COLUMBIA – Colonel Calvin Elam becomes the South Carolina Air National Guard’s first African American general officer when he is promoted to the rank of brigadier general this Sunday.
South Carolina’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., will promote Elam during a 3 p.m. ceremony at McEntire Joint National Guard Base on Jan. 13.
“Cal has had a long and distinguished career in the Air Force and the South Carolina Air National Guard and this promotion to brigadier general culminates many years of hard work and dedicated service to his state and nation. He is the epitome of the Citizen-Airman,” said Livingston.
Elam currently serves as the Assistant Adjutant General for Air for the South Carolina National Guard. As a civilian, he is Chief Executive Officer for Elam Financial Group.
The Greenwood native began his military career in 1980 and spent six years in the active duty Air Force as an enlisted contracting specialist. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1988 after graduating from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business with a degree in business marketing.
Elam since has served in several key leadership positions with the South Carolina Air National Guard including Chief of Supply, Commander of the 169th Maintenance Squadron and Commander of the 169th Mission Support Group. Elam, his wife Mary and their three children reside in Irmo.
From the SC Air National Guard