Mississippi's first African-American Adjutant General
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Mississippi's first African-American Adjutant General was named Wednesday by Governor Phil Bryant.
Augustus Leon Collins, 54, faces Senate confirmation, which is expected to happen quickly.
Augustus Leon Collins started out in 1977 as a private in the Mississippi National Guard, and now has risen to the top position in the National Guard.
Collins is from Booneville in far northeast Mississippi.
Governor Phil Bryant went to National Guard headquarters in Jackson to make the announcement.
Collins, who served one year in combat in Iraq as commander of the 155th Separate Armored Brigade, believes his appointment says to all black people you too can rise to the top.
"It shows that you can do certain jobs in this state," Collins said. "This job is symbolic in lots of ways but the important thing is it shows that in any position you can go to the top."
He was the first black Mississippi Guard General.
Collins was promoted in Iraq in April of 2005.
He thinks his service in combat helped get him the job.
"I think yes, my service in Iraq had a lot to do with it but I also think the mentoring I received along the way from the great soldiers, officers of the Mississippi National Guard on active duty also put me in this position," Collins said.
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