Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general of Kansas, delivers the commencement address during the Garden City Community College Class of 2016 graduation commencement May 6, 2016, in Garden City, Kan (Army National Guard photo / Sgt. Zachary Sheely)

The adjutant general of the Kansas National Guard who both retained the department's top command position in 2017 despite a damaging internal investigation of leadership shortcomings and survived last year's transition to a Democratic governor plans to step down in March, officials said Monday.

Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, a former Republican legislator elevated to adjutant general in 2011 by then-Gov. Sam Brownback, remained on the job after Gov. Laura Kelly was sworn into office in 2019.

Tafanelli's scheduled departure March 31 was referred to by the governor as a "planned resignation."

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Suicide prevention pins are displayed in recognition of suicide prevention and awareness month by the 81st Medical Operations Squadron mental health team. (U.S. Air Force photo / Kemberly Groue)

A captain in a Kansas National Guard brigade that experienced several suicides in six months said she has submitted a letter of resignation after concerns about the issue weren't taken seriously enough by leadership.

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