Pence names Guard leader

A former Columbus man has been selected as the next leader of the Indiana National Guard.

Brig. Gen. Courtney P. “Corey” Carr, 54, who has been in charge of thousands of soldiers during two overseas deployments, said he will be taking on the greatest command of his life.

Carr will become adjutant general when Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, who has led the state’s National Guard for 11 years, retires May 31.

Gov. Mike Pence named Carr as Umbarger’s replacement Thursday in a ceremony at Stout Field in Indianapolis.

Carr, who was president of the Columbus Economic Development Board from December 2006 to August 2010, said he plans to return to Columbus to live when assuming his new role.

Carr said he was humbled and honored when Pence called him last week and offered him the job.

“I’ve been in the Army 32 years. I led Indiana soldiers on two different deployments, and soldiers and airmen in Homeland Defense missions. The honor of leading soldiers as the adjutant general is the greatest honor I can imagine,” Carr said.

He currently serves at the Pentagon in Washington as the U.S. Army’s deputy director of readiness, operations and mobilization. He has been on assignment in Washington for more than three years.

His military background includes leading the largest Indiana Army National Guard deployment since World War II. In 2007, Carr was chosen as commander of the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, when the group of 4,500 deployed to Iraq. He previously was chosen as commander of a group that deployed to Bosnia after the 9/11 attacks and for a training organization for officers and sergeants, according to a news release.

While working with Umbarger over the years, Carr said the adjutant general told him he should consider the position in his future. When Umbarger announced that he would retire, Umbarger submitted his name for consideration and Carr applied for the job.

The search process was involved, Carr said, with several rounds of interviews with a search committee and the governor. Carr said he did not know until the governor called him last week that he had been chosen.

Umbarger said he has watched Carr in various leadership roles and is confident he will be an excellent leader for the state’s National Guard.

“If you really look at his career, he’s had all the tough jobs and is totally qualified to step into this job,” Umbarger said.

Last year, Umbarger announced he would be retiring after 45 years of military service, including 11 years as the adjutant general. Pence noted he is the second-longest-serving adjutant general in the state’s history, according to the news release.

“With more than three decades of devoted military service, Brigadier General Courtney P. Carr’s background and expertise make him an unmatched choice for Indiana’s adjutant general,” Pence said in a news release.

“I am confident his leadership and vision will serve well the more than 14,000 men and women who make up the Indiana National Guard.”

Carr said his first goal is to get settled back in Columbus, where his children live and attend school, and get acquainted with the job.

The National Guard faces a much different fiscal environment than before, with cuts in training and schools because of sequestration and changes in troop involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Regardless, he said the goal remains to maintain maximum readiness of soldiers and airmen for when they are called to duty.

Courtney Carr

Name: Brig. Gen. Courtney P. “Corey” Carr

Residence: From Columbus, currently on assignment at the Pentagon in Washington.

New job: Selected to be the adjutant general of Indiana, leading the state’s National Guard.

Current job: Deputy director of operations, readiness and mobilization for the U.S. Army at the Pentagon in Washington.

Age: 54.

Military experience: Graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1983; commander of the 1st Battalion of the 151st Infantry, where he led several hundred soldiers and deployed with them to Bosnia; commander of the 138th Regiment Combat Arms in Edinburgh, a training organization for officers and sergeants; and commander of the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, composed of about 4,500, which deployed to Iraq.

Non-military experience: President of Columbus Economic Development Board, December 2006 to August 2010; worked at Force Construction and Rock-Tenn Co.; area manager for Milestone Contractors; worked at Indiana Department of Transportation as chief of staff, deputy commissioner of highway operations.

Family: daughter, Reagan, 14; son, Evan, 11.

Author photo
Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at or (812) 379-5639.