SANDSTON, Va. — Retired Maj. Gen. Carroll Thackston, the Adjutant General of Virginia from July 1994 to September 1998, passed away Feb. 17, 2013, at Lynchburg General Hospital at the age of 79.
“The Commonwealth has lost a great Virginian,” said Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia. “He was a highly respected and admired general officer, and he remained a strong supporter of men and women in uniform in his retirement. Personally, he provided a great deal of advice and support to me since I became the adjutant general. We will miss him, and our thoughts, prayers and sympathies go out to his family.”
Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement on the Thackston’s passing.
“With the passing of Major General Carroll Thackston, Virginia has lost a true patriot and a dedicated public servant. Major General Thackston dedicated his life to helping protect and serve others, from his six years of active duty in the United State Army, to his 35 years in the Virginia National Guard during which he was appointed to the top position by Governor George Allen, and then his public service as a town councilman and mayor of South Boston after his retirement. Major General Thackston also focused on helping others in his civilian life, having a long career as a human resources manager for Daystrom Furniture.
“Our administration was fortunate to have been able to benefit from his counsel and wisdom during our transition to the governor’s office. Major General Thackston offered his expertise to guide in the selection of the current Adjutant General, and helped ensure that the transition of Virginia’s National Guard command was seamless as a member of my transition team. I know he was also a valuable resource for Major General Long and we appreciated his continued dedication to the Virginia National Guard.
“Virginia is blessed to have so many strong and dedicated public servants among its citizens, but some, such as Major General Thackston, truly stand out. He demonstrated to us all that a career in public service and a dedication to one’s fellow man can make a lasting difference in the lives of all Virginians.”
Former Governor George Allen released the following statement on the passing of retired Maj. Gen. Carroll Thackston, former Adjutant General of Virginia:
“Appointing Maj. Gen. Carroll Thackston as Adjutant General of Virginia was one of the most important decisions I made as governor. We made many visits to Soldiers serving overseas and seeing Virginia Guard troops in action during state emergency response operations, and I could always count on him to make sure the Guard was where we needed them to aide their fellow Virginians.
“I could always trust General Thackston in times of military action in Bosnia and northern Iraq, as well as natural disasters in Virginia. He consistently led with integrity and was motivated by love of his fellow Virginians. His leadership in transitioning Virginia Guard operations to Fort Pickett in the last 1990s helped pave the way for the installation becoming the world-class military, public safety and civilian educational facility that it is today.
“General Thackston devoted his life to leading, protecting and serving Virginians in the Guard as well as in civilian life. A truly great, loyal and devoted Virginia patriot has gone to Heaven, but his legacy to the Virginia National Guard, Southside Virginia and the Virginia Military Institute live on. Susan and I send our heartfelt condolences to the whole Thackston family who also served Virginia through the years.”
Thackston graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and served in the Army Reserve in the first years of his military career. His first assignment with the Virginia National Guard was with the 1173rd Transportation Company where he served as detachment commander and company commander. He also served as the inspector general and commanded the 116th Support Battalion from November 1977 to March 1980.
From March 1983 to December 1986 he served as the state military personnel officer, then as chief of staff from December 1986 to September 1989. He was the assistant adjutant general from September 1989 to June 1993, and then served as the adjutant general from July 1994 to September 1998.
After he left the Virginia Guard, Thackston was very active in his community and served on the town council and as mayor of South Boston.
Celebrating the life of Major General Carroll Thackston, USA (Ret.).
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 967
Offered February 18, 2013
Celebrating the life of Major General Carroll Thackston, USA (Ret.).
Patrons– Edmunds; Senator: Ruff
WHEREAS, Major General Carroll Thackston, USA (Ret.), the former Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard and the mayor of the Town of South Boston, died on February 17, 2013; and
WHEREAS, a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Carroll Thackston enjoyed a distinguished military career, serving six years in the United States Army and 35 years in the Virginia National Guard; and
WHEREAS, Carroll Thackston began his illustrious career with the Virginia National Guard with the 1173rd Transportation Company, which he served as detachment commander and company commander; and
WHEREAS, Carroll Thackston rose through the ranks of the Virginia National Guard, serving as the inspector general, commander of the 116th Support Battalion, state military personnel officer, chief of staff, and assistant adjutant general; and
WHEREAS, in 1994, Governor George Allen appointed Major General Thackston Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard, a position he held until 1998; and
WHEREAS, as Adjutant General, Major General Thackston provided strong leadership to the Virginia National Guard as its members valiantly served at home and abroad to ensure the security of the Commonwealth and the defense of the United States; and
WHEREAS, Major General Thackston provided encouraging words as he visited Virginia National Guard members engaged in state emergency response operations and stationed in such locations as Bosnia and Iraq; and
WHEREAS, Major General Thackston oversaw the transition of Virginia National Guard operations to Fort Pickett, the installation that today serves as a world-class military, public safety, and civilian educational facility; and
WHEREAS, after retiring from the Virginia National Guard, Major General Thackston continued to serve the public as a town council member and mayor of the Town of South Boston, where he worked diligently to ensure the efficient and effective operation of local government; and
WHEREAS, Carroll Thackston also once worked as a locomotive fireman and engineer with Norfolk and Western Railroad and manager of the Virginia Employment Commission in South Boston; he retired as the human resources manager at Daystrom Furniture; and
WHEREAS, a remarkable public servant, Major General Thackston will be remembered for his faithful service and greatly missed by many loving family members, friends, the residents of South Boston, members of the Virginia National Guard, and a grateful Commonwealth; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of a true patriot and dedicated public servant, Major General Carroll Thackston, USA (Ret.); and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Major General Carroll Thackston, USA (Ret.), as an expression of the General Assembly’s respect for his memory.