First African American to Enlist in the Army Guard

First Sergeant Jeff Hayes:

1SG Hayes was born in Sterlington, Louisiana. He later relocated to Little Rock, Arkansas. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Arkansas Baptist College in 1958.

He enlisted in the United States Army on April 27, 1951, and served until April 23, 1953. 1SG Hayes joined the United States Army Reserves on April 24, 1953, and remained until December 27, 1964. On December 28, 1964, 1SG Hayes enlisted in to the 148th Evacuation Hospital, Arkansas Army National Guard. He was the first African American to enlist in the Arkansas Army National Guard since reconstruction. His Military Occupation Specialties include 11B5M, Infantryman and 91B50, Medical Specialist. His duty assignments include Light Weapons Infantryman, Operating Room NCO, Chief Operating Room NCO, and First Sergeant, 148th Evacuation Hospital. In October 1986, Hayes was named the Deputy Commander and First Sergeant of the National Guard Battleskills Training Unit at Camp Robinson, North Little Rock.

1SG Hayes has received numerous awards, citations, and medals to include the Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Armed Force Reserves Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Commendation Service Ribbon, Arkansas Commendation Medal, and the Arkansas Service Medal. In addition to his awards, citations, and medals, 1SG Hayes completed the AMEDD Medical Course, Arkansas National Guard Noncommissioned Officer Academy, and the U.S. Army Sergeant Major Academy’s First Sergeant Course. First Sergeant Jeff Hayes retired on August 9, 1991, with over 40 years of military service.