Timmons takes on National Guard’s mission


Delaware National Guard Adjutant Gen. Carol Timmons with Gov. John Carney. (Special to the Delaware State News (Gary Emeigh)

DOVER — There’s nothing dated about how Adjutant General Carol A. Timmons describes the Delaware National Guard roots in the nation’s history.

Two-thirds of its members are part-timers, fulfilling their duties when called upon. It’s been that way for over two centuries and still quite relevant.

“It may sound a bit corny, but the purpose is to continue the great legacy of militia and how this country was founded,” she said.

“People step up to meet the needs of our nation. When you don’t have a standing Army that could be of much larger size, you have the National Guard and Reserves to take on certain responsibilities that the country needs.”

Carol Timmons

Brig. Gen. Timmons has risen through the ranks for roughly 40 years, ascending to replace retiring Lt. Gen. Francis D. Vavala in February.

“His vision is my vision, which is the only reason I took the job,” Brig. Gen. Timmons said last week.

“He really took the Air National Guard and Army National Guard and created a joint service. Our synergy allows us to utilize the strengths of the Army and Air Force, who are on different missions, with different cultures as a joint task force.”

According to Brig. Gen. Timmons, her predecessor “left me a gem, a prize. My goal is to continue to let it grow and mature.”

While the National Guard is steeped in tradition, it’s also moved toward inclusion to not overlook the talents and passion of any citizen who didn’t fit previous personal profiles.

That’s personified by the 59-year-old Brig. Gen. Timmons, the Delaware National Guard’s first female commander who has been with her wife Dr. Lynn Wass for 30 years.

At age 5, she dreamed of becoming a pilot and cleared any and all hurdles to become just that for both the Army and Air Force, along with flying commercially.

Her introduction to flying a C-130 in 1978 confirmed “This is what I want to do. I can’t explain why that is, but it’s a very true passion.

“I just enjoy getting in an airplane and being very mission oriented.”

Brig. Gen. Timmons served in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Joint Guard, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. A Bronze Star award in 2008 resulted from her leadership while commanding a combat deployment to Afghanistan.

Yes, she is an example of just how important diversity can be.

This is the same person who became the first woman to umpire Little League baseball games in her New Castle home as a teenager.

“I think it’s critical to talk about because there is still a cultural impact in high school about what young ladies can do and how they can lead,” she said.

“Some barriers still exist so there remains great need to talk about the importance of being more open to acceptance for all.”

When announcing his decision — confirmed by the Delaware Senate — to promote Brig. Gen. Timmons, Gov. John Carney said she “is the right person to take on the vitally important tasks of leading our Guardsmen, and making the right decisions for the future of the Delaware National Guard.”

Taking the lead for the National Guard, the Adjutant General wants to work with the governor and Office of Management and Budget to “look at where to take incremental cuts to be good stewards of the taxpayers money.”

Facebook Comment