Major General William E. Barron
Commanding General, 100th Division (TNG/ IT)
1995 - 1999
With over 38 years of faithful service as a “Citizen Soldier”, Major General William E. Barron has distinguished himself by his unfailing devotion to duty, professional expertise and compassion for fellow soldiers. His career is unique in that 33 years of uninterrupted USAR service was spent with the United States Army Reserve’s 100th Training Division. MG Barron enlisted in Company E, 2d Bn, 398th Regt, 2d Brigade as a Private in Madisonville, KY on 26 May 1966 and completed his 33 years with the 100th with a four year tour as Commanding General of the 100th Division in June of 1999.
Upon completion of three years of enlisted time as a 11 Bravo infantryman in the 2d Brigade, MG Barron attended the Kentucky Army National Guard Officer Candidate School and received his commission as a Infantry 2d Lieutenant in June 1969. His first assignment as an officer in the 100th Division was as a Training Officer in Company A, 1st Bn, 397th Regt, 1st Brigade in Richmond, Kentucky. General Barron rose rapidly through the ranks during the next 20 years of commissioned service. His assignments consisted almost totally of command or operational positions and he received “unit vacancy” promotions to the grade of Major in 1979 and Lieutenant Colonel in 1984 in recognition of consistent, superior performance of duties and outstanding leadership ability. One of Barron’s more notable assignments was that of Brigade S2/3 with the 1st Brigade in Lexington, Kentucky from April ’79 until Dec ’82. During this period, the 1st Brigade led the Division in many performance areas such as MOSQ, tank gunnery, overall strength and retention. Due to their high training marks, the 1st Brigade was selected to send units to participate in field maneuvers with the 2d Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas during Annual Training ’82 which was a first for the 100th Division.
In August of 1985, after highly successful command of the 3d Squadron, 397th Regt, 3d Brigade in Middlesboro, LTC Barron was assigned as the Division G-2 where he helped plan and execute Operation “Roundup” in October ‘85 under then Division Commander, MG Roy C. Gray. In April of 1986, LTC Barron became the Division G-3 where over the next three years his abilities as a planner and a trainer would be quickly recognized. During his tenure as the senior operations officer of the Division, LTC Barron worked tirelessly to improve communications and working relationships throughout the Division. A record number of Non-Commissioned Officers attended NCOES courses and a Company Grade Officer Development Course was developed for all junior officers. LTC Barron and his staff prepared and executed flawless plans for two major Division-wide mobilization exercises, the value of which would not be realized until selected units of the 100th were actually mobilized for Operation
Desert Storm in 1990. He also developed a six-year training plan for the Division which culminated in the first Mobilization Army Training Center (MATC) for the 100th Division and Ft. Knox. During LTC Barron’s tour as G-3, the readiness of the Division reached an all time high and the cooperative relationship between the 100th Division and Ft. Knox served as a model for all TRADOC installations.
In April of 1989, LTC Barron assumed command of the 1st Brigade (Armor) (OSUT) headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky and was promoted to the rank of Colonel on 14 July 89. He was also selected for the Army War College Corresponding Studies Course. As a new brigade commander, he immediately began building a superior record of accomplishments based on sound technical expertise, proven leadership principles and a genuine concern for soldiers. His leadership ability and the 1st Brigade’s high level of readiness resulted in Colonel Barron’s brigade being selected for mobilization at Ft. Knox in support of Operation Desert Storm. His extraordinary preparation of his subordinate battalions comprising “Task Force 100” reflected his tough training focus on 19 Kilo and 19 Delta technical and tactical skills. His caring leadership was underscored by a highly motivated Family Support Program that fully sustained his mobilized soldiers and their families. Colonel Barron’s Task Force 100 consisted of the 1st Brigade headquarters command element, two 19K Armor (AIT) battalions, one 19D Cavalry (AIT) squadron, a Reception battalion and a Test and Evaluation company totaling 722 personnel. While mobilized, Task Force 100 maintained it’s own chain of command and Colonel Barron reported directly to the Commanding General of Ft. Knox, MG Tom Foley.
Colonel Barron was notified by LTG James Crysel, CG, 2d U.S. Army on 1 April 1991 of his selection for promotion to the rank of Brigadier General. His assignment would be that of Assistant Division Commander for Operations for the 100th Division effective 3 June 1991. Colonel Barron was officially promoted to BG on 10 Oct 1992. The current CG of the 100TH, MG Lindsay Freeman allowed BG Barron to operate with great freedom in order to capitalize on his skills as a leader and a trainer. As a result, all four brigades under BG Barron’s direct supervision reached all time highs in personnel qualification, training readiness and excellence in resourcing. Always on the move, always highly visible and active throughout the Division, BG Barron carried the 100th Division’s standards and the “One Army” concept to the soldiers in the field, in reserve centers, on Army installations and into the civilian communities. His ability to communicate with soldiers at all levels helped ensure that 100th Division goals and programs received wide acceptance.
