For the first time, an African-American now holds the title of general in the West Virginia National Guard. The Guard hosted a ceremony to mark the milestone on Saturday.
Col. Christopher S. Walker, Chief of Staff for the West Virginia Air National Guard, was recently promoted to the rank of brigadier general.
Walker is the first African-American service member to be promoted to this rank in the West Virginia National Guard.
Maj. Gen. James Hoyer led the ceremony saying Walker was selected because of his experience and his leadership abilities.
Walker began his military career after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in 1988. After nine years as a C-130 navigator, he left active duty and joined the West Virginia Air National Guard at the 167th Airlift Wing. There, he served almost a decade as a navigator as well as other titles including commander of the 167th Operations Support Squadron.
Walker has held several other positions and operations on bases in Maryland, Connecticut, and Virginia – as well as overseas in Qatar and Iraq.
Walker assumed the role of Chief of Staff for the West Virginia Air National Guard in Dec. 2016.