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1)
Charles Young, Colonel, United States Army
    Third Black Graduate 
- United States Military Academy - West Point NY   

2)
Master of the Art of Intelligence

3) Charles Young and the Buffalo Soldiers : Guardians of California's Parks

4) Patriots : America's Black Warriors

5) Equal Opportunity & Military Readiness

6) House Resolution 5803

7) House Resolution 4491

8) House Resolution 4514

    



Charles Young, Colonel, United States Army

Third Black Graduate                   

United States Military Academy, West Point NY

 




 By: Franklin J. Henderson,  
        Colonel, (Retired) AUS

        Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

 

 


Charles Young was born in a log cabin in Mayslick (Macon County), Kentucky on 12 March 1864. He was the son of two former slaves. As a young child his parents decided to move from Kentucky to Ripley, Ohio, a short distance across the Ohio River. He received his early education in the public schools of Ripley and graduated from the Colored High School in Ripley in 1880. Following graduation, he taught school in the Colored High School of Ripley and, at the same time, he prepared to enter a Jesuit College. However, while engaged in teaching, he had the opportunity to enter a competitive examination for  appointment as a cadet to the United States Military Academy. He won the appointment.

 

In 1884, Young entered West Point with the class of 1888, the ninth black cadet to be admitted since the Academy was established in 1802. The life of a Plebe (Fourth Class man) at West Point is never easy. When Young arrived another black cadet, John Alexander, was enrolled as a Yearling (Third Class man). The extent of their friendship is unknown. Cadet Young had some academic problems during his first year. The mathematic course prove to be difficult for him and as a result he was declared deficient by the Academic Board and was turned back to join the class of 1889. During his early years at West Point, his life was lonesome. With the entrance of other black cadets, he found some companionship but as they were gradually discharged for low scholarship or other reasons, he had no comrades of his race. Left to himself, he had few opportunities to exhibit likable traits of character and he made few friends. Only a person of iron will and determination could have stayed the course. Each year at West Point, he gained ground and in the fifth and final year, after having patiently shown for the past four years a dog-like perseverance in the face of many obstacles, his own class began to acknowledge and respect his finer traits of character. A sense of fair play induced many cadets of character and standing to treat Cadet Young with the kindness and consideration which had long been his due.

 

Near the time of graduation of his class, in June 1889, Cadet Young was declared deficient in engineering by the Academic Board and he narrowly escaped being dropped from the rolls on this account. Both officers and cadets had been much impressed by his steadfast perseverance and tenacious resolution, and the result was that he was permitted to remain at West Point during the summer of 1889 and be tutored in his deficiency by the very instructor First Lieutenant George W. Goethals who had declared him deficient. A high sense of justice and fair play led First Lieutenant Goethals to devote two months of summer work to help Cadet Young overcome a deficiency in class standing. (Editor's  Note: First Lieutenant Goethals later became a Colonel and was the officer-in-charge of the completion of the Panama Canal. He retired from the army as a Major General.) On 31 August 1889, two months after the regular graduation exercises, Cadet Young was graduated as a member of the class of 1889 and received a commission as a Second Lieutenant. His class standing was 49 out of 49. Nevertheless, he became the third Black graduate of West Point and the last to graduate in the 19th Century. (Editor's Note: Forty-seven years later, in 1936, Cadet Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., became the fourth black graduate of West Point.) In later years, Second Lieutenant Young's classmates spoke admiringly of his fortitude.

                                             

Commissioned Service

 

Upon graduation, Second Lieutenant Young was assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment. Except for a short period of assignment to the 7th United States Cavalry Regiment, his subsequent field services were with the 9th  and 10th United States Cavalry Regiments and the 25th United States Infantry Regiment. Reasons for his assignment to the 7th Cavalry Regiment, a white outfit, have not been found. Following five years of troop duty on the western frontier in Montana, Utah and Nebraska, in 1894, Second Lieutenant Young was appointed Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Wilberforce University in Ohio. His predecessor in that position was First Lieutenant John Alexander who died of a heart attack three months after his appointment.

 

Second Lieutenant Young was a natural musician and linguist. He played the piano at an early age and had a good working knowledge of Latin, Greek, French, Spanish and German. He also put his love of music to good use by directing the college band. One of his closest friends on the faculty was the eminent scholar, Professor W.E.B. Du Bois. They became lifelong friends. On 22 December 1896, he was promoted to the grade of First Lieutenant.

 

With the outbreak of war with Spain in 1898, First Lieutenant Young submitted to the War Department a request to join his regiment, the 9th Cavalry, should it be deployed to Cuba. The War Department decided to promote him to the temporary grade of Major and gave him command of the 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Battalion (Colored) from May 1898 to January 1899. The battalion was not deployed overseas but conducted training exercises in Virginia, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

 

In February 1901, he was promoted to Captain and given his first overseas assignment with the 9th Cavalry Regiment in the Philippine Islands. He spent eighteen months commanding troops and had his first experience with warfare in the tropical jungles of the Philippines.

 

In October 1902, the 9th Cavalry returned to the United States and elements of the regiment were sent to the Pacific Northwest, Presidio of Monterey and the Presidio of San Francisco both in California.  Captain Young was assigned to the element at the Presidio of San Francisco. When President Theodore Roosevelt visited San Francisco in May 1903, Troop I and M of the 9th Cavalry served as a special President's escort. As a Troop Commander, Captain Young was second only to the squadron Commander as senior officer for the escort troops. This was the first time black soldiers served as honor guards for President of the United States.

