South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Friday picked two Army officers to lead the state's motor vehicles and transportation agencies, and a veteran state employee to take over the state's alcohol and drug abuse agency.
Haley announced she wants retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert St. Onge to lead the Department of Transportation, and Army Col. Kevin Shwedo to lead the Department of Motor Vehicles.
"I'm a fan of the military," Haley said, adding that military leaders understand customer service. Haley's husband, Michael, joined the state Army National Guard in 2006 and is a first lieutenant.
"One thing I've learned about the military is, they are given challenges - sometimes things they've never done before - and they always step up, and they always produce, and they know you have to run them on a strict timeline," Haley said. "They understand budgets, and they also understand managing."
St. Onge, 63, retired from the Army in 2003 after 34 years and lives in Lexington. From 2001 to 2003, he was the deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. His previous posts include commanding general of the 24th infantry division at Fort Riley in Kansas, policy director for the Army's chief of staff and commandant at West Point. Since retiring, he's been an executive at defense contractor L-3 Communications.