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Jan 11
NC Air Guard Makes History Promoting its First African American General

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Ervin pinned on the rank during a ceremony at the North Carolina National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, Dec. 18, 2015.

 

"I am so proud, it is historic," said Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, adjutant general of North Carolina.

 

The crowd of friends, family, NCNG soldiers and Airmen turned a military ceremony into a celebration of service and faith.

 

"I am honored and humbled it took a lot of help and prayer," said Ervin.

 

Lusk praised Ervin's committed duty of more than 35-years to state and nation.

 

"He proved his successes all the way," said Lusk.

 

Ervin's service began in the United States Air Force in 1979 and continued when he transferred to the NCANG in 1985. He earned his officer's commission in 1988 as a graduate of the Academy of Military Science at McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base near Knoxville, Tenn.

 

That began a long career as a leader in the 145th Airlift Wing located at the NCANG base at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte. Promotions and awards followed including the Legion of Merit and multiple Meritorious Service Medals. He rose as a senior leader serving as the NCANG director of staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh.

 

The long hours at drill, military and civilian school programs and multiple deployments required the support of family over his career.

 

"He could not have done it with you," said Lusk to Ervin's family including his father, mother, and sons.

 

Ervin left the stage and walked to the front row of the auditorium hugging family and giving gifts to his parents, David and Gazella Hardin, and his sons Clarence Ervin, Jr., and Christopher, in honor of all they had done for him. The last seat in the row held flowers in memorial to his wife, Loretta.

 

"My wife made sure I did what I had to do, she told me to do the right thing," said Ervin.

 

He returned to the stage as his sons joined him pinning the general's stars to Ervin's uniform as he stood at attention to applause of all in attendance.

 

"I am a blessed man, I want to thank God and all those here who helped me," said Ervin.

 

In his new role, Brig. Gen. Ervin will serve as the NCANG chief of staff preparing Airmen for continued deployments and missions across, state, nation and world.

 

"The world is evolving and we need to get out in front and be an always ready, ready team," said Ervin.

 

In his civilian life, he is the assistant chief for Acute and Home Care Licensure and Certification with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Ervin holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Saint Leo University and a Master of Health Administration from Pfeiffer University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College.

 

In his new role, Brig. Gen. Ervin will serve as the NCANG chief of staff preparing Airmen for continued deployments and missions across state, nation and world.

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