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The S.C. National Guard has a new commanding general

Maj. Gen. Van McCarty is introduced Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, as South Carolina’s new adjutant general. Gov. Henry McMaster, left, has nominated McCarty to replace Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston as adjutant general. If confirmed by the state Senate, McCarty would be the state’s first appointed adjutant general. Until 2014, South Carolina voters picked the adjutant general.
Maj. Gen. Van McCarty is introduced Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, as South Carolina’s new adjutant general. Gov. Henry McMaster, left, has nominated McCarty to replace Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston as adjutant general. If confirmed by the state Senate, McCarty would be the state’s first appointed adjutant general. Until 2014, South Carolina voters picked the adjutant general. jwilkinson@thestate.com

Gov. Henry McMaster has named Maj. Gen. Van McCarty as South Carolina’s new adjutant general.

McCarty, a 1982 graduate of The Citadel and a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, replaces Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston, who has served as adjutant general since 2011.

McCarty is the first appointed head of the state’s Military Department. South Carolina’s adjutant general had been the only elected adjutant general in the nation prior to a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2014.

McCarty’s appointment must be approved by the state Senate.

“He’s a great man and a great soldier,” McMaster said. “He is more than qualified.”

The S.C. Military Department includes the S.C. Army National Guard, the S.C. Air National Guard, the S.C. State Guard and the Emergency Management Division and other elements.

“We will do everything we have to to ensure our young men and women in the state of South Carolina are well represented,” McCarty said.

He said his number one priority will be recruiting and retention of soldiers.

McCarty, the S.C. National Guard’s deputy adjutant general, was commissioned as a U.S. Army Reserve field artillery officer into the S.C. Army National Guard. Since then he has served in numerous roles, including commander of headquarters and headquarters battery, 1st Battalion, 178th Field Artillery (Forward) in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005, and commander of headquarters and headquarters battery, 151st Field Artillery Brigade Forward 6, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, in 2008.

Also, McCarty, 58, graduated from the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Va., and served for 24 years in the Law Enforcement Division of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

The Saluda native received his second star in April 2017.

Livingston enlisted in the South Carolina Army National Guard in March 1978. He received the Sergeant William Jasper Freedom Award for leadership In 2009, and in 2016 the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state.

“.I’m proud of our organization and I’m proud of the governor’s selection,” Livingston said.

The change of command will be held on Feb. 16.

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