After 23 years in the Army, including three combat missions to Iraq and Afghanistan, Maj. Neiman Young will assume a different duty in February.
The 40-year-old will retire as company commander of Special Ops Command South at Fort Bragg, N.C., and a few days later, assume the job of county administrator in King George County on Feb. 27.
“[My wife] Stephanie and I are humbled that you would not only consider us, but accept us to this position,” Young said Tuesday night at the King George Board of Supervisors meeting. “I can assure you, I will not let you down. I’m looking forward to serving the citizens of King George County.”
After Young’s introduction, residents and county staff alike stood in line to shake his hand and offer congratulations.
Claudette Jordon, president of the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association, repeatedly said, “Oorah” or “Sir, yes, sir.” Tim Smith, director of Parks and Recreation, praised Young’s “even-keeled” and outgoing demeanor and looked forward to his leadership. And board-watcher J.T. Johnson offered help in moving or finding a home church and invited Young to visit American Legion Post 329 in Dahlgren.
“My wife and I were married at an American Legion,” Young told Johnson, adding the couple, who have an 18-year-old daughter, have a special place in their hearts for the veterans’ group.
Young will replace Travis Quesenberry, who is retiring May 1 after almost 15 years as King George’s county administrator and engineer. Quesenberry had planned to leave at the end of December, but agreed to work another four months to help with his replacement’s transition.
Young will make $148,000 a year in King George, a considerable step up from his $115,000 annual salary with the military.
King George supervisors searched nationwide for a new county administrator and reviewed 33 applications, said Chairwoman Ruby Brabo. She and fellow Supervisor Jim Howard interviewed seven applicants via the internet and picked three for in-person interviews with the whole board.
In announcing the selection, Brabo praised Young’s life and career experiences, education and strong communication skills. Young, who had planned all along to pursue a career in city or county government after the Army, holds a doctorate in public policy and administration from Walden University and an MBA from Liberty University.
Although he doesn’t have experience in county government, Young said his work as an operations manager and team leader is comparable. For the last decade, he’s worked with municipal leaders in 10 countries, helping them set up governments and improve services. In addition to almost four years of deployment in combat zones, he’s also served in Africa, South America and Southwest Asia.
Most recently at Fort Bragg, Young oversaw a budget of $3.8 million as he managed a 32-person organization that provided counsel to the governments of underdeveloped countries.
Young said that issues facing King George include economic development and diversifying the tax base. He also wants to work on improving the county’s “branding and making King George stand out among neighboring counties.”