 

In the summer of 1903, Captain Young held the position of Acting Superintendent of Sequoia National Park in California. His troops of the 9th Cavalry enforced the rules and regulations of the Department of the Interior, protected and secured the park and wildlife from harm, and built and maintained roads. He hosted official visitors to the park and concluded this assignment with a giant outdoor feast for the summer road-building crews and special guests. The Board of Trade in Visalia, California passed a resolution extending a vote of thanks to Captain Young for his outstanding services. Another significant event occurred in 1903. At 39 years of age, Captain Young married his sweetheart Ada Mills of Xenia, Ohio. They had two children, Charles Noel, born in 1906 and Marie, born in 1909. Whenever he was assigned troop duty, he left his family at home in Ohio. He chose not to subject his family to the rigid and discriminatory social structure of the United States Army.

 

In 1904, Captain Young became the first black military attache' in the history of the United States. He and his bride went to Port-au-Prince, Haiti as Army Military Attache'. His years in Haiti were happy and productive. He was also accredited to the Dominican Republic. He covered most of the island of Hispaniola on horseback, mapped many remote and uncharted sections, and carefully revised existing maps of the principal towns. He sent to the Army War College voluminous reports on the country, its people, the government, agriculture, armed forces, and customs including voodoo. Unfortunately, many of his reports were destroyed by the Army in 1925. 

 

Captain Young was transferred from attache' duty in April 1907 and was reassigned to the 2nd Division (Intelligence), General Staff, War Department in Washington, DC. In August 1908, he was assigned to troop duty in the Philippines. Upon return to the United States, he commanded the cavalry squadron at Fort D.A. Russell, Wyoming from June 1909 to December 1911. In March 1912, he was sent to Monrovia, Liberia as Army Military Attache' to help reorganize the Liberian Frontier Force and Constabulary. Early in his Liberian tour, Captain Young was promoted to Major. While in Liberia, he traveled all over the country by boat, on foot or in a hammock (owing to injury or sickness) preparing maps of the Republic. In December 1912, he was wounded by a bullet in the right arm on an expedition to rescue an American officer who had been ambushed by Gola tribesmen. In 1913 he suffered a prolonged attack of black water fever which left him greatly weakened and necessitated a leave of absence. He served three years in Liberia and despite protests from the President of Liberia and the US   State Department, he was recalled in 1915. For exceptional work in Liberia, Major Young was awarded the Spingarn Medal given annually by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to a black person for distinguished achievement. He also became an honorary member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

 

From February 1916 to March 1917, Major Young commanded a squadron of the 10th Cavalry during the  so-called “Punitive Expedition” into Mexico. He and his squadron rode to the relief of Major Frank Tompkins and his squadron of the 13th Cavalry that was attacked by Mexican government forces. While  in Mexico, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1 July 1916. Brigadier General John J. (Black Jack) Pershing, commander of the “Punitive Expedition,” recommended Lieutenant Colonel Young for higher command duty and spoke of him as being “among those who have shown very high efficiency throughout the campaign.” Upon his return from Mexico, Lieutenant Colonel Young established a school for black enlisted men at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He foresaw the coming of war and was determined that men of his race would be prepared to enter an officer's training camp if one should be established.

 

With the entrance of the United States into World War I, American blacks hoped he would have the opportunity to command troops in France. Unfortunately, he became a victim of Jim Crow, sacrificed to the symbol of racism with the approval of President Woodrow Wilson. A white officer, a first lieutenant in the 10th Cavalry, complained he found it distasteful to take orders from a black superior. Alerted to this officer's criticism by a senator from Mississippi, President Wilson sided with this junior officer and suggested that his Secretary of War, Newton Baker, transfer the lieutenant to a white regiment. Had the President not intervened, Secretary Baker might have rejected the appeal for special treatment. He believed the officer should “either do his duty or resign.” Secretary Baker soon discovered that he would have to do something even more distasteful than transfer the lieutenant. Approached by additional members of the Senate on behalf of other white officers in the 10th Cavalry who feared that Lieutenant Colonel Young would assume command of the regiment brought pressure to bear against him. After toying with the idea of transferring Young to Fort Des Moines, Iowa where he would command officer candidates of his own race, Secretary Baker found a more devious solution that avoided, on the surface, the racial question.  Young was transferred to the retired list on the grounds of medical disability. This disqualified him for promotion to Colonel. His medical report stated he had high blood pressure. On 22 January 1917, Young was retired then promoted to Colonel on the retired list. To prove his physical fitness, he rode on horseback from his home in Ohio to Washington, DC (one-way journey of 16 days and approximately 500 miles) but to no avail. Instead of being assigned to take command of a regiment or major installation, he received orders to report as a military advisor to the Adjutant General of the State of Ohio. Colonel Young's retirement became a bitterly controversial issue. He protested in vain as did many prominent Americans both black and white. Unable to convince the War Department (now Department of Defense) that he was fit enough for active duty, he remained on the retired list. On 6 November 1918, Colonel Young was recalled to active duty with the Ohio National Guard, five days before the end of World War I. In 1919 while still on active duty and at the request of the State Department, he departed for Monrovia, Liberia as the Army Military Attache'.

   

Death and Burial

 

On 8 January 1922, while on an inspection tour to Nigeria, Colonel Young died of Nephritis (medical term for acute inflammation of the kidney) at Grey's Hospital in Lagos. He was buried on foreign soil in Lagos by British military personnel with full military honors. At the request of his widow and the Black press, Young's remains were returned to the United States more than a year later. On 17 may 1923, the Colonel Charles Young Post 398 of the American Legion in New York held services in his honor in the great hall of the City College of New York. Among the speakers were Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt (who later became the 32nd President of the United States), Joel E. Spingarn, Chairman of the Board of the NAACP and W.E.B. Du Bois, Assistant Secretary Roosevelt stated that “no man ever more truly deserved the high repute in which he was held, for by sheer force of character, he overcame prejudices which would have discouraged many a lesser man.” On 1 June 1923, Colonel Young's remains were brought to Washington, DC. Funeral services were attended by representatives of the United States Army, the Grand Army of the Republic, United Spanish War Veterans, the Army and Navy Unions, the American Legion, unaffiliated veterans of World War I, and prominent civilians, white and black. A military cortège escorted his remains to his final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery.                                                                              

