Gen. Steven Cray will be the next commander of the Vermont National Guard. He says his new post is an honor, but recognizes it comes at a challenging time.
Cray was elected Thursday morning by the Vermont Legislature. He received 125 of 173 votes cast, beating out three other candidates. Cray is a brigadier general in the Vt. Air Guard. As commander of the overall Air and Army Guard force, he says he's prepared to tackle fiscal challenges including looming budget cuts. He also hopes the Air Force will base its F-35s in Burlington, ensuring the Guard's future for the next 30-40 years. Without these fighter jets he says the Guard's mission would change.
"I can say that there's not a menu of options out there. And I can't say for sure specifically. Air National Guard units around our country have transitioned from flying missions to numerous other missions. But most of those units shrink in size and capabilities," Cray said.
As the adjutant general of the guard, Cray will automatically be promoted to the rank of major general. Cray takes over for interim commander Gen. Thomas Drew as the permanent replacement for Gen. Michael Dubie. Cray assumes his post March 1.
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