With Adjutant General Mark Berry’s retirement looming, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced the new Adjutant General of Arkansas.
Major General Kendall W. Penn has been tapped to take over the role from Berry, who is slated to retire on August 10, 2019. Penn will be the 53rd Adjutant General of Arkansas.
“I’m pleased to announce Major General Kendall Penn as the next Adjutant General of Arkansas. General Penn is an accomplished, respected, and principled leader with nearly 40 years of experience in service to our state and nation—both at home and abroad,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “Having served in a variety of command and staff positions, General Penn has the knowledge and expertise to lead our National Guard as the state’s 53rd Adjutant General.”
As Adjutant General, Penn will be charged with the daily operations of the Arkansas Air and Army National Guard. He is responsible for the management of the departments’ personnel, finances and resources.
Hutchinson praised Berry’s leadership as the state’s 52ndAdjutant General, a role he served in for roughly four-and-a-half years.
“I want to thank Major General Mark Berry for his outstanding leadership over the last four-and-a-half years as The Adjutant General. Under his tenure, the Arkansas National Guard has continued its tradition of excellence and readiness for whatever is asked of them. From natural disasters to overseas missions to assisting in national border security, the Arkansas National Guard has delivered at every turn under his leadership. I wish him the best of luck in retirement,” Hutchinson said.
Most recently, Penn has served as the National Guard Association of Arkansas’ Executive Director. He previously served as the Deputy Commanding General (RC) for the First United States Army.
He enlisted in the Arkansas Army National Guard in 1982 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant after graduating from the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1985.
During his career, he served as commander of the 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry and commander of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which were both deployed to Iraq.
“I want to thank Governor Hutchinson for his show of confidence in selecting me to serve as his next Adjutant General. Following Maj. Gen. Mark Berry, I know I’ve got big shoes to fill. Fortunately, the Arkansas National Guard is full of Arkansas’ best and brightest; folks who since 1804 have been willing to answer the call of their neighbors when natural disasters have arisen, and have been willing to take up arms in defense of their nation when ordered by the President,” Penn said. “ I am humbled to be counted in their midst once again. I look forward to helping advance the proud legacy of the Arkansas National Guard and our Guardsmen who serve this great State of Arkansas.”