Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma Governor-elect Mary Fallin today named retired Major General Rita Aragon as her next secretary of veterans affairs.
"No one is more experienced or more effective when it comes to Oklahoma's military and veterans needs than Rita Aragon," said Fallin. "As an accomplished military woman and a dedicated public servant, I know Rita will make an invaluable member of my cabinet."
During her 28-year military career, Aragon has served as the commander of the Oklahoma Air National Guard and as the Air National Guard assistant to the deputy chief of staff of Staff Manpower and Personnel at the Pentagon, where she was the senior Air National Guard officer responsible for military and civilian personnel management, education, training and resource allocation. Aragon was the first female in the United States to command a state's Air National Guard. She received the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
In addition to her military career, Aragon has served as an elementary school teacher and an elementary school principal. She was named an OKC Chamber of Commerce Excellent Educator of the Year in 1990 and an Oklahoma City Principal of the Year in 1992. Aragon also serves on the boards of the Red Cross Chapter of Central Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women and the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma.