February 11, 2009

29th ID commander promoted to major general

By 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. Grant L. Hayden

Maj. Gen. Robert Newman, the Adjutant General for Virginia, affixes the hook and pile rank on Maj. Gen. Grant Hayden, 29th Infantry Division commander, marking his promotion Feb. 7, 2009 at the Bowling Green Armory, Bowling Green, Va. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jack Holt, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

FORT A.P. HILL, Va. — Brig. Gen. Grant L. Hayden, commander of the 29th Infantry Division, was promoted to major general Saturday, Feb. 7 at Fort A.P. Hill.

“This is a well deserved and long overdue event,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Newman, the Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard, after he pinned the two stars on Hayden. “The number of tasks accomplished by Joint Task Force 29 during the inauguration speaks volumes of the Soldiers and leadership of the 29th Infantry Division. General Hayden is a great Soldier and leader and has been a great counselor to me.”

Hayden took command of the 29th Infantry Division from Maj. Gen. Arthur Wyman Sept. 9, 2007 in a ceremony officiated by then-First U.S. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré.

“This time it sticks,” said newly minted Maj. Gen. Grant Hayden of his promotion.

While this permanent promotion was pending federal recognition, in January Hayden was frocked to major general by Secretary of the Army Pete Geren for Operation Valiant Shepherd. The reason being the commander’s rank should be commensurate with his responsibilities for an event of this magnitude and visibility.

Maj. Gen. Grant Hayden (R), commanding general of the 29th Infantry Division, presents Brig. Gen. Peter Hinz (L), commanding general of Task Force Dragon, with the Virginia National Guard Bronze Star for his outstanding performance in coordinating a short notice overseas deployment for Yama Sakura 55. Hinz's expert knowledge in task force operations was critical in providing direction to the staff in accomplishment of all assigned missions. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jack Holt, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs)



At that ceremony Hayden told his staff, “This is as much yours as it is mine. I’m allowed this privilege because of your dedication to your work. It is an honor to be your commander.”

Developed in 2007, the training and development of the Joint Task Force 29 concept under the Hayden’s command of led to Operation Valiant Shepherd its first real-world mission. JTF 29 is now the benchmark for the National Guard Joint Task Force concept for domestic risk and crisis management. The National Guard JTF concept is the latest historic transition in the National Guard approach to the support to civilian authority mission.

Hayden briefed the JTF concept to the adjutants general of all 54 United States and territories at the Senior Commanders Conference at the National Guard’s Professional Education Center at Camp Robinson in Little Rock, Ark.

“It was accepted as a proof of principle,” Hayden said in a later interview. The concept is expected to be reflected in the federal All Hazards mission plans that are developed for the Federal Emergency Management Agency regions.

Maj. Gen. Robert Newman, The Adjutant General of Virginia presents Col. Jeffrey Connelly, 29th ID Chief of Staff, with the Meritorious Service Medal for his service as Chief of Staff during Operation Valiant Shepherd Jan. 12-23, 2009. Connelly, within two days, developed the concept of operation for the implementation of Joint Task Force 29 to support the 56th Presidential Inauguration. The plan Connelly developed was accepted by the National Guard Bureau Joint Staff with little or no changes and was the foundation for the successful accomplishment of all 29th Infantry Division assigned missions and tasks during the event. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jack Holt, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

The relationships built in the rehearsals and exercises had an extremely beneficial impact on the success of Operation Valiant Shepherd.

“I had the complete support and confidence of the Adjutants General and commanders of all the supporting states and agencies,” Hayden said. “They had enough trust and confidence in us to allow me to coordinate directly with the supporting units.”

“We’ve been practicing this for a few years so it was nothing new to us,” Hayden continued. “And we’ve been doing this mission for more than 300 years. This is just a new approach.”

It will be a busy year for the 29th Infantry Division. Fiscal year 2009 began with a deployment to Japan for Yama Sakura 55 in December 2008, Operation Valiant Shepherd support to the 56th Presidential Inauguration in January, and preparing for PANAMEX in September and the WARFIGHTER 2010 Exercise next year.

“We’ve got a good roadmap,” said Hayden. “We’ve got a great plan and our Soldiers have proven we can do this. PANAMEX is just another step. I am proud of the Soldiers of the 29th.”

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