Greg Sablan is new Veteran Affairs director



A longtime CNMI customs official and lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve has been appointed to serve as the new executive officer for the Military Liaison and Veteran Affairs office effective yesterday.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog appointed Gregorio “Tam” M. Sablan Jr. to lead the Veterans Affairs Office, a move that follows their acceptance of the courtesy resignation of former director Joseph Palacios in January.

“I am confident that you will devote your time and efforts to represent the interests of our active service members and veterans who devoted their lives defending our country. Lieutenant governor Hocog and I appreciate your acceptance of this appointment to serve in this important capacity,” said Torres in his appointment letter.

Sablan will be responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the office and will have authority over all military and veteran affairs of the United States Armed Forces in all matters not within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States government.

Sablan served at the CNMI Customs for 23 years and leaves the post as the deputy director. He currently serves as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Sablan fills the post held by Palacios for a few months. Palacios was appointed to the post last November by the late governor Eloy S. Inos.

Following the acceptance of his courtesy resignation, Palacios penned a letter to the editor challenging the new Torres administration to be “more sincere of their promises to our CNMI veterans and military personnel from abroad” to support the next executive director with fully funded programs.

Palacios claimed that when he came on board he discovered their monthly operations budget at only around $250, their office computers on loan from other agencies, and without a government-owned vehicle.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at

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