Major General (Retired) Erik Hearon entered the Mississippi Air National Guard in January 1970 and retired in February 2010. He entered military service as an E-1, completed basic training, was commissioned, and began pilot training within his first year. He then served in the 172nd Airlift Wing and component units in Jackson, MS as Operations Group Commander until August 2003 was transferred to Meridian, MS, 186th Air Refueling Wing as Wing Commander until December 2005. During this time Hearon was stationed at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar as Director of the Regional Air Movement Control Center – Afghanistan and Iraq, a multinational unit, November 2002 to December 2005. From December of 2005 to his retirement in February 2010, he served as Chief of Staff, ANG Assistant to the Secretary of the AF for Manpower and Reserve Affairs; Pentagon and retired as the Assistant Adjutant General – Air, Mississippi Air National Guard, as well as Commander, Mississippi ANG. Maj. General Hearon feels that his most rewarding missions overall involved air evac missions and the most unique military destination was in November 2009 to Antarctica, including the South Pole. Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, C-130E/H; C-141 B/C, KC-135R; over 5,700 flying hours. His major awards and decorations include, AF Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Airman’s Medal, Bronze Star, Medal Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Air Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Aerial Achievement Medal, AF Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Award, AF Outstanding Unit Award (with 2 Silver Oak Leaf Clusters and 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), AF Organizational Excellence Award, Combat Readiness Medal (with 2 Silver Oak Leaf Clusters and 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), MS Magnolia Cross (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), MS Magnolia Medal, MS War Medal (with 2 Bronze Service Stars), and MS Emergency Service Medal (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters).
Erik Hearon is a Certified Public Account since 1971 and is an active member of his community supporting the Trail of Honor in various capacities and reenactments, past Reserve Deputy Sheriff of Hinds County, MS, Rotary Club Member, Bone Marrow Donor and drive organizer, member of the National Guard Association U.S. and MS, Air Force Association, and Military Order of the World Wars. He was also appointed to the MS Commission on the Holocaust.
Erik is married to Marla Harbor, has three children, Meg, Erika, Benjamin and three granddaughters.