The governor's office made the announcement Monday. Brigadier General Mary Kight also becomes the first black woman to become adjutant general of a state's National Guard. She takes command Tuesday after a swearing-in ceremony.
Kight, who is 59, is a 25-year California guard veteran. She has been assistant adjutant general since 2006 and previously spent seven years in the Air Force.
She replaces General William Wade, who will become a deputy chief of staff with a North Atlantic Treaty Organization force in Italy.
Kight will lead 16,600 Army National Guard and nearly 4,800 Air National Guard members. The post pays $180,201 a year and requires confirmation by the state Senate.