Assistant adjutant for Air pins on first star
By Tech. Sgt. D. Clare, Cargo Courier Editor
/ Published January 10, 2009
KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Kentucky National Guard welcomed its newest star Nov. 2 when former 123rd Airlift Wing commander Mark Kraus was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony held in the Base Annex.
Brig. Gen. Kraus' silver stars were pinned on by Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky's adjutant general, and General Kraus' wife, Leslie. With the promotion, General Kraus assumes the duties of assistant adjutant general for Air, the state's top Air Guard officer.
"I take an extreme amount of pride in being able to participate in my first pinning of an individual to general officer," General Tonini said. "Mark, I sincerely welcome you to Joint Force Headquarters."
The adjutant general spoke at length about General Kraus' professional accomplishments, charting his rise from enlisted airman to weapons system operator, navigator and eventual commander.
He noted that General Kraus received two Bronze Stars for combat service, and he recognized the sustained period of awards and achievements attained by the 123rd Airlift Wing under Kraus' leadership.
"It's not lost on me that while I'm privileged to wear a star today, I didn't earn it on my own, and I won't wear it alone," General Kraus told ceremony attendees. "A piece of it belongs to each of you here and hundreds of others who have invested in me."
As assistant adjutant general for Air, General Kraus represents the governor and the adjutant general of Kentucky on matters pertaining to the Kentucky Air National Guard and serves as commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard.
The general's career spans more than 35 years. He was commissioned as an officer through the Air National Guard Academy of Military Science in 1979, after which he served as an RF-4C weapon systems officer and C-130 navigator. General Kraus also has held a variety of leadership positions, including chief of standardization/evaluation, flight commander, operations officer, squadron commander, group commander and wing commander.
He has participated in Operations Provide Promise, Restore Hope, Joint Forge, Coronet Oak, Bright Star and Red Flag. General Kraus also was mobilized in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.