The Virginia National Guard change of command ceremony scheduled for June 3, 2023 will feature an F-22 Raptor flyover and white-fire artillery salute, and residents of the Bellwood area of Chesterfield County who surrounding the Richmond Defense Supply Center should expect brief periods of loud noise during the Saturday morning ceremony and Friday afternoon rehearsal.
During the ceremony, Brig. General James W. Ring will be promoted to Major General and will take command of the Virginia National Guard from Major General Timothy P. Williams. On March 31, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced Ring’s appointment to serve as Virginia’s 29th Adjutant General and lead the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard, and Virginia Defense Force.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin June 3 at 9 a.m. VNG Airmen assigned to the 192nd Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis will perform the flyover of the F-22, and VNG Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 111 Norfolk-based Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will salute with blank fire. A rehearsal of the artillery salute will take place on Friday afternoon.
The Troutville-based 29th Infantry Division Band will provide music for the ceremony, and members of the Virginia Defense Force will provide traffic control and medical support.
“I am pleased to name Brig. Gen. James W. Ring as Virginia’s new adjutant general to succeed Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams,” Youngkin said in the announcement of his appointment. “Brig. General Ring is a proven leader who has served in key command and staff positions at the state and national levels, as well as in combat, and I am confident in his abilities to lead the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force Major General Williams is retiring after nearly 40 years of dedicated service to the Commonwealth and nation, and we wish him the best in his next chapter.”
“Commander. General Williams has been an excellent leader for the Virginia National Guard and has positively influenced its future. I am excited to work with Brig. General Ring when he takes the helm as the new adjutant general, he brings tremendous talent.” said Craig Crenshaw, secretary of Veterans Affairs and Defense.
Ring currently serves as director of the joint staff for the Virginia National Guard, a position he has held since May 2018.
“I am incredibly honored and humbled that Governor Youngkin has selected me to lead the more than 9,000 soldiers and airmen of the Virginia National Guard and members of the Virginia Defense Force,” Ring said. “I look forward to working with our leaders to build on the high levels of readiness achieved under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Williams.”
Williams will retire on July 1, 2023.
“Being assigned as Virginia’s 28th Adjutant General has been a unique honor and privilege to serve the men and women of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force for the past nine years,” Williams said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these men and women who have shown such dedication and professionalism. No matter what challenge we faced, they always accomplished the mission spectacularly.”
Virginia’s adjutant general serves as the agency chief for the Virginia Department of Military Affairs, the state agency that provides leadership and administrative support to the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard, and Virginia Defense Force. Virginia.
Williams was officially sworn in for his third term as Virginia’s adjutant general on June 28, 2022. He was first sworn in on June 2, 2014, and was reelected a second time and sworn in again on January 22, 2018. Of course , Williams has led the VNG through an unprecedented operational pace.
VNG’s support to Virginia’s COVID-19 response spanned more than 460 days in which they assisted with vaccinations, testing, and administrative, logistical, and planning support at locations across the state. During the COVID-19 response operations, nearly 600 VNG Soldiers and Airmen and VDF members completed more than 1,100 missions to help keep their Virginians safe during the global pandemic. They supported nearly 160 different local, state, and federal agencies over the course of the mobilization.
VNG personnel quickly deployed to assist civilian law enforcement with the civil disruption response in Washington, DC, and stayed behind to support security operations at the 59th Presidential Inauguration. On opening day, approximately 2,400 VNG Soldiers were among the more than 25,000 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from across the country on duty to help law enforcement keep people safe and protect property. A group of around 1,000 VNG personnel remained to help with enduring support from the National Guard after the inauguration.
In the past two years, more than 2,000 Virginia National Guardsmen have been deployed on federal active duty in the United States and abroad, the third-most in the past century. VNG soldiers serving in the U.S. provided aviation, engineering, transportation, and unmanned aerial surveillance support to the Department of Defense-approved mission assisting Customs and Border Protection on the southwest border and supporting to cyberspace operations to the US Cyber Command.
Soldiers deployed abroad provided mission command for multinational forces in Kuwait, mission command and basic life support in Iraq and Kuwait, a security response force in the Horn of Africa, defense site security aircraft in Iraq, utility engineering support in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and conducted NATO peace support operations in Kosovo. VNG Airmen also supported a short notice air superiority support in the United Arab Emirates.
Since September 11, 2001, more than 18,500 VNG soldiers and airmen have been deployed around the world and here in the United States for national security missions.
Ring is a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Virginia Military Institute in 1988, and holds an M.A. from the Command and General Staff College in Military Arts and Sciences and an M.A. from the US Army War College in Strategic Studies. He commanded at the company, battalion, brigade and general officer task force levels and has served with distinction in key leadership operational assignments from the state to the national level. He has deployed in support of Operation New Horizons in US Southern Command; Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Operation Iraqi Freedom in Southwest Asia; as well as Operation Jump Start on the Southwestern Border of the United States.
Williams, a lifelong Virginian and 1985 Virginia Tech graduate, earned his commission as a field artillery officer. He has served at all levels, beginning with an active duty tour with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and then transitioning to the Virginia Army National Guard in 1990. Williams served much of his military career as a Guardsman. Traditional state national and also built a career as a federal civil servant culminating as Director of Training and Doctrine Support at Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Science in Management from Virginia Tech and has a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University and a Master of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College.
About the Virginia National Guard and the Virginia Defense Force
The Virginia National Guard is a unique dual-status force with a federal mission to provide a combat reserve for the US Army and Air Force to fight our nation’s wars and a state mission to provide a response force that responds to the call to defend the commonwealth. The VNG traces the history and tradition of citizen-soldier service to the founding of Jamestown in 1607, and there has been a military presence defending Virginia ever since.
The Virginia Defense Force is authorized by Section 44-54.4 of the Virginia Code as the volunteer reserve of the Virginia National Guard, and the VDF serves as an integrated force multiplier in all national VNG operations. VDF members volunteer their time for training and community support and are only paid when called to state active duty with an authorization from the Governor of Virginia.