HomeNewsArticle Display

West Virginia Air Guard welcomes newest general officer

Brig. Gen. Ray Shepard takes the oath of office, administered by retired Maj. Gen. Eric Vollmecke, during Shepard’s promotion ceremony at the 167th Airlift Wing, March 3, 2019. Shepard served as a Staff Judge Advocate at the 167th AW for approximately 10 years before moving on to serve as the State Staff Judge Advocate for the West Virginia Air National Guard and currently as the Chief of Staff of the WVANG. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Tech. Sgt. Michael Dickson)

Brig. Gen. Ray Shepard takes the oath of office, administered by retired Maj. Gen. Eric Vollmecke, during Shepard’s promotion ceremony at the 167th Airlift Wing, March 3, 2019. Shepard served as a Staff Judge Advocate at the 167th AW for approximately 10 years before moving on to serve as the State Staff Judge Advocate for the West Virginia Air National Guard and currently as the Chief of Staff of the WVANG. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Tech. Sgt. Michael Dickson)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --

The West Virginia Air National Guard welcomed its newest general officer to its ranks March 3, 2019, during a formal promotion ceremony for Brig. Gen. Ray Shepard held at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg.

Shepard will be stepping into the role of Chief of Staff for the WVANG, serving under Brig. Gen. Christopher “Mookie” Walker, the Assistant Adjutant General – Air. As the Chief of Staff, he is the deputy commander of the WVANG and provides command and control over the headquarters staff.

The newly promoted general was joined by his wife, Karen; children, Dawson, Hallie, Kierra, Isabella, and Alexander; special guests and members of the 167th and 130th Airlift Wings.

Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard lauded Shepard’s abilities as he assumes his new role stating, “General Shepard brings a lifetime of experience and passion to this new rank that will greatly benefit the men and women under his command. I am tremendously confident in his abilities to lead the West Virginia Air National Guard to ever higher accomplishments and mission success.”

Shepard most recently served as the State Staff Judge Advocate for the WVANG where he conferred with and advised the Adjutant General, the Assistant Adjutant General, and the Chief of Staff on all legal matters of concern to the West Virginia National Guard. His duties and responsibilities included preparing and rendering opinions on military justice matters, state legal policies, courts-martial and interpretation of regulations, laws and directives.

“I couldn’t be more proud to be standing here as a general officer,” Shepard said. “I never thought this day would come, to be honest. But now that it has, I want to help all of us become the best we can be. We already are. This will be the easiest job I can step into because the people who have come before me have trained you very well.”

Shepard enlisted in the Air Force in June of 1985 and initially served as a Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Instructor in the Maryland Air National Guard.  During law school, he joined the U.S. Navy and following graduation served as a JAG officer in Norfolk, Virginia. As lead prosecutor for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, he pursued sabotage charges against protestors who damaged a nuclear submarine and prosecuted many other felony cases for the Navy in federal court.

Following his time on active duty, Shepard served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in West Virginia and joined the West Virginia Air National Guard in 1999.

Shepard highlighted the new National Defense Strategy and what the West Virginia Air National Guard needs to look toward in the future stating, “The big takeaway is that we’re going to become more lethal and more agile as we move into the next century. Technology is changing the battle space, the way we fight, new weapons, and new platforms. All of these things are new challenges for us, and we have to adapt. I have no doubt as I stand here today that if a 'Ft. McHenry' moment came upon anyone in this room wearing the uniform, that you, like our forefathers and sisters, would step up and save America again.”

Outside his role in the WVANG, Shepard is the founder of, and is fully responsible for the operation and management of his private law firm in Pasadena, Maryland.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.