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Your Black History: A salute to Frank E. Petersen, America’s first Black Marine General

YOUR BLACK HISTORY FRANK E Your Black History: A salute to Frank E. Petersen, America’s first Black Marine General

Frank E. Petersen

Your Black History: A salute to Frank E. Petersen, America’s first Black Marine General

PETERSEN

By Victor Trammell

     The selfless and brave commitments of our nation’s military members are most certainly commendable.

    Soldiers who serve America in war and peace sacrifice their lives. The daily duties of the Armed Forces secure freedom for all U.S. citizens.

    On this day 34 years ago, Black America was represented in the U.S. Military by an honorable man who earned the rank of his fellow soldiers.

    In today’s edition of Your Black History for BlackBlueDog.com, we pay tribute to Frank E. Petersen, America’s first Black Marine Corps General.

    Frank E. Petersen was born on March 2, 1932 in Topeka, Kansas. At the age of 18, Petersen enlisted in the U.S. Navy to become a Seaman Apprentice.

    As a Seaman Apprentice, Petersen worked as an electronics technician. In 1951, Petersen joined the Navy Aviation Cadet Program. By 1952, Petersen completed all of his flight training. He was then chosen as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.

    As a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, Petersen completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at George Washington University in the nation’s capital.

    Petersen also served active combat tours in two wars (Korea, 1953 & Vietnam, 1968). He was also the first Black American to command a Marine Fighter squadron, an air wing, a major air base, and a fighter air group.

    Petersen worked hard as a member of our U.S. military. His contributions were finally rewarded 34 years ago with the ultimate promotion in the U.S. Armed Forces. On Feb. 23, 1979.

    Frank E. Petersen became the first Black brigadier general of the United States Marine Corps. His lifetime achievements inspired the likes of people like former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

    Gen. Frank E. Petersen retired from the United States Marine Corps in 1988. People in this nation should be proud to honor a true living American legend on a day he made history.

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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