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Indiana National Guard Names First African-American General

Col. Wayne Black is being promoted to become the Indiana National Guard's first African-American brigadier general.

Wayne Black

Photo: Indiana National Guard

Wayne Black has been with the Indiana National Guard for 17 years.

3:30 p.m. update

The Indiana National Guard has named its first-ever African-American general.

A graduate of The Citadel, Wayne Black joined the Indiana National Guard in 1996.  He is now the assistant adjutant general.

Black says he does not feel any added pressure, in part because he did not ever feel like there was a ceiling to his advancement.

“But I can understand how others may feel like, ‘Well, I don’t see anyone at these levels that looks like me or close to me, therefore the ability to reach those levels may be somewhat far-fetched,’” Black says.

Still, Black says the job is certainly not over and he is ready to put forth the effort to make sure he is successful in his new position.

“There’s a lot of things that you don’t know, and, as a result, that makes it a little unnerving, but I think I’m ready for the challenge,” he says.

Black says part of his role as a leader, regardless of his skin color, is to mentor those who serve under him.  Still, he says he is glad his promotion is receiving attention because it shows the Indiana National Guard is a “forward-moving organization.”

Black’s official promotion ceremony takes place July 13.

2:00 p.m. update

The Indiana National Guard has promoted his first African-American brigadier general.

A ceremony for Col. Wayne Black’s promotion to the higher rank as well assistant adjutant general will be held July 13.

Black joined the Indiana National Guard in 1996. He is a graduate of the Citadel, received an M.B.A from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the Army War College.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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