COLUMBIA — Col. Calvin Elam, of Irmo, is set to become the S.C. Air National Guard’s first African-American general.
Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., the state’s adjutant general, will promote Elam during a 3 p.m. ceremony Sunday at McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover.
“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,” Livingston said in a release.
Elam currently serves as the assistant adjutant general for air for the S.C. 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 U.S. Air Force as an enlisted contracting specialist. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1988 after graduating from USC’s Darla Moore School of Business with a degree in business marketing.
Elam since has served in several key leadership positions with the S.C. 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 live in Irmo.