The Mississippi National Guard is a reflection of the society it serves and draws its membership from. As societal norms change, so does the Guard...albeit at a slower pace.
This page lists individual "firsts" for the Mississippi National Guard as the MSNG military history office documents them. A listed category without a name indicates that research is ongoing. Email the Command Historian for (or with) additional information.
General Officer Firsts
First African-American Adjutant General:
& General Officer, Army:
& MSNG Primary Staff Officer:
& Colonel (O-6):
& Battalion Commander:
Major General Augustus L. Collins, the Adjutant General of Mississippi
Senior Male Officer: Lieutenant General Emmett H. "Mickey" Walker, former assistant adjutant general of Mississippi (1972-1976), later serving as the Director of the Army National Guard, and the only Mississippian to serve as Chief, National Guard Bureau (1982-1986).
First Female General Officer:
& Senior Female Officer:
Major General Catherine M. Lutz, Assistant Adjutant General, Air (deceased).
Mississippi Army National Guard Firsts
First African-American Enlisted: Believed to be Raja Steele, 3656th Maintenance Company, research ongoing.
Senior African-American Male Officer: Major General Augustus L. Collins
Senior African-American Female Officer (Non-Medical):Lieutenant Colonel Annie B. Spencer, Military Personnel Officer/Equal Opportunity Officer, Joint Force Headquarters, Mississippi National Guard.
Senior African-American Female Officer (Medical): .
Senior African-American Male Warrant Officer:
Senior African-American Female Warrant Officer:
Senior African-American Male Enlisted: Command Sergeant Major William B. Lorch, 890th Engineer Battalion from May 1997 - May 2000
Senior African-American Female Enlisted: Sergeant Major Alecia D. Gates, November 1, 2012, Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, Enlisted Personnel, Joint Force Headquarters, Mississippi National Guard.
First Hispanic Enlisted: Senior Hispanic Male Officer:
Senior Hispanic Female Officer:
Senior Hispanic Male Warrant Officer:
Senior Hispanic Female Warrant Officer:
Senior Hispanic Male Enlisted:
Senior Hispanic Female Enlisted:
First Native American Enlisted:
Senior Native American Male Officer: LTC Don C. Ahshapanek Jr., 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.
Senior Native American Female Officer:
Senior Native American Male Warrant Officer:
Senior Native American Female Warrant Officer:
Senior Native American Male Enlisted:
Senior Native American Female Enlisted:
First Asian/Pacific Islander Enlisted:
Senior Asian/Pacific Islander Male Officer:
Senior Asian/Pacific Islander Female Officer:
Senior Asian/Pacific Islander Male Warrant Officer:
Senior Asian/Pacific Islander Female Warrant Officer:
Senior Asian/Pacific Islander Male Enlisted:
Senior Asian/Pacific Islander Female Enlisted:
Female Commanders, Army:
Air Defense Artillery Battery: Captain Marilyn M. Upton, January 2011, Battery C, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.
Military Police Company: First Lieutenant Micah D. Taylor, July 2006, 114th Military Police Company
African-American Command Sergeants Major:
Command Sergeant Major William B. Lorch, 890th Engineer Battalion CSM from May 1997 - May 2000
Command Sergeant Major Silvester Tatum, 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry Regiment (Mississippi Rifles), October 18, 2013 - Present
The first Army Aviators in the MSNG were First Lieutenant Fred Theism an, Second Lieutenant Benton Keeton and Second Lieutenant Hugh Ketchum, appointed to the SARONG on February 5, 1948.
Air Defense Artillery:
Qualified female officer: First Lieutenant Marilyn M. Upton, April 1, 2008, Platoon Leader, Battery B, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Enlisted female to serve: Private First Class Tiffany ME. Faulkner, August 14, 2001, as an administrative specialist (71L) with Headquarters & Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Qualified female Air Defense Battle Management System Operator (14G): Staff Sergeant Lauren M. Williams, June 17, 2008, Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Qualified female Air and Missile Defense Crewmember (14S): Specialist Briana A. Henry, October 25, 2013, Battery B, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment
Female to earn an award for Valor: Deborah Coleman, Operation Desert Storm, Army Commendation with "V" Device .
Female to earn the Combat Medical Badge: Specialist Amber D. Blake, Operation Iraqi Freedom, April 11, 2005.
Female to earn the Combat Action Badge: Sergeant Susie S. Hubbard, Operation Iraqi Freedom, April 30, 2003.
African-American Female Federal Technician: Private First Class Annie B. Spencer, April 28, 1974, assigned as a clerk-typist to Headquarters & Headquarters Detachment, State Area Command (STARC), Mississippi.
Officer Candidate School Firsts
The Officer Candidate School conducts the Mississippi Army National Guard's officer commissioning program as part of the 154th Regiment (Regional Training Institute), Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
The graduates of Class 1, August 1959:
2LT George M. Bryan
2LT Billy M. Conlee
2LT James M. Ewing, JR.
2LT David A. Furr
2LT I. S. Garner, JR.
2LT Gene P. Hale
2LT Gary Harmon
2LT Andrew N. Johnson
2LT James L. Jones
2LT Hardy A. Katzenmyer, JR.
2LT Bobby G. Krohn
2LT John T. Longmire, JR.
2LT Thomas R. Lowe
2LT Reese W. Manning III
2LT Kenneth G. McCarty, JR.
2LT William H. Merritt
2LT Richard B. Morgan
2LT Walter A. Moses
2LT Uriel B. Padgett
2LT Leland W. Peters
2LT Lee V. Russell
2LT Robert R. Selby
2LT James M. Stark
2LT James D. Tynes
2LT Williams H. Winders
2LT Jack D. Wood
First Female Graduates :2LT Georgia Ferguson and 2LT Beverly Pantall, August 1975, Class 18
First African American Graduate: 2LT Fred Young, August 1973, Class 16
First African American Female Graduate: 2LT Ora Ford, August 1983, Class 26
First African American TAC: 2LT George E. Irwin
First African American Female TAC: 2LT Ora Ford
The Erikson Trophy is named in honor of Major General Edgar C. Erickson, former Chief, National Guard Bureau. The Erickson Trophy is awarded to the distinguished graduate from each of the States Officer Candidate Schools (OCS). The award is retained at Headquarters, National Guard Association of the United States. An honorary folio, inscribed with the names of the annual winners, is also on display. A suitably engraved replica of the Erickson Trophy is presented to each officer candidate winner during appropriate ceremonies.
First African American Erikson Trophy winner: 2LT Kenneth W. Eiland, August 1986, Class 29
First African American Female Erikson Trophy winner: 2LT Tamiko Wright, August 2007, Class 49