Brigadier General (Retired) Joe Kelly
General Kelly is the Deputy Director of Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, a division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. He oversees daily operations for preparedness, homeland security, response, recovery, mitigation, field services, grants, and administration.
A native of Olivia, Minnesota, Joe served 31 years in the United States Army and Army National Guard. He worked fulltime for the Minnesota National Guard for 25 years, including tours as the State Operations Officer and Chief of Staff. His last assignment was as the Assistant Adjutant General for the State of Minnesota. He retired from the military in April 2011. Joe continues to serve those in uniform as a member of the board of directors of the Minnesota Military Family Foundation.
As an Armor officer, Joe commanded troops at the company, battalion, and brigade levels. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Joe also served was the commanding general of the joint military task force that helped provide security during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Iraq Campaign Medal, and Minnesota Distinguished Service Medal.
Joe holds a bachelors degree from Saint John’s University, a master’s degree from the United States Army War College, and is a Minnesota certified emergency manager.
Joe has been happily married to the former Jean Detke of Blue Earth, Minnesota for more than 25 years. Jean is a registered nurse and works as the Director of Surgical Services & Birthplace at Fairview Lakes Regional Medical Center. They have two daughters. Megan is a medical school student at Rush University in Chicago and Maura attends Marquette University in Milwaukee. The Kellys make their home in Lindstrom, Minnesota.