 

Author's credit for source materials:  The Reference Librarian at the United States Military Academy. Specific references are “For Race and Country; The life and Career of Colonel Charles Young.” by David P. Kilroy, Praeger Publishers, Westport, Connecticut, 2003; “Fifty-third Annual Report of the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy,” June 12, 1922; “Biographical Register of the Officer and Graduates of the United States Military Academy,” by Brevet Major General George W. Cullum, 1920; “Colonel Charles Young,” by Nancy Gordon Heini, Army Magazine, March 1977; and Strength for the Fight,” by Bernard C. Nalty, The Free Press – A Division of Macmillan, Inc, New York, 1986. Edited by: Michael J. Clark, Ph.D. Chief Historian for the National Minority Military Museum Foundation

 

 Disclaimer from the Publisher:

 

The historical record concerning which Roosevelt delivered the eulogy of Colonel Charles Young on 17 May 1923 in New York City is unclear.  The confusion has to do with the fact that three Roosevelt's held the position of Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The first was Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt  (1897 to1898.) He died in 1919. The inconsistency lies in the fact that when it is stated that the eulogy for Colonel Young was delivered by the future President of the United States and Assistant Secretary of the Navy it implies Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, FDR was not the Assistant Secretary of the Navy at the time of Colonel Young's death. Franklin D. Roosevelt's tenure as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy was from 1913 to 1920. The Assistant Secretary of the Navy at the time of the Colonel's death was President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt son. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.  He was appointed to the position by President Warren Harding in 1921 and served in that capacity until 1924. However, he was not a future President of the United States. Hopefully, the historical record is now a bit less confusing.
 

Master of the Art of Intelligence

By: James P. Finley
       Former Director, Fort Huachuca Museum

Colonel Charles Young: Black Cavalryman and  Fort Huachuca, Arizona Commander

 

In the world of military biography, there  are no shortages of remarkable men. That may be a reason why some of the more quiet heroes are slighted by history. One such man is Charles Young. He wore no pearl-handed revolvers, did not pin grenades to this lapels, nor did he design his own uniform. His distinguishing feature was his skin color in an American Army that had only a few dark-skinned officer just after the turn of the century.

 

Both his mother and father had been slaves before the Civil War. But like so many other would be slaves, his father, Gabriel, served in the Union Army and was discharged shortly after the war ended. While waiting for her husband's return from the war, Arminta Young gave birth to Charles in a humble log cabin in Mays Lick, Kentucky, on 12 March 1864. His father moved to Ripley, Ohio, when Charles was a young boy, opening a life-long livery business that helped provide the basis for Yong’s education.. Charles went to high school in Ripley and taught at the “colored school” there for three years. 1

   Appointed from Ohio to the U.S. Military Academy in June 1884, he graduated in 1889, the third African American to do so out of  nine cadets that had entered the academy up until that time. Young graduated 49th in a class of 49. He graduated two months later than the rest of his class so that he could repeat the math test, a subject that gave him much trouble. In addition to the academic challenges he faced at West Point, he was hazed by other cadets  and verbal abuse included being referred to  as the “load of coal.” Upon graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and assigned to the Tenth Cavalry Regiment. The Tenth was one of four regular black units created after the Civil War  . His entire field career was spent in black regiments-the 9th and 10th Cavalry, and the 25th Infantry.
  Young was an accomplished linguist, speaking Latin, Greek, French, Spanish and German. He served as Professor of Military Science at Wilberforce University, Ohio. A  friend who knew him at Wilberforce University, said he was “popular as a musician, vocalist, violinist, pianist and composer.” He wrote a drama entitled Toussaint L'Ouverture, an essay entitled Military Moral of Races, and a collection of poetry called Long Wings. A musician and composer, he was accomplished at the piano, harp, cornet and ukulele. Among his musical compositions were eight Beatitudes, a collection of hymn arrangements called Offertory, and a number of Serenades.  2

  From 1894-98 and during the Spanish American War, he was with the 9th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In 1903 he was superintendent of parks at Sequoia and General Grant National Parks in California.
  Congress authorized in 1889 a system of military attaches that would be controlled by the Military Information Division (MID), the first official and permanent U.S. Army intelligence agency that had emerged in 1885 with a small office under the Adjutant General. Their job was to observe the training and exercises of foreign armies and make reports on their relative strengths and weaknesses. One of the first of these dozen or so attaches was Charles Young who, from 1904 to 1907 was military attaché to the American legation in Port Au Prince, Haiti. During this time he made an extended military reconnaissance of the country and the neighboring Republic of Santo Domingo, producing maps of much of the terrain.
  Before he left for Haiti in 1903, he married Ada Barr who would bear two children, Charles Noel in 1907 and Marie in 1909. The family established their home in Wilberforce, Ohio, where Charles had been teaching military tactics at Wilberforce University between assignments since 1894.                                                                  


Following his service in Haiti, he reported for duty in the Second Division of the War Department in Washington, D.C. The Second Division was the designation given to that element of the newly created General Staff which had the responsibility for the collection and dissemination of military information (intelligence).
  In 1908, Young was sent to the Philippines to join his regiment, the 10th Cavalry, and command a squadron of two troops. In 1912 he was once again selected for attached duty, this time to Liberia where he advised the Liberian constabulary and supervised the construction of new roads to provide military lines of communication. For his services there he was awarded the Spingarn Medal, an award that annually recognized the African-American who had made the highest achievement during the year in any field of honorable human endeavor.
  He was most renowned for his leadership during the 1916 Punitive Expedition which marched into Mexico in pursuit of , Pancho Villa, who had murdered American citizens. On 9 March at Agua Caliente, Mexico, Young, then a major, led the 2nd Squadron in a cavalry pistol charge against the Villista forces, threatening to envelope the right flank during the campaign. Beltran's 150 men were driven out with no losses to Young's aggressive squadron.
  At the Hacienda Santa Cruz de la Villegas, 12 April, he was the hero of the hour when he rode with his squadron to the relief of Major Frank Tompkins, who was severely wounded while his 13th U.S. Cavalry squadron fought a heavy rear guard action. Young's reinforcement of Major Tompkins at this critical time is credited by many as preventing a war with Mexico.
  It was obvious that the beleaguered Tompkins was glad to see the relief force come up. Captain George B. Rodney was among those first 10th cavalrymen to ride into Tompkins' position and he recounted the scene.

