Retired Major General Larry Shellito was appointed as the 17th Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) in January 2011. As commissioner, Shellito is charged with assisting the state’s 370,000 Veterans and their families. He also represents the Department at hearings before the Minnesota Legislature and United States Congress, and maintains close working relationships with the Veterans' Service Organizations of Minnesota.
Commissioner Shellito recently retired as the Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. During his seven years in that position, Major General Shellito helped build a national reputation for the Guard, which is the nation’s fifth largest with more than 14,000 members in 63 facilities across Minnesota. He was instrumental in establishing the nation-leading "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program” in Minnesota to reintegrate service members following deployments. Before accepting the post of Adjutant General, Commissioner Shellito served as President of Alexandria Technical & Community College in Alexandria, Minn.
Commissioner Shellito began his military career in 1968 when he enlisted in the United States Army, where his active duty service included serving in Vietnam as a Mobile Advisory Team Leader. In 1973, he joined the Minnesota Army National Guard, where he served for 37 years until his retirement in 2010. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman’s Badge among many others. Commissioner Shellito holds an Education Doctorate from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s and two undergraduate degrees from Minnesota State University Moorhead. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army War College.
Deputy Commissioner Reggie Worlds was appointed to his current position in April 2010. He is responsible for all MDVA Programs and Services, including Claims, Outreach, Benefits, Veterans Preference, the State Veterans Cemetery, the Minnesota Veterans Higher Education Program and the State Approving Agency.
Since joining the MDVA team in 2004, Worlds served in several different positions, including Senior Director of Programs and Services, Director of Claims and Outreach, Supervisor of the MDVA/American Legion Claims Office and as the Veterans Outreach Coordinator. He was instrumental in building the Department’s Outreach Program, which focuses on providing advocacy to underserved Veteran populations, including female Veterans, homeless Veterans and communities of color. Worlds started his career serving Veterans as a County Veterans Service Officer in Martin County. He also worked as an Assistant Veterans Service Officer in Hennepin County. He is a United States Army Veteran who served during the Persian Gulf War from 1985-1992.
Worlds holds a degree in law enforcement from Austin Community College and is a graduate of the State of Minnesota’s Emerging Leaders Institute. He is an accredited representative of several congressionally chartered Veterans’ Service Organizations and has completed U.S. VA Rater Board training with the St. Paul VA Regional Office. He is a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and AMVETS.
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs was established in 1943 and falls under Minnesota Statutes , Chapters 196, 197, 198; Minnesota Rules , Chapter 9050. Listed below are the MDVA Commissioners, starting with present commissioner, Larry Shellito, to the first commissioner, William Revier.
The Minnesota Veterans Homes were merged with MDVA in 2007. For more information please visit the Veterans Homes history page.