A Crittenden County native has been appointed to head the day-to-day operations of the Kentucky Army National Guard.
Brig. Gen. Scott A. Campbell was named Deputy Adjutant General-Army last month, making him responsible for all activities – including organization, training and equipping of soldiers – of the Army National Guard in Kentucky subject to administrative approval of the Adjutant General.
“Before, I was just responsible for all the units out in the field at brigade, battalion and company level,” the 1978 Crittenden County High School graduate said. “Now, I have added all the Kentucky Army National Guard activities at the state level.”
Campbell was appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin upon the recommendation of Adjutant Gen. Stephen R. Hogan. He took on the role effective Oct. 16, according to a release issued last week by the National Guard.
“Gen. Campbell is a model guardsman and officer, and I am grateful that he has chosen to continue his service with the Kentucky Guard on a full-time basis,” said Hogan, who is over both the army and air Guard units in the Commonwealth. “I have no doubt that he’ll take the Army Guard to a whole new level of war-fighting capability.”
The new position is a promotion in terms of responsibility – though not military rank – from assistant adjutant general, which Campbell filled as a citizen-soldier. He now serves as a full-time soldier.
“I’m looking forward to only having one job for the first time in my 36 1/2 year career that will allow me to focus all my energy on making the Kentucky Army National Guard a better organization,” said Campbell. “It’s hard to give adequate attention to two activities that are frequently in competition for your time and energy. You often get the feeling you are not serving either activity, or your family, adequately."
Professionally, he said there will be a period of adjustment, but he is confident his career as a part-time soldier, except during deployments, will bring a fresh and needed perspective to what the brass in Frankfort does as a full-time force to support and enable the units and soldiers out in the field.
"The part-time soldiers that are still struggling with meeting the demands of a stable family and maintaining civilian employment, while still being a contributing member of the Kentucky Guard, will have an empathetic advocate in my new assignment," Campbell explained. "The current world environment commands our best effort to be ready if our state or nation calls.”
Campbell, 57, lives in Elizabethtown, but his full-time job with the military will put him about 90 miles away in the state capital. He said his wife of 32 years, Linda – who is also a Crittenden County native – and two sons have been understanding throughout multiple assignments and deployments that have taken him far from home during a storied career in the Kentucky National Guard.
"Personally, my assignment is in Frankfort, which will mean more time away from home, but my family is supportive, and they've become accustomed to the increased demands on my time and the dynamic, fast-paced environment we have operated in since 9/11," Campbell said. "I plan to continue to serve as long as I'm still contributing and my family is still consenting.
"At some point, I'll need to make room for the younger leaders to take my place and to carve out more time for my family."
On the civilian side, Campbell retired from Kentucky state government in 2001 and as a defense contractor from Northrop Grumman in 2015. Prior to accepting this new position in the Kentucky National Guard, he worked for Parsons Government Services. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Murray State University.
Campbell was raised in the Frances community and has served at every level of the Kentucky Army National Guard, including commanding forces in war zones. He joined the Guard in 1981, and three years later received his commission after attending officer candidate school. Prior to commissioning, he served as an enlisted member of Co. A, 1st Battalion, 123rd Armor based at the armory in Marion.
Campbell has commanded at the company, battalion and brigade level and served in senior staff officer positions within the 149th Brigade and at the state headquarters level. In 2003, Campbell commanded 2nd Battalion, 123rd Armor during Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 2006-07 he served as officer-in-charge of the 4th Infantry Division and 1st Cavalry Division Rear Operations Center at Camp Liberty, Iraq. And in 2011, he commanded the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade during Operation New Dawn, aiding in the transition and withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011 as a Brigade Commander of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.
In June of 2013, he was promoted to brigadier general.
Campbell is a 2012 inductee into Crittenden County Distinguished Alumni.
Campbell's oldest son, Joseph, is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, and Jace is a student at the University of Kentucky.