RALEIGH, N.C. – Lexington resident, Kenneth A. Beard was officially pinned as an Army brigadier general at the North Carolina National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters here, Aug. 1.<br /> <br /> Family members, friends and Guardsmen, past and present, celebrated Beard’s 32 year career as a soldier in the NCNG as his first star was pinned to his dress uniform.<br /> <br /> “After you [Beard] took your commission, you have proven yourself every step of the way,” said Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, adjutant general of North Carolina in his speech at the promotion ceremony. “This indeed is a hallmark of an accomplishment.” <br /> <br /> Beard, 51, was born in Birmingham, Ala., and was commissioned as an Army National Guard officer from North Carolina State University’s Army ROTC program in 1983. He went on to graduate from NCSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology in 1984. Beard then attended the Officer Basic course at Fort Sill, Okla., where he became a field artillery officer.<br /> <br /> Throughout his career he has been known for his proficiency as leader in the military and also as a citizen. He currently works as a Master Scientist in Research and Development for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston-Salem, where he has worked for the last 27 years. <br /> <br /> Beard has commanded at all levels; his last position in command was during a deployment to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006 – 2007, where he served as commander of the 113th Field Artillery Brigade.<br /> <br /> Lusk cited Beard’s extensive experience as a leader both militarily and as a civilian for the reasons he chose to promote the distinguished Army officer.<br /> <br /> Beard was humble in his remarks and thanked all of the people throughout his military and civilian career for helping him to achieve such a high honor.<br /> <br /> “To reach the rank of brigadier general is a tremendous honor,” Beard said. “I tried not to make my progression through the ranks about me, but rather about providing guidance, leadership and resources to service members and civilians in order to successfully accomplish the mission.”<br /> <br /> The new general officer also thanked his spouse, his family and the members of his church. Members of Beard’s church traveled all the way from Winston-Salem by bus to witness the ceremony. <br /> <br /> Beard will assume the duties of assistant adjutant general of sustainment, where he will manage NCNG’s Army logistics and materiel. <br /> <br /> “To you [Lusk] and the leadership of this state and nation, I pledge to do my best,” said Beard. <br /> <br /> Beard resides with his wife Lori in Lexington; the couple has two grown children who are married, son, Kyle and a daughter, Kasey.