Suicide Prevention & Awareness

Massachusetts Army National Guard

Change of Command


Story by Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Taylor  Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs


HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Last month, Brig. Gen. Richard Johnson assumed command of the Massachusetts Army National Guard from Brig. Gen. Frank B. Magurn, during a change of command ceremony, Feb. 4, 2017.


The Massachusetts National Guard is comprised of two components; the Massachusetts Army National Guard, known as the land component and the Massachusetts Air National Guard, known as the Air component.


The land component traces its history back to its organization by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to defend against the growing threat of the Pequot Indians on Dec. 13, 1636. Since that time, the Massachusetts National Guard has continued its mission to defend and support the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Nation.


Johnson and Magurn will continue to support that mission in their new roles as land component commander and assistant adjutant general, respectively.


Major General Gary Keefe, Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard, stated he was reassured by having Johnson and Magurn in their respective roles.


”I know we can rest easy in the nation because of folks like you,” said Keefe.

After Magurn passed the flag to Johnson, he noted how grateful he was to have Johnson follow him. “Rich brings a unique level of engagement and a unique understanding of human nature and our soldiers,” said Magurn.


As the new land component commander, Johnson is responsible for all aspects of training, readiness, and force development for the Massachusetts Army National Guard. Johnson will have approximately 6,100 Soldiers, comprising four brigade headquarters and 10 separate battalions under his command.


Johnson will also serve as the Joint Task Force Commander in domestic response operations in support of homeland security and homeland defense.


Johnson began his career as an enlisted Soldier in 1985. He received his commission from the Massachusetts Military Academy as a second lieutenant in 1989. He has led soldiers on four combat deployments as a platoon leader in Operation Desert Storm, company commander in Operation Enduring Freedom, battalion commander in Operation Iraqi Freedom and most recently as a Senior Combat Advisor with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Operation Enduring Freedom.


While expressing his appreciation for the compliment Magurn offered, Johnson sent it right back his way. “Frank, you’re as passionate and as much of a people person as I am,” said Johnson.


Magurn, in his role as assistant adjutant general is responsible for liaison with external partners, to include the state, local, and federal interagency, non-governmental organizations, The National Guard and the Department of the U.S. Army.


U.S. Army National Guard photos by Staff Sgt. Steven Eaton, 65th Press Camp Headquarters
















Charlie Baker

Governor of Massachusetts

Major General
Gary Keefe

The Adjutant General

Command Sergeant Major
Carlos Ramos Rivera

State Command Sergeant Major


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