       The sound of our hoof beats brought Tompkins to the gates and he gave us a warm welcome. He had been wounded in the arm and he had injured a leg by falling over some hasty entrenchments that he had been supervising, and he was glad to see us. As we splashed through the ford he shouted to us. I can hear his words yet.

        Major Charles Young, one of the six Negro officers of the Army and our Squadron Commander, was riding by me at the head of the advance guard when Tompkins sighted him and called out, “By God! They were glad to see the Tenth Cavalry at Santiago in '98, but I'm damn sight gladder to see you now. I could kiss every one of you!”

 

              Young grinned and called back. “Hello, Tompkins! You can start in on me right now.”
 

              There was no further talk of kissing.... 3
 

The 10th Cavalry chaplain, Major O.J. W. Scott, noted that Young used to play the organ in religious services while the regiment was encamped in Colonia Dublan, Mexico. He wrote of his friend:
 

       I knew his best perhaps in Mexico where we were “bunkies.” When I started to join the 10th Cavalry I wrote him asking him what I could bring that would be of value to the men. His answer was characteristic. “Send your family home, get your life insured in their favor, bring your Bible and yourself.”He met me at Colonia Dublan and told me to put up my flag in front of the his tent. I did so and felt at home from that day on. He would take the blankets off his own bed to keep others warm; divide the last pieces of bread and give the last drop from his canteen to another. He allowed me to ride his own favorite horse out of Mexico, insisted that I ride her, while he rode a troop horse.

                                                                           

       Colonel Young was a polite gentleman of good manners always, he believed that it is right to make sacrifices for those whom we love.  He had great faith in his race. In turn his race had great faith in him. He often taught that it does not pay to hate anyone.  4
 

Of the colonel, First Sergeant Vance H. Marchbanks said: ...he was a splendid man, possessed a wonderful personality, superb leadership and the men who followed him possessed almost sublime faith in his ability. ...He was a past master at the military game, a strict disciplinarian, and knew all the answers to military problems. 5
 

Young, on his own initiative as a senior officer in the regiment, opened an officers' training school for enlisted men at Fort Huachuca in 1917. Not only did he anticipate the need for more African-American officers if the U.S. Entered the war in Europe, but believed in unlocking individual potential and building confidence among his followers.
  Young's brilliant and aggressive operations in Mexico won him a lieutenant colonelcy in the 10th Cavalry in 1916. A year later he was promoted to colonel and was briefly Fort Huachuca's commander. He was medically retired in 1917 for high blood pressure and Bright's disease, said to have been incurred during his African service.
  Young was described by a fellow officer of the 10th Cavalry, Jerome W. Howe, as “a fine specimen of a athletic officer and a perfect gentleman.” Howe “found him very likable. I often visited him in his quarters, and heard him play beautifully on the piano. He had a fine family, but never had them with him on a military post.”

  A hometown neighbor who knew him as a boy remembered Young as”a highly intelligent man, a cultured man” who possessed a large personal library and was fluent in many languages. “He often visited back and forth with Dayton poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and author W.E. B. DuBois.” 6

  Anxious to command his black troopers in France in World War I, the 53-year-old colonel rode on horseback from his home in Ohio to the War Department in Washington, D.C. to demonstrate his fitness for duty. Young wrote about the experience:
 

       ....As soon as the school year was over, I rode on horseback from Wilberforce to Washington, walking on foot fifteen minutes in each hour, the distance of 497 miles to show, if possible, my physical fitness for command of troops. I there offered my services gladly at the risk of life, which has no value to me if I cannot give it for the great ends for which the United States is striving. 7
 

  Charles Young was not wanted on the greater stage of World War I in Europe. He would remain an understudy, not for want of talent-all of his comrades testified to his abilities-but because of the hue of his skin. An African-American leader emerging upon the world stage would invalidate the theory that had to be maintained within the United States to explain the continued denial of equality to the descendants of older victims of inhumanity. It was the great American untruth.
  Writing to a unknown correspondent who questioned his patriotism for not serving in the first World War, Young made this reply. He explained why he had been retired and said he was

   “on active duty in the state of Ohio where I am now and with nothing to do. Despite this, I voluntarily assumed the chair of Military Science and Tactics for Wilberforce University last year, teaching every school day, going through all kinds of weather the distance of a mile and from 7 to 8 a.m. I also threw my house open each Sunday night for the further instruction of young college men; served in the military boards of the college; and encouraged by precept and example the students whom I found at first to a degree apathetic in regard to the war and their interests therein. It was I who exacted from the male student body in general assembly last year a cheer for President Wilson as “Our President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy. 8

  Retired for disabilities and denied the opportunity to get in on the fighting in Europe. Young managed to get recalled to active with the Ohio National Guard in which he served until November 1918. He was later called to serve as Military Attache to Liberia. He died on 8 January in that post. At the time he was on a reconnaissance expedition in Lagos, Nigeria, then a British possession. He was interred there with military honors rendered by British troops. But, according to British law, his body could not be exhumed until a year had passed. His body was returned to the U.S. and interred at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C. On 1 June 1923.  The Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, eulogized Colonel Young in ceremonies in New York City in May 1923. Roosevelt said:  


We meet here tonight to honor Colonel Young, a distinguished American and an able member of our military service. No man ever more truly deserved the high repose in which he was held, for by sheer force of character he overcame prejudices which would have discouraged many a lesser men.
 

