First African American Colonel in the 189th Airlift Wing

Colonel (Col.) Ronald W. McDaniel:

Col. McDaniel was born and raised in Crossett, Arkansas and now resides in Jacksonville, Arkansas. He graduated from Crossett High School in 1970, and attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello, beginning in 1971, prior to entering the United States Air Force later in August 1972. Col. McDaniel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts with Business Emphasis and a Master’s Degree in Operations Management.

His first military assignment was with the 314th Medical Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base as an enlisted member in 1972. His job title was Medical Administrative Technician apprentice, and he served until February 1979. Col. McDaniel separated from active duty and in 1979 he joined the 189th Medical Squadron, Arkansas Air National Guard at the rank of Staff Sergeant.

In 1984, Col. McDaniel received his commission as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned to the 189th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (CAM) in the Drill Status position of aircraft maintenance officer. In 1986, he was made executive officer for the squadron and served in this capacity until 1994. In this position he reached the rank of Captain.

In 1994, he was selected for a full-time position with the Arkansas Air National Guard as an aircraft maintenance officer and transferred from the Postal Service to the Air National Guard. At the same time, he was selected to be the Commander of the 189th Aircraft Generation Squadron. He was promoted to Major in 1995 and served as Commander of Aircraft Generation Squadron until assuming the dual position of Supply Management Officer and Chief of Supply in 1997.

In January 2003, he was selected for the position of Commander of the 189th Logistics Readiness Squadron. In April 2004, he assumed the position as Commander of the 189th Maintenance Squadron where he served until June of 2008, at which time he assumed the position as Commander of the 189th Maintenance Group. In May 2009, McDaniel made history in the wing by being the first African American Colonel in the 189th Airlift Wing. He retired in August 2012 at rank of Colonel after serving in the position of Commander, 189th Maintenance Group, Arkansas Air National Guard, Little Rock Air Force Base.

Col. McDaniel currently serves as member and former President and Vice-President, Jacksonville North Pulaski School Board (JNPSB). He is a former Community Advisory Board Member of the Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD). Col. McDaniel is a member and current Secretary, Jacksonville Service to Mankind (SERTOMA) Club and served as past Chairman, Jacksonville, Civil Service Commission. He is the Board Secretary and volunteer, Jacksonville Senior Wellness and Activities Center (JSWAC) and Board Vice-President and volunteer, Jacksonville, Arkansas Military Museum of History (JMMH). Col. McDaniel is a Life Member, National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) and he is a Life member, National Guard Association of Arkansas (NGAA).