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Story by: Lt. Col. Richard Goldenberg - Joint Force Headquarters
Dated: Sat, Jan 7, 2012
New York Army National Guard Brig Gen. Paul Genereux ended nearly four decades of uniformed service on Saturday, Jan. 14 with a retirement ceremony at West Point surrounded by friends, family and fellow Soldiers. He has led New York Army National Guard Soldiers through the Army’s transition from the Cold War, through the Gulf War and into the new millennium’s overseas contingency operations after 9/11.
Genereux has led Army National Guard Soldiers at the company, battalion, brigade and division command positions with the New York Army National Guard during his nearly 40 years of military service, including 34 years as a commissioned officer.
He was joined by the four past commanders of the 42nd Infantry Division which he led from 2006 to 2009 for the ceremony, including Maj. Gen. Steven Wickstrom and retired Maj. Gens. Joseph Taluto and Thomas Garrett. Their leadership of the "Rainbow Division," as it is known, stretches back more than a decade.
"When I think of words that best define Paul Genereux’s service, loyalty comes first," Maj. Gen. Taluto, Genereux’s commander while deployed in Iraq with the 42nd Infantry Division and former Adjutant General of New York said.
"There is no one more loyal to his seniors, subordinates, Soldiers and unit than Brig. Gen. Genereux. I know that first hand."
His career has led to his most recent assignment from May 2009 until the present as the Assistant Adjutant General -- Army for the New York National Guard. He was responsible for ensuring that New York Army National Guard units were prepared to mobilize in support of federal or state missions.
"I may have to finally stop wearing the uniform," Genereux said in his remarks at the retirement ceremony,"but I don’t have to stop being a Soldier. I still live the Army values, think like a Soldier, still keep the memories of being a Soldier and still keep my friends who are Soldiers."
"I have seen the best and the worst of the Army and the Army Guard," Genereux said.
"I’ve had a great career, from a young private drafted in 1972 to commanding general of the 42nd Infantry Division. I worked with great Soldiers, NCOs and officers," he said, "and I’ve travelled to some of the garden spots of the world, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, but also to Iceland, Greenland, South Africa and Europe."
In his role as Assistant Adjutant General, Genereux placed a special emphasis on reintegrating returning veterans to ensure a safe transition to civilian life and caring for families before, during and after mobilization.
"Leadership matters," Genereux said, "and those who’ve served with me have heard it more than once."
Genereux graduated from Manhattan College in 1972 with a degree in Civil Engineering, and entered military service in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in October of that year. After five years enlisted service, he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Army Reserve in February 1978. Genereux was first assigned as the Operations Officer for the 300th Civil Affairs Group in Riverdale, Maryland.
He served in numerous command and staff positions as an armor officer with the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 101st Cavalry from 1983 until 1995. He commanded the battalion from 1996 until 2000.
Genereux later served as deputy commander for the 53rd Troop Command in 2001 and deputy commander of Joint Task Force-42 during the National Guard’s response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City. He then commanded the 3rd Armored Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division in 2002 before assuming duties as the division’s deputy commander in 2003.
Genereux mobilized for federal service in May 2004 with the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters for Operation Iraqi Freedom as the deputy commander for maneuver with the Multinational Division North Central Iraq and Task Force Liberty. During his deployment to Iraq, Genereux was responsible for the tactical operations of more than 22,000 Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard Soldiers.
He took command of the division in April, 2006, leading the division headquarters during its redeployment to Cairo, Egypt in 2007 for the joint multinational training Bright Star exercise.
Genereux is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, the Armor Officer Basic Course, and the Command and General Staff College. He is a graduate of the Army War College in 2001 and awarded a Master of Strategic Studies degree.
His awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, presented at his retirement ceremony on Jan. 14, Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with two stars, and National Defense Service Ribbon.
Genereux, a Project Director for Torcon Incorporated, Redbank, N.J., resides in Bloomsburg, Penn. with his wife Rosalie, an employee of Geisinger Health Plan.
"Paul, you did good," Taluto said. "Roe, you can have him back now full time. It is time for you two to enjoy the fruits of your labor."