FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
Brig. Gen. Joseph DiNonno took command of the 29th Infantry Division from Maj. Gen. John Rhodes Aug. 5, 2023, on the Long Parade Ground at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the Adjutant General of Virginia, presided over the exchange of organizational colors signifying the transfer of command from Rhodes to DiNonno.
“Today we look forward to the great things that are ahead with this great division,” said Ring. “Pick up a newspaper any day, and we will see that there are always ill actors and truly evil nation-states that choose to take freedoms away from others. Your leadership and service is even more needed today as it was in 1917 when this division was formed.”
DiNonno previously served as the 29th Infantry Division’s deputy commanding general for operations, mobilizing in 2021 to Joint Training Center Zarqa in Jordan as part of Task Force Spartan in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Prior to his role as deputy commanding general for operations, DiNonno served in command and staff positions at every level of the Virginia Army National Guard including command at the squadron and brigade level.
“As I take command, my primary focus will be on the welfare of our Soldiers and the business of warfighting in large-scale combat operations,” said DiNonno. “Our division has a rich heritage built upon the bravery and sacrifice of those who came before us.”
DiNonno credited his predecessor, Rhodes, with leading the division through one of the most active periods of operations since World War II, from their deployments throughout the Middle East and Africa, to domestic missions in support of the COVID-19 response and civil disturbances.
“I stand before you with a sense of immense pride, honor and humility to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading this amazing division,” said DiNonno. “This division accomplished quashing an ISIL prison break in Syria, standing up and administering transition facilities in Qatar for thousands of Afghans, and leading significant bilateral and multilateral training events throughout the Middle East, including Bright Star 21 in Egypt.”
Rhodes was quick to highlight his time the commanding general for the 29th Infantry Division as the highlight of his 36-year military career.
“I serve in the National Guard because of the people right here in front of me,” Rhodes said to the formation of 29th Infantry Division Soldiers. “I am proud to have served as your commander and look forward to our service together in the Army National Guard.”
Formed in 1918, the 29th Infantry Division saw action in the First World War, participated in the D-Day landings on Omaha Beach during the Second World War, and mobilized thousands of Soldiers to the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and Africa throughout the Global War on Terror.
Today the 29th Infantry Division stands as one of the Army National Guard’s eight infantry divisions, with units spread across seven states from Maryland to Florida. As part of the National Guard’s emerging division-aligned force, the 29th Infantry Division maintains training and readiness oversight of the Alabama National Guard’s 226th Movement Enhancement Brigade, the Georgia National Guard’s 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the Florida National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the Maryland National Guard’s 29th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, the North Carolina National Guard’s 113th Sustainment Brigade, the Virginia National Guard’s 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and the Arkansas National Guard’s 142nd Fires Brigade.