From administrator to commander

Caroline Provost and Kaleb Horton

Assistant Principal Walter Mercer,
who is also an active member of the
US Army, has recently been promoted
to Land Component Commander.
The Land Component Commander is
responsible for land forces within a
joint operations environment, which
encompasses ground forces such as
infantry and armored units. This
means that Mercer will be in charge
of the Army National Guard and land
forces in Virginia.
“It’s a lot of fun because I get to
serve the state; I get to serve the
nation,” Mercer said, “I get to keep
things safer. I get to be involved in
meaningful work. I get to impact the
Army National Guard in a bigger way
so that is kind of neat.”
Mercer talked a little about his old
position as G3 of the 29th Infantry
“It’s a National Guard stationed
at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax, Virginia.
Anything dealing with training and
operations, whether it’s overseas
or defense of the homeland type
operations,” Mercer said.
Although Mercer is now enjoying
the benefits that accompany his
promotion, he says that balancing
a full-time job with another, both
requiring a substantial amount of
time and effort, is not an easy task.
“Obviously I’m honored to get to
this level,” Mercer said, “It’s a lot of
work and it can be a lot of stress but
it can also be a really neat thing to be
a part of because I get to help defend
the nation and the Commonwealth of
Going into detail on the many
demands of juggling both jobs,
Mercer said, “Some months are
busier than others… most evenings
and multiple weekends I do military
training. Sometimes three weekends
a month. A lot of conference calls and
emails that I have to just dig through.
But I also have a full time staff that’s
active National Guard that are there
to help me run it but I still have to
make decisions and give guidance.”
Mercer has also been deployed in
various places such as Kuwait, Bosnia
and Iraq as well as being stationed in
Germany. He is now in the transition
stage of moving from his previous
position as G3 of the 29th Infantry
Division to his newly acquired rank



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