First African American General and First African American Deputy Adjutant General

Brigadier General William J. Johnson, Jr.:

BG Johnson was born in Pulaski County, Arkansas. He graduated from Scipio A. Jones High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organizational Management from Philander Smith College, and Master’s in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College in 2001.

BG Johnson enlisted into Headquarters, 212th Signal Battalion, Arkansas Army National Guard in 1976. He served in the Arkansas National Guard for more than 36 years in various leadership capacities. On January 1, 2008, BG Johnson was promoted to Brigadier General and assumed duties as Deputy Adjutant General, Arkansas National Guard. As the Deputy Adjutant General, he served as the full-time chief advisor and principal assistant to The Adjutant General and provided leadership to over 10,000 Army Soldiers and Airmen. Additionally, General Johnson served as one of the organization’s strategic leaders who worked diligently to help guide the achievement of the Adjutant General’s vision for the Arkansas National Guard. BG Johnson also oversaw the preparedness for domestic operations and homeland security.

BG Johnson is the first African American General in the history of the Arkansas National Guard and he was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Arkansas National Guard OCS Hall of Fame in 2013.

General Johnson served as an enlisted Soldier in the Arkansas National Guard for five years prior to attending the Arkansas National Guard’s Officer Candidate School at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas, where he received his commission. General Johnson’s military experience includes Platoon Leader, Company D, 212th Signal Battalion, TAC Officer, Arkansas Military Academy Officer Candidate School, Tactical Intel Officer, 1-153rd Infantry Battalion, 39th Infantry Brigade, Commander, Co B, 1-153rd Infantry Battalion, 39th Infantry Brigade, Aide-de-Camp to the Adjutant General, S1, 1-153rd Infantry Battalion, 39th Infantry Brigade, Battalion Executive Officer, 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry, 39th Infantry Brigade; Personnel Officer, STARC(-), Chief Operations Officer, Marksmanship Training Unit, Deputy Military Personnel Director, STARC (-), Commander, 212th Signal Battalion and Chief of Staff, Arkansas Army National Guard. His most recent assignment was Director, Joint Staff, Arkansas Joint Force Headquarters.

BG Johnson is a member of the Michael Vann Johnson Post 74 American Legion, a member of the National Guard Association of Arkansas and he is past secretary for the 100 Black Men of Greater Little Rock Chapter, Inc. He is a Life Member of the U.S. War College Alumni Association and the Arkansas OCS Hall of Fame Association Executive Secretary. He is a member of Leadership Greater Little Rock Alumni. BG Johnson is also a member of Mu Beta Sigma Chapter, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated and a member of The Worship Center in North Little Rock. Brigadier General Johnson retired from the military on December 31, 2012.