Gen. Frank Grass becomes chief of the National Guard Bureau

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Gen. Frank Grass became the 27th chief of the National Guard Bureau in a change of responsibility ceremony Friday at the Pentagon.

"I'm very excited about the future," Grass said. "There's a lot of work to do."

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta hosted the ceremony.

Grass replaces Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley as the chief of the National Guard Bureau. Grass received his fourth star during the ceremony.

As chief of the National Guard Bureau, Grass serves as a military adviser to the president, the secretary of defense and the National Security Council and is the Department of Defense's official channel of communication to the governors and adjutants general in all 54 states and territories on all matters pertaining to the National Guard.

He is responsible for ensuring that more than half a million Army and Air National Guard personnel are accessible, capable and ready to protect the homeland and to provide combat resources to the Army and the Air Force.