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U.S. Air Force Col. Kerry L. Muehlenbeck was promoted to brigadier general June 7, 2014, at the 161st Air Refueling Wing, Phoenix. Her parents, Bill and Nancy Muehlenbeck, and her sister, Kelly Adams, pin on her new rank during her promotion ceremony. (Photo by Senior Airman Rashaunda Williams)

PHOENIX -- Arizona has a new director of the joint staff of the Arizona National Guard.

"It wouldn't have been a big deal if I was just a guy, I know that," says U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Kerry Muehlenbeck. "I don't want that to overshadow what really is at stake, which [is] hopefully I'm a hard worker and I'll succeed or fail based on my merits, not necessarily whether I wear a skirt to work...which I don't. I still wear the uniform."

Muehlenbeck spent over 20 years as an Air Force attorney in the JAG corps.

"I am absolutely excited. It's an honor," she said. "I think what I've tried to do is position myself throughout my career, so I'm prepared for the next step."

She plans to continue teaching criminology and criminal justice at Mesa Community College and ASU.

Corbin Carson,

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