NC National Guard names first female general

Posted April 25, 2011 1:15 p.m. EDT
Updated April 27, 2011 1:42 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina National Guard will promote Col. Elizabeth D. Austin to the rank of brigadier general on June 29, making her the organization's first female general.

Austin, a Willow Spring resident, has more than 32 years of service with the National Guard. A career logistics officer, she has commanded troops at the platoon, company and battalion levels prior to assuming command of the 113th Sustainment Brigade, headquartered in Greensboro, in November 2008.

Her career also includes combat deployments during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004.

She has served as a federal military technician, a civil service post that requires military membership as a condition of employment, and was director of logistics for the North Carolina National Guard.

Upon her promotion, Austin will become the North Carolina National Guard's assistant adjutant general for Army, serving as the principal adviser to Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk for plans and policies affecting the North Carolina Army National Guard. She also will chair the guard's Equal Employment Opportunity Council and will work on recruiting and retention, international programs, budget issues and equipment and personnel readiness.

"Beth will keep our team trained, equipped and ready for missions at home and abroad," Lusk said in a statement. "With her on the senior command team, we're a more effective force for the people of North Carolina."

Austin received her bachelor's degree from Excelsior University and holds a master of science in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. She is married to Mike Austin, who retired as a colonel from the North Carolina Army National Guard.