Meet the Secretary

Secretary Kendall W. Penn

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Major General Kendall W. Penn's appointment was announced January 4, 2023.

Transitional biography -- 

Major General Kendall W. Penn assumed duties as The Adjutant General, Arkansas National Guard on August 10, 2019.  He is a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and is responsible for commanding the Arkansas Air and Army National Guard, with nearly 10,000 Airmen, Soldiers, and state employees.  As Adjutant General, General Penn is responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the readiness, fiscal, personnel, equipment, and real property resources of the Military Department, and ensures the training readiness of all personnel to accomplish both state and federal missions. 

General Penn began his military career in 1982 upon enlistment in Company B/212th Signal Battalion of the Arkansas Army National Guard.  He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry upon graduation from the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1985.

He has served in a variety of command and staff assignments in both the Active Army and the National Guard; including as Commander of 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry, deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and later as Commander of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, also deployed to Baghdad, Iraq.  He was appointed as the Assistant Adjutant General for the state of Arkansas and concurrently as Deputy Commanding General for Operations, 1st Army Division East at Fort Meade-Maryland upon receiving federal recognition as a Brigadier General of the Line on March 20, 2010.  In 2011, he was selected as the Deputy Commanding General for Operations for First U.S. Army stationed in Rock Island, Illinois, where he oversaw the readiness and training for National Guard and Army Reserve units mobilized and preparing to deploy into combat. 

He was promoted to Major General in March 2013. 

General Penn’s awards include:

  • The Distinguished Service Medal
  • The Legion of Merit
  • The Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster
  • The Expert Infantryman’s Badge
  • Combat Infantryman’s Badge
  • The Senior Parachutist Badge
  • The Air Assault Badge
  • The Pathfinder Badge
  • The Ranger Tab

General Penn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.

He has three daughters, Julie, Becca, and Lois and two grandchildren Gus and Claire.

Chief of Staff 

Assistant Directors

Assistant Director of Veteran Cemeteries

William (Bill) Wussick  has served as the Assistant Director for State Veterans Cemeteries since 2015.  He retired from the Air Force in 2009 after 28 years of service. He has been Manager of the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery from July 2009 to 2015. He has lived in Arkansas for over 30 years.

Assistant Director of Veteran Services

Gina Chandler served in the U.S. Air Force in 1990-1992. Since 2008, Gina has served Veterans as a Veterans service officer for the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2012, she was promoted to the Outreach Coordinator and in 2015 she became the first State Veteran Service Officer.

Former Directors:

Nate Todd, May 2017 - Jan. 2023

Matt Snead, Feb. 2015 - Feb. 2017 
Cissy Rucker, May 2012 - January 2015
David Fletcher, Feb. 2007 - May 2012
James Miller, Feb. 2005 - Jan. 2007
Nick Bacon, Apr. 1993 - Feb. 2005
Hershel Gober, Dec. 1987 - Apr. 1993
Grady Brown, Feb. 1983 - Dec. 1987
Orval Faubus, Sep. 1981 - Feb. 1983
Thomas Miller, Mar. 1971 - Sep. 1981
Robert Boggan, Feb.1967 - Feb. 1971
Freeman Mize, 1960 - 1967
Carl Thompson, 1955 - 1960
W. D. Kelley, 1953 - 1955
W. G. Smith, 1950 - 1953
Joe Hearne, 1946 - 1950
B. A. Brookes, 1942 - 1946
Claude Brown, 1938 - 1942
Grady Forgy
John Wilson
John Steward