Ring named new Va. Army Guard chief of staff

SANDSTON, Va. — Col. James W. Ring has been named to succeed Col. Jeffrey N. Hice as the Virginia Army National Guard chief of staff, according to an announcement made Nov. 3, 2015, by Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. Ring most recently served as the commander of Operational Support Airlift Agency, and Hice will retire in 2016 after more than 30 years of service in the Army. Ring will begin the transition in January 2016.

“Col. Jim Ring is an experienced officer with the right background and skill set to guide the Virginia Army National Guard through this next few years,” said Brig. Gen. Walt Mercer, Virginia National Guard Assistant Adjutant General – Army. “He has served in a wide variety of challenging staff and command assignments, he has deployed, and he has planned and executed National Guard Civil Support missions with superb results. Over the years we have worked together he has earned my full trust. He is the right leader at the right time to take the helm from Col. Jeff Hice, and I am looking forward to working directly with him again.”

Ring commanded at the company and battalion level and also commanded the Virginia National Guard Aviation Support Facility. Ring also served as the state aviation officer and director of joint operations. He has deployed in support of Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina and as an aviation battalion commander in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as Operation Jump Start on the U.S. Southwest Border. His aircraft qualifications include the C-12, UH-1, OH-58 A/C, UH-60 and the UH-72A, and he is qualified as a Master Army Aviator, Aviation Safety Officer, Instrument Flight Examiner and UH-60 Instructor Pilot. He is a 1988 Distinguished Military Graduate of Virginia Military Institute, and he holds a master’s degree from the Command and General Staff College in Military Arts and Science and a master’s degree from the U.S. Army War College in Strategic Studies.

“Col. Jeff Hice has served with distinction for nearly 30 years, and I can tell you that he is the epitome of selfless service: always putting the needs of the mission, its people, and the organization over himself,” Mercer said. “There is no way with words that I can express my appreciation to Jeff for his loyalty, dedication and service and also for the sacrifices made by his wife and his children in supporting him. It has been my honor to serve with him over the years, and as the Army chief of staff during this challenging, resource-constrained time, he has shown the moral courage to do the right thing over and over. He will truly be missed.”

Hice enlisted in the Army prior to earning his commission and served on active duty as well as in the Army Reserve and Virginia National Guard. He commanded an infantry company and has also been a battalion, brigade and division operations officer. He commanded a Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team and was a senior staff officer in the Virginia National Guard State as the deputy joint operations officer and state personnel officer before becoming deputy commander of the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. His served on federal active duty in support of Operation Noble Eagle, and his overseas service includes Germany, Tajikistan, Israel and Afghanistan. He deployed to Afghanistan with the 29th Infantry Division where he was a military advisor to the Afghan National Army and led a team responsible for standing up a national-level three-star ANA command that will lead all ground operations in Afghanistan. He holds a Bachelors degree in History from Houghton College, a Masters Degree in History from Saint Bonaventure University, and a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

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