Lieutenant Governor John Walsh
John was born and raised in Butte, Montana. After graduating from Butte High School in 1979, he attended Carroll College in Helena, where he met his wife of 28 years, Janet. John enlisted in the Montana Army National Guard in 1979, during his freshman year at Carroll College.
John earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York, Albany, New York in 1990. He received a Masters degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 2007.
John served in the Montana National Guard for more than 33 years, beginning his military career as an enlisted man. He was appointed Adjutant General by Governor Schweitzer, and served in that capacity until March 2012 when he stepped down to pursue the office of lieutenant governor. John retired from the Montana National Guard in December 2012 with 33 years of service to our state and nation.
As an enlisted man and, later, an officer, John made a career of public service by serving his state and country when they needed him most, even under dangerous conditions. As the Director of Military Support to Civil Authorities, he led the Montana National Guard’s work during the 2000 wildland fire season, when 2,000 Montana Soldiers and Airman were activated to battle fires that burned nearly 950,000 acres in Montana.
In 2004-2005, General Walsh commanded Montana’s 163rd Infantry Battalion during combat operations in Iraq, earning the Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman’s badge for his actions. This was the largest deployment of Montana Soldiers since World War II. The battalion was awarded the Valorous Unit Citation for outstanding performance in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III.
John’s wife Janet has been a para-professional at Smith School in Helena for over 16 years. John and Janet have two sons, Michael and Taylor, both born and raised in Helena. Michael is a helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft pilot with the Montana National Guard. He has served two tours of duty in Iraq and Kuwait. Michael and his wife April Schauer-Walsh are expecting their first child in May. Taylor is pursuing an acting career in New York and performs with the Metropolitan Opera, the largest classical music organization in North America.