JOINT BASE MYER HENDERSON-HALL, Virginia – About 200 family members, friends, and colleagues of Maj. Gen. Mitchell L. Kilgo gathered at the Memorial Chapel here on Sept. 8, 2022, to congratulate him and his family’s commitment to service.
Retired Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, a close friend and mentor of Kilgo, hosted the ceremony and provided remarks.
“Mitch, you’ve led a life of service that has touched us all. Sleep well at night knowing you’ve made a material difference in the lives of others,” Crawford said.
Crawford presented Kilgo the Distinguished Service Medal, along with a certificate of retirement and the U.S. Flag. Kilgo’s wife, LaTonya Kilgo, was presented the Superior Public Service Medal for her work with Soldiers throughout her husband’s career.
Kilgo, whose final assignment was as Deputy, The Inspector General, leaves active duty after more than 34 years of service to the nation. He was commissioned through Army ROTC at Virginia Union University in January 1988, after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and natural sciences.
He recalled accepting an ROTC scholarship during his freshman year of college.
“It was my Plan B,” he said. “I played football and knew if I couldn’t play for some reason, I needed an alternative plan to help me stay in school…it was not a lifelong ambition.”
However, after a couple years, he came to embrace the idea of making the Army a career.
“I felt great about serving and fell in love with the people and the Army’s way of life. I guess Plan B was in line with God’s plan for my life and not the alternative I was seeking,” he said.
Since commissioning, Kilgo has served around the world, including command and staff positions in Korea, Japan, Germany, Iraq and the United States. He considers his time commanding the 5th Theater Signal Command in Germany as his most rewarding assignment.
“I was the first colonel to command a previously one-star command,” he said. “The scope of responsibility was tremendous and covered both Africa and Europe areas of responsibility. The job thoroughly enhanced my ability to perform under immense stress while managing and mitigating risks.”
Prior to his IG assignment in August 2021, Kilgo commanded the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command and Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
The Inspector General, Lt. Gen. Donna W. Martin, praised Kilgo’s dedication to the IG system during his time as deputy.
“Maj. Gen. Kilgo’s leadership, knowledge and support was crucial to our success as an enterprise during his time with us,” she said. “We are definitely going to miss his larger-than-life personality and his presence around the office every day! We will NOT miss his love of the Dallas Cowboys, as we are a majority Pittsburgh Steelers office, but Mitch Kilgo played a huge role in making our IG family fun, and we wish him and his family all the best as they begin this next phase of their lives.
Sgt. Maj. Larry Orvis, the Inspector General sergeant major, lauded Kilgo’s tenure as deputy, the inspector general during a time of transition and change.
“Maj. Gen. Kilgo was the right leader at the right time to keep the focus of inspectors general on readiness and taking care of the Army’s people. IG’s across the Army benefitted from Maj. Gen. Kilgo’s leadership and experience,” Orvis said.
Kilgo reflected on his tenure as deputy.
“What I’m most proud of is how I’ve been able to adequately assist Lt. Gen. Martin and lead the collective team,” he said. “I fully support the inspector general’s vision of operationalizing the U.S. Army Inspector General Agency and building effective relationships to accomplish the agency’s mission.”
He shared parting advice for young officers and cadets: “Be confident in yourself, invest your personal time learning your craft, and take care of your team. Get to know them, ensure they are adequately trained and protect them. Finally, humble yourself and treat everyone with respect and have fun.”
Kilgo reflected on his career, saying, “I’ve enjoyed every day in the Army uniform and will miss the team. I’m proud of how I’ve led, and I pray that I’ve effectively developed the next generation of leaders. I’m forever grateful to all those who supported me and my family and thankful to all who trusted me.”
He also quipped, “What I willingly give back to the Army is the 35 pounds I gained while serving close to 35 years.”
Col. Isaac Manigault will assume the role of acting deputy, the inspector general until a permanent replacement arrives.