WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) honored the service of Major General Ron Chastain, who served as his Agricultural Liaison for the past six years, in the Congressional Record, the official proceedings of Congress.
Chastain retired on January 31, 2017. He also served in the Army National Guard for nearly four decades and worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for more than thirty years.
The following are remarks printed in the Congressional Record:
Mr. President, I rise today to recognize Major General Ron Chastain for his four decades of service to the state of Arkansas and to our nation. For 32 years, he worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency and then served for the last six years as my Agricultural Liaison in Arkansas. He has also enjoyed a distinguished military career in the Arkansas National Guard that spanned nearly four decades.
Ron was born and raised in Arkansas and graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a degree in biology in 1972. In 1974, he began his career with the USDA. He was the Supervisory Program Specialist in Arkansas and dealt with federal farm programs at the county, district and state levels. He is a recipient of the USDA Service to Agriculture Award and also received recognition for his suggestions that improved the administration of federal farm programs.
At the same time, General Chastain was a dedicated member of the Army National Guard serving our state and nation on weekends, evenings and multiple overseas deployments. While in uniform, he honorably served as deputy commanding general for the Arkansas Army National Guard at the U.S. Army Forces Command, the Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard, as Chief of Staff (wartime) of U.S. Forces Korea, Commander of the 39th Brigade Combat Team in Iraq and commander of the 25th Rear Operations Center during Operation Desert Storm. A veteran of two wars, General Chastain was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and two Bronze Star medals. He has also been inducted into the distinguished Arkansas Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame.
In 2010, “the General” retired from the Arkansas Army National Guard. Shortly thereafter, I called to congratulate him on his impressive military career and during our conversation he said he would be happy to help me in any way he could. I knew that he could bring his unique experience and expertise to help me represent the agriculture community in Arkansas, so I asked him to join my staff.
As a member of my team, General Chastain has been a professional and tireless advocate on behalf of Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers. The Arkansas Farm Bureau recently recognized his hard work and contribution to our state’s agriculture community. Ron also educated thousands of young Arkansans about the history and proper care of the U.S. and Arkansas flags through my office’s Flag Education Program.
General Ron Chastain dedicated his career to leading and serving others. I want to thank him for all that he has done on behalf of Arkansas and I wish him well on his retirement. I know he will enjoy spending more time with his family and working on his farm. As a model public servant for so many years, his retirement and all the recognition he has garnered are well deserved.