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Gov. Jerry Brown today named a Republican retired major general with more than 35 years of service with the California National Guard as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Retired Maj. Gen. Peter James Gravett became the first African American division commander in the history of the U.S. National Guard when he was promoted to the post in 1999. His assignments included serving in a Partnership for Peace program in Kiev, Ukraine.

Gravett, 69, most recently served as state chairman for the Southern California Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Committee and principal business associate at Traiden Global Solutions.

The Rolling Hills Estates Republican, who retired in 2002, replaces acting Secretary Rocky J. Chavez, an appointee from the Schwarzenegger administration.

The position, which comes with a salary of $175,000 a year, requires Senate confirmation.


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