorney, Douglas Burnett, Managing Partner of the St. John's Law Group, has retired after 47 years of continuous military service to our Country.
Burnett's most recent duty was as The Adjutant General of Florida and Commander of the Florida National Guard, a position held for nearly nine years, at which time he was the leader of over 12,000 troops.
As Adjutant General, Burnett served as the Governor's senior military advisor and Director of the Florida Department of Military Affairs and was responsible for the training and operations of the Florida National Guard.
"A military command pilot and a commercial airline pilot for over 22 years, Burnett has accumulated over 20,000 flying hours in the T-33, F-102, F-106, C-26, C-130H, C-131, C-54, Boeing 727, and McDonnell-Douglas DC-10. A graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Air War College, his awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Florida Cross", are some of the accomplishments published recently in a press release issued by the Florida Governor's Office.
Another major accomplishment, confirmed by Air Force Officials, is that Burnett currently holds the record as the longest serving Air Force officer.
Burnett grew up in Jacksonville and enlisted in the Florida Air National Guard after high school. He spent six years as a Cold War-era aircraft radio repairman who worked on equipment and aircraft that state military officials said can now probably only be seen in military museums.
He received his commission in 1969 when he completed a business degree at the University of Southern Mississippi. His civilian jobs included working as a commercial pilot for Pan American World Airways and United Airlines.
At the end of today's retirement ceremony, Major General Emmett "Buddy" Titshaw assumed the command, previously held by Burnett.
Editor's Note: Major General Burnett, I am personally grateful for your commitment to our State throughout the years and your long term service to our Country. For that... I salute you!
Written by: Keith Goldstein, Contributing Writer