MADISON -- Gov. Tony Evers today announced he has selected Brig. Gen. Paul Knapp as the next Adjutant General of the Wisconsin National Guard. Brig. Gen. Knapp will serve a 5-year term as the head of the Wisconsin National Guard and the Department of Military Affairs. Concurrent with his appointment as Adjutant General, Knapp will be promoted to the rank of Major General.
“Brig. Gen. Knapp is a dynamic, proven leader who has selflessly served our nation during his 28-year military career,” said Gov. Evers. “His strong leadership and dedication to the State of Wisconsin are a perfect fit for the Wisconsin National Guard during this time of transition.”
Brig. Gen. Knapp has served in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve since 1992. On active duty, he served as a Special Agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations prior to attending navigator training. He served two operational tours as an F-15E Strike Eagle weapon systems officer and one as an air liaison officer to the U.S. Army in South Korea. He separated from active duty in August 2003 and joined the 95th Airlift Squadron of the 440th Airlift Wing, General Mitchell Air Reserve Station, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, flying the C-130H Hercules. Brig. Gen. Knapp has served as an Instructor, Evaluator, Flight Commander, Squadron Commander, Deputy Operations Group Commander and Vice Wing Commander. He has 681 combat hours, more than 262 combat sorties supporting operations Allied Force, Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.
Currently, he is the mobilization assistant to the Commander of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, overseeing more than 1,300 personnel at 18 locations around the world. He also currently performs alert duty as an Airborne Emergency Action Officer in command of the joint battle staff aboard the Airborne Nuclear Command Post which provides survivable, mobile command and control of U.S. nuclear forces in support of the Commander of U.S. Strategic Command and the President of the United States.
“Being appointed as the Wisconsin Adjutant General by Governor Evers is a dream job for this kid from Antigo, Wisconsin, who chose a military career,” said Brig. Gen. Knapp. “I am humbled, grateful, and privileged to serve the professional soldiers, airmen and civilians of our amazing state.”
Brig. Gen. Knapp’s appointment fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar in December. Gov. Evers called for the resignation after a top-to-bottom review of the Wisconsin National Guard detailed system failures in its handling of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and retaliation allegations. A nation-wide search was conducted to find a successor. On January 17, 2020, an expert panel of current and retired military officers, including the adjutant generals of Georgia and Maine, interviewed applicants and recommended finalists to Gov. Evers.
Brig. Gen. Knapp is a native of Antigo, Wisconsin. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland. He resides in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, with his wife, Dr. Renee Knapp and their two children.