JACKSON – Mississippi Air National Guardsman Billy F. Murphy Jr., of Tupelo, was promoted to the rank of colonel Friday at the Mississippi National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Jackson.

Murphy, 49, will now serve as director of staff of the Mississippi Air National Guard. He will coordinate personnel, logistics and operation matters with the Air National Guard Wings, headquarters staff, assistant adjutant general – air and the adjutant general of Mississippi.

“I am greatly honored to receive this promotion after 26 years of service in three different branches,” Murphy said. “I never dreamed I would achieve so much in my career, and I am humbled to serve the state of Mississippi in this new role.”

Murphy is a graduate of Tupelo High School. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy through the University of Mississippi Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1991.

During his active duty, he participated in 49 combat flight missions in support of operations Souther Watch, Deny Flight and Desert Strike in Southwest Asia. He accumulated more than 1,500 flight hours.

Murphy is married to Angela D. Murphy. They have a son, Zach Murphy, and a daughter, Kathryn Murphy. His parents, Billy F. Murphy Sr. and Julie Murphy reside in Mooreville.

“I can’t express how important it has been to have the full support and understanding of my wife and children throughout this long ride,” Murphy said. “My family members have always been my number one supporters, and they are the reason I wear this uniform.”

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