Archive for Thursday, August 28, 2008

Brig. Gen. named commander of Kansas Army National Guard

August 28, 2008

As if balancing a civilian job at Fort Leavenworth and a job as the assistant division commander of the 35th Infantry Division wasn't enough, Brig. Gen. John E. Davoren just agreed to take on a bit more.

Davoren, who lives in Lansing, was named this month to be commander of the Kansas Army National Guard. He will be in charge of training, deployment and ensuring the readiness of the Guard to support national and international missions.

"I was very happy to have the opportunity to fill the position," he said. "It's the opportunity to see a different type of operation for the Kansas National Guard and an opportunity to work with and influence all the units so we will be able to provide support."

Davoren, who will report to the adjutant general, will be replacing retiring Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Small.

While Davoren said he didn't have any specific goals in regards to himself, he said in his new position he plans to continue ensuring that the Kansas National Guard has the capability to assist with disasters at home in Kansas as well as on missions abroad.

In the last year alone, Kansas has had four major disasters, including winter and ice storms, flooding, and the tornado that destroyed Greensburg, Kan. At each, Davoren said troops with the Kansas Nation Guard have been on hand to help.

"Our goals are to continue to get better every day so we are an ever-improving asset for the citizens of Kansas and the people of the United States," he said.

He will also be heading the effort of the Kansas National Guard to acquire new equipment and working with other agencies ensure that the new equipment is used to correctly. Before taking over this position, Davoren was busy with his civilian job of 24 years as branch chief for the Standardization, Analysis, and Integration Branch under the U.S. Army Force Management Support Agency at Fort Leavenworth. But for the last 14 months, he was away from home on a mission in Kosovo.

Davoren was sent to Kosovo with a task force on a NATO peacekeeping mission to a country that for past nine years has been waiting for the United Nations to make a decision on its status. During his mission, Kosovo announced its independence, and Davoren and his troops, which worked with other nations such Ukraine, Romania, Lithuania and Armenia, ensured that no violent outbreaks took place following the announcement.

"I'm very pleased with how the soldiers and the task force did," he said. "We were successful in ensuring everything remain peaceful."

Now that he's returned home and taken over his new position with the Kansas National Guard, Davoren also has the important task of balancing his family life as well.

He and his wife, Debra, are enjoying his return with activities at home such as reading and catching up on projects around the house. He was able to attend a family reunion recently and is looking forward to a couple of events with his two children.

His son, who will be graduating from Kansas State University in December, is getting married in October, and his daughter, who lives in Houston, is in the process of changing dates for her wedding.

With everything going on in his life, Davoren said he is looking forward to each of his new undertakings, despite the balancing act he knows is involved.

"I'm very pleased to have the position," he said. "I'm very pleased when I look at the Kansas Army National Guard. It's the best-trained force Kansas has had in decades. While we have some challenges and we'll work to take care of those, but I'm optimistic where we're headed and what we can do for the state of Kansas and the United States."

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