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The 36th Infantry Division Welcomes New Commander

Incoming Commander – Maj. Gen. S. Lee Henry

Maj. Gen. Henry
Maj. Gen. S. Lee Henry

The Division Commander, 36th Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Samuel “Lee” Henry was commissioned a Distinguished Military Graduate in the Infantry in 1983 from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. 

After completing the Infantry Officer Basic Course and Ranger School, his first assignment was with 1st Battalion, 10th Infantry, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized). In 1987, he entered the Texas Army National Guard. As a member of 71st Troop Command, he held consecutive positions as S3 Air, Commander of G Company, 143rd Infantry (Airborne), and Aide de Camp to the Commander, Troop Command. In 1994, he was assigned to the 36th Brigade, 49th Armored Division and served as Assistant S3, S4 Logistics Officer and graduated from the Command and General Staff College. In 1996, he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry (Mechanized), and served as the S3 Operations Officer. In 1998, he transferred to 3rd Brigade, 49th Armored Division, and served as the S3 Operations Officer. While Commanding 2nd Battalion, 142nd Infantry from 2001 to 2004, he also served as the Deputy Chief, Operations III (US) Corps, Fort Hood, Texas while mobilized in support of OPERATION NOBLE EAGLE I and later as the Team Leader, Technology Evaluation & Integration Team for the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Task Force reporting to the ARMY G3 at Fort Belvoir, VA. 

He was selected and attended the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Having completed the War College in 2005, he was activated and selected to command TF Strike, OPERATION ENDURING MISSION III, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Henry commanded, 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq in 2008. In 2010 he was assigned as the Chief of Staff, 36th Infantry Division (Rear) during the

Division Headquarters’ deployment to Iraq in support of OPERATION NEW DAWN prior to his promotion and selection as the Assistant Division Commander – Maneuver, 36th Infantry Division. From June 2016-February 2017 he assumed Command of Train, Advise, Assist, Command – South (NATO) while deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, representing the first time a National Guard Division headquarters was deployed and responsible for a Regional Command in Afghanistan. On May 1, 2017, Henry assumed command of the 36th Infantry Division. 

Henry’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics, Master degrees in Business Administration and Strategic Studies, The Army Command General Staff Course and he is a graduate of the United States Army War College. 

His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Bronze oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with a Silver and three Bronze oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star device, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with two Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary & Service Medals, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Parachutist’s Badge, the Ranger Tab and many other various Federal and State awards and decorations. He is a recipient of the Order of Saint Maurice “Centurion” by the National Infantry Association. 

Henry is currently employed with SAP America, Inc. He and his wife Tricia live in Austin, Texas, and have three children and one grandchild.

Outgoing Commander – Maj. Gen. Lester Simpson

Maj. Gen. Lester “Les” Simpson
Maj. Gen. Lester “Les” Simpson

Maj. Gen. Lester “Les” Simpson received his Commission in the Army National Guard in 1980 through the University of Texas, Arlington Reserve Officers Training Corps. After completing Infantry Officer Basic course, he served in many leadership and command assignments. He served as Commander, 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment; Commander, 142nd Rear Operations Center; and in 2011 he served as Commander, 176th Engineer Brigade during major combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In October 2012, Simpson assumed the duties of Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Texas National Guard and in May 2013 he assumed the duties of Special Assistant to the Director, Army National Guard, the Pentagon.

Simpson’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze star and Combat Action Badge awarded in Afghanistan, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Commendation Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster) and numerous other awards. 


Simpson holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies and is a graduate of the CAPSTONE General and Flag Officer Course in Washington D.C.
Simpson recently retired from United Parcel Service (UPS) of North America after 33 years of dedicated service. He served as the Co-Chair of the Plano Centers Comprehensive Health and Safety Committee. He is a life member of the National Guard Association of Texas, an active member of the Society of American Engineers and an active member of Military Officers Association of America. Simpson and his wife Antoinette have four children, Lester Jr., Solomon, Nathan and Lester Morgan.

Simpson assumed duties of Commanding General of the 36th Infantry Division on June 1, 2014.


The mission of the Texas Military Department (TMD) 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.


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