LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News Release) – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced Major General Kendall W. Penn as the 53rd Adjutant General of Arkansas. General Penn will replace Arkansas’ current Adjutant General Mark Berry who is set to retire August 10, 2019.
For the past three-and-a-half years, General Penn has served as the Executive Director of the National Guard Association of Arkansas. Prior to that, he was the Deputy Commanding General (RC), First United States Army.
General Penn began his military career in 1982 upon enlistment in the Arkansas Army National Guard. He was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry upon graduation from the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1985. Throughout his career, General Penn served in a variety of command and staff positions, including Commander, 1st Battalion, 153d Infantry and Commander, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, both while deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:
“I’m pleased to announce Major General Kendall Penn as the next Adjutant General of Arkansas. General Penn is an accomplished, respected, and principled leader with nearly 40 years of experience in service to our state and nation—both at home and abroad. Having served in a variety of command and staff positions, General Penn has the knowledge and expertise to lead our National Guard as the state’s 53rd Adjutant General.
“I want to thank Major General Mark Berry for his outstanding leadership over the last four-and-a-half years as The Adjutant General. Under his tenure, the Arkansas National Guard has continued its tradition of excellence and readiness for whatever is asked of them. From natural disasters to overseas missions to assisting in national border security, the Arkansas National Guard has delivered at every turn under his leadership. I wish him the best of luck in retirement.”
General Penn issued the following statement:
“I want to thank Governor Hutchinson for his show of confidence in selecting me to serve as his next Adjutant General. Following Maj. Gen. Mark Berry, I know I’ve got big shoes to fill. Fortunately, the Arkansas National Guard is full of Arkansas’ best and brightest; folks who since 1804 have been willing to answer the call of their neighbors when natural disasters have arisen, and have been willing to take up arms in defense of their nation when ordered by the President. I am humbled to be counted in their midst once again. I look forward to helping advance the proud legacy of the Arkansas National Guard and our Guardsmen who serve this great State of Arkansas.”
Adjutant General Berry issued the following statement:
“I applaud Governor Hutchinson for his selection, and I am excited for Major General Kendall Penn and the men and women of the Arkansas National Guard. He is a highly professional, combat-proven soldier who has all of the leadership characteristics to carry the men and women of this more than 200-year-old institution to the next level. I look forward to working with General Penn to ensure a seamless transition, as he becomes the 53rd Adjutant General of the state of Arkansas.
“The day I met with Governor Hutchinson, with my decision to retire, was unquestionably the most difficult day of my life. The pinnacle of my career and my highest honor was to serve as Adjutant General alongside more than 9,000 of the most incredibly talented professional soldiers, airmen, and civilian employees who provide for the safety and security of our communities at a moments notice. I was truly blessed to serve this great state and nation, and I thank Governor Hutchinson for the opportunity he gave me as the 52nd Adjutant General of Arkansas.”