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Mitch Brush

Billings Police Department Rich St. John and Sgt. David Cardillo, left, chat with Mitch and Blaire Brush at an awards ceremony in 2010. Brush, command chief master sergeant of the Montana Air National Guard, will become adviser to the chief the National Guard Bureau in May.

Billings Police Department Sgt. Mitch Brush will become the senior enlisted adviser to U.S. Army Gen. Frank Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, in May.

Brush, who has been with the BPD for 14 years and spent more than 20 in law enforcement, also is command chief master sergeant of the Montana Air National Guard.

"I'm honored to have this opportunity to represent the enlisted force," he said in a news statement. "There is much that people are unaware of about the sacrifices that our Guard members make every single day: We are police officers, plumbers and teachers in our communities — and then we seamlessly make the transition to soldiers and airmen when our states, territories or nation call."

In the new position, Brush will advise Grass, who is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on all matters affecting the more than 400,000 National Guard members, including training, health and professional development.

He'll replace Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall, who plans to retire this May.

"Chief Brush is going to provide outstanding advice at a critical time when we face fiscal constraints and a changing mission," Grass said. "He also joins us at a crucial moment as we restructure the National Guard Bureau."

Brush began his military service in 1987 with the Air Force and served six years with active-duty security forces. He left to join the police department and, after an 18-month break, reenlisted with the Montana Air National Guard.

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"It’s certainly a great honor for him and speaks very highly of the type of person, the type of leader, that he is," Billings police Chief Rich St. John said.

St. John said Brush informed him on Thursday morning that he and his family will be moving to Washington D.C., soon for the position. He will be considered an inactive member of the BPD.

St. John said he would like to make a promotion to fill Brush's command position but that he'll be welcomed back to the BPD when his duties in Washington end.

Gov. Steve Bullock described Brush's new job as an honor for the Brush family, the Montana guard and the state of Montana.

"Chief Brush's selection speaks very highly of the caliber of the men and women who lead the Guard in Montana," he said.

In the new duties, Brush said he hopes that the perspective of his wife, Blaire, and three sons, Davis, Parker and Cooper, will aid him.

"My family’s been very supportive and they too bring a perspective as a Guard family that hopefully will benefit the enlisted force,” he said.

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