Major General Francis D. Vavala

Francis D. Vavala

Major General (Ret) USA (Federal Rank)

General (De) (Ret) Delaware (State Rank)

Former Adjutant General- Delaware


General Francis D. Vavala’s Military Service began when he enlisted as a private in March of 1967 and ended when he retired in 2017, after 50 years of Military Service.


He was a member of the 198th Aviation Company attaining the rank of Sergeant and then attended the Delaware National Guard Academy, Officer Candidate School, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in June of 1970, receiving the Association of the United States Army plaque for leadership.


He served in a multitude of diverse assignments and leadership positions with increasing responsibilities at the platoon, company, battalion, and brigade levels ultimately reaching General Officer.

He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1995 and Major General in 2000. He served as a General Officer for 22 years and was the State Adjutant General, the Commanding General, and highest ranking member of the Delaware National Guard for 18 years between 1999 and 2017. Prior to his retirement in 2017, he was promoted to Lieutenant General (State) by Governor Jack Markell and later in 2017 he was promoted to General (State) by Governor John Carney making him the first Delaware National Guardsman to achieve four-star rank.


His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Order of the First State and many other Federal, State and Community awards too numerous to list.


During his service as the Adjutant General he held a number of prestigious National positions. Among those are: President of the Adjutants General Association of the United States and the Chairman of the Board of the National Guard Association of the United States.


His Professional Memberships and Affiliations include: The National Guard Association of the United States, The National Guard Association of Delaware. The Association of the United States Army, the Association of the United States Air Force. The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, The Delaware National Guard Retired Officer Association, The American Legion, The Knights of Columbus, Sons of the American Revolution, Delaware Veteran’s Association St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church, the Beau Biden Foundation and many other Boards and Commissions.


He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Wilmington University and attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army war College.


He lives in Pike Creek, New Castle County, with his wife of 51 years, Jane. They have three children, Anne, Jane and Nicholas and three grandchildren.