Lawmaker takes top command post with Utah National Guard

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Val L. Peterson, a member of the Utah House and a vice president at Utah Valley University (UVU), will take on even more responsibility on Saturday.

Peterson, a colonel in the Utah Army National Guard, will take over command of the land components of the Guard, which include six major commands, a Guard news release said.

Peterson, of Orem, will replace Brig. Gen. Michael R. Liechty, of Providence, in a 2:30 p.m. ceremony at Camp Williams Readiness Center's auditorium. Liechty's retirement ceremony is at 3 p.m.

Liechty is retiring from the Guard after 42 years but will remain in his civilian job as deputy superintendent of the Cache County School District in North Logan. He has been commander of the Land Component Command since 2008.

Peterson is vice president for finance and administration at UVU and represents district 59 in the Utah House. In his 28-year military career, he has served as a company commander, battalion commander and brigade commander, the news release said.

Peterson will have oversight of the six Utah Army National Guard major commands, including Engineers, Special Forces, Aviation, Artillery, Military Intelligence and Troop Command units.

A change-of-responsibility ceremony for the Land Component Command's senior enlisted leader is also part of Saturday's ceremony. Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Brown will succeed Command Sgt. Maj. Stephan Vogl.