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Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice assumes helm as Air Guard director

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Air Force Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice assumed the duties and responsibilities of director, Air National Guard in an assumption of responsibility ceremony held at the Air National Guard Readiness Center, May 10.

Rice, who was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general during the ceremony, takes the reins as ANG director from Air Force Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke, III, who retired in March.

A command pilot with more than 4300 hours in the F-111 Aardvark and A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, Rice assumed his current position after serving as adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard.

"There's three things we talk about in the National Guard that we do every day," said Army Gen. Frank Grass, chief, National Guard Bureau, who hosted the ceremony. "There's a warfighter mission, a homeland mission for the governors and our communities, and there's a partnership mission. [Lt. Gen. Rice has] all the right tools to do this job. All of us are so excited to have you here."

"There will be times it will be hard," Grass said. "But, [he] will lead the best National Guard I have seen in my 46 years of serving. The men and women are truly the best of the best."

Rice spoke about the unique skills and experience that the Guard provides.

"Our experience gives us an edge when it comes to doing new things, enduring things," said Rice. "But there's a dark side to that too. When you live in one place for five years, ten years, you become resistant to change. We have to work with the things we're strong at, but understand the things we may be weak at."

While thanking the many women who had influenced his life, from his mother, a WWII Army nurse, to his wife, sisters, daughters and granddaughters, Rice discussed the Guard's commitment to diversity.

"It is our job to work towards diversity where diversity is not something that we have to work on," he said. "I want to get to the point where women in our service are not special. Individuals are special, but as a group we want everyone to be equal."

Rice concluded his remarks with a challenge for Airmen to come together.

"This is the moment where I get to say to you all 'Are you ready?' he said. "We are going to be on a trip, and this trip is going to take us to crazy places, and crazy adventures. We're going to do unbelievable things. And when I say 'we' I mean we the Air National Guard, we the Air Force Reserve, we the active duty - we, the U.S. Air Force. We, our families and friends and the whole country we serve are all in this together.