PIERRE, S.D. – Larry Zimmerman was confirmed today by the South Dakota Senate as the state's first Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Zimmerman was formerly the state Command Sergeant Major (CSM) in the South Dakota Army National Guard, the Guard's highest-ranking noncommissioned officer. In that role, he was the Adjutant General's personal advisor on all enlisted matters and acted as a representative and advocate for more than 3,400 soldiers in South Dakota.
"I'm pleased to have Larry join my Cabinet," Gov. Dennis Daugaard said. "He is decorated patriot and will ensure that we meet our obligations to South Dakota veterans."
The Governor named Zimmerman to the post in late 2011, but his commitment to the Army National Guard did not end until this year. Lt. Gov. Matt Michels has been serving as Interim Secretary of Veterans Affairs until Zimmerman could join the Governor's team.
A native of Belle Fourche, Zimmerman completed a tour of duty in Operation Enduring Freedom as the Operations Sergeant Major for the nine Northern provinces in Afghanistan, and he served many months of that tour as the Forward Operating Base Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge from 2008 to 2009. He was awarded a Bronze Star for that tour.
Zimmerman served in the U.S. Army from March 1973 to October 1976 and is a Vietnam Era Veteran. He served in the National Guard from 1989-2013 and is a lifetime member of the VFW.