by Spc. Tori Miller, Georgia National Guard
Georgia National Guardsmen, family and friends gathered to celebrate the promotion of Colonel Dwayne Wilson to the rank of brigadier general at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Georgia on February 21, 2020.
“The essence of leadership is to enable everyone around you to reach their full potential,” said Major General Thomas Carden. “Dwayne has not just been there as a technical expert, but more importantly he is deployed and engaged in a caring brand of leadership that inspires all of us. In a world where swagger and over-confidence can lead to disaster, Dwayne has brought humility and attention to detail.”
Wilson currently serves as the Chief of Staff for the Georgia Army National Guard. He is a native of Murphy, North Carolina where he enlisted in the Army Reserves as a combat engineer in 1987. In 1993, Wilson joined the North Carolina Army National Guard and commissioned as an aviation second lieutenant through North Georgia College. Today, he resides in Canton, Georgia with his wife, Samantha, and four children, Nate, Hannah, Noah and Sarah Grace.
“My family has been incredibly committed and resilient through the years; thank you for your continued love and support,” said Wilson. “I think that those of us in uniform have the easy job, the wives, husbands and children are the ones who do the heavy lifting when we are away, filling in those gaps that are caused by trainings, deployments or other periods of absence.”
During the ceremony Wilson was pinned by his wife, Samantha, and his daughter, Sarah Grace. After the pinning, his sons, Nate and Noah, who both serve in the Army National Guard, presented their father with the general’s belt. The general officer’s belt is a tradition that dates back to World War II with an order by the Army Chief of Staff that the belt is to be issued to all general officers. Today, the belt is to be worn at the discretion of the general officer.
Wilson’s extensive military career has afforded him the opportunity to command Soldiers from company to brigade level in both an active and reserve component. During his command, he led Soldiers in participation with Operation Joint Guardian and in support of many military exercises, including Noble Partner in the Country of Georgia. As a Master Army Aviator, Wilson has experience in both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. Other awards include the bronze star medal, legion of merit, and Army and Air Force commendation medals.
“I have been extremely blessed to work with some of the very best in our military,” said Wilson. “The experiences gained through every assignment have made me a better leader and the leader I am today.”