President Nominates Grass as Next National Guard Chief
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill
National Guard Bureau
ARLINGTON, Va., Jun. 29, 2012 President Obama has nominated Army Lt. Gen. Frank J. Grass, deputy commander of U.S. Northern Command, to receive his fourth star and serve as the 27th chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced here today.
If confirmed by the Senate, Grass would succeed Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, the first four-star general to hold the assignment. McKinley also became the first Guard Bureau chief to serve as a statutory member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
At a Pentagon news conference, Dempsey said McKinley “has done an outstanding job as the chief of the National Guard Bureau, helping to make sure our National Guard is tightly integrated with active duty personnel,” and he offered congratulations to both generals.
Grass was commissioned in 1981 after 12 years of enlisted service in the Missouri Army National Guard. In civilian life, he worked in the Army Corps of Engineers.
He has served in a wide variety of command and staff positions as a traditional Guard member, in the Active Guard and Reserve Program, and on active duty.
"I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity, if I am confirmed, to lead the best National Guard in our nation's history - a force of more than 460,000 men and women proven on the battlefield and during domestic crises," Grass said.
"It is further humbling to be asked by the secretary of defense and the president to follow in General McKinley's footsteps,” he continued. “I look forward to ensuring the investment the American people have made in the National Guard as a ready and reliable operational force continues to pay dividends."
Grass has served as Northcom's deputy commander and as vice commander of North American Aerospace Command’s U.S. element since 2010.
(Karen Parrish of American Forces Press Service contributed to this article.)