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Alumnus Wilson is new commander of Georgia Army National Guard

October 15, 2020

University of North Georgia (UNG) alumnus Brig. Gen. Dwayne Wilson, '93, took command of the Georgia Army National Guard on Oct. 9.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to continue to serve the Georgia Army National Guard in this position," Wilson said. "It's a great organization with great officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers in every one of our units. I'm honored to be part of the team."

The Georgia Army National Guard has been particularly active in recent years.

"I don't know that there's ever been a time when we've been operating at such a high tempo," Wilson said. "We have soldiers deployed overseas and along the US. Southwest border, participating in training missions in both Germany and the country of Georgia, and as well as supporting domestic operations at home."

Wilson, who earned a degree in criminal justice from UNG, previously served as director of the Joint Staff for the Georgia National Guard. Those responsibilities have included coordinating domestic response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that assignment, he was the chief of staff for the Georgia Army National Guard. 

"The selection of Brig. Gen. Wilson as the commanding general of the Georgia Army National Guard is another great example of the high-quality leaders the UNG Corps of Cadets produces," said retired Col. Joseph Matthews, '94, commandant of cadets at UNG.

Matthews has known Wilson since they were cadets together when Wilson was deputy brigade commander and served as senior instructor for the Mountain Order of Colombo.

Wilson appreciates the lifelong friendships formed and the Army values instilled while he was a cadet at UNG.

"Throughout my career, I have often reflected on lessons learned in leadership while a member of the Boar's Head Brigade Corps of Cadets," Wilson said.

In his new role, Wilson commands a large number of UNG alumni. In 2019, UNG commissioned 40 second lieutenants into the Georgia Army National Guard. Those officers are part of the more than 100 second lieutenants UNG commissions each year as one of the nation's six senior military colleges.

The state offers 42 UNG Military Scholarships per year to Georgia high school seniors who attend UNG and commission as officers in the Georgia Army National Guard after graduating with bachelor's degrees. The scholarship, worth more than $85,000 over four years, pays for room, meals, tuition, books, uniforms, and fees. In addition, cadets receive National Guard weekend drill pay, the GI Bill, pay for attending Army basic and advanced training, and Army ROTC contract pay.

"We're very fortunate to be able to have the relationship and the partnership we have with UNG and to be the beneficiary of the second lieutenants produced by this institution," Wilson said.

Wilson is one of seven UNG alumni serving as active-duty Army generals.

Retired Col. Gerald Lord, a former UNG professor of military science and commandant, is a personal friend of Wilson and his son worked under Wilson in the Georgia Army National Guard. Lord said he is excited to see UNG graduates continuing to rise in the leadership ranks of the Guard.

"He is a very strong leader. He is one of those leaders who sets the example and then lets people follow him," Lord said. "He's very positive, very organized. He's one of those thoughtful leaders who plans well in advance."

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