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NEWS | Jan. 11, 2024

Martin takes command of VaARNG from Gallagher

By Mike Vrabel | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Col. Charles B. Martin Jr. was promoted to brigadier general and formally took command of the Virginia Army National Guard from Brig. Gen. K. Weedon Gallagher during a change of command ceremony Jan. 6, 2024, at Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. 

Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the Adjutant General of Virginia, presided over the traditional exchange of organizational colors symbolizing the transfer of command from Gallagher to Martin as the Virginia National Guard’s Assistant Adjutant General - Army. The 29th Infantry Division Band performed ceremonial music for the event. 

“Please join me in congratulating Col. Martin on his selection as the next Assistant Adjutant General – Army,” said Ring. “He is a proven leader who brings a broad range of experience including domestic mobilizations in support of Operation Noble Eagle and a combat deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has served as the Chief of the Joint Staff since January 2023 and in command and staff positions at every echelon within the Virginia National Guard.”

Martin, who previously served as the VNG Chief of the Joint Staff, will lead the Virginia Army National Guard and will provide mission readiness guidance in the areas of training, personnel management, command logistics, facilities and maintenance to support more 7,000 Army National Guard Citizen-Soldiers. Martin assumed his duties as Chief of the Joint Staff in early 2023 after previously commanding the Fort Barfoot-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute.

“To the Soldiers of the Virginia Army National Guard: I will work tirelessly to ensure our units are manned, equipped, trained, stationed, resourced and better prepared when we’re called into service of the commonwealth and the nation,” said Martin. “I look forward to working with you all and for the privilege of being able to continue to serve this great formation.”

Gallagher has now retired from the Virginia National Guard after a more than 32-year military career serving in both the Army Reserve and the National Guard. Prior to being named AAG-A in 2020, Gallagher served as commander of the Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group and as Assistant Adjutant General for Army Strategic Initiatives. 

“We continue to deploy around the globe at the nation’s call to serve for peace and stability, not on behalf of self but under the principles of democracy,” said Ring. “Weedon Gallagher personifies that as we recognize his distinguished service.”

Gallagher thanked everyone in attendance and said that the VaARNG will be in good hands with Martin. 

“The Army’s a big organization, bigger than any one person. We’re all replaceable,” said Gallagher. “What I was taught was you train to be replaced. You train your subordinates, you invest time to engage your subordinates and open their aperture. Let them take risks and make mistakes, because you know you are going to be replaced. 

“Yet, being replaced as a leader is difficult,” Gallagher continued. “We’re invested in the formation and we’re invested in a lot of individuals in the formation. It’s hard to disengage from those relationships and that investment. But, I know it’s time because Charlie is here, and we know what kind of immensely qualified leader Charlie is. There’s no doubt this exceptional leader will raise the formation to new heights.”

Martin also thanked Gallagher for setting a high standard as AAG-A. 

“I’d like to honor and recognize Brig. Gen. Gallagher for his honorable service over the course of his distinguished career,” said Martin. “It’s been a particular honor to serve with him and observe how he prioritized people, readiness and modernization of the force during his time as land component commander. You set a high bar, and I appreciate the example of leadership and excellence.”

During the ceremony, Col. Beau Mason, the VaARNG G-1 personnel officer and former commander of Fredericksburg-based 229th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, presented Gallagher’s wife Anne the Essayons Medal, a medal given to spouses of Army engineers who make significant contributions to the unit and engineer community. 

“For more than 27 years, Mrs. Anne Gallagher has provided love, support and selfless sacrifice to Brig. Gen. Gallagher’s success,” said Mason during the presentation. “To be in her presence, you feel the personification of the Army values.”

See more photos from the ceremony at

Leader biographies:

Gallagher was commissioned from the Virginia Military Institute class of 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. His military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced courses, Combined Arms Services and Staff School, Command and General Staff College, Senior Transportation Officer Qualification Course, and the Theater Sustainment Course. He graduated from the Army War College in 2014 and Joint Forces College in 2015. In 2017, he graduated from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government program in Leadership in Homeland Security. He completed NORTHCOM training and certification as a Dual Status Commander in 2018. He served in numerous command and staff positions in the United States Army Reserve and the Army National Guard including company commander Bravo Company, 121st Engineer Battalion (MECH), commander of the 1297th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, where he deployed the battalion to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2011 and commander of the 329th Regional Support Group prior to his appointment as AAG-A. Prior to his deployment as battalion commander, he also deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 and 2008. In his civilian career, Gallagher followed a ten-year career as an engineer at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command with a transition to private sector. After serving as a vice president at a publicly traded company, he is now the owner of a small business specializing in facility management and electrical systems installations.

Martin joined the Virginia Army National Guard in 1994, serving first as an infantryman, before graduating from Virginia Officer Candidate School and being commissioned as an Engineer Officer in 1996. During his 29 years of military service, Martin served in key command and staff positions, to include engineer company commander, brigade engineer officer, battalion executive officer, 29th Infantry Division G5 chief of plans, engineer battalion commander, 183rd RTI commander and primary joint staff assignments at Joint Forces Headquarters – Virginia. Martin is a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Engineer Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Service Staff School, Intermediate Level Education Course and the Joint Combined Warfare School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Longwood College and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2018. He completed the NORTHCOM Dual Status Commander Course in 2022 and  is a recent graduate of the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government program in Leadership in Homeland Security. In his civilian career, Martin has worked for Altria in Richmond, Virginia for nearly 23 years, including leadership and management positions in manufacturing, government affairs, and corporate citizenship.

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