Military Notebook: 48th Infantry Brigade getting new commander

January 5, 2013 

The Georgia Army National Guard’s 48th Infantry Brigade is getting a new leader soon.

On Feb. 10, Col. John F. King will relinquish command to Lt. Col. Randall Simmons, who has been selected for promotion to colonel.

The change of command will be held in at the brigade’s headquarters at 1030 Shurling Drive in Macon. The time has not been determined.

The brigade is the largest unit in the Georgia Army National Guard with 30 armories around the state and 3,500 troops.

Jobless rate still going up for veterans

While the economy overall added 155,000 jobs in December, the unemployment rate continued to rise for veterans of all generations.

According to a story in the Air Force Times, the overall unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent, but for veterans it rose from 6.6 percent in December to 7 percent in January. For post-Sept. 11 veterans, the rate is much higher. It went from 10 percent in November to 10.8 percent in December.

Woman considered for secretary of defense

There’s a chance the Department of Defense could have its first female leader.

According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, Michelle Flournoy is on the short list to be the next secretary of defense. She formerly served as under secretary of defense for policy.

Flournoy, 52, spent two decades working at the Pentagon, beginning under the Clinton Administration. She steadily rose through the ranks and garnered respect from Democrats and Republicans, the story stated. She resigned last February, citing a desire to spend more time with her three children.

She is in contention with two other people, former Sen. Chuck Hagel and Ashton Carter, the deputy defense secretary.

Although Hagel is a Republican, he has gotten strong opposition from members of his own party over his past criticism of Israel and opposition to some sanctions against Iran, according to the Times story.

Although Carter and Flournoy are considered likely to have a much easier confirmation process, the story stated, officials have stated all three are in contention, and President Barack Obama has not indicated which way he is leaning.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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