       ....He did not approach life on the basis of seeing what he could get out of this nation. He did not eternally ask others to give. He gave himself. He approached life with the single purpose of seeing what he could do for this nation.  When a young man, he put aside the thought of material advancement and consecrated himself to this ideal of service. Able, honest, high of purpose, and courageous, he gave, and gave generously of himself. For this reason,...he lives-for what he has done will remain with us in the country as a constant inspiration and guide of the generations to come. 9

 

Historian and NAACP founder W.E.B. DuBois wrote this memorial to Colonel Young in the February 1922 issue of the Crisis.


       The life of Charles Young was a triumph of tragedy. No one ever knew the truth about the Hell he went through at West Point. He seldom even mentioned it. The pain was too great. Few knew what faced him always in his army life. It was not enough for him to do well-he must always do better; and so much and so conspicuously better, as to disarm the scoundrels that ever trailed him. He lived in the army surrounded by insult and intrigue and yet he set his teeth and kept his soul serene and triumphed.

       He was one of the few men I know who literally turned the other cheek with Jesus Christ. He was laughed at for it and his own people chided him bitterly, yet he persisted. When a white Southern pygmy at West Point protested at taking food from a dish passed first to Young, Young passed it to him first and afterward to himself. When officers of inferior rank refused to salute a “nigger” he saluted them. Seldom did he lose his temper, seldom complain.

      With his own people he was always the genial, hearty, half-boyish friend. He kissed the girls, slapped the boys on the back, threw his arms about his friends, scattered his money in charity; only now and then behind the Veil did his nearest comrades see the Hurt and pain graven on his heart; and when it appeared he promptly drowned it in his music-his beloved music, which always poured from his quick, nervous fingers, to caress and bathe his soul.

 

      Steadily, unswervingly he did his duty. And Duty to him, as to few modern men, was spelled in capitals. It was his lode-star, his soul; and neither force nor reason swerved him from it. His second going to Africa, after a terrible attack of black water fever, was suicide. He knew it. His wife knew it. His friends knew it. He had been sent to Africa because the Army considered his blood pressure to high to let him go to Europe! They sent him there to die. They sent him there because he was one of the very best officers in the service and if he had gone to Europe he could not have been denied the stars of a General. They could not stand a black American General. Therefore, they sent him to the fever coast of Africa. They ordered him to make roads back in the haunted jungle. He knew what they wanted and intended. He could have escaped it by accepting his retirement from active service, refusing his call to active duty and then he could have lounged and lived at leisure on his retirement pay. But Africa needed him. He did not yell and collect money and advertise great schemes and parade in crimson-he just went quietly, ignoring appeal and protest.

      He is dead. But the heart of the Great Black Race, the Ancient of Days-the undying and Eternal-rises and salutes his shining memory: Well done! Charles Young, Soldier and Man and unswerving Friend.

      There is an all-important distinction between a subordinate and a follower. An officer acquires subordinates by virtue of an organizational hierarchy. A leader must win over followers. He must convince would-be followers of his capability to translate common objectives into a course of action, to motivate his contemporaries toward shared goals, and must demonstrate his willingness to be accountable to his constituents. There is no better example of that than Charles Young, cavalry leader and intelligence officer.


Notes

 

1.  Ullmer, Katherine,  Profile in History.  “An Officer and a Gentleman: Col. Charles Young fought his   battles on and off the field, The Journal Herald, Dayton, Ohio, 3 February 1984.

2.  Chew, Abraham, A Biography of Colonel Charles Young, R.I. Pendleton, Washington, D.C., 1923,

      p.6.

3.   Rodney, George B., As a Cavalryman Remembers, Caxton Printers, Caldwell, Idaho, 1944,

      pp.262-3

4.   Chew, p.16.

5.   Marchbanks manuscript on file in the Fort Huachuca Museum  (FHM)

6.   Ullmer.

7.   Young, Charles, papers in FHM files.

8.   Ullmer.

9.   Chew, p.8.

 

Publication and edit of the text authorized by: The Fort Huachuca Museum, in Arizona.

Edited by: Michael J. Clark, PHD. Chief Historian for the National Minority Military Museum Foundation.

                                                             

Disclaimer from the Publisher:

The historical record concerning which Roosevelt delivered the eulogy of Colonel Charles Young on 17 May 1923 in New York City is unclear.  The confusion has to do with the fact that three Roosevelt's held the position of Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The first was Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt  (1897 to1898.) He died in 1919. The inconsistency lies in the fact that when it is stated that the eulogy for Colonel Young was delivered by the future President of the United States and Assistant Secretary of the Navy it implies Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, FDR was not the Assistant Secretary of the Navy at the time of Colonel Young's death. Franklin D. Roosevelt's tenure as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy was from 1913 to 1920. The Assistant Secretary of the Navy at the time of the Colonel's death was President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt son. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.  He was appointed to the position by President Warren Harding in 1921 and served in that capacity until 1924. However, he was not a future President of the United States. Hopefully, the historical record is now a bit less confusing.


 

 

Charles Young and the Buffalo Soldiers: Guardians of California's National Parks

 

by: Ranger Justine Lia,

      National Park Service

 

 

The Army in the National Parks

 

Before the creation of the National Park Service in 1916, the United States Army was responsible for patrolling our first national parks. They protected the lands for the enjoyment of visitors and laid the foundations for the future national park system. Beginning in 1891, soldiers spent the summer blazing trails, constructing roads, creating maps, evicting grazing livestock, extinguishing fires, monitoring tourists, and keeping poachers and loggers at bay. The soldiers' expeditionary frontier experience, as well as their sense of responsibility and service, lent itself toward duty in the parks.

