Thursday, December 7, 2017

Maj. Gen. Elizabeth Austin Retired After 39 Years

Trailblazing general closes chapter on her career

Lisa Simunaci
Army Material Command
December 5, 2017

In 2011, Austin became the first North Carolina Guardsman to achieve the rank of brigadier general and remains the state’s highest ranking female officer.
Photo By Staff Sgt. Mary Junell | Maj. Gen. Elizabeth Austin welcomes distinguished guests to her retirement ceremony at he North Carolina National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh, NC December 1, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. – Surrounded by family members, military leaders, lifelong friends and hundreds of colleagues from across the nation, Maj. Gen. Elizabeth Austin closed the chapter on a 39-year Army National Guard career.

Austin, who served as Army Materiel Command’s assistant deputy commanding general-National Guard, took to the stage of the North Carolina National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters Dec. 1, flanked by her husband and state Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Gregory Lusk.

To her husband of 35 years, who is also a retired Army colonel, Austin said it was only fitting that he join her on stage.

“You encouraged me to do more, you sacrificed for me and made the transition from Soldier to Army spouse,” she said.

When Austin took on her leadership role at Army Materiel Command, the state’s adjutant general noted North Carolina National Guard, where she began her military career, was never far from her mind.

“On behalf of the North Carolina National Guard and a grateful state, we genuinely thank you for your service,” Lusk told Austin. “We know you will still continue to serve, but on your timeline.”

Maj. Gen. Janson Boyles, adjutant general of the Mississippi National Guard, recognized Austin’s influence went well beyond the state of North Carolina.

“Her fingerprints spread throughout all the states,” he said. “She has been a mentor to officers in the state of Mississippi and they think the world of her.”
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