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General to take top Guard job, get 4th star

Sep. 5, 2012 - 03:34PM   |   Last Updated: Sep. 5, 2012 - 03:34PM  |  
Lt. Gen. Frank Grass
Lt. Gen. Frank Grass ()
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Army Lt. Gen. Frank Grass will succeed Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley as chief of the National Guard Bureau during a ceremony Friday at the Pentagon.

The change of responsibility ceremony, hosted by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, will begin at 8 a.m. in the Pentagon Auditorium.

Grass, who most recently was deputy commander of U.S. Northern Command, also will receive his fourth star during the ceremony.

McKinley is the first four-star general to hold the top Guard job and the first chief of the Guard to serve as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The chief of the National Guard Bureau serves as a military advisor to the president, defense secretary, and the National Security Council. The chief also is the Defense Department's official channel of communication to governors and adjutants general in all 54 states and territories on matters pertaining to the Guard.

In his new job, Grass will be responsible for ensuring that the more than half a million Army and Air National Guard troops are trained and ready to perform their mission at home and overseas.

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