Defense

September 7, 2012

Pentagon welcomes new chief of National Guard Bureau

Tags:
Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
DOD photograph by PO1 Chad J. McNeeley
Army Lt. Gen. Frank J. Grass, incoming National Guard Bureau chief, delivers remarks at the change-of-responsibility ceremony for chief at the Pentagon, Sept. 7, 2012. Grass, who replaced Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, received his fourth star during the event.

Cabinet secretaries, service chiefs and other government and military leaders gathered Sept. 7 for a Pentagon ceremony marking a change in leaders for the nation’s National Guard Bureau.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke during the event marking the end of Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley’s term of service and the beginning of Army Gen. Frank Grass’s turn at the bureau’s helm.

Dempsey said as the Guard approaches its 376th birthday, the force of Army and Air Force citizen-service members is “still on the front lines, both at home and abroad.”

The image on the National Guard emblem, the chairman noted, depicts a Minuteman with a plow in one hand and musket in the other. “This is the image of the citizen-soldier – our 460,000 Guardsmen and women who breathe life into that emblem every day,” he said.

The chairman noted the outgoing chief was the first in the position to be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the first National Guard Bureau chief to wear four stars.

“It is because of leaders like you, and the soldiers and airmen of the National Guard that you are privileged to lead, that we remain … the world’s pre-eminent military force,” Dempsey said.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also spoke during the ceremony, emphasizing the National Guard’s unique role, which encompasses both domestic disaster response and humanitarian assistance, and support to the active forces in combatant commander missions around the world.

McKinley, who plans to retire later this year, was awarded the Defense Department Distinguished Service Medal during the ceremony.

“What do you say after a 39-year career?” he asked in his remarks. “How do you thank the people who built up an enterprise, and allowed you to be part of it, as I have?”

McKinley thanked many of those attending, particularly Panetta and Dempsey, for their leadership and support.

“The National Guard has been an integral part of our active force for decades, and I don’t think we’ve ever reached a point where it’s been more relevant, or reliable, or competent,” McKinley said.

The general also thanked his wife, Cheryl, for her support during their nearly 40 years as a military family.

McKinley said his successor, Grass, is “the right person at the right time for this very critical job.”

Grass who received his fourth star and took his oath of office from Panetta at today’s event, said he is humbled and excited to take the top spot at the National Guard Bureau after “42 years of roaming around the countryside as a Guardsman,” noting that he also had some active-duty time during that span.

His new assignment comes with “hard work to do,” he acknowledged.

“I know I need to partner quickly with the Air Force and Army chiefs of staff,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do with the current budget issues. I think I’m ready for that challenge.”

Grass praised McKinley as “an impacting leader whose distinguished career has been marked by many firsts.”

He pledged to seek strong partnerships with the service chiefs and to work “to maintain this operational force that we have, for the homeland as well as away.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 29, 2014

News: U.S. military limits warplanes used for Islamic State bombingsĀ - The U.S. is relying mostly on warplanes already positioned in the region for its air war against the Islamic State, as opposed to dispatching a major buildup of aerial forces that happened in previous campaigns.   Business: At DOD, it’s use-it-or-lose-it seasonĀ - As fiscal 2014...
 
 

News Briefs September 29, 2014

Navy awards ship design grant to UNO The University of New Orleans has received a $210,000 grant from the Navy s Office of Naval Research to test information gathering and analysis techniques intended to improve warship design. The goal for warship designers is to produce a vessel that can be repurposed numerous times throughout its...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

TACP-M ties it all together

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Lealan Buehrer Tactical air control party specialists with the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron survey an enemy-controlled landing zone before calling in close-air support Aug. 14, 20...
 

 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Nellis aggressor squadron inactivated

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler SSgt. Justin White signals to Maj. Sam Joplin to begin taxiing a 65th Aggressor Squadron F-15 Eagle to the runway Sept. 18, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base Nev. The roles and responsib...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

82nd Airborne helps commemorate 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden

Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger A paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, reflects near the grave of a British paratrooper at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Sept. 14, 2014, in the Netherlands. The...
 
 

Raytheon awarded $251 million Tomahawk missile contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon a $251 million contract to procure Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missiles for fiscal year 2014 with an option for 2015. The contract calls for Raytheon to build and deliver Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to the U.S. Navy and U.K. Royal Navy. Raytheon will also conduct flight tests...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>