Maj. Gen. William Blaylock II will turn over command of the 35th Infantry Division to Maj. Gen. John Rueger in a change of command ceremony Saturday, March 4. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at the 35th ID Headquarters, 4 Wagon Wheel Way, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. A reception will follow the ceremony.
“I am very honored and elated to be selected for command of the historic 35th Infantry Division,” said Rueger. “I am eager to serve with the outstanding Soldiers of the 35th and continue the partnerships with the division-aligned states and brigades as we leverage each other to build readiness.
“I want to thank Major General Blaylock for his incredible leadership and vision as commanding general of the Santa Fe Division and wish him good luck in his future endeavors.”
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve with such great Soldiers in the 35th Infantry Division,” said Blaylock. “I will always remember my time with the 35th as a highlight in my career. We grew together and built relationships during our deployment as Task Force Spartan, relationships that will last a lifetime.
“I will miss being in command, but I know that Major General Rueger will do a great job. I look forward to hearing about the great things the 35th Infantry Division will do under his watch.”
Maj. Gen. John W. Rueger
Maj. Gen. John W. Rueger is currently the 35th ID Rear Detachment Commanding General.
Previously he was the director of Joint Staff, Kansas National Guard, responsible for programs, plans and policies directing and coordinating the efforts of 7,000 Army and Air members of the Kansas National Guard.
His most recent deployment was to Southwest Asia in support of Task Force Spartan, Operation Spartan Shield, and Operation Inherent Resolve in 2017 as a 35th ID deputy commanding general.
His prior assignments and deployments include serving as deputy commanding general -- operations, 35th ID; deputy commanding general -- sustainment, 35th ID, Fort Leavenworth; commander, 130th Field Artillery Brigade, Manhattan; commander, 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery Regiment, Hiawatha; and commander, U.S. Army Infantry Battalion, Multinational Force and Observers, Sinai, Egypt. He has served in various other command and staff positions throughout his career.
In his civilian career, Rueger is a director of software engineering with Broadridge Financial Services.
Rueger is a graduate of the Field Artillery Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the United States Army War College. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree in 1992 from Kansas State University, Manhattan, and Master of Strategic Studies degree in 2012 from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He received his commission in 1989 as a field artillery officer upon graduation from Kansas State University.
Maj. Gen. William B. Blaylock II
Maj. Gen. Blaylock commanded the 35th Infantry Division on its recent deployment as the headquarters for Task Force Spartan based in the Middle East in 2022. Prior to his assignment as commanding general of the 35th Infantry Division., Blaylock served as the division’s deputy commanding general – support. His previous assignments include the director of logistics and engineering at the National Guard Bureau in Washington, DC.; chief of staff, Missouri Army National Guard; commander, 35th Engineer Brigade; director of plans, Missouri National Guard; deputy brigade commander, 35th Engineer Brigade; commander, 1140th Engineer Battalion; chief of information management, Missouri National Guard; executive officer, 35th Infantry Division Engineer Brigade; and executive officer, 1138th Engineer Battalion, Baghdad, Iraq.
Blaylock retired as the chief information officer for the Rockwood School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. He served in the school district for 28 years, beginning as a classroom teacher and transitioning to the Technology Department.
His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal and the Missouri Conspicuous Service Medal. He is also a 2016 recipient of the Silver Order of the de Fleury medal from the Army Engineer Regiment.
Blaylock earned a master’s degree in education technology from Webster University in 1994 and a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2011.