Michigan National Guard
Story by Penelope Carroll
LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Army National Guard welcomed its newest general officer to its ranks during a formal promotion ceremony for Brig. Gen. Scott W. Hiipakka held at Milford High School on March 13, 2021.
Hiipakka is stepping into the role of Assistant Adjutant General for the Michigan Army National Guard, responsible for overseeing the operations, mentoring, and building of functional teams ranging in size from 30 to over 8,000 people.
U.S. Army Major General Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, hosted the ceremony. In a room with socially-distanced family, friends and colleagues, Rogers highlighted Hiipakka’s commitment to his family and the qualities that led him to his promotion.
“We have complete trust and confidence in Scott,” said Rogers. “We know his values, we know his family and we know the commitment so many of you have put into him and we fully trust in him to now give all of that back."
During the ceremony, held at his children’s alma mater where he spent time as an active member of the community, Hiipakka’s epaulets were changed by his father, wife, sister and his stepmother. Afterward, the newly promoted general offered special thanks to his colleagues, family, and friends, many of whom attended virtually, including his mother and siblings.
"What does it mean to serve, what does it mean to give something greater than yourself, ” said Hiipakka upon receiving his new rank. “What does the word ‘service’ truly represent? I genuinely love what it means to serve, I love the opportunity to be able to serve our state, to serve alongside my family, to walk the journey with my wife and to have been a part what it means to be part of this community."
Hiipakka entered military service in June 1993 as an Infantry Officer where he was initially assigned to the 10th Mountain Division as an infantry platoon leader. Upon selection to the 75th Ranger Regiment, he served with the 3rd Ranger Battalion until he left active duty service in June 1997.
Following active duty, Hiipakka entered the Michigan Army National Guard in 2001 where he immediately assumed command of the Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment Commander, 210th Military Police Battalion. During his 25 year-long military career, Hippakka has served in key roles including multiple commands and staff officer positions in the Michigan Army National Guard. His most recent assignments include Assistant Chief of Staff-Operations, 46th Military Police Command; Commander of the 177th Regional Training Institute (RTI); Commander of the 177th Military Police Brigade and Land Component Commander for the Michigan Army National Guard.
Hiipakka’s deployments include Operation Uphold Democracy, Operation Noble Eagle, and Operation Enduring Freedom-Regional Command West, Afghanistan, where he served as a Task Force Commander and Senior Advisor to the Afghan Border Police.
Hiipakka serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator, a nonprofit economic development organization, responsible for accelerating Michigan’s innovation ecosystem. He currently serves as an advisor and former appointee to the Michigan Community Service Commission. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Oakland and was the former Board Chair and board member for Winning Futures. Hiipakka was recognized by Crain’s Business as a 2020 “Notable Veteran.”
Hiipakka holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in homeland security from Penn State University, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is married to Susan and the proud father to Abby and Alex and they reside in Milford, Michigan.