Profile of Michael E. Langley, The First 4-Star General of the United States Black Skin Marines

Profile of Michael E. Langley, The First 4-Star General of the United States Black Skin Marines
General Michael E. Langley has his new rank badge pinned by his stepmother and father

International Military - Michael E. Langley listed himself as the first four-star African-American General in the history of the United States Marine Corps (US). He credits his father for telling him to "aim high" and predicts that his promotion will have an impact on younger people.

Langley was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He grew up on a military base while his father served in the US Air Force. After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Marines in 1985.

“My father told me to aim as high as possible. So I shot as high as I could and found the few and the proud," Langley said at a ceremony at the Washington Marine Corps Barracks attended by his father and other family members.

As the AP reports, the US Marine Corps, which traces its roots to 1775, refused to accept blacks in its ranks until 1942. The turnaround followed the attack on the American air base at Pearl Harbor Hawaii in 1941 and the US entry into World War II.

American military service was not separated until after President Harry Truman's order in 1948. Three decades later, the first African-American Marine was promoted to one-star general, in 1979.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced in June that President Joe Biden had nominated Langley for general. The promotion was in line with the assignment of Commander of the US Africa Command based in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Senate confirmed his appointment on Monday. "This milestone and what it means for the Corps is extremely important," Langley said during Saturday's ceremony, according to a US Marine Corps report. "Not because of the mark in history, but what will affect it going forward, especially for those younger in society who want to aspire and see the Marine Corps as an opportunity," he continued.

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