Deputy Cabinet Secretary Billy Wayne Bailey is the top-ranking official in the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance. Bailey, who came to the department in 2011, directs the agency that serves as liaison for West Virginia’s more than 170,000 veterans.
Bailey has helped reorganize and renovate many of the state’s 17 Veterans Service field offices, which serve a critical function within the state’s community of military veterans. He has also been instrumental in the development of a Veterans to Agriculture program, an initiative that seeks to help veterans become independent business owners through farming. The program is considered one of the most progressive veterans initiatives in the United States.
A native of Wyoming County, Bailey is known for his 18 years as a state legislator. He served the entire time in the West Virginia Senate, where he represented Southern West Virginia’s 9th district. For 14 years, Bailey held the title of Senate Majority Whip. During all 18 years, he was a member of the Senate Military Committee.
Bailey has an extensive military background that includes service in the West Virginia Army National Guard’s 1092nd Combat Engineers Battalion (1978-1984). That service was immediately followed by 15 years as a member of the West Virginia Air National Guard’s 130th Security Police.
Bailey is also a former sheriff of Wyoming County. He is a graduate of Marshall University and of West Virginia University’s Master Gardener Program.