Volesky takes over 101st Airborne Division
A graduate of Eastern Washington University’s ROTC program has been named the new commander of one of the U.S. Army’s most prestigious and historical units.
Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky will take over command of the 101st Airborne Division, known as the “Screaming Eagles,” one of 10 active divisions in the Army and the only one designated specifically as an air assault division.
Volesky was promoted to the new rank from lieutenant colonel on March 12, 2014. A date when he will assume command of the 101st has yet to be determined, according to a March 13 press release.
A 1979 graduate of Ferris High School in Spokane, Volesky received a bachelor’s of arts degree in military science from EWU in 1983.
He also received a master’s degree in Near Eastern studies from Princeton University, a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama and is a graduate of the Arabic Studies Program at the Defense Language Institute and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
As an infantry officer, Volesky has commanded soldiers at all levels up to brigade, including command of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Benning Ga., where he received the Silver Star for his unit’s actions during 80 days of combat in Sadr City, Baghdad in 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He has also been deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and operation’s Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Iraq.
Prior to his promotion Volesky served as Chief of Affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Army in Washington, D.C.
Volesky replaces Maj. Gen. James C. McConville as commander of the 101st Airborne, a division that played key roles during the D-Day invasion of World War II, Operation Market Garden in Holland and the defense of the Belgium city of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
The 101st also saw heavy action during the Vietnam War at locations also immortalized in books and film such as Hamburger Hill.