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National Guard Leadership Change Ceremony Scheduled: Army Lt. Gen. Frank Grass will receive a fourth star on Sept. 7 and then replace Gen. Craig McKinley as National Guard Bureau chief during a change-of-responsibility ceremony at the Pentagon, announced the Defense Department. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will host the event. Grass is currently US Northern Command's deputy commander. In his new role—for which he will be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—he will serve as a senior military adviser to the President, the Defense Secretary, and National Security Council and as DOD's official channel of communication to the state governors and state adjutants general on matters pertaining to the National Guard. McKinley has been NGB chief since November 2008. He is retiring from the Air Force after more than 37 years of service.