State of New Jersey Civil Service Commission

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Leadership | NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs


The Adjutant General

Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff is the Adjutant General of New Jersey. General Cunniff commands more than 9,000 Soldiers and Airmen of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard. He directs, controls and manages the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in the execution of federal and state missions.

In addition, he manages all state veterans' programs, commissions and facilities in New Jersey. His previous commands included the 108th Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey and the 150th Air Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, 405th Air Expeditionary Wing, Thumrait Air Base, Oman.

General Cunniff entered the United States Air Force in July 1982, and was commissioned through the Academy of Military Science in October 1983. He received his pilot's wings at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, in 1983. General Cunniff has served in many operations including Operations Northern Watch, Joint Forge, Allied Force, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

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The Deputy Adjutant General

Brigadier General Edward J. Chrystal Jr. serves as the Deputy Adjutant General for the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Assistant Adjutant General - Army for the New Jersey Army National Guard. He is the principal advisor to The Adjutant General on all matters concerning military readiness, mobilizations, homeland security, defense support to civil authorities, human resources, logistics, training and financial management, as well as the supervision and management of the Department’s 3,200 full-time State and Federal employees, and 286 facilities and properties.

His previous commands include Land Component Commander, New Jersey Army National Guard and Commander, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT). General Chrystal enlisted the New Jersey Army National Guard in January 1985 and attended Basic Combat Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. General Chrystal received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey, in May, 1988.

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The Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Affairs

Raymond L. Zawacki was appointed in May 2010 as Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs. In this capacity, Deputy Commissioner Zawacki administers three Divisions. The Division of Veterans Healthcare Services oversees the operations of the state's three long-term care veterans' homes and respite care program. The Division of Veterans Services oversees the Veterans Service Offices, other state entitlement programs and services, veteran's preference determinations, veteran's status determinations, and the blind and catastrophic veteran pension entitlements.

Additionally, the Division of Veterans Services oversees the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, the nation's busiest State Veterans Cemetery, located in North Hanover Township; the operation of the state's Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing program, the State Approving Agency, which is responsible for certifying the VA funded educational and training program, and the state-owned monuments and memorials. The Human Resources Division is responsible for the Department’s personnel functions.

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