Colonel LelandTony Shepherd will be promoted to brigadier general and will take command of the Arkansas National Guard in Sunday ceremonies at Camp Robinson. He will be the first black officer to command all 6,500 soldiers and is only the second black general officer in the Arkansas Army Guard. The first, Brig. General William J. Johnson, retired in 2012.

He succeeds Brigadier General Bradley J. Cox, who will become director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the Arkansas National Guard.

Shepherd was born in Guyana. He holds a doctorate in executive leadership from the University of Charleston, W.Va.; a master’s degree in information technology management from Webster University; a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College and a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Philander Smith College. He served combat tours in Iraq in 2004 and 2008 as a signals officer.

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