SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Scotch Plains own Ed Chrystal, a past Grand Marshal of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Memorial Day Parade, was recently promoted to the rank of brigadier general, which is a one star general. It is a senior rank in the U.S. armed forces and comes between the ranks of colonel and major general.
Currently assigned as the deputy adjutant general for the New Jersey National Guard, BG Chrystal is responsible for 8,400 soldiers and airmen. He enlisted in the NJ Army National Guard in 1985 and attended Basic Combat Training at Fort Dix, NJ. An ROTC scholarship student and Distinguished Military Graduate, he was commissioned from Seton Hall University ROTC in 1988. Chrystal earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice and his M.A. in Education from Seton Hall University. He also holds a M.S. in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA.
Chrystal has commanded at all levels: platoon, company, battalion and brigade. Notably, he was the commander of the 1-102 Cavalry, headquartered in the Westfield Armory.
A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was assigned to the Multinational Forces – Iraq in Baghdad in 2008-'09. He also served in specific response and recovery efforts during Hurricanes Sandy, Irene, Katrina and Floyd. His military awards include: Bronze Star Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Operation Iraqi Freedom Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and Parachutist Badge.
Chrystal retired from the New Jersey State Police after 25 years at the rank of lieutenant in 2014. He lives in Scotch Plains with his wife, Georgette, and their three children.