FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Gen. Frank J. Grass, the 27th Chief of National Guard Bureau, presented retired Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., with the Distinguished Service Medal Dec. 1, 2015, at the Mason-Ruhren Readiness Center in Fredericksburg, Virgina. Long spent more than 50 years in uniform and received the DSM to recognize his service as the Adjutant General of Virginia from July 14, 2010, to May 31, 2014. A native of Stafford County, Long enlisted in the Virginia National Guard in Fredericksburg in February 1964 and spent many of the early years of his military career serving in units based in Fredericksburg. It was Long’s third award of the DSM, one of the highest awards approved by the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army.
“He is a Soldier, he saw a mission that needed to be done, someone asked him to do it, and he stepped up,” Grass said referring to the multiple times Long could have retired but continued to serve. “This is an opportunity for us to recognize you and your family for your great support to our military and our National Guard.”
Grass described Long’s career as being divided into three phases: first his time as a traditional Guard Soldier serving in engineer units in Fredericksburg for the first 20 years of his career, followed by multiple assignments in the 29th Infantry Division, then transitioning to a series of active duty assignments culminating in his service as the Adjutant General of Virginia.
Long said he joined the Guard because he felt it was the right thing do and an opportunity to do something he felt good about, and he shared that he felt the most important thing he got from his years of service was the people.
“I will tell you that the thing I value the most, the most important thing that I got out of it was the people,” Long said referring to his 50 years and three months in uniform. “I served with great Americans. Less than one percent of the nation puts on a uniform and goes out to do what we do.”
Long advanced to the rank of sergeant, then graduated from the United States Army Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, with a commission as a second lieutenant in September 1967. He served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, staff officer and company commander in the 276th Engineer Battalion from June 1967 to April 1983, commanded the 229th Engineer Battalion from August 1985 to April 1990 and commanded the 2nd Brigade, 29th Infantry Division from April 1995 to September 1996. He then commanded the 29th Infantry Division from August 2002 to September 2004 after having previously served as the chief of staff and assistant division commander for maneuver for the 29th Infantry Division and as deputy commander of the Stabilization Force of the Multi-National Division North Bosnia from September 2001 to April 2002.
He completed U.S. Army Ranger School in December 1992, earning the Ranger Tab at the age of 46.
After commanding the 29th Infantry Division, Long served on multiple active duty assignments including deputy director of the Department of Defense Project and Contracting Office in Baghdad, Iraq, from September 2004 to March 2005, then director until September 2005, commander of Task Force Katrina from September 2005 to December 2005, senior military officer and economic development and infrastructure lead for the Iraq and Afghanistan Working Group for the Department of Defense and the Department of State from December 2005 to August 2006, special assistant to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau on Infrastructure Development/Southwest Border from August 2006 to July 2007 and commander of Northern Command’s Joint Task Force Civil Support at Fort Monroe from July 2007 to July 2010.
Long assumed the duties of Adjutant General of Virginia July 14, 2010, and he was responsible for the combat readiness, administration and training of more than 8,600 Virginia Army and Air National Guard personnel, as well as the readiness of more than 1,000 members of the Virginia Defense Force.
According to Virginia Senate Joint Resolution No. 120 dated Jan. 31, 2014, “Long fostered a culture of excellence within the Virginia National Guard, making sure it anticipated the demands of both state and federal missions in order to be able to rapidly respond when needed to aid the citizens of the Commonwealth and defend the ideals of freedom anywhere in the world.”
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