Indiana National Guard promotes first African-American to general

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The Indiana National Guard promoted Col. Wayne Black to the rank of brigadier general at the Indiana War Memorial Saturday.

Black provides the Indiana National Guard with nearly 30 combined years of active and National Guard leader experience. He accepted the position of Indiana's Army assistant adjutant general. Black is Indiana's first African-American brigadier general.

"I am proud and honored to earn the rank of general," said Black. "I hope to assist and encourage other minorities and all of the Indiana National Guard soldiers and airmen."

Black will assist Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger lead Indiana's National Guard of almost 14,000 service members.

"While Black represents the seven core Army Values; his sense of duty, loyalty and selfless service helped him achieve promotion to a general officer … One of only seven others in the Indiana National Guard," said Umbarger.

Black's family and friends celebrated the historic event with him.

"I am proud to be a part of it, he is a special kind of guy," said Alonzo Jefferson, Black's brother-in-law of over 20 years who flew in from Florida to attend. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."