The South Dakota Senate has voted unanimously to confirm Larry Zimmerman as the state's first secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Zimmerman was previously the state command sergeant major in the South Dakota Army National Guard.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard named Zimmerman as secretary of Veterans Affairs in late 2011, but he did not assume that role until completing his commitment as the Guard's highest ranking noncommissioned officer. Lt. Gov. Matt Michels had been interim secretary of Veterans Affairs until Zimmerman could take office.
Zimmerman served in the National Guard from 1989 until this year. He was awarded a bronze star during a tour of duty with the National Guard in Afghanistan.