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JACKSON, Miss. – Saturday, May 4, 2024, was about more than just “Star Wars” day for the members of the Mississippi National Guard. Hundreds of friends, colleagues and family members filled the auditorium at the Mississippi National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters, Jackson, Mississippi, to witness the promotion of Col. Tommy F. Tillman to the rank of brigadier general.

Maj. Gen. Barry A. Blanchard, the Assistant Adjutant General - Air for the state of Mississippi, served as the presiding official for the ceremony and reflected on his time serving with Tillman in various leadership positions at the wing, state and federal level.

“Throughout all of his service, I can think of two words that really sum up Tommy and the way he approaches leadership and people, and they are humility and selflessness,” said Blanchard. “He exhibits servant leadership.”

As Brig. Gen. Tillman took the podium, he thanked those in the audience for being a part of his journey and reinforced his priorities of God, family, and Guard.

“I’m so honored to be able to serve as a general officer in the great state of Mississippi,” said Tillman. “I’ve often said in the past that I can’t imagine serving anywhere else and that stands true


Tillman began his career in March 1987, and after five years of enlisted service, was commissioned through the Academy of Military Science in June 1992. He began his flying career at Reese Air Force Base, Texas and has tallied more than 4,450 total flying hours in the C-141B and C-17A aircraft.

Tillman held numerous staff and command positions at the group and wing level before being selected as the advisor to Air Mobility Command inspector general at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Prior to his positions at state headquarters, Tillman served as the wing commander at the 172nd

Airlift Wing, Jackson, Mississippi, as well as additional duties as Director of Mobility Forces (DIRMOBFOR) where he deployed for numerous Joint Task Forces and hurricane responses.

Tillman was most recently the A3 Director of Operations for the Mississippi Air National Guard. His responsibilities included developing and executing statewide initiatives in accordance with the Assistant Adjutant General and Adjutant General’s vision to ensure the Mississippi Air National Guard’s unity of effort. After the promotion, Tillman assumed the chief of staff position of theMississippi Air National Guard



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