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Brig. Gen. Rushe promoted, takes over as S.C. National Guard Assistant Adjutant General for Air

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Jim St.Clair
  • Joint Forces Headquarters
The South Carolina Air National Guard saw its second general officer promotion in as many days when the Assistant Adjutant General for Air (ATAG), Brig. Gen. Russell A. Rushe was promoted in a ceremony November 8. Rushe assumed ATAG duties last month from the retiring Brig. Gen. Thad Myers.

South Carolina Air National Guard Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Michael Hudson presided over the ceremony. "Russ comes to this position as well prepared as anyone can be. I am really happy for this to happen," said Hudson in his introduction.

Rushe served most recently as the Director of Staff-Air for the South Carolina National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Columbia, S.C. for the past four years.

In 1979 Rushe received his commission in the U.S. Air Force after completing ROTC and graduating from the University of South Carolina. After munitions officer training, his first assignment was at Shaw Air Force Base where he participated in the 363rd Tactical Fighter Wing's transition from the F-4 to the F-16. After his active duty tour, Rushe joined the S.C. Air National Guard in 1984. During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm Rushe deployed as part of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing Provisional. Rushe is also a veteran of numerous other deployments including Operation Southern Watch and Operation Northern Watch. During his 36 year career as a logistics officer, Rushe has commanded multiple SCANG units including two maintenance squadrons, the 169th Logistics Group, the 169th Maintenance Group, and the 169th Mission Support Group at McEntire Joint National Guard Base. In addition, he also served as the 169th Fighter Wing vice commander. Rushe holds a Master's degree in accounting and taxation from the University of South Carolina and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

There were many distinguished visitors on hand at the Sunday afternoon ceremony held in the Joint Armed Forces Reserve Center auditorium including Brig. Gen. Roy McCarty, Assistant Adjutant General-Army for the South Carolina National Guard, Col. David Meyer, 169th Fighter Wing Commander, Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Jim Chow, Brig. Gen (Ret.) Calvin Elam, Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Thad Myers, Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Grady Patterson and Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Charles Savage. In addition, many members of Rushe's immediate family were present including his two sons George and Lawrence and his two brothers who are also U.S. Air Force veterans themselves. The South Carolina Army National Guard's Brass Quintet provided music for the ceremony.

During his remarks, Hudson said, "Some of you have heard me say this before: [Operations] is cool. But Ops isn't really what makes things work around here. It's maintenance and mission support that makes things work and is really responsible for the success of the wing. And Russ has carried the load in both those areas. I can't praise him enough for the work he did and he's got some big shoes to fill."

After publishing the promotion order, Rushe's wife Kay and his father Chaplain (Ret. Col.) George Rushe, pinned stars onto his uniform coat while his mother Mrs. Daphne Rushe pinned a star to his hat to make it official. Brig. Gen. Rushe then received his first salute from his father. After Hudson administered the oath of office to Rushe, the 169th Fighter Wing Honor Guard then unfurled Rushe's 1-star general officer flag.

In his remarks, Rushe thanked his family, friends and his fellow Swamp Foxes. "I am truly honored to be here. I appreciate everyone who's helped get me to this place. I didn't do all this by myself. As I look around this auditorium, I see the past, the present, and the future. Whether you were my supervisor, my peer or someone I supervised, everyone mentors each other up and down the chain and I appreciate y'all being a part of my life. I'd like to say in closing that human beings are imperfect creatures. But when we get together we can do very good things. I consider myself an ordinary person. But with your help and all of us working together, we can do extraordinary things."