September 18, 2007

Storied Blue-Grey 29th Infantry Division changes command

(L to R) Lt. Gen. Rusel L. Honoré, Maj. Gen. Arthur Wyman, and Brig. Gen. Grant L. Hayden salute during the 29th Infantry Division change of command ceremony Sept. 16.

29th Infantry Division Press Release

FORT BELVOIR, Va. – Command of one of the Army’s most storied divisions changed hands here Sept. 16 during a time-honored ceremony filled with both pride and patriotism.

The sound of cannon fire, the National Anthem, and the cry of “29, Let’s go!” rolled over P-1 Field as Outgoing 29th Infantry Division Cmmander, Maj. Gen. Arthur Wyman handed over leadership of the division to Brig. Gen. Grant L. Hayden.

The 29th, or the “Blue and Gray,” as the division is known, is an Army National Guard division headquartered on the installation and includes units from Virginia and Maryland. The division’s
Soldiers have supported the Global War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, supported peace operations in Bosnia and elements current are deployed to Kosovo. In World War II, its Soldiers landed on Omaha Beach at Normandy on D-Day, liberated France and continued battle into Germany until World War II in Europe was won.

Commanding General of the First U. S. Army, Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, officiated at the change of command. 

In their remarks, Wyman, Hayden and Honoré paid special tribute to the Soldiers of the 29th who have given their lives in the Global War on Terror, promising that the memory of their dedicated service would never be forgotten. The men also paid tribute to the Soldiers who stood before them.

Pointing to the Soldiers in the ceremonial formation,  Honoré said,  “More than 60 percent of these Soldiers have been deployed. America knows it’s at war when National Guardsmen deploy. It takes a great commitment and these National Guardsmen have shown that they are truly great Americans.

Hayden enlisted in the Maryland National Guard in 1970 as a supply specialist and attained the rank of staff sergeant before attending Officer Candidate School. He received his commission in June 1977 as a second lieutenant, with a basic branch of infantry. A graduate of the Infantry Basic and Advanced courses, the Command and General Staff Course, the Pre-Command Course and the U.S. Army War College, Hayden has held operational assignments at virtually every level of the Maryland National Guard, including key staff positions and brigade and battalion commands.

“It is an honor and privilege to stand before you as the commander of the 29th,” he said.
He then turned to Wyman and said, “You left me with a great division. We are ready to do whatever mission is placed before us.”

“It has been truly an honor and privilege for me to have served as commander of this division,” Wyman said. “I would like to say it has been my honor to represent the wonderful men and women of the 29th.” 

Wyman began his military career in 1966 and was commissioned a second lieutenant the following year when he graduated from Artillery Officer Candidate School. After his active-duty service, Wyman entered the Massachusetts Army National Guard in 1974, where he served in a variety of command and staff positions at battalion, brigade and state headquarters level. Wyman commanded the 1st Squadron, 110th Armored Cavalry, 26th (Yankee) Infantry Division and the 26th (Yankee) Infantry Brigade (Light). He took command of the 29th in September 2004.

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