 

The Buffalo Soldiers patrolled Yosemite, Sequoia and General Grant (later named Kings Canyon) National Parks during three summers. In 1899, the 24th Infantry spent about a month in Yosemite and Sequoia before departing for the Philippines. In 1903 and 1904, 9th Cavalry troopers were in the parks for the entire summer, leaving from San Francisco in 1903 and from the Presidio of Monterey in 1904.

 

During this period, one year in particular stands out. In May 1903, Captain Charles Young led Troops I and M of the 9th Cavalry to Sequoia and the precursor to Kings Canyon, General Grant National Park. It marked the first time a black officer served as Acting Superintendent of a national park.

 

Much was at stake for the Buffalo Soldiers in the parks. Many Californians, influenced by Manifest Destiny, were focused on settlement and expansion. For these people, the concept of a national park appeared impractical. The benefits of preserving such large tracts of land were not self-evident. Thus, when soldiers guarded the parks, they were not only protecting the land, but also upholding an idea.

 

Today, we commemorate the contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers to the early national parks and honor their legacy in the American West.

 

The Route to the Parks

 

Troops typically left for the parks in May and returned in November. For each park, some 100 troopers and their officers paraded on horseback through San Francisco, followed by mules and wagons. The journey would take them down historic El Camino Real and over Pancheco Pass to the San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada. The soldiers traveled about 280 miles over 13 days to get to Yosemite and 320 miles over 16 days to get to Sequoia. They camped near racetracks, roadhouses, and rivers. If they had leisure time, they patronized restaurants and saloons and played baseball with locals.

 

The Army's arrival in town drew attention, and the years of the Buffalo Soldiers were no exception. But despite any praise in print for the heroes of “San Juan Hill,” residents did not always transcend their personal prejudices. The Buffalo Soldiers could expect to face discrimination, independent of their military status, no matter where they served.

 

Nonetheless, the soldiers made an impression that lasted beyond their brief stay. In 1903, Captain Young and the 9th Cavalry, bound for Sequoia, traveled through Fresno and Visalia. The local newspapers extolled Young's service, character, intelligence, humility, and youthful appearance. One reporter observed that Young “expressed himself so well that he attracted the attention of everyone.” At one point, a number of local African American youth “gathered about (Young) and he questioned them kindly as to their opportunities and told them to have a high aim and to be industrious.”

 

After their summer guard duty, the 9th Cavalry passed through Fresno again on their way back to San Francisco. This time, the local militia greeted them with a reception with “hilarity of about every kind”: dancing, music, boxing, and refreshments. “The fun kept on till nearly midnight,” the newspaper said.

 

Protecting Sequoia National Park

 

Once the 9th Cavalry arrived in Sequoia National Park, their first task was to make the park more accessible to solider and visitor alike. Under Captain Young's supervision, Buffalo Soldiers constructed a trail to the top of Mount Whitney, and a hired crew finished the first wagon road to Giant Forest. The Army had worked on this road every summer, but improvements had lagged. However, Young's men built more road than in the last three years combined.

 

Upon completion of the road, nearby communities rejoiced, and Young held a celebration for his soldiers and honored guests that included a grand feast, toasts, and musical entertainment.

 

Appreciative visitors and workman requested that a giant sequoia be named after Young. The captain modestly declined. As a compromise, he dedicated a tree to, in his words. “that great and good American, Booker T. Washington.” Over the century, Booker T. Washington Tree had been lost to history. It was once again identified in 2001 and rededicated in 2003, during the centennial celebration of Young's tenure as superintendent.

 

Young also had visions for the park's future. He advocated for the park to acquire the privately-owned lands within its boundaries for the sake of protecting the forest. He negotiated options for the government to purchase all of the properties at reasonable rates. This is another diplomatic accomplishment that makes the summer of 1903 an unprecedented example of leadership.

 

The Buffalo Soldiers' impact on the parks is reflected not only in their regular patrol responsibilities, but also the singular vision and drive of Charles Young. Although troops of the 9th Cavalry went to Sequoia and General Grant for the following summer, Young never returned to the parks. He would reflect on that summer as a time from which he emerged “a different man with a better outlook.” In honor of Young and the Buffalo Soldiers, the Colonel Charles Young Tree was dedicated in 2004.

                                                                        

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY & MILITARY READINESS

 

by: Howard D. Jackson,

      Major (Retired) USMC

          

  Yesterdays' equal opportunity and today's debate over diversity are recognized as a crucial aspect of military preparedness.  When a commanding officer inspects his or her unit, the quality of interracial relations among the troops and the equality of work, recreational and family support opportunities are integral parts of the appraisal.  This was not always so.  At one time, even the question of whether different and both sexes could ever serve in the military, at once and at the same time, let alone share the same opportunities, was an issue,

 

  Charles Young was the third African American to graduate from West Point. When he died in 1922, Colonel Charles Young was the senior African American in the military services.  Looking back, it is clear that his life was a developmental step in the demonstrated need for diversity in the military.

 

  While the military services were racially integrated in the late 1940s, nearly twenty years later official recognition of the need for programs designed to attack and eradicate race and sex-based discrimination emerged, in the United States Marine Corps. Racial strife of the 1960s manifested itself in incident after incident on installations from Camp Lejeune to Okinawa.  At first, the problems appeared purely social, not particularly military related.  But the Marine Corps was not immune to the racism identified as the underlying cause of the nation’s malady.  The racial polarity that fanned violence in the cities threatened to undermine the ability of entire units to accomplish their military mission.  Clearly, the Marine Corps response to the racial crisis was bred of self- interest. Once the enemy was identified, the issue was joined.  Although no proven resolutions existed, the Marine Corps would not be found wanting for failure to try.  At first, equal opportunity efforts were trial and error with varying degrees of success.  Later, the most successful programs were retained, expanded and eventually, incorporated into traditional Marine Corps training and orientation programs.

