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US Army War College hails new Deputy Commandant for Reserve Affairs

October 1, 2017 -- Brig. Gen. Kelly A. Fisher became the US Army War College Deputy Commandant for Reserve Affairs as of Oct. 1, 2017. In this role, she will advise the commandant on Reserve Component considerations; and mentor the curriculum of the Army War College’s MSS programs for colonels/ lieutenant colonels, and the Army Strategic Education Program for Army general officers of all components.

Brig. Gen. Fisher holds a dual role as the Land Component Commander, California Army National Guard, responsible to provide oversight and guidance to the non-divisional Soldier of the California Army National Guard. Prior to this position, General Fisher served as special advisor to the Chief of National Guard Bureau as the Chief of General Officer Management Office. 

Fisher deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, 2011-2012, and deployed her battalion to Fort Lewis, Wash., in support of Operation Noble Eagle.  In addition to her California Army National Guard assignments in staff and command assignments, in military intelligence and military police units,  her career has included several assignments with the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., to include service as the NGB Strategic Analyst, and Chief of the General Officer Management Office.

Fisher holds a master’s degrees from the California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo, and from the U.S. Army War College. She has been awarded the Defense Superior Service medal, the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal, among many awards and decorations.

Command, colleagues thank Schwartz for 3years as Deputy Commandant

Fisher replaced Brig. Gen. George M. Schwartz who was dual-hatted as both the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Assistant Adjutant General and USAWC Deputy Commandant for Reserve Affairs.

On Sep. 14, the command group and colleagues gathered to farewell Schwartz just prior to his retirement at the end of the month.

Commandant Maj. Gen. John Kem honored Schwartz for 33 years of service and highlighted his three years of contributions and commitment to the students of the Army War College. “We only met a couple of weeks ago,” said Kem, explaining why he tapped into the memories of retired Maj. Gen. Bill Rapp, whose three-year tenure as commandant overlapped Schwartz’s time with the Army War College.

Brig. Gen. George Schwartz, Deputy Commandant for Reserve Affairs, offers a National Guard Heritage Painting to Commandant Maj. Gen. John Kem, on behalf of the College at a farewell gathering Sept. 14, upon his imminent retirement.  The painting as well as his dual assignments bridged the worlds of Soldier and educator, he said. “Men of Iron” depicts the World War I-era 109th Army National Guard Regiment, now known as the PAARNG 55th Brigade, which Schwartz had commanded.

Through Kem, Rapp recounted the value of Schwartz’s advice on reserve issues, providing a conduit back to Guard and Reserve leadership working unique issues about unique people and policies;  his outreach efforts representing the Army, Pennsylvania Guard, and Army War College; and his contributions to the faculty and leadership team. Especially, he noted Schwartz’s efforts in general officer development for the Reserve Component.

“As we worked through the GOMO education effort … breaking barriers -- I want to thank you for all that work,” said Kem. “The evolution of the last few years, from the initial idea that maybe the war college should take over GO education to where we are today, when every single colonel-promotable from all three components all go to the same general officer course. It’s never happened before. And you had a big hand in pulling all that together.”

In an impromptu set of toasts, Sam White noted the DCG’s work in support of the Center for Strategic Leadership, to include the RC education courses. Dean Richard Lacquement talked to specific support that Schwartz gave to the School, and especially the Distance Education Program. Prof. Harry Tomlin remembered how well Schwartz represented the Reserve Component while a student in the Army Strategic Art Program as well as the generous interaction with ASAP when he returned as the Deputy Commandant, followed by Prof. George Woods who remembered him as a student who pushed himself to accomplish, and brought pride and satisfaction to his instructors.

 “I couldn’t pay for the great experiences I had here, especially the interactions with students. As an educator, it’s been a real blessing to be here,” said Schwartz. “Most of all, being here in this assignment brought together my two worlds,” he said, referencing his civilian career in higher education and his identity as a Soldier.

“Previous to coming here, I was the first Guard DCG at Fort Benning…. I had a great job at Fort Benning. As a combat arms officer, I loved being down there.” Yet, he said, “When I was offered the job with the Army War College, it was too good to pass up.

“Every time I came here for duty, I really felt at home. Part of it had to do with the two domains that I operated in. But the bigger part had to do with all the great people I got to work with.”