Major General Richard R. Neely is the 40th Adjutant General of the State of Illinois and serves as the Director of the Illinois Department of Military Affairs. General Neely is the Commander for both the Illinois Army and Air National Guard where he is responsible for operations and oversees approximately 13,000 military members and 2,200 fulltime military/federal employees and 230 civilian state employees.
As the Commander of the Illinois National Guard, he is responsible for the training, preparation and deployment of Soldiers and Airmen in support of combat operations worldwide. General Neely led the 2019 response to historic flooding in Illinois along with the unprecedented 2020 COVID19 pandemic response and multiple deployments of the National Guard in response to civil unrest across the state. During his 30 years of service as a military officer, General Neely has served in numerous command, staff and operational positions, including the National Guard Bureau’s Principal Deputy Director for Air Operations where he oversaw Intelligence, Air, Nuclear, Cyber and Space Operations (A2/3/6/10) and the Air National Guard’s Chief Information Officer. Also the National Guard Bureau he served as the Chief of Current Operations (NG J33) where he was the focal point for National Guard Domestic Operations/Defense Support to Civil Authorities, and crisis management for federal interagency partners in support of the 54 States and Territories. General Neely is a Master Cyberspace Officer with other specialties in operations, logistics and finance. He is joint qualified, a dual status commander and has two overseas deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. General Neely is a National leader in the area of cyber security and routinely speaks on the topic.
General Neely is a graduate of Illinois State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree. In 2011 he received his Master of Science in Public Administration with a certification as a Chief Information Officer from the National Defense University, District of Columbia. He received his commission in 1990.