Marine Corps gets first Black 4-star general in 246-year history

U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael E. Langley, the first Black four-star general in the branch’s 246-year history, was sworn in Saturday morning during a promotion ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Langley will serve as commander of U.S. Africa Command, which is based out of Stuttgart, Germany, and will command all U.S. military forces in Africa.

The Senate confirmed Langley’s appointment to the rank of General on Monday. 

He was nominated by President Biden in June.

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Speaking during the ceremony, the Shreveport, Alabama, native discussed equity and inclusion at the Marine Corps, family and sacrifice.

He asked attendees to recognize that the milestone was about those who had come before him, including the first commissioned Black Marine: Frederick C. Branch.

He said his promotion was about the symbolism of what would sow seeds of inspiration. 

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A 37-year Marine Corps. veteran, Langley graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

He joined as an Artillery Officer in 1985. 

Serving in Somalia, Japan and Afghanistan, Langley commanded Marines at every level. 

“As a General Officer, Langley has held billets including Deputy Commanding General for II Marine Expeditionary Force, Commanding General for 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Commander for Marine Forces Europe and Africa, Deputy Commanding general for Fleet Marine Force Atlantic and Deputy Commander for Marine Forces Command and Marine Forces Northern Command,” the Marine Corps.” said in a statement. 

Langley is also known for his intelligence, powerlifting and dominating flag football games. 

Last Updated on August 6, 2022 by

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