LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Westlake High School Assistant Principal and Louisiana National Guardsman Damian “Keith” Waddel was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General during an official ceremony at Camp Beauregard in Pineville on August 10, 2019.
BG. Waddel has served in the National Guard for 29 years and says, “While I’m proud and thankful for this promotion, I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the greatest achievements of my life, my children: Kimber, Michael and Kenny.” He goes on to say, “I’m humbled and thankful for this opportunity. I’m going to do my best like I’ve done on all of my assignments.”
With his new rank he has inherited the role of assistant adjunct general for the LANG, which makes him the principal adviser to the adjutant general and is responsible for assisting in the deployment and coordination of programs, policies and plans for the Louisiana Army and Air National Guard.
Among BG. Waddel’s awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Louisiana Legion of Merit, Louisiana War Cross, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, and a number of other federal and state awards.
As an educator Waddel was also named the Louisiana High School Coach of the Year in baseball in 2003 and basketball in 2005. He was also named District Coach of the Year several times in multiple sports.
When asked about his teaching career and how it helps him as a National Guardsman he says, “It’s been a perfect fit to help me relate to the younger Soldiers that make up the majority of our National Guard. I’ve always found it important to bond with my Soldiers, and my career at school dealing with teenagers allows me to connect with my Soldiers that are close to that age whether it’s through music, sports or video games.”