Maj. General Boyles keynote speaker at Veterans Day programs

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

The Veterans Day programs at Forest High School and the Scott County Courthouse, both scheduled for November 12, will be headlined by keynote speaker Major General Janson D. Boyles, the Commanding General of both the Mississippi Army and Air National Guard.

Attendees at both events will be privy to General Boyles’ speeches where he intends to highlight that this Veterans Day is the 100 anniversary of Armistice Day. Armistice Day commemorated the end of fighting of World War I and was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, and would become Veterans Day in 1954.

General Boyles said he is excited about coming to Scott County to celebrate the day with our local veterans.  “My family is originally from Smith County right around the Homewood area and I’m excited to get back to the local area to enjoy the day with our veterans and students,” he said. “I have been in the guard 38 years and the highlight of my assignments is getting to know the people of the towns and communities in my area.”

Around this time of year General Boyles keeps a busy schedule because he has numerous requests to travel to events around the state. “I volunteer to do as many visits as I can,” he said. “I love to get out and tell the guard story and highlight our veterans.” 

General Boyles was appointed Adjutant General of Mississippi by Governor Phil Bryant on September 1, 2016. He serves as the Commanding General of both the Mississippi Army and Air National Guard. He is responsible for providing the state of Mississippi and the United States of America with a ready force of more than 12,000 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen, equipped and trained to respond to any contingency, natural or man made.

He was commissioned in 1982 through the ROTC program at Mississippi State University with a BS in Engineering. Initially commissioned as an Army Medical Department of the U.S. Army officer, he later re-commissioned in the U.S. Army Engineer Corps. In 2005, as the Deputy Commander, 168th Engineer Group, General Boyles staffed the engineering response to Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. In 2008, he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 168th Engineer Brigade as Deputy Commander supporting the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions. In 2012, he was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned as Commander, 184th Sustainment Command, overseeing missions ranging from state disaster relief to federal combat rotations. In 2015, he served as Chief of Staff, NATO, Division Headquarters, Kosovo.

General Boyles really enjoys getting the opportunity to spend time with both veterans and students. His main focus during Monday’s visit will be honoring the veterans, but he will also take pride in sharing some of this country’s military history with the students and FHS. “When I speak at a school, I do my best to tell more of a story that they may not have got in history class,” Boyles said. “For the younger adults I may talk about the history of Veterans Day and the centennial anniversary of Armistice Day.”

General Boyles is honored and looks forward to being the speaker at both Scott County events. Boyles said, “I really want to highlight our veterans and then shake their hands and thank them.” With General Boyles leading the programs both should be wonderful Veterans Day events for all in attendance.