First African American Female to Command Arkansas Air National Guard Detachment National Guard Marksmanship Training Unit

Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.) Jacqueline Taylor:

Lt. Col. Taylor was born in Gary, Indiana. Her family moved to Blytheville, Arkansas when she was about 5 years old. Lt. Col. Taylor graduated from Blytheville High School with honors in 1988. She received an Associate of Applied Degree in Physical Therapist Assisting in 1990 from the University of Central Arkansas, Conway. She later received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education and Community Health Promotion in 2001 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In 2004, Lt. Col. Taylor received a Master of Arts Degree in Health Services Management from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. In 2007, she received a Master of Business Administration from Webster University, St. Louis. Lt. Col. Taylor obtained a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree in 2014 from the University of Findlay, Findlay, Ohio.

Her distinctive military journey began in 1989 when she enlisted in the United States Air Force. She was assigned to the 189th Airlift Wing, Arkansas Air National Guard located at the Little Rock Air Force Base. Lt. Col. Taylor attended Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas and Technical Training at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado. Lt. Col. Taylor worked as a traditional Guardsman in the 189th Services Squadron and later with the 189th Logistics Support Flight (part of the 189th Maintenance Group) until she received her officer commission from the Academy of Military Science in 2003 at McGhee-Tyson Air Force Base, Tennessee. Lt. Col. Taylor was assigned as an Equal Opportunity Officer and later became the Director of Equal Opportunity for the 189th Airlift Wing. In this role, she was responsible for analyzing data, demographics, and trends for the wing regarding issues that could affect the human relations climate. Lt. Col. Taylor was also instrumental in advising and recommending recruitment efforts with an emphasis on targeting underrepresented demographic groups. For her efforts as Director of Equal Opportunity for the 189th Airlift Wing, Lt. Col. Taylor was lauded as a Top Performer by the Headquarters, Air and Education Training Command during its 2012 and 2014 base inspections.

Later, Lt. Col. Taylor was assigned as the Planning and Programming Officer for Headquarters, Arkansas Air National Guard located at Camp Robinson, Arkansas. She was part of a team that coordinated and monitored peacetime and wartime planning during execution of programs for the Commander of the Arkansas Air National Guard. Lt. Col. Taylor’s responsibilities included coordinating the strategic and long-term planning processes for the Arkansas Air National Guard to meet federal and state missions. She served as a liaison to all Arkansas Air National Guard units with the Director of Military Support and Arkansas Department of Emergency Management in the establishment, operations and training for state emergencies and advising Joint Force Headquarters Staff on Air and Army National Guard initiatives. During this assignment, Lt. Col. Taylor also analyzed emergency programs that supported the state of Arkansas and provided corrective actions to Joint Force Headquarters Staff.

On August 2, 2020, Lt. Col. Taylor made groundbreaking history as the first African American Female to become a commander in the Arkansas Air National Guard. Lt. Col. Taylor assumed Command of the Arkansas Air National Guard Detachment for the National Guard Marksmanship Training Unit (NGMTU), Camp Robinson. As Commander, Lt. Col. Taylor’s focus was to lead as the Air Component’s representative for the joint mission of the Marksmanship Training Center. She was responsible for coordinating NGMTU functions and matters with other units, military services, and civilian agencies. Lt. Col. Taylor also aimed at ensuring competitors received the best training and skills development beyond basic proficiency to enhance combat survivability and capability.

Lt. Col. Taylor’s military professional education includes the Academy of Military Science, McGhee-Tyson Air Force Base, Tennessee; Personnel Officer Course, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; Squadron Officer School and the Air Command and Staff College Course, both located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Her major military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organization Excellence Award, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with one silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award with three oak leaf clusters and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with silver hourglass.

Lt. Col. Taylor retired from the Arkansas Air National Guard in 2022 after serving 32 years and 8 months of distinguished military service. Since retiring from the Arkansas Air National Guard, she currently holds the distinction of being the first African American Female to command the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) at the Historic Little Rock Central High School. As the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor for this program, Lt. Col. Taylor has the responsibility of managing the AFJROTC unit in accordance with military regulations and the Little Rock School District’s policies and procedures. She has a personal commitment to instill in the cadets the values of community, personal responsibility, sense of accomplishment, all while stressing the importance of true self-esteem, teamwork, and self-discipline. Lt. Col. Taylor sets the standards by encouraging her cadets to commit to the core values of the United States Air Force… integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.

Lt. Col. Taylor is a life member of the National Guard Association of America, a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; licensed as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, and a certified Air Force JROTC instructor. Additionally, she serves as a board member of Advocates Needed Today, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide emotional support and information to those with developmental disabilities and behavioral health concerns. This organization is especially dear to Lt. Col. Taylor’s heart since her son has diagnoses that include autism spectrum disorder. In her spare time, she enjoys running, volunteering with her sorority, and enjoying time doing activities such as road trips and attending sporting events with her family. Lt. Col. Taylor and her family live in Sherwood, Arkansas.