Col. Leland Tony Shepherd will be promoted to brigadier general and assume command of the Arkansas Army National Guard in ceremonies Sunday at Camp Robinson. He will be the first Black officer to command the 6,500 troops and is only the second Black general officer in the Arkansas Army Guard. The first, Brig. Gen. William J. Johnson, retired in 2012.
He succeeds Brig Gen. Bradley J. Cox, who will become director of the Arkansas National Guard joint staff.
Shepherd was born in Guyana. He has a doctoral degree 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 signal officer.