As the 100th Division was faced with TDA downsizing in 1993 and 1994, BG Barron continued his enthusiastic operational support as the Assistant Division
Commander. His uncommon ability to communicate, concern for soldiers, willingness to listen, patience, and organizational skills made him a central figure
in the successful downsizing of the Division. BG Barron’s leadership style
coupled with his compassion and personal example fostered unparalleled productivity and spirit throughout the command during the most difficult of times. In 1993, he was awarded the Cavalry Order of the Spur for his leadership and in May of 1995 received the Bronze medallion for the Armor Order of Saint George.
BG Barron assumed command of the 100th Division on 9 July 1995 and was promoted to Major General on 14 December 1995 in a ceremony hosted by MG (Ret) Ben Butler. In April of 1996, MG Barron was appointed by then Secretary of the Army, Mr. Togo West to a three year term on the Army Reserve Policy Committee (ARFPC). The 100th Division under MG Barron’s leadership continued to prove itself as a leader among the seven Institutional Training Divisions in the Army Reserve. His command stepped out smartly to take on the major support role for the ROTC Basic Camp at Ft. Knox in 1998 and provided significant instructor support to the ROTC Advance Camp at Ft. Lewis, WA. MG Barron’s personal involvement was a motivating factor that resulted in a 100th Division Drill Sergeant winning the TRADOC Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year Competition for four years in a row. He was also instrumental in the selection and mentoring process that resulted in a 100th Division company grade officer being a top ten national finalist for the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) Junior Officer of the Year competition for eight out of ten years and winning the competition for four of those years.
While CG of the 100th Division, MG Barron continued to be a significant contributor to both the Army and his community by serving a four year term on the Governor of Kentucky’s Military Affairs Commission and as a State Committeeman for the Kentucky Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). He also served as State President of the Department of Kentucky Reserve Officers Association for three consecutive years (’93-’95) and was elected to the ROA National post of Army Executive Committeeman for a two year term in 1996. MG Barron also served two terms as a Regional Vice President for the Senior Army Reserve Commanders Association. In 1999 General Barron was nominated by MG Tom Plewes, Chief, Army Reserve for membership on a TRADOC Reserve Component Advisory Group chaired by General John Abrams, CG TRADOC.
Upon completion of his four year command tour at the 100th Division, MG Barron was selected for an IMA assignment as Deputy Commanding General – USAR at
Headquarters, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Ft Monroe, VA with a
report date of 27 June 1999. MG Barron worked directly for the TRADOC
Commanding General, John N. Abrams and was responsible for integrating the USAR into the day to day operations of TRADOC. Per an agreement between
MG Tom Plewes, Chief, Army Reserve and Gen John Abrams, MG Barron was brought on active duty in February of 2000 for six months at Fort Monroe to become the Director of the The Army School System (TASS). The TASS system, developed in the early 1990’s, utilized RC instructors from the seven USAR Training Divisions to deliver MOSQ training to over 70,000 AC, USAR and ARNG soldiers across the US, Europe and Puerto Rico. This arrangement was so productive that MG Barron continued to serve as the TRADOC Director of TASS for a total of 26 months until TASS was returned to the TRADOC Directorate of Operations and Training Following Sept 11, 2001, Barron was again mobilized at HQs TRADOC in support of Operation Noble Eagle where he played a pivotal role in formulating the master plan for Training Base Expansion across TRADOC installations.
MG Barron continued to serve as the TRADOC DCG-USAR until the end of his four year IMA assignment on 26 June 2003. Upon departing TRADOC, MG Barron remained in the Individual Ready Reserve until his retirement date on 29 July 04.
General Barron and his wife Kelly reside in Elizabethtown, Kentucky where he is the Executive Director of the CORE Committee, Inc., a local organization dedicated to protecting and growing Fort Knox, Kentucky.
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS INCLUDE:
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit w/ 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Meritorious Service Medal w/ 4 Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Commendation Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Achievement Medal
Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal w/ Silver Oak Leaf
National Defense Service Ribbon w/ Bronze Star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ Gold Hourglass, “M” Device w/ Numeral 2 Device
Army Service Ribbon
Army Superior Unit Award
Army Staff Identification Badge
2004 – Inducted into the Corridor of the Century