Major General (Retired)
Maj. Gen. Al Wilkening completed a 39-plus-year military and civilian career. He retired Sept. 1, 2007, as adjutant general of Wisconsin, where he was responsible for both the federal and state missions of the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard and the Wisconsin Division of Emergency Management.
Gen. Wilkening graduated from Massapequa High School, N.Y., in 1963. He graduated from Long Island University in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree cum laude in psychology. He completed his master’s degree in guidance counseling and personnel at Mississippi State University in 1973. He is also a distinguished graduate of the National Security Management Course, which he completed in 1989.
Gen. Wilkening enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1968 and was commissioned a second lieutenant on March 28 of that year. Following pilot training at Webb Air Force Base, Texas, he served as a flight training instructor at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., until May 1973. In August 1973, he joined the Wisconsin Air National Guard. He served in a variety of command and staff positions including as commander of the 176th Tactical Fighter Squadron and deputy commander for operations, 128th Tactical Fighter Wing, until November 1990. During this period of military service, he was also employed as a human resource professional and manager for two Wisconsin corporations. From December 1990, to August 2002, he served as deputy adjutant general for air, the commander of the Wisconsin Air National Guard. He was named adjutant general by Gov. Scott McCallum and assumed office on August 9, 2002. On March 18, 2003, Governor Jim Doyle appointed him Homeland Security Advisor and chairman of the Governor's Homeland Security Council. He served in these positions until his retirement on September 1, 2007.
Following Retirement, General Wilkening was selected to Chair two Wisconsin Volunteer Organizations. He received a Department of Defense appointment as Chair of the Wisconsin Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and was appointed by Governor Doyle to Chair Wisconsin’s Citizens Corps Council. He completed these assignments in January 2009.
General Wilkening previously served as a consultant to Oshkosh Defense, a division of the Oshkosh Corporation. He also served as a consultant and senior mentor for senior military officers attending the Joint Task Force Commanders Course at Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
Gen. Wilkening is a command pilot with more than 3,300 flying hours in the T-41, T-37, T-38, O-2A, OA-37, and A-10 aircraft. His military awards include the U.S. Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and others.