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Governor Appoints Davidson Alum Grier Martin as Secretary of Military and Veterans Affairs

by | Mar 28, 2024

Grier Martin ’91 when he was the speaker at the Davidson College Reunion Weekend War Memorial Ceremony.


Governor Cooper Appoints Grier Martin New Secretary for Department of Military & Veterans Affairs

Secretary Walter E. Gaskin retiring from state government following distinguished career at DMVA and as Lieutenant General in the US Marine Corps

RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced that Lt. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin is stepping down on April 1 as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NCDMVA) after years of strong service to North Carolina. The Governor has appointed former NC House Representative and current U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower & Reserve Affairs, Grier Martin, as Secretary.

“Secretary Walter Gaskin has served North Carolina with distinction and we have leaned upon his remarkable military experience to strengthen our support networks and services for veterans and their families. I am grateful for his service to the people of our state,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “As a soldier, state representative and leader at the Pentagon, Grier Martin has been a fierce advocate for our veterans and military communities and I am confident he will continue our efforts to make North Carolina the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation.”

Then Army Captain Grier Martin and his father, D.G. Martin, at Fort Bragg in 2003.

“I have been privileged to serve our country at the highest levels in national and international military affairs and to serve as the third secretary of the North Carolina Department of Military and Veteran Affairs,” said Secretary Gaskin. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve this great state, our veterans, their families, our military bases and installations and the Department.”

“I am honored to serve the people of North Carolina as the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Secretary and look forward to building on the strong work done by Secretary Gaskin and his team,” said Secretary Grier Martin. “I am grateful and excited for this opportunity to support North Carolina’s veterans and military families.”

As the U.S. Department of Defense Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower & Reserve Affairs, Secretary Martin is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness on all matters related to civilian and military personnel policies, reserve integration, military community and family policy, and total force manpower and resources. He also oversees the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Defense Commissary Agency. 

Secretary Martin’s wide-ranging portfolio covers the entire life cycle of a service member from recruiting and accessions through casualty and mortuary affairs. He develops policies, plans, and programs for the Total Force and oversees career lifecycle management for military and civilian personnel. 

Additionally, he is responsible for developing policy and overseeing quality of life programs for Department of Defense personnel and their families to include commissaries and exchanges; morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR) programs; family advocacy and spouse employment; the chaplaincy; and child and youth services.

Prior to this position, Secretary Martin served as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly for 17 years. In this capacity, he chaired the House Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee and co-chaired the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Task Force on Behavioral Health Services for the Military & Their Families.

He received a B.A. in history from Davidson College and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law. This appointment is effective April 1, 2024.


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