My daddy told me to aim high, so I aimed as high as I could and found the few and the proud.General Michael Langley at his promotion ceremony over the weekend. He is the first Black 4-star general (the most senior rank) in Marine Corps history.
- Why It Matters: Former Lt. Gen. Michael Langley was promoted to general in a ceremony over the weekend. With his new promotion, he was appointed the chief of U.S. Africa Command and became the first Black Marine to receive 4 stars. He will oversee all U.S. military forces throughout the continent (about 6,000 troops).
- Gen. Langley, the son of an Air Force noncommissioned officer, has served in the Marines for 37 years. Referring to his childhood experience, Langley said, “We had challenges at an early age, and I think that prepared me for leadership of all Marines, regardless of color, regardless of creed, religion, orientation.”
- Langley has served in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Japan. Prior to this position, he also held jobs within the Pentagon and led U.S. troops in Europe and Africa.
A guide to Marine Corps ranks (Marines)
How an early promotion kept a young Black Marine on the path to become a general (Stars & Stripes – February 2021)
by Jenna Lee,