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Guard General Promoted to Joint Service Post

Over 35 years in the Guard prepared MG Gallant to lead an interservice team ready to take on chemical and nuclear threats
MG Richard Gallant, commanding general, Joint Task Force-Civil Support, speaks with Army North responders during exercise Sudden Response 16-2 at Fort Hood, Texas. Photo by PO2 Benjamin T. Liston
MG Richard Gallant, commanding general, Joint Task Force-Civil Support, speaks with Army North responders during exercise Sudden Response 16-2 at Fort Hood, Texas. Photo by PO2 Benjamin T. Liston

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, VA Major General Richard Gallant, of the Army National Guard, is now leading the nation’s only standing Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) joint services response force. 

With 5,200 federal military forces spread across more than 36 locations nationwide, the Joint Task Force-Civil Support (JTF-CS)—if called upon—can deploy within 24 hours and provide command and control for CBRN response operations. The task force is made up of Active Duty military, government civilians, contractors and National Guard members. Already familiar with interservice relations as Guard Soldier, Gallant says the Guard has prepared him for this type of responsibility.

“This command has exposed me to different service and component cultures,” Gallant says. “Coming from a National Guard background has helped me understand and comprehend the different aspects and traits that each service provides.”

Gallant’s time in the National Guard has also provided him with chances to serve in various ways, from overseas combat deployments to disaster relief in the homeland.

“I started out in the Massachusetts Guard and had the great opportunity to help my own community during a blizzard,” Gallant says. “Then I transferred to Florida and got to help [when hurricanes] struck.”

With over 35 years in the Guard, he’s worked with multiple generations of Soldiers, including several that served with family members in the same unit. Gallant views this as a testament to the nation’s intergenerational commitment to service.

“It’s really a pleasure to serve alongside so many great, young and talented Americans serving in the National Guard, as well as [those] in our Active Duty force,” he says.

In his previous assignment, Gallant served as Special Assistant to the Director, Army National Guard Liaison for Force Structure and Strategic Policy. 

As a graduate of officer candidate school in 1982, Gallant branched infantry and commissioned as a second lieutenant. In his career, he has commanded at both the battalion and brigade level in the Florida National Guard's 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. His combat deployments include Overseas Contingency Operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. 

His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency.