Lansing resident takes over National Guard unit
The Kansas National Guard's 35th Infantry Division has a new commanding general.
Maj. Gen. John Davoren, Lansing, assumed the responsibilities of commanding general of 35th Infantry Division from retiring Maj. Gen. M. Wayne Pierson during a ceremony Saturday at Fort Leavenworth. Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, Kansas adjutant general, presided over the event.
The 35th Division is headquartered in Leavenworth, and is comprised of Army National Guard units from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Illinois.
Davoren was promoted to major general on Friday.
"I'm honored to be the next commander of the 35th Infantry Division," said Davoren. "The unit performed in an outstanding manner during the Kosovo deployment and the leaders and soldiers have continued to build on that success while accomplishing all missions throughout the last two years. I know that we will do well with the challenges ahead of us."
"It has been an honor to serve as the commander of the 35th Infantry Division" said Pierson. "I am proud of what we have accomplished and the high standards of performance that these soldiers have attained. I know that the soldiers of the 35th will continue to carry on this tradition."
Davoren was commissioned in 1976 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Kansas University.
After completing the Infantry Officer Basic Course and Ranger training he served as a rifle platoon leader, Company A, 503rd Infantry at Fort Campbell, Ky. In July 1979, he was assigned to Troop B, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and executive officer, 1st Aviation Battalion at Fort Riley.
Since joining the Kansas Army National Guard his assignments have included commander, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry; intelligence officer, 69th Brigade; operations officer, 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry; commander, 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry; commander, 69th Troop Command; deputy commanding general, 35th Infantry Division and, most recently, assistant adjutant general- Army and commander of the Kansas Army National Guard.
While serving as the assistant division commander, Davoren lead the Multi-National Task Force-East, KFOR 9 at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, from Nov. 2, 2007, to July 10, 2008, during the division's deployment to Kosovo.
Davoren's education includes Infantry Officer Basic and Advance Courses, Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. His civilian education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in business accounting from KU, a master's degree in personnel management from Central Michigan University and a master's degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.
His military awards include the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Armed Forces Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserves Components Overseas Training Ribbon with oak leaf cluster, Nebraska Meritorious Service Medal, Kansas Emergency Service Ribbon, Expert Infantry Badge, Aviation Badge, Parachute Badge, Air Assault Badge and Ranger Tab.
Davoren and his wife, Debra, reside in Lansing. Their daughter, Jennifer, resides in Houston, Texas, and their son, Kyle, lives in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Pierson had been assigned as the commanding general, 35th Infantry Division, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., since November 2006. He began his military career in December 1971 as an enlisted signalman.
Pierson and his wife, Margaret, live in Maryville, Mo. They have four children: a daughter, Leslie, and her husband, Terry Henry, daughters Kellie Pierson and Emily Pierson, and son, Gregory Pierson and his wife, Kassie Pierson.