First African American Unit Administrator

Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4) Paul Williams:

CW4 Williams was born in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and graduated from Scipio A. Jones High School in 1969. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1969 at the age of 17. He attended basic training and his job specialty training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, his MOS was in supply and logistics.

His first overseas assignment was Southeast Asia in Thailand, and he also served a tour in Germany. In December 1972, he enlisted in the Arkansas National Guard as a Specialist 4. He started working with the National Guard in 1977, and in 1978 he became the first black unit administrator for the 39th Infantry Brigade, Arkansas Army National Guard. In 1980, he was appointed to the rank of Warrant Officer 1.

Additionally, in 1980, he decided to return to active-duty status and in that same year, he was promoted to the rank of First Sergeant and was recognized as the first African American First Sergeant in the 39th Infantry Brigade.

In 1980, when the Arkansas Active Guard Reserve program was started, he was instrumental in getting black soldiers into the Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) program. He provided help with the application process and was present on job panels to assist with other required paperwork.

In 1986, CW4 Williams was transferred to Camp Robinson as the Accounting Supervisor. Of the 54 entities on Camp Robinson, he was one of four blacks in a leadership role. After a few years, he was promoted to Budget Officer and became Staff Accountant for the Arkansas National Guard until his retirement in 2002.

For his outstanding service, CW4 Williams was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Accommodation, the Good Conduct Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, and numerous other awards and decorations.

CW4 Williams believes that one of his greatest accomplishments was after being promoted to accounting supervisor, he was told that the department he had acquired was one of the worst in the nation. Within two years CW4 Williams, along with his staff, became one of the top five departments in the National Guard.