ARLINGTON, Va. - President Obama has nominated the senior U.S. defense official in Egypt as vice chief of the National Guard Bureau, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced Monday.
If confirmed, Air Force Maj. Gen. Joseph Lengyel would be the first three-star occupant of the position.
Lengyel also was nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, the Defense Department announced.
The nomination has been sent to the U.S. Senate for confirmation.
In a 30-year career that has included extensive service with the Texas Air National Guard and assignments at the Air National Guard Readiness Center at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Washington, where he was deputy director of the Air National Guard, Lengyel has most recently served as the senior U.S. defense official; chief of the Office of Military Cooperation; and defense attaché for U.S. Central Command in Cairo.
In Cairo, Lengyel has been the principle military official at the American Embassy and the Defense Department's representative to the embassy country team and host nation.
As chief of the Office of Military Cooperation, Egypt, he oversaw a $1.3 billion budget and two divisions responsible for the security assistance mission in Egypt. The office provides advice and assistance to Egypt on military procurement and training, serves as a liaison between the Egyptian Ministry of Defense and CENTCOM and supports more than 2,100 military and civilian personnel stationed in Egypt.
Before his service in Egypt, Lengyel's assignments included three years at the Air National Guard Readiness Center, which he commanded from 2006 to 2009 and where he served as the Air Guard's deputy director in 2008 and 2009.
From 1991 to 2004, Lengyel held a number of command assignments with the Texas Air National Guard.
Those tours were just one part of a career that started with his 1981 commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He was an F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighter instructor pilot and weapons officer, and his F-16 experience included tours in Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Forces and U.S. Air Forces in Europe as well as the Texas Guard. He is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours, most in the F-16.
Lengyel has commanded a fighter squadron, operations group and air expeditionary group.
His family has an extensive history of military service, including service by his father, brother and son.
The position of vice chief of the National Guard Bureau was re-established at the three-star level in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.