 

  Because the Marine Corps was the first among the military services to pro actively lead the battle for institutional change, the definitive steps taken are noteworthy.   In 1961, Major General Dawson, the commanding officer at the Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, initiated an investigation that exposed the racial element involved in an increasing numbers of on-base fights.  Isolated fights among young marines including fights between persons of different races and backgrounds were not a new phenomenon.  At first, the reported cases seemed to involve insignificant disputes over the kind of music played at the enlisted club or arguments over who could dance with whom.  Before long, group fights broke out over which racial group “owned” a particular portion of the base club, the gym or the mess hall.  An investigation led to the development of the Marine Corp’s first organized experiment in preventing racial disorder. General Dawson called for the development and implementation of a grievance procedure reporting directly to him.

 

  In mid 1963, the location of the equal opportunity experiment was transferred to Camp Pendleton, the largest base in the Marine Corps.  General Toby Dunn, the base commander believed that racial incidents and corresponding civil rights issues would continue to surface in undesirable ways unless affirmative procedures and programs were developed to demonstrate that the Marine Corps was committed to equal opportunity and basic fairness for all personnel. Major General Robert E. Cushman, Jr., approved expansion of the new human relations program. Like General Dunn, General Cushman, Jr., was convinced that Pendleton personnel were a microcosm of the nation. 

                                                                        

  In time, Camp Pendleton’s Human Relations Program proved its value.  The program direction was problem anticipation and prevention.  Although the Watt’s riots exploded in nearby Los Angeles in 1966, no significant social altercations occurred at Camp Pendleton.

 

  In 1967, the Human Relations Officer billet was established at all major commands in the Marine Corps.  It served as a model for proactive programs and training in the United States Navy and there military services.  Today, there are different challenges.  While all problems are not race-related,  the model established in the Marine Corps will continue to encourage diversity and basic fairness.

 

 

PATRIOTS

America’s Black Warriors
 






by: Michael J. Clark, Ph.d

      Chief Historian, The National Minority Military Museum Foundation

 



  President Barack Obama is the 43rd President of the United States. Although the President has many roles he must play, perhaps the most important is the “protect and defend” provision enumerated in the Constitution: the president is the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces.  That this is the case is interesting because prior military service is not a qualification for running for the office of President.  President Obama is one of twelve Presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, and John Adams, who did not have previous service in the military before assuming the presidency.  Thirty one presidents have served in various branches of the military, all of them as commissioned officers, except James Buchanan.  He was a private and performed his  active duty during the War of 1812.

  When one considers that over 70% of U.S. Presidents enlisted for active service, and by various counts perhaps 30% or so of Members of Congress enlisted, one may be prompted to ask more broadly if there is a relationship between military service and life-chances in America. If it exists, such service is more often than not included in one’s resume.  Acknowledging that conscription (the draft) is not unknown as an important part of the Nation’s military history, one might still be compelled to ask: why –except being compelled to do so- do we fight? Why do we serve?

  The question has racial, gender and ethnic features combined in complex ways.  Why do women serve? Why do African Americans serve? Why do white males serve, and so on?  To borrow a phrase, what is the “prize”?  Imagine an African American being elected to the presidency and there upon becoming the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces if not a single African American had served, or as it was in too many cases, died in service to the nation.  As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought the nomination of her party a scant year or so ago, her political reception was not the same as it would have been for Susan B. Anthony, for example. That women now serve on a near equal basis is not without consequence and a woman will become President of the United States. That the vote (the franchise) was granted to black men and delayed for white women, the mothers, sisters, and daughters of the political rulers of America, and that the presidency was won by an African American male, will forever cause us to wonder about our political culture.


Charles Blatcher, III in his book Of Thee I Sing, reproduced an enlistment poster that urged “Colored Men of Burlington County” to volunteer to fight on the Union side in the Civil War.  George Snyder, “Recruiting Agent for Colored Volunteers of Burlington County,” declared that “NOW IS YOUR TIME.” “Your Country calls you to the Field of Martial Glory … vindicate the Patriotism and Manhood of your Race … “Who Would Be Free, Themselves Must Strike the Blow.”  A bounty of $200 cash was promised, to be followed by $10 per month while in service.

  Although the state in which Burlington County is located is not specified on the poster, it is almost certainly Burlington, New Jersey.  The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Civil War Museum and Library is located in Burlington and it is a rich source of information regarding the early presence of African captives in America. Information in the Library proudly announces that Burlington is the “Cradle of emancipation,” that “abolitionists were prominent in the city” and that captive African people and their descendants in Burlington were “manumitted on a large scale.”

  The cash bounty has been rather widely used in the United States and although many bounties have been repealed, they have included beavers, wolves, coyotes, rats, snakes, scalps and military service.  Not a few individuals who held captives, for example, applied for and received a governmental bounty for each of their charges who enlisted in the Union Army or Navy.  In many cases the transaction became quite a popular business. A bounty for substituting for another’s military service,  bounty for enlistment, bounty for loss of service, bounty for reenlistment, and bounty in the form of a pension, to name a few. 

