RICHMOND, Va. –
Col. James W. Ring has been named to succeed Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin as the Virginia National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and will be promoted to brigadier general, according to an announcement made May 1, 2018, by Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. Griffin will transition to a traditional Guard status and retire later this year after more than 30 years of service. Ring currently serves as the Virginia Army National Guard Chief of Staff, and his effective date as the Director of the Joint Staff is May 5.
“Please join me in congratulating these fine officers as they progress to new and increasing responsibilities,” Williams wrote in the announcement. “Their leadership and experience is vast and their commitment to the organization unwavering.”
After serving as the Chief of the Joint Staff since January 2012, Griffin was assigned as Director of the Joint Staff in January 2015.
“His steadfast leadership guaranteed mission accomplishment throughout countless state and national National Guard Civil Support operations, as well as development and strengthening of strategic partnerships on the international stage,” Williams wrote. “Brig. Gen. Griffin successfully directed the joint staff in aligning both Army and Air initiatives in order to achieve my strategic vision. I am grateful for his dedication and look forward to his future success.”
Ring was assigned as Virginia Army National Guard Chief of Staff in February 2016.
“He impressively led his staff in supporting the Virginia Army National Guard during the most demanding operations tempo they have seen since 2001,” Williams wrote. “His extensive experience serving in command and staff assignments in support of joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multi-national operations makes him uniquely qualified to lead the joint staff in this challenging role.”
Ring is a 1988 Distinguished Military Graduate of Virginia Military Institute, and he holds a master’s degree from the Command and General Staff College in Military Arts and Science and a master’s degree from the U.S. Army War College in Strategic Studies.
Ring commanded at the company, battalion and brigade levels and has served with distinction in key leader operational assignments from the state to national levels. He has deployed in support of Operation New Horizons in U.S. Southern Command; Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Operation Iraqi Freedom in Southwest Asia; as well as to Operation Jump Start on the U.S. Southwest Border. He is a Master Army Aviator, Aviation Safety Officer, Instrument Flight Examiner and UH-60 Instructor Pilot. His aircraft qualifications include the UH-1, OH-58, UH-60, UH-72 and the C-12.
Griffin is a graduate of Longwood College and received his commission as a field artillery officer in 1987 through the University of Richmond ROTC program. He served on active duty in Germany and Fort Stewart, Georgia, and joined the Maryland National Guard in 1995.
He transferred to the Virginia National Guard in 1997 and served in a variety of assignments including commanding a field artillery battery and the Virginia National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion. His staff assignments include operations officer for the 1st Battalion, 246th Field Artillery Regiment and 29th Division Artillery, and he served as chief of staff of the 29th Infantry Division prior to becoming the Virginia National Guard Director of the Joint Staff. Griffin deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1997 as a fire support officer in support of Operation Joint Guard, and he served on federal active duty as a battalion executive officer in 2003 in support of Operation Noble Eagle. In 2011 he mobilized again as the chief of staff of 29th Infantry Division Forward in Kabul, Afghanistan.