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Governor Perdue Announces Retirement of Adjutant General

Tuesday, September 4, 2007  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Governor Appoints Major General Terry Nesbitt to Replace Lieutenant General Poythress


ATLANTA- Today Governor Sonny Perdue announced the retirement of Lieutenant General David B. Poythress, Georgia's Adjutant General, from the National Guard and the military. Lt. Gen. Poythress, who has led the Georgia Department of Defense and the National Guard since 1999, will retire in November, capping a 44-year military career. He will enter private business as the Chief Executive Officer of American United Bancorp, Inc., in Gwinnett County.  Governor Perdue announced General Poythress’s retirement at a ceremony marking the Georgia National Guard’s headquarters relocation to Naval Air Station Atlanta, in Marietta.

“Lt. Gen. Poythress has been a devoted, committed servant to our state,” said Governor Perdue. “I am grateful for his steadfast leadership and dedication to the safety and security of all Georgians.”

As Adjutant General, Lt. Gen. Poythress reports directly to the Governor with responsibility for providing command and control authority over the 13,000 personnel of the Georgia Army National Guard, the Georgia Air National Guard and the Georgia State Defense Force.

Lt. Gen. Poythress has led the Department of Defense during its busiest time in National Guard history. Under his leadership the National Guard:


  • Deployed nearly 10,000 Soldiers and Airmen to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and other places around the world in support of the Global War on Terrorism;
  • Sent Guardsmen to the Mexican Border as part of Operation Jump Start
  • Completed  a high profile security mission in our state's airports in the months following 9/11;
  • Provided more than 2,200 Guardsmen to help Gulf Coast states in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina;
  • Completed a statewide armory renovation project;
  • Acquired the Naval Air Station Atlanta property following the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision and began the process of moving units and functions onto the facility;
  • Provided more than 5,000 Georgia Air and Army Guardsmen to support the security efforts of the G-8 Economic Summit.


Lt. Gen.  Poythress oversaw the transition of the 116th Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base, to a Joint Stars unit and the only Air Force total-force blended wing. Under his leadership, the Department of Defense was the first state agency to receive the Oglethorpe Award for performance excellence.

The general is a distinguished military graduate of the Emory University Reserve Officer Training Corps program and was commissioned in 1964. His active-duty service included a tour as chief of military justice at DaNang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. He was called to active duty during Operation Desert Shield/Storm to supervise the continental United States backfill of reserve legal personnel. In 2006, he was promoted by Governor Perdue to the rank of Lieutenant General, making him the first Adjutant General in the Georgia Guard's 273 year history to wear three stars.

Governor Sonny Perdue named Major General William T. Nesbitt as the replacement for Lt. Gen. Poythress. General Nesbitt commanded the Joint Task Force G8, a task force of over 7,000 personnel from all services to conduct military support operations for the Group of Eight Summit at Sea Island, GA in June 2004.General Nesbitt was the first National Guard officer selected to command a task force comprised of both Active Duty and National Guard personnel.

“General Nesbitt brings with him a wealth of knowledge and more than forty years of military experience that have honed his leadership skills,” said Governor Perdue. “He has demonstrated deep commitment and serious dedication to helping Georgia meet the challenges of the future.”

A brief biography for Major General William T. Nesbitt is listed below.

Major General William T. Nesbitt, Marietta- Nesbitt is Commander of the Georgia Army National Guard. In May 2006, Governor Perdue appointed General Nesbitt as Director of Georgia's Homeland Security Office. Previously, Maj. Gen. Nesbitt served as Chief of Staff of the Georgia Army National Guard; he also served as the Deputy Commander of the 48th Infantry Brigade. Maj. Gen. Nesbitt has received honors such as the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. He and his wife, Letha, are from Calhoun, Georgia and now reside in Marietta, Georgia. They have two children and two grandchildren.