First African American First Sergeant of Company B, 212th Signal Battalion

First Sergeant (1SG) Eugene L. Fultz:

1SG Fultz is the first African American First Sergeant of Company B, 212th Signal Battalion in Benton, Arkansas. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces for more than 22 years. At the age of 18, 1SG Fultz got married and joined the U.S. Navy, serving four years on active duty.

He joined the Arkansas Army National Guard as a Specialist in 1975 and was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 212th Signal Battalion, North Little Rock. 1SG Fultz had no real military career goals set when he enlisted in the Army National Guard. After being a member of HHC 212th Signal Battalion for two years, he took advantage of the career opportunities within his military occupational specialty (MOS). 1SG Fultz soon progressed to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

In 1989, the 212th Signal Battalion was the first National Guard Signal Battalion, nationwide, to receive the Mobile Subscriber Equipment (MSE). This equipment was the Army’s equivalent to what is commonly known today as the cellular telephone system. 1SG Fultz transferred to Company D, 212th Signal Battalion where he could excel in training himself, as well as others on this state-of-the-art communications equipment. He advanced to eventually become a team chief and continued to train his troops.

It was during this period of transition that he met 1SG Gregory Settles, who inspired him to set his goals higher and pursue them. During Operation Desert Storm, 1SG Settles become the first African American Command Sergeant Major (CSM) of the 212th Signal Battalion and SSG Fultz was transferred to Company B, 212th Signal Battalion and promoted to Sergeant First Cass. In December 1992, SFC Fultz was promoted to First Sergeant of Company B, 212th Signal Battalion.

1SG Fultz’s military education includes the Primary Development Course, the Basic NCO Course, and the Advanced NCO Course. He earned numerous awards throughout his military career such as the Army Achievement Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Marksmanship Badge. 1SG Fultz has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science with a minor in Psychology from Arkansas Baptist College.

In 1995, 1SG Fultz and his family moved to Orlando, Florida from Little Rock, and in 1996, he and his wife established Greater Grace Outreach Ministries of Orlando, a street ministry. They set up a corporation, and began feeding, clothing, and praying for people on the streets. In April 2001, they sold their dream home in Orlando, left their jobs, and moved to Lake Wales, Florida to start a cross cultural outreach ministry. He and his wife pastored for seven years in Lake Wales. As part of their ministry, they started an after-school program catering to at least 125 neighborhood children. They are currently the CEO & CFO of Greater Grace Outreach Ministries of Florida, Inc. (501c3 certified) currently serving an average of 450 hot meals per month to hungry people in Lake Wales, and Haines City. In addition to his ministry, 1SG Fultz served 4 terms as Mayor of the City of Lake Wales.

1SG Fultz retired from the Arkansas Army National Guard in 1995.