NEWS | July 7, 2021

Gillis promoted to brigadier general, will lead VaARNG strategic initiatives

By Cotton Puryear | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

Col. Doyle Gillis, Jr., was promoted to brigadier general July 10, 2021, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Virginia, and succeeds Brig. Gen. James A. Zollar as the Virginia National Guard’s Assistant Adjutant General for Army Strategic Initiatives. Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, announced the promotion and assignment July 2.

Gillis most recently served as the VNG chief of the joint staff, and he will be succeeded by Col. Todd H. Hubbard. Col. Kurt K. Kobernik will replace Hubbard as the VNG J3 director of joint operations. 

“Doyle’s depth of experience at different levels of command and most recently as chief of the joint staff have prepared him for this position of increased responsibility,” Williams wrote in the announcement. “He is a proven leader that will undoubtedly continue to excel.”

Gillis’ promotion follows Zollar’s pending retirement.

“We wish Brig. Gen. Zollar a happy retirement and thank him for his many years of faithful service to the Virginia National Guard,” Williams wrote.

Prior to serving as the chief of the joint staff, Gillis served as the Virginia Army National Guard’s deputy chief of staff for personnel at Fort Pickett in a full time status and also commanded the Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group in a traditional Guard status.

Gillis is a 1990 graduate of Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Governmental Administration. He completed his Master of Public Administration in 1997 from Troy University and is a 2015 graduate of the U.S. Army War College. After serving on active duty and in the Army Reserve, Gillis joined the Virginia Army National Guard in 1989 and completed Virginia OCS in 1991.

His previous assignments include platoon leader, commander of Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, battalion intelligence officer and operations officer, brigade operations officer and battalion executive officer. He commanded the Gate City-based 1030th Transportation Battalion and later served as the deputy director of logistics, the deputy director of joint operations and deputy commander of the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute.

Gillis has deployed three times. He served as a fire team leader during Operation Urgent Fury/Island Breeze in Grenada, a strategic operations planner in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and as a combat advisor team commander in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.

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