HOUSTON – Brigadier General Gary E. Huffman, a life-long resident of Chickasaw County, retired from the Mississippi Army National Guard effective August 15, 2012, after more than thirty years of military service.
His last assignment was a 13-month active duty tour as Commander and Senior Military Representative, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Headquarters located in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Huffman was responsible for leading a joint international military and civilian staff that conducted strategic level defense and security sector reform.
Primary responsibilities of this position included, Commander of Camp Butmir, Senior United States Officer / Military Representative for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Bosnia and Herzegovina, daily interaction with the Ministry of Defense and Joint Staff of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, support to European Union Forces Operation ALTHEA, and coordination with multiple International Organizations.
Prior to taking command of NATO HQ Sarajevo, General Huffman was the Deputy Brigade Commander of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi Army National Guard, of Tupelo.
As the Deputy Brigade Commander, his primary responsibility was to assist the Commander to ensure the BCT was a combat ready force capable of accomplishing federal missions assigned by a Combatant Commander or state missions assigned by the Adjutant General. He served as the Brigade Commander’s principal advisor on all matters and functioned as the Commander in the Brigade Commanders absence. He served as the primary coordinator for all administrative, personnel, and logistics functions, and was the primary resource allocator to accomplish all unit missions.
General Huffman first enlisted in the Army in 1982. He received his commission through Officer Candidate School in May 1984. From May 1984 until August 1995 General Huffman served in various positions in the 2-114th Field Artillery Battalion to include Fire Support Team Chief, Fire Direction Officer, Battery Commander, Battalion Intelligence Officer, and Battalion Logistics Officer. In August of 1995 he was transferred to the 155th Separate Armored Brigade as the Field Artillery Plans Officer. In February 1996 he was transferred to the 1st Cavalry Division Rear Tactical Operations Center and promoted to Major. General Huffman was selected as the 155th Separate Armored Brigade Fire Support Officer in September 1996, and then served as the 155th Separate Armored Brigade Air Operations Officer from September 1999 through March 2002. In March 2002 he was selected as the 155th Separate Armored Brigade Operations Officer, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and served in this position until January 2003.
In February 2003 General Huffman was assigned as Battalion Commander 2- 114th Field Artillery. He deployed to Iraq with 2-114th Field Artillery, designated as a Provisional Infantry Battalion, from January 2005 through January 2006. His battalion served in the Karbala Province and the volatile Al Anbar Province where General Huffman was wounded in combat action November 2005.
Upon his return from Iraq in January 2006, General Huffman was assigned as Chief of Staff 66th Troop Command until his assignment in February 2007 as Operations Branch Chief, Joint Force Headquarters Mississippi Army National Guard. In August 2007 he was selected as Deputy Commander 66th Troop Command and promoted to Colonel.
During the 155th Brigade’s Combat Team’s second deployment to Iraq in 2009, General Huffman served as the 155th BCT Rear Detachment Commander from January 2009 through April 2010. He then served as the Deputy Commander 155th BCT until his selection as Commander NATO HQ Sarajevo effective 1 June 2011.
General Huffman graduated in 1973 from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, specializing in Agricultural Economics. In 2003 he received a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Touro University International. General Huffman is a 2008 graduate of the United States Army War College and received a Master’s of Science Degree in Strategic Studies.
Outside of the military, General Huffman has had a successful career in the private and public sector. After graduation from college he was a partner in the family’s cattle and row crop farm. He began service with the United State Postal Service in 1973 advancing to serve as the Postmaster in three local cities; Woodland, Ackerman and Vardaman. He transferred to the Department of Defense in 1999 becoming a Federal Military Technician and worked full-time for the Mississippi Army National Guard until his retirement in May 2011.
Brigadier General Huffman holds numerous awards and decorations, the most significant being the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), the Combat Action Badge, the Mississippi Magnolia Cross, the Mississippi War Medal, and the Mississippi Emergency Service Medal.
General Huffman and his wife Deborah have two adult children, Dr. Andrew Huffman of Hattiesburg and Dr. Heidi Rose of Auburn, Ala.