SANDSTON, Va. –
Walter L. Mercer has been selected to succeed Stephen L. Huxtable as the Virginia Department of Military Affairs Director of Personnel and Administration according to an announcement made Feb. 19, 2016, by Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. Huxtable will retire March 1, 2016, after more than 40 years of civilian and military service with the Virginia National Guard, and Mercer will assume the job March 10.
The Virginia Department of Military Affairs is the state agency responsible for the oversight of the Virginia Army National Guard, the Virginia Air National Guard and the Virginia Defense Force. The director of personnel and administration oversees the day-to-day administration, human resources and legislative affairs programs for DMA and also provides administrative oversight for the Commonwealth ChalleNGe program and the Virginia Defense Force.
“Walt Mercer is an outstanding senior leader in the Virginia Army National Guard, and I am confident he will excel in his new role as the Director of Personnel and Administration as he leverages his experience at every level in the Army as well as his background as a professional educator,” Williams said. “He will be following Steve Huxtable, who has been a key figure in the success of the Virginia Guard for more than 40 years. Steve has been an invaluable member of the command team, and we have been honored to serve with a great Soldier and citizen of the commonwealth.”
Mercer is a traditional Guard Soldier with the rank of brigadier general and serves as the Virginia National Guard Assistant Adjutant General – Army. In that role, Mercer is is responsible for the training and readiness of the more than 7,400 men and women of the Virginia Army National Guard. In his civilian career he has been a project manager in the corporate sector, worked in the Federal civil service and also served in education as a teacher, school leader and administrator.
Mercer began his career as an Infantryman in the 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment in 1982, before being commissioned from Virginia Tech in 1985 as a Distinguished Military Graduate and Regular Army Artillery Officer. His many assignments include platoon leader, company commander, assistant battalion operations officer, OCS commandant, deputy information operations officer, operations officer for the 29th Infantry Division, commander of the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute and commander of 91st Troop Command. He was selected to be the first commander of the newly formed 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment and led the unit during a deployment to Iraq and Kuwait from 2007 to 2008.
Mercer is a graduate of the Airborne School, Infantry Officers Advanced Course, Combined Army Staff Service School, Command and General Staff College, the Resident U.S. Army War College and the Information Operations (FA 30) Course. He holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the Army War College, as well as a Masters in Educational Administration from VCU. His assignments include Germany, Bosnia, Iraq, Kuwait as well as numerous locations throughout the Virginia Army National Guard.
Read Mercer’s full military bio:
Huxtable’s military career began when he enlisted in the Air Force in 1971, and in May 1982 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. After transferring to the Virginia Army National Guard in 1984, Huxtable worked full-time as the deputy director of facilities management for the Virginia Army National Guard.
He became the director of facilities management in 1992, and served there until May 2000 when he was assigned as the full-time Virginia Army National Guard Chief of Staff. In addition to his full-time service, Huxtable also served as the commander of the 276th Engineer Battalion from 1996 to 1998.
Huxtable retired from his full-time employment with the Virginia Army National Guard in August of 2006, and he was selected as the Director of Personnel and Administration for the Department of Military Affairs.
He served as the Virginia National Guard Assistant Adjutant General – Army from April 5, 2009 to Oct. 1, 2010.
Read Huxtable’s full military bio: