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MSU alumni named to Army and National Guard leadership

The Kentucky National Guard has named two MSU alumni as its new Army chief of staff and Army deputy chief of operations.  

Col. Joe Gardner (95) was chosen as chief of staff, replacing Brig. Gen. Bryan Howay, who was recently promoted. He reports directly to the Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Hal Lamberton on Army National Guard matters and assists in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization.   

Col. J.B. Richmond (96) has stepped into the role of Army Deputy Chief of Operations (G3), filling the gap created by Gardner’s appointment. Richmond is responsible for the operations and training for all the soldiers in the Kentucky Army National Guard.  

Gardner has served as both a chemical and engineer officer and has more than 27 years of service in the Kentucky National Guard. He’s worked full-time for the Guard for the last 20 years and his last deployment was as the 149th Military Engagement Team (MET) Commander to the Central Command Area of Operations.   

Richmond, a career engineer officer, has more than 28 years of service in the Kentucky National Guard. He’s worked full-time for the Guard for more than two decades and has deployed numerous times both overseas and stateside throughout his career.   

Both Gardner and Richmond are graduates of MSU and the United States Army War College.  

The Kentucky National Guard is comprised of approximately 7,500 soldiers and airmen in the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, which are components of the United States Army and the United States Air Force, respectively. Kentucky Guardsmen are spread across the state and have a presence in nearly every community in the Commonwealth.  

Additional information for veterans, national guardsmen and reservists, and military families is available at, or by contacting Dr. Silas Session, director of military initiatives, at 606-783-9416 or