After 40 years serving in the South Carolina Army National Guard, state Adjutant General Robert E. Livingston will retire.
Livingston has served in the National Guard since enlisting in 1978.
As adjutant general, he guided the Guard and the state Emergency Management Division through a series of recent disasters, including the historic 2015 flood and hurricanes each of the following years.
“We’ve been quite tested,” he said in a video released by the Guard. “For me personally, during disaster relief, it’s kind of who I am. People suffer and hate for any disaster to occur and this goes all the way back to when I was in the fire department at Hampden-Sydney (Virginia). I was an emergency medical technician and a fireman. I didn’t want anybody’s house to burn down but if the house was going to be on fire, I wanted to be there to make a difference.”
Livingston was first elected as adjutant general in 2011. He remained in the post after voters decided in 2016 to no longer elect the position and instead give the governor appointment powers.
“General Bob Livingston is a great leader and a great soldier,” Gov. Henry McMaster said in the same video. “There’s no doubt that he brought comfort and stability and confidence to the people of South Carolina.”
A retirement ceremony is planned for Feb. 16 at McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover.
“General Livingston was such an amazing partner,” former governor Nikki Haley added. “A partner, whether it was the thousand-year flood, whether it was the hurricane, whether it was the fires. Whatever we needed to do we did it together and it was all in the name of saving as many lives as we could.”
Livingston holds degrees from Hampden-Sydney College, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of South Carolina and the United States Army War College. Click here for Maj. General Livingston’s biography.
“It’s about service and helping other people,” Livingston said. “Whether you’re helping people during the floor or whether you’re helping a country transform itself from a war-based nation to a nation that exports stability and peace.”
“This South Carolina National Guard — it is the best of this state and this state is the best of this nation, which is the best in the world,” he said.