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Beard promoted to brigadier general

Posted: November 9, 2010 3:33 p.m.
Updated: November 10, 2010 5:00 a.m.

In a special ceremony Nov. 1, Ross E. Beard Jr., a colonel with the S.C. Military Department, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and assigned to the joint services detachment.

The promotion was recommended by Maj. Gen. John V. Green of Columbia and approved by the Governor, and the promotion ceremony was conducted by Maj. Gen. Stanhope Spears, the adjutant general for South Carolina.

Present for the ceremony were Green; Brig. Gen. John A. Shuler, deputy adjutant general; retired Brig. Gen. Edward Hall of Spartanburg; Lt. Col. Thomas Smith of Columbia; Maj. Gen. Eugene Powell; Brig. Gen. John Grinmball; LTC Richard Hippey; Col. James W. Rhodes; and Don Smith of Camden.

“I cannot adequately express my appreciation for this honor and the fact that each officer came up, shook my hand and as most kind in their comments to me,” said Beard.

During recent years, Beard has placed his vast collections of weapons and military memorabilia in a trust and on display in the S.C. Military Museum, where he serves as an adviser. Beard was one of the founding members of the S.C. Wing of Civil Air Patrol and was the recipient of numerous awards for service to this organization during World War II.

More recently, Beard was awarded both the S.C. Meritorious Service Medal and the S.C.  Military History Foundation’s Military Support Medal by Spears. Beard was also given the “Challenge Coin for Excellence.”

At the Nov. 1 ceremony, Beard was thanked by those present for his services and his contributions to the S.C. Military Museum. “I was deeply honored to have been given this promotion and kind recognition,” Beard said.

Beard plans to move more of his collections to the S.C. Military Museum after the second building has been renovated.

“I am very pleased that the thousands of items I’ve collected over these past 70 years will now be available for the enjoyment of those who served our great country and to people from all over the United States who visit our beautiful museum and support our troops that have fought to preserve our freedom,” said Beard.

The museum is at 1 National Guard Road just off Bluff Road and about a block from the Carolina Stadium. It is open Tuesday through Saturday and a half day on Sunday. There is no charge for admission. At present, the museum closes for federal holidays and during major Carolina home games due to traffic.

The museum was recently recognized in an article in the Congressional Record. Beard noted the museum is staffed by both civilian and military personnel who volunteer their time and talents. They conduct tours, develop displays, build display cases and create the displays.

“I delight in having the pleasure and honor of serving with these dedicated and talented people,” said Beard.

The museum has displays in the entrance way that honor adjutant generals and staffs of the S.C. National Guard who have served in war, and a room is dedicated to South Carolinians who were recipients of the Medal of Honor. There are weapons from the 1400s to the present-day, uniforms and military equipment and a recently completed artillery hall where rare cannons are displayed. A reference library is also being developed. The S.C. Military Museum also features displays of tanks, vehicles, and large cannon from the Civil War and one weapon that had atomic capability. A part of Gen. William Westmoreland’s collection is also displayed.

New items are continually added and, in the near future, will include rare World War II Nazi military vehicles, all of which are in operating condition.

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