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Media wishing to attend the Promotion Ceremony are welcome to do so on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, and must arrive no later than 9:30 a.m., to allow for parking and coordination.  Media is required to RSVP no later than Friday Dec. 5, 2014, by 5 p.m., with Maj. Randy Stillinger, 36th ID Public Affairs: 512-964-8707 or

Camp Mabry is accessed at the Maintenance Drive gate from 35th Street. Media will be required to show credentials. 



36th Infantry Division Commander to be Promoted to Major General

AUSTIN, Texas (Dec. 5, 2014) – The Adjutant General of Texas, Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, is pleased to announce the upcoming promotion of Brig. Gen. Lester “Les” Simpson, Commander of the 36th Infantry Division, to the rank of Major General in the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG).  

The ceremony will take place on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, at 10 a.m. in the 36th Infantry Band Hall (Bldg. 24) on Camp Mabry.  Simpson, who took command of the division in June, is the first African-American commander of the 36th Inf. Div. and serves as a member of the National Guard’s Joint Diversity Executive Council.  

Simpson received his Commission in the Army National Guard in 1980 through the University of Texas, Arlington Reserve Officers Training Corps. After completing the Infantry Officer Basic course, he served in many leadership and command assignments.  

His previous assignments include Commander, 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment; Commander and 142nd Rear Operations Center. In 2011, Simpson became the Commander of 176th Engineer Brigade during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  In 2012, he assumed the duties of Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Texas National Guard and Commander of 71st Troop Command. In May, 2013 he assumed the duties of Special Assistant to the Director, Army National Guard at the Pentagon. 

His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge awarded in Afghanistan, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and numerous other awards. He holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies and is a graduate of the General and Flag Officer Course in Washington D.C. 

Simpson recently retired from United Parcel Service of North America after 33 years of service.  He and his wife, Antoinette, have a blended family of four adult children, Lester Jr, Solomon, Nathan and Morgan. 


The mission of the Texas Military Forces (TXMF) is to provide the Governor and the President with ready and trained forces in support of the citizens of Texas and State and Federal civil/military authorities at home and abroad.

The mission of the 36th Infantry Division is to provide ready and responsive forces that can deploy to conduct unified land operations in joint and coalition environments, in support of a geographical combatant commander. On order, the Division provides Defense Support to Civil Authorities within the United States in support of State and Federal Agencies.

The Texas Military Forces are commanded by the Adjutant General of Texas, the state's senior military official appointed by the governor, and is comprised of the Texas Military Department (formerly the Adjutant General's Department), the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG), the Texas Air National Guard (TXANG), the Texas State Guard (TXSG) and the Domestic Operations Command (DOMOPS).

For more information about the Texas Military Forces visit our Website at

Texas Military Forces Public Affairs
P.O. Box 5218, Building 10
Camp Mabry (Austin), Texas 78703
Phone: 512-782-5620