On Thursday, Governor Kay Ivey announced her selection of Alabama native Rear Admiral W. Kent Davis as commissioner of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs. On January 4, the State Board of Veterans Affairs voted on this selection before today’s official offer.
In a press release, Ivey said “After serving his country in multiple branches of the military over the course of his distinguished career, Adm. Davis has proven himself as an excellent selection to serve as the next commissioner of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs. I commend the hard work of the State Board of Veterans Affairs Search Committee for recommending our next VA leader. I know that Adm. Davis will take his broad spectrum of experience and apply it well to help the honorable men and women of Alabama who have so proudly served in uniform.”
According to the press release, Adm. Davis served in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy in active duty but, in his 30 years in uniform and 11 years of active duty, has experience with all military services. Adm. Davis, it says “Adm. Davis is one of only a few people who has served both as a field grade officer in the Army and a senior officer in the Navy.” In addition, he has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Louisiana State University and his law degree from Georgia State University.
AL.com reports that Adm. Davis began his career as an officer aboard the U.S.S. Missouri in 1986 and retired from the Navy in October of 2016. He has also worked as city manager for Anniston, deputy superintendent of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP)in Anniston, director of public affairs for U.S. detention operations in Afghanistan. He is currently chief communication officer at Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.
In the press release, Adm. Davis was quoted as saying, “I look forward to continuing to serve my country as the commissioner of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs. As a veteran myself, I understand the importance of providing help to the hundreds of thousands of Alabamians who have served in uniform,” Adm. Davis said. “It is an honor to have been chosen for this new post. I appreciate the confidence in me shown by Governor Ivey and the State Board of Veterans Affairs. I will work hard each day to ensure the veterans of Alabama are treated with the utmost respect and granted the care they so greatly deserve.”
Adm. Davis told the Anniston Star that he left his position at CDP in Anniston under pressure after trying to address serious problems. “I had to walk away from that,” Davis said. “I thought, do I stay and fight this out with all the risks, or do I walk away knowing that if I resign it ends everything?”
In 2017, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs earned national recognition for a website that improves veterans’ access to VA benefits and services.