Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Georgia Army National Guard Commanding General promoted to Major General

 By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp pinned the two-star rank of major general to the uniform of Randall Simmons, commander of the Georgia Army National Guard during a ceremony at the state capitol September 9, 2020. Major General Simmons’ promotion was directed by order of the Secretary of the Army in August.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp administers the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Randall Simmons during a promotion ceremony at the Ga. state capitol
Sept. 9, 2020. Photo by Capt. Fred Dablemont.

“I'd like to thank Governor Brian Kemp for hosting today's promotion ceremony,” said Simmons. “I could not be more humbled to serve on this team during such a historic period in our country's history I am honored to serve alongside the best Soldiers, Airmen, state and federal civilians, and a host of interagency partners every day. Your efforts make our state and nation safe with your service here at home and abroad.”

Simmons expressed gratitude to God and thanked service members, civilian supporters and friends who have mentored him over the years. He acknowledged Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard, former commander of the Ga. ARNG and Adjutant General of Georgia; Maj. Gen. John King, former director of the joint staff of the Ga. DoD and Maj. Gen. Tom Carden, Georgia’s Adjutant General. Carden, who attended the ceremony, congratulated Simmons.

“Randall is an amazing leader and a lifelong friend,” said Carden. We are proud of him and his family. It is a great day for the Georgia National Guard.”

Simmons has served as the commanding general of the Ga. ARNG since September 2017. Since April 2020, Simmons has concurrently served as commander of Joint Task Force Georgia, the Georgia Department of Defense coronavirus response mission.

Simmons enlisted in the Georgia Army National Guard in 1989 as a forward observer. In 1992 he was commissioned a second lieutenant by the Georgia Military Institute. Assigned to the Savannah-based 1st Battalion 118th Field Artillery Regiment, Simmons served in positions of increasing responsibility to include command of Battery A, 118th FA in Springfield, Ga. He deployed to Iraq as the executive officer of the 1-118th FA from 2005 to 2006. From 2009 to 2010, Simmons deployed to Afghanistan as commander of the 1st Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment.

Upon his return from Afghanistan, Simmons served with the Macon-based 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team as executive officer and deputy commander until January 2012 when he assumed duties as the personnel officer for the Georgia Army National Guard.

Brig. Gen. Randall Simmons directs the placement of units in support of civil authorities charged with enforcing the mayor’s curfew in Atlanta
June 3, 2020. Photo by Maj. William Carraway

In December 2012, Simmons was appointed to serve as the 16th commander of the 48th IBCT. Simmons led the 48th IBCT through a successful Afghanistan Deployment in 2014. The following year, Simmons was appointed to serve as Chief of Staff for the Ga. Army National Guard until his September 28, 2017 appointment as commander, Ga. ARNG. Simmons is the only Ga. ARNG commander to have served in combat at the battalion and brigade level of command.

In his closing remarks, following the promotion ceremony, Simmons thanked his family for their unwavering support and remarked on the meaning of the ceremony.

“If this promotion does nothing else, I hope it inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more; in this organization anything is possible,” said Simmons. “Thank you all for your continued support and well wishes.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive