A surgeon specializing in skull reconstruction has been named brigadier general of the Minnesota National Guard, becoming the first African-American in state history to achieve that rank.
Air Col. David Hamlar Jr., who co-directs the Craniofacial Skull Base Center at the University of Minnesota, was formally promoted Monday afternoon in a ceremony at the Minnesota History Center, according to a release from the National Guard.
Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, adjutant general, said that "Hamlar's talent and both military and civilian skills" made him "an incredible asset to not only our organization, but to the community as a whole." The release said Hamlar "provides care for patients with cleft lip and palate, craniofacial deformities and children born with misshapen skulls."
Hamlar's career in the National Guard has included deployments in support of America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as service in humanitarian missions abroad.
Hamlar joined the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing in 1995 after serving six years in the Ohio National Guard.