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Westminster honors Fulton general

Westminster honors Fulton general

April 29th, 2011 in News

Contributed photo: Maj. Gen. Byron S. Bagby, a former Fulton resident and a 1978 graduate of Westminster College, receives the 2011 Westminster Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award from Westminster President Barney Forsythe.

Maj. Gen. Byron S. Bagby, who grew up in Fulton and is a 1978 graduate of Westminster College, has received the 2011 Westminster Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award.

The award was presented to Bagby by Westminster President Barney Forsythe during the recent Alumni Weekend at the Westminster College campus in Fulton.

"Having grown up in Fulton, I developed a lifelong appreciation for Westminster College," Bagby said.

Bagby is a 1974 graduate of Fulton High School.

At Westminster he graduated from the ROTC program in 1978 as an Army lieutenant with a degree in economics.

"Attending Westminster," Bagby said, "gave me the confidence that I could achieve success in any profession and the ability to seek win-win solutions in working through life's challenges."

One of Bagby's current challenges is serving as director of operations for the Allied Joint Force Command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He is supervising more than 200 people from 26 nations in executing all operational and policy matters relating to the NATO Response Force and the International Security and Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Now a major general, Bagby has served more than 32 years in the U.S. Army. He has received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Army's highest peacetime award.

He has earned many awards and decorations throughout his career, including two Defense Superior Service Medals, two Legions of Merit, the Bonze Star and six Meritorious Service Medals.

During his military service, he managed the largest U.S. Security Assistance Office in the world in Cairo, Egypt, with annual programs costing $1.3 billion.

Bagby in 2010 served as the U.S. Army Europe's chief of staff and deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army NATO in Germany.

Bagby also served a stint with the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff starting in 1999. He was present at the Pentagon when the terrorist-highjacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the side of the building on Sept. 11, 2001.

In 2004, he became chief of the Office of Military Cooperation-Egypt.

Bagby has served in various command and staff positions during his military career. He served at the United States Military Academy as a tactical officer from 1987 to 1990, and in the early 1990s he was the executive assistant to the commanding general of the U.S. Army Pacific.

In 1999, he served at the Pentagon on the Joint Staff as Chief, Middle East Division and as assistant deputy director for Politico-Military Affairs. From July 2002 to July 2004, he served with the 10th Mountain Division and from April to November of 2003 he was deployed on a combat tour in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom as director of the Combined/Joint Staff for the Combined Joint Task Force 180.

Bagby also directed the Joint Forces Staff College, a premiere defense educational institution that educates more than 2,500 students annually in 10 programs. While on active duty in 1987 at Fort Bragg, N.C., Bagby received a master's degree in education from the University of North Carolina.

In 2005, Bagby was the 100th Kingdom of Callaway Supper honoree.

Two weeks ago, Bagby participated in the dedication ceremony of the Civil War Gray Ghost Trail marker on the northwest corner of the intersection of Route F and Westminster Avenue on the Westminster College Campus.