Kansas Adjutant General's Department

Contact: Public Affairs Office
Email: ng.ks.ksarng.list.staff-pao@mail.mil

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14-080 Kansas National Guard's new brigade brings jobs to Manhattan; activation ceremony Oct. 19

The Kansas National Guard is gaining a new brigade this month, adding new jobs to Kansas. An activation ceremony will be held for the 130th Field Artillery Brigade Sunday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m. at Frank Anneberg Park, 3801 Anderson, Manhattan, Kansas.

The new brigade brings 15 new full-time National Guard jobs to Manhattan and 163 part-time National Guard positions with it. The part-time jobs are traditional National Guard slots in which individuals train one weekend a month and two weeks a year.

"This is great news for Manhattan, for the state of Kansas and for the Kansas National Guard," said Governor Sam Brownback. "Our Kansas National Guardsmen are a tremendous asset to every town in which they are located, but not just in times of crisis. Their very presence gives a community an added sense of security and pride." 

"We continually look for new missions and were thrilled when the National Guard Bureau and Department of Defense looked to us to take this on," said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, Kansas adjutant general. "Men and women join the National Guard because they want to serve and protect their community, state and nation. This new mission will give them ample opportunities to do that every day as they begin a new chapter in the long, proud history of the 130th Field Artillery."

Col. John Rueger has assumed command of the new brigade headquarters which will operate out of the Manhattan National Guard armory at 721 Levee Blvd.  With this new brigade, approximately 400 Kansas National Guard members will now work at the Manhattan armory, the majority of them will be there part time for monthly drill and annual training. 

The 130th Field Artillery Brigade Headquarters will provide command and control to subordinate field artillery units in the Kansas National Guard. These include the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery in Hutchinson and the 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery in Hiawatha. The field artillery units provide indirect fire in support of Army maneuvers. The brigade’s subordinate battalions are fielded with the 155mm Paladin self-propelled howitzer and equipped with the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

The 130th Field Artillery history in the Kansas Army National Guard dates back to 1917, where its lineage can be traced through both world wars as part of the 35th Infantry Division, the Korean conflict and, most recently, Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On June 1, 1978, the 130th was redesignated as the 130th Field Artillery Brigade.  In 1985 it was again redesignated as the 35th Division Artillery with the reactivation of the 35th Infantry Division. The 130th was reconstituted again on Sept. 2, 1997, in the Kansas Army National Guard in Topeka. Following its deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the brigade was inactivated on Nov. 10, 2007.

Col. John W. Rueger

Col. John W. Rueger’s military career began in August 1987 when he enlisted in the Kansas Army National Guard with Battery A, 2-130th Field Artillery in Marysville. At the same time, he enrolled in the Simultaneous Membership Program in the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Kansas State University, Manhattan. He was commissioned a second lieutenant on May 12, 1989, as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program.

Rueger is a graduate of the Field Artillery Officer Basic and Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army War College, Airborne School, Air Assault School and various other military schools.

Following his commissioning, Rueger served in several assignments in the field artillery branch, including recon survey officer, battalion targeting officer, fire direction officer, executive officer, fire support team chief, battalion fire support officer, battery commander, assistant operations officer, division intelligence officer, battalion operations officer, brigade operations duty officer, brigade personnel officer and brigade operations officer.

In 2006, Rueger was assigned as the commander of the 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery. In the summer of 2009, he deployed with the battalion to Sinai, Egypt, as the commander of U.S. Battalion for Rotation 53 of the Multinational Force and Observer mission. After returning from deployment, he was assigned as the operations branch director at Joint Forces Headquarters Kansas. His most recent assignment was as operations officer, JFHQ-KS.

Rueger holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and a Master of Business Administration from Kansas State University in Manhattan and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

A lifelong Kansan, Rueger lives in Lenexa with his wife, Carrie. They have four children, Alexander, Caroline, Colton and Grayson. In his civilian career, Rueger works for CenturyLink in New Century, Kansas.  Rueger is the son of former adjutant general the late Maj. Gen. James Rueger.




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