Fort Pickett, Virginia, –
Lt. Col. Todd A. Pegg took command of the Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group from Col. Doyle Gillis, Jr., Aug. 19, 2020, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. Brig. Gen. K. Weedon Gallagher, VNG Land Component Commander, presided over the change of command ceremony and the exchange of organizational colors signifying the transfer of command from Gillis to Pegg.
“In a lot of ways, the Virginia Army National Guard is the RSG,” Gallagher said. “The RSG spans the geography of the commonwealth. In that way, the RSG gives us a touchpoint at all the communities and all the micro cultures that exist within the commonwealth and gives us the opportunity to influence in all those communities.”
Gallagher said in a similar way the RSG force structure is an example of the VaARNG with combat arms, combat service support and combat support units.
“In a lot of ways the RSG can be a bellwether of success or failure of where the rest of the VaARNG is going,” he said.
Gallagher reviewed the multiple federal active duty combat missions and training operations undertaken by RSG units as well as their domestic response missions over the last two years.
“Whether you are doing combat missions, defense support to civil authorities or alliance building and sustainment, this is a formation that is leaned on pretty heavily,” Gallagher said. “Not just by Virginia, but National Guard Bureau and Department of the Army. It says a lot about the formation. This formation does it all, and it does it everywhere.”
The diversity of missions and units is what makes the 329th such a challenging and daunting command, he said, and he commended Gillis for his leadership through it all.
“Doyle was always personally vested in the unit,” Gallagher said. “He was always your strongest advocate. He was always fighting for you.”
That’s the kind of thing that makes a commander a great commander, and he expressed his passion through actions and not just words, he said.
“You always held the standard,” Gillis said. “You accomplished every mission you were tasked with, and let me tell you, we were tasked.”
Gillis recounted how he was notified the 329th had been called to state active duty for Hurricane Florence on the day he took command.
“You, the Soldiers of the 329th, performed superbly,” he said. Gillis then went on to review the multiple federal mission taskings accomplished by the 329th and summed up the unit’s duty performance with, “You managed all those things flawlessly, and you maintained a standard of excellence.”
Leaders of the 329th spent significant time planning for the Defender 20 exercise, but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gillis explained.
“Rest was not to be had,” he said. “For the next several months, you fearlessly supported the state’s response to the COVID pandemic from the front lines.”
Gillis said he mentioned all these things because “throughout them all, you performed professionally, morally, ethically and with honor, accomplishing all missions before you with alacrity, dedication and passion. You performed better than any commander could have hoped for, and for that I give you my sincerest thanks.”
He told Pegg, “you are getting the best group of Soldiers and leaders in the state, and I expect they will astound you with their performance and make you very proud.”
Gallagher said he didn’t need to introduce Pegg to the unit because he had been in and out of the formation over the years, including command of the 1030th Transportation Battalion.
“You know what kind of leader you are getting, the caliber of strategic thinker you are getting,” he said. He then recognized Pegg for having taken on challenging and complex duty assignments, never shying away from them but rather actively seeking them out. Those assignments help shape Pegg into the leader he is today, and the 329th would benefit from that.
Gallagher also talked about how the quality of Soldiers, NCOs and officers will make a positive impact on Pegg.
“They will benefit from you, but you will benefit from them,” he said.
Pegg talked about how a year ago no one knew how COVID-19 would be impacting everyone, and the future ahead was uncertain.
“The right values, the right work ethics and the right leadership all have a universal adapter on their business end that helps them to adjust and function regardless of whatever the set of circumstances that arise are,” Pegg said. “I am happy to be going back to the 329th where all those attributes exist across all levels and all ranks. I look forward to working again with the solid team of Soldiers, NCOs and officers.”
Gillis and Pegg both thanked for their families for their consistent support over the years of their military careers.
The Troutville-based 29th Infantry Division Band provided ceremonial music for the event.
Prior to the ceremony, Gillis recognized Lt. Col. Andrew J. Tipton for his service as the 329th RSG operations officer.
About the 329th Regional Support Group
Constituted July 18, 1917, in the Virginia National Guard as Headquarters, 54th Field Artillery Brigade, and assigned to the 29th Division, the unit was converted and reorganized September 1, 2008, as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 329th Regional Support Group. The RSG consists of the 276th Engineer Battalion, the 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and the 1030th Transportation Battalion.
Today, the unit deploys to provide contingency and expeditionary base operations support, with responsibilities for managing facilities, providing administrative and logistical support of Soldier services, and ensuring the security of personnel and facilities on a base camp. The RSG provides mission command of assigned units during homeland security, homeland defense, and civil support missions within the United States, to include managing the reception, staging, onward movement, and integration of supporting forces.