The Indiana National Guard has named its first-ever African-American general.
A graduate of The Citadel, Col. Wayne Black joined the Indiana National Guard in 1996. He is now the assistant adjutant general. Black says he doesn’t feel any added pressure as the Indiana Guard’s first African-American general, in part because he didn’t 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 part of his role as a leader, regardless of his skin color, is to mentor those who serve under him. Still, he says he’s glad his promotion is receiving attention.
“It shows that the Indiana National Guard is a forward-moving organization, forward-moving structure.”
He says when he began his military career, he didn’t anticipate he would eventually rise to the rank of general.
“Did I aspire to get there? Yes. But the reality is just starting to set in that that goal, although pretty large, was achievable.”
Black has served as a manufacturing supervisor for RR Donnelley in Crawfordsville for the past 17 years. He currently serves as the construction and facilities management officer at Indiana National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Indianapolis.
Black’s official promotion ceremony takes place July 13th.