Maj. Gen. R. Van McCarty takes command as South Carolina’s adjutant general, the head of the state’s Military Department, on Saturday, Feb. 16 during a ceremony at McEntire Joint National Guard Base. As adjutant general, McCarty will administer the affairs of the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard, the Emergency Management Division, the State Guard, and the Youth Challenge Academy, which consist of about 12,000 people combined.
McCarty was named to the position by Governor Henry McMaster in January, replacing Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston who served as as adjutant general for eight years. McCarty had previously been deputy adjutant general.
McCarty, who is originally from Saluda, graduated from The Citadel in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and earned an Army National Guard commission through the college’s ROTC program. McCarty graduated from the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Virginia and served for 24 years in the Law Enforcement Division of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Additionally, McCarty served with the National Guard in Iraq.
McCarty’s awards and commendations are as follows:
Bronze Star Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
Meritorious Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
Army Commendation (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)
Army Achievement Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (with 1 Silver Oak Leaf Cluster and 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
National Defense Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star)
Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star)
Iraqi Campaign Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star)
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with Silver Hourglass, M Device and Numeral 2)
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon (with Numeral 2)
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal
South Carolina Meritorious Service Medal
South Carolina Achievement Ribbon
South Carolina Active State Service Medal (with 1 Silver Star Device)
South Carolina Mobilization Ribbon (with Numeral 1; Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
South Carolina Governor’s Unit Citation
McCarty is the first head of the South Carolina Military Department to be appointed, rather than elected. A constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2014 changed the naming process.