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Louisiana native famous for Katrina response is back in the national spotlight

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 1:10 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Nicknamed the “Ragin’ Cajun” by some, Louisiana retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré became famous for his no-nonsense leadership after 2005′s Hurricane Katrina. Now, he has a new mission.

A week after the January 6 Capitol riots, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Honoré to review the security and infrastructure at the historic building.

“The Capitol is a target every day of the year, every hour of the day,” said Honoré.

Honoré and his team finished the review in March. Now, they are urging Congress to pass emergency legislation to fund recommended security enhancements.

This is not Honoré’s first high-profile assignment. He gained national attention commanding Joint Task Force Katrina in the wake of the deadly hurricane.

Honoré credits his Pointe Coupee Parish upbringing with preparing him to lead during challenging times.

“Always do your best,” he said. “Make your word your bond, and when you’re asked to do something, do it the best you can.”

For Honoré, a Southern University graduate, what started as a four-year military commitment turned into a 37-year career leading troops around the country and the world.

Honoré now calls Baton Rouge home. He currently leads up what’s called the GreenARMY, an alliance of community and environmental groups fighting for clean air and water initiatives in the Pelican State.

“We have a lot of drinking water issues in Louisiana,” he said. “We need a higher standard for air monitoring.”

He said he wants Louisianians to have air quality monitoring systems on their phones.

Honoré explained his work allows him to give back to a community that gave him so much.

“My time in Louisiana and my roots out of Pointe Coupee Parish certainly put a mark on what I do and how I do things.”

Paying it forward, Honoré offered this timeless advice he received growing up: an education is the ticket to a future of limitless possibilities.

When he is not working, Honoré spends time in his garden, and with his parade horse Big Red.

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