Carden Takes Command
Photo By Maj. William Carraway | Governor Brian Kemp transfers the colors of the Georgia Department of Defense from… read more
Long-time Georgia Army National Guard Soldier Maj. Gen. Thomas Carden became the 43rd Adjutant General of the Georgia Department of Defense Jan. 26, 2019 during a ceremony at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Ga. Carden, who enlisted as a private in the Ga. ARNG in 1986 was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to succeed Maj. Gen Joe Jarrard.
“This solemn occasion represents the passing of the torch from a man of great integrity… to another in whom I have the utmost confidence and respect,” said Gov. Kemp.
Major Gen. Tom Carden’s career began in the Georgia National Guard in 1986 when he enlisted as an infantry private. Three years later, Carden was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant by the Georgia Military Institute. Since then he has advanced through the ranks and achieved positions of ever-increasing responsibility from company to brigade command as well as senior staff positions. In 2005, Carden deployed to Iraq as the effects coordinator for the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team which is currently deployed in Afghanistan as part of its fourth overseas combat deployment since Sept. 11, 2001.
In January 2015, Carden was selected to command the Georgia Army National Guard and served as the Georgia’s Assistant Adjutant General-Army, its 14th since the position was created by the passage of the Georgia Military Forces Reorganization Act of 1955. On September 15, 2017, Carden was appointed to serve as deputy commanding general, Multi-National Division, Southeast, headquartered in Bucharest, Romania.
“I am very pleased our military leadership at the national level has recognized what we in Georgia already know, and that is the outstanding abilities of General Tom Carden,” said Governor Nathan Deal reacting to Carden’s appointment in 2017. “His service to our state and nation has been exemplary and I look forward to seeing his leadership impact our total force as well as that of our NATO allies.”
Carden follows the successful tenure of Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard who departs to serve as deputy commanding general for Army National Guard, U.S. Army Europe. Jarrard served as Assistant Adjutant General-Army for the Ga. ARNG from October 2011 to January 2015 when he was sworn in as the 42nd Adjutant General of Georgia
“Major General Joe Jarrard, I commend your years of service as Georgia’s Adjutant General,” said Kemp. "You have led this command with humility and strength. I would also like to commend Susan for her great service and sacrifice as well.”
Symbolizing the change of command, Maj. Gen. Jarrard transferred the Ga. DoD colors to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who in turn, entrusted them to Carden.
Speaking before an American flag which spanned the width of the stage, Gov. Kemp praised the efforts of the Ga. DoD under Jarrard’s leadership.
“I am humbled by your service,” said Kemp. “In the wake of a devastating storm, you are ready to serve. You ensure peace and prosperity for all our citizens… We are forever indebted to you and to those great leaders who lead you.”
Jarrard thanked the many distinguished visitors in attendance and recounted contributions made by civic and military leaders to the Ga. DoD. He also recognized the service of the nearly 3,000 Georgia Guard Soldiers and Airmen who are currently mobilized for the war fight and thanked the assembled members of the Ga. DoD.
"While it is bittersweet to leave all of you, Susan and I know you are getting an even better command team,” said Jarrard. "(Major General) Tom and Charlene Carden along with Kendall and Kyle are a wonderful family who will make the team even better. They have long been an integral part of the Ga. Guard family and we are so glad to welcome them back.”
Jarrard evoked the boars’ head symbol of the Ga. DoD in his closing statement.
“The boars head is symbolic of three things: Hospitality… courage and ferocity…,” said Jarrard. "When action is necessary, your Georgia Guard acts with ferocity. I will be a Georgia Guardsman for life, and it has been the honor of a lifetime to have served as your adjutant general.”
In his remarks, Carden sounded a familiar theme of leadership, describing the Ga. DoD as a leadership factory.
“I am honored, humbled and completely fired up to be here today,” said Carden. “As I look across the room, I see mentors who go back decades. Men and women who serve a cause larger than themselves. I am inspired and honored to be in the same room with you.”
Carden praised the work of Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard and noted that he had set a high mark of performance for him to follow.
“Most of you know that with Major General Jarrard and Susan Jarrard we got two for the price of one,” said Carden. Thank you for setting the example of servant leadership.”
Carden concluded his remarks by sharing his three priorities: people, people and people.
“I have learned over the past 33 years in uniform that if we take care of our Soldiers, Airmen their families and employers they will absolutely crush the mission,” said Carden. “We will provide ready forces to the governor when our neighbors are in need. We will also provide the president with capable, physically fit and lethal combat formations on the ground and in the air ready to fight and win America’s wars.”