John Gentry ’91 was promoted to brigadier general in the Georgia National Guard during a ceremony at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Ga., this month. Gentry is the 19th general officer commissioned through the PC ROTC program.
“When I first learned that I was the 19th general officer commissioned through the Highlander,” Gentry said, “I was first surprised at the number considering the size of the program and later honored to be one of a select few who have the opportunity to serve in our Army at the Flag level.”
A Distinguished Military Career
In early August, Gentry assumed command of the 78th Troop Command. The position is a brigade-level command based out of Clay National Guard Center that oversees the training and readiness of 27 separate units assigned to the Georgia Army National Guard.
The command consists of approximately 1,700 soldiers.
Gentry began his military career when he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Field Artillery in 1991 through PC’s ROTC program.
His first assignment was as a Company Fire Support Officer in the 1st Battalion, 178th Field Artillery in the South Carolina Army National Guard. Upon transferring to the Georgia Army National Guard, Gentry served in several assignments.
He has also earned multiple awards and decorations throughout his 28-year military career.
“A Warrior Spirit”
Gentry is a former member of the PC Alumni Board and currently serves on the Scotsman Club Board and the executive committee of the PC ROTC Alumni Council.
“The PC ROTC program fueled in me a warrior spirit for the military service,” Gentry said. “This, coupled with our PC motto, led me in service to my state and country and through service in local government serving in the parks and recreation profession nearly 20 years.”
Gentry earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Presbyterian College and a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Penn.
Those at the Sept. 8 ceremony included family, friends, as well as members of Gentry’s 1991 commissioning class, fraternity brothers and former teammates. They include Tom Free, Kelly Reed Hoelscher, Phillip Glover, Harold Nichols ’90, Billy Eagan and Jimmy Cushman.
Gentry is married to the former Katherine Pope ’91, of Washington, Ga. They have two children, Anna and Caroline.
100 Years of PC ROTC
This year is the 100th year of the PC ROTC Program. To read more stories about the program, check out “Celebrating 100 Years of Leadership & Excellence,” the commemorative ROTC issue of the PC alumni magazine.