Danette Harris is a proud Kansan and calls Mulvane home. While growing up, Danette moved multiple times following her father's career in the Air Force. She was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, where her father was stationed at Eielson Air Force Base. She eventually settled in Kansas during her father’s final assignment at McConnell Air Force Base.
Although growing up in a military family has it’s challenges, it has also taught her resilience and given her the ability to easily adapt to change. Her family viewed crises as shared challenges that could be managed and made meaningful in some way. They handled difficulty by working together to understand the problem and identifying ways to solve it. These lessons served her well when she decided to enlist in the Kansas Army National Guard.
Danette is a decorated combat veteran with 15 years of service. Her first assignment was with the 242nd Engineer Company where she assisted in building and improving roads for the Black Hills National Park in South Dakota and the Border Patrol near San Diego, California. She was then assigned to the 778th Transportation Company for a 15 month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During her deployment, she conducted convoy missions hauling heavy equipment and supplies throughout Iraq. Upon return from Iraq, Danette was selected to attend Officer Candidate School. She received her commission as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned back to the 778th Transportation Company as a Platoon Leader. In 2010, Danette received orders to deploy again to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn. To prepare her Soldiers for their war-time mission, Danette commanded the most significant transportation mission in the state, transporting 15 Abrams tanks from Ft Riley to Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Alabama. She was commended for her safe and effective leadership while saving the state of Kansas thousands of dollars.
Danette served as the Unit Movement Officer during her second deployment. She successfully coordinated movement and maintained accountability of 296 personnel and more than $200 million of military equipment from Kansas to Kuwait. Her unit was instrumental during the drawdown of troops and equipment from Iraq. After redeployment to Kansas, Danette was selected to be the Operations Officer and then the Commander of the 778th Transportation Company. Danette commanded the 778th Transportation Company, the largest and most complex company in the Kansas Army National Guard for three years. She was recognized for significantly improving the operational readiness of the company from the bottom one-third to number one in the nation. After leaving Command, Danette then served as the Training Officer for the 169th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. Currently a Captain, she recently transferred to the 75th Training Command in the Army Reserves, where she trains Brigade and Battalion Staff in Mission Command and Military Decision-Making Processes. A few of her many awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2nd award), Kansas National Guard Commendation Medal, Kansas National Guard Achievement Medal, California Counterdrug Task Force Medal and Combat Action Badge.
In addition to serving her state and her country, Danette has also served her community. She has volunteered her time as an EMT and participates in fundraising events for Heartspring Pediatric Services, The American Diabetes Association, The Alzheimer’s Association and the American Legion. She graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science and a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She has two daughters and three grandchildren.
Danette is a member of the Army Reserves. Use of her military rank, title and photo does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or Department of Defense