President Barack Obama on Friday appointed Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to a bipartisan forum of governors that will advise federal defense agencies on National Guard missions.

The appointment marks the beginning of a two-year term on the Council of Governors, designed to advise the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security and White House Homeland Security Council on National Guard matters and civil support missions. The council consists of 10 governors, five from each party, with two governors serving as co-chairs. Their first meeting was scheduled for Friday.

Dayton, who is currently in Washington D.C. for the National Governors Association meeting, had expressed interest in serving on the council, spokesman Matt Swenson said. In a statement, Dayton said he was “honored” by the appointment.

“The men and women of the Minnesota National Guard serve selflessly on our behalf every day,” Dayton said. “We owe them gratitude, and our very best efforts to support them in their mission.”

Major General Richard Nash, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, called Dayton’s appointment key in guaranteeing the state a voice.

“The Governor’s service on this important advisory Council will give our state another means to advocate for the needs of our service members and their families, and to support the mission and objectives of the Minnesota National Guard,” Nash said in a statement.

Dayton’s fellow Council members include Govs. Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Terry Branstad of Iowa, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Jay Nixon of Missouri, Steve Bullock of Montana, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Bill Haslam of Tennessee, Terry McAuliffe of Virginia and Matt Mead of Wyoming.

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