By Sgt. 1st Class Jim GreenhillJune 29, 2012
ARLINGTON, Va. (6/29/12) - President Obama has nominated Army Lt. Gen. Frank
Grass, the deputy commander of U.S. Northern Command, as the 27th chief of
the National Guard Bureau, according to the Congressional Record.
If confirmed, Grass would succeed the current chief, Air Force Gen. Craig
McKinley, the first four-star general to hold the assignment who also became
the first CNGB to serve as a statutory member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"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. 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 also was nominated for appointment to the rank of general.
The nomination has been sent to the U.S. Senate for confirmation.
Grass has served as NORTHCOM's deputy commander and as vice commander, U.S.
Element, North American Aerospace Command, since 2010. He previously was
NORTHCOM's operations director from 2008 to 2010.
Prior to his service at NORTHCOM, Grass was the director of mobilization and
Reserve component affairs at U.S. European Command, a position he filled
following his stint as deputy director of the Army National Guard.
In his current role at NORTHCOM, Grass has helped lead the command to
anticipate, prepare and respond to threats and aggression aimed at the
United States, its territories and interests within the assigned area of
responsibility and - as directed by the president or defense secretary -
provide defense support of civil authorities.
Vermont's adjutant general, Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Dubie, was confirmed
as Grass' successor at NORTHCOM.
Lt. Gen. Grass enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard in 1969. He was
commissioned in 1981 after 12 years' service as an enlisted Citizen-Soldier.
On the civilian side, Grass was employed by 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
During his time at NORTHCOM, Grass repeatedly stressed the importance of the
relationship between the combatant command and the National Guard.
NORTHCOM's key homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities
missions match key National Guard missions.