Ernest G. Talbert, Maj. Gen., DANG (Ret.), Bear, as a distinguished graduate of New York University ROTC program, started flight training at Williams AFB, Arizona, where he earned his wings in 1973. He was assigned to Charleston, S.C., AFB where he flew the jet transport C-141-A for the next five years.
In 1979, Ernie began his career with the Delaware Air National Guard during which he served the state and the nation outstandingly for 36 years, including 6,500 flight hours and as a command pilot. He became the unit's first federal technical tactics officer and later Instructor Pilot, Pilot Examiner, the 166th Airlift Group 'aircrew scheduler, training officer, chief of aircrew standardization, and training and operations plans officer. He was also the Chief of Current Operations for the 166th Operations Support Flight. He became the commander of the 142nd Airlift Squadron and during his tenure received the "highest ever" evaluation on an Aircrew Standardization and Training review. He later became commander of the166th Operations Group responsible for four component groups.
In 2002, he became Wing Commander of the 166th Airlift Wing and oversaw the largest mobilization in the Wing's history. He served in combat zones in 1991 in Southeast Asia in Operation Desert Storm, and later, as Wing Commander, from 2003 to 2005 in numerous combat missions in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
In 2005, Ernie became the Chief of Staff, HQ, DANG, and was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, becoming the highest-ranking African American in the over 350-year history of the Delaware National Guard, and the first African American general of the unit. General Talbert's broad diversity and scope of military flying and command has earned him some 26 awards, including The Legion of Merit with oakleaf clusters and The Meritorious Service Medal with oakleaf clusters.
Upon retiring from DANG in 2009, Ernie was promoted to the rank of Major General.