  But imagine an African American being elected President and named the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces had not a single African American served and many cases died in, the service of the country.  What if there had been no Medal of Honor recipients? African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, Japanese Americans, Hawaiian Americans, Chinese Americans and others who combine the heritage of the groups that are America have distinguished themselves in their service to their country.
       Of what significance is minority military service to the Nation?
As is well known to many students of American history, Jamestown was founded in 1607.  Although independence from England would not be declared for another 169 years, that nation’s cultural and political habits had already sunk deeply into soil that had yet to be broken by ox-drawn plows.  That this was the historical case had huge implications for all of those who would try to share in the wondrous bounty that was America.
  Land, water, woods and plains teaming with game, religious freedom and even the chance to escape from the drudgery that was so much a part of survival became increasingly difficult to come by and at the same time, more greatly desired.  According to historical legend, Jamestown is where we were born.  Never mind that some came in 1619 and thereafter, and that we had neighbors; onlookers, really –including the Dutch, Spanish, French and Native peoples- who were motivated, with some variations, in the same way as were the English and African people.
  One need only take a motor trip to the shores of the Virginia Atlantic to begin to take in how the story may have unfolded. It must have been clear from the very beginning that hands were what were needed.  Kansas pioneer, Ida Wheeler, had learned from her ancestors that it was a “polite acceptability” to ask a person to “give a hand here.”  H. H. Thorp seeing a family that had been captives of “Ole man Briggs” stuck in the Missouri mud as they tried to escape to the “Saving Station” in Albany, Kansas, ordered an onlooker to “hook on there or I will blow a hole through you.”  The startled man did, and the family in their stolen wagon managed to make it the ferry across the Missouri River and to the Albany Saving station in Kansas. It was a station on the Underground Railroad.

  “Lend a hand,” she said as she organized a cow-milking contest.  They lived on a big place, over a section of land, and there were almost too many cows to milk, too many fields to tend, too many chickens to feed, and too many dogs to keep track of.  They were inbred, they said, Old Lady, Watch, and Joe, but they took their guard duties seriously.  And well they should have. This land was valuable almost beyond measure.  Military service purchased this land and the privileges it brought forth, in almost the same way that it propagated the Spring miracles of  winter wheat, corn, barley and all the other crops so geometrically ordered across America’s farm regions.
  These were proud people.  Ida’s uncle, Peter Holden, died at Poison Spring, Arkansas during the Civil War.  An observer from an eastern publication wrote that he was “The Dying Martyr.”  What reward is there in sacrifice? According to his chronicler, he stood roped to a tree in order to sustain the fight.  In an earlier period, Chief Justice Taney, writing for the majority of the Supreme Court , argued that the Framers of the Constitution did not intend to extend the protections and privileges of the U.S. Constitution to the sons and daughters of Africa. They were not, therefore, citizens of the United States.  
  But could this stand after the battlefield death of Peter Holden and the fatality and or injury of over 38,000 of his comrades?  Could America let Justice Taney’s words stand after Holden’s fellows stood in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812,  the Seminole Wars, Civil War,  the Indian campaigns, Spanish American War, the World Wars, and the battles that followed?  After the Civil War, the answer was no. The ratification of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, put a part of the question to rest: over four million captives were freed, citizenship was defined (if you were born in the United States or naturalized, you are a citizen), protections were enumerated, and a measure of power in the form of the vote was placed in black hands.

 

  Crispus Attucks, a runaway captive who was a sailor, is famous for being “the first of five to die” in the Boston Massacre.  He died, they say in the cause of freedom.  This was six years before the Declaration of Independence.  Attucks could not have known  his name would be “forever linked with the cause of freedom.”  And if he had, would it have made a difference?  Why on that late winter day did he take up the cause?  What did he expect to gain, if anything? 

  That which is historically significant, one might argue, is that which lives beyond the moment.  Crispus Attucks is important because his death began to demonstrate just what are some of the elements of privilege in America.  So powerful was this phenomenon that there were those who were afraid to share danger.  There were those who were fearful of risking the threat of death of another because that person might then have some basis for claiming a part of the bounty that was America.

  The Nation is no “Little Red Hen, “but when it asked who would defend the Nation, black hands, white hands, brown
hands …

  “How many hands do you have?”  “Where are the hands?” Well, in some cases, the hands had run off to live with the Indians.  Food was more abundant outside the stockade and there were no women in the first party from across the Atlantic.  Hands were needed to build and protect forts and plant crops.
  That John Rolfe was one of the first to sense the commercial value of the tobacco grown in Virginia was a significant development in colonial America.  Yet, he could not have known just what that cash crop would mean to millions of Africans, Indians and Europeans.  The trees that had stood in silence for so long at the water’s edge, gazing out at the small ocean, the Atlantic, and beginning to feel new feet scrambling across their roots, could not have anticipated the almost gleeful violence that would be visited upon them.  The cultivation of tobacco required hands.  Tobacco demanded that forests be eliminated.  Clearing was  required for tobacco and then lowland and upland cotton would  absorb the “Blood on the Fields,”  about which Wynton Marsalis  so eloquently writes and plays.  This culture spread far and wide and desired dependable, sober and cheap labor.  Greed determined scale.
  The hand, armed now with an ax, struck with violent force at the trees that had stood between the colonists and what they called the New World. Only the flies and mosquitoes held their own. But now those hands were white.  Now those hands were black.  Now those hands were brown.  Inch by inch, Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier was being pushed to the West, absorbing the people who had stood off the coast with sails billowing in the Atlantic wind, waiting for the tide to deposit them even more broadly now: Virginia, the Carolinas, Maryland, New Jersey, Georgia and up and down the coast.
  Now there were reasons to try to remain in this place.  For a few there was wealth, religious freedom and personal freedom. As those on the English stages promised, the chamber pots were made of gold.  There was game and land and ways to become rich, but not for everyone.

  It is clear now.  Many of those that would become the Nation were misled.  It was Paul Laurence Dunbar who disclosed that “we wear the mask.”  And he and Maya Angelou would write and later memorialize, “I Know Why the Caged Bird sings.” Disappointment not revealed could not be measured.  Many had been captives - four million of them at the close of the Civil War- and many more, even today, have difficulty admitting to their poverty. They wear the mask.
  The 212,000 captives –some mercenaries, some patriots- who fought for the Union (army and navy) were enigmatic in large measure.  Soloman Black (Black Sol) was the youngest trooper to see action in the Civil War. These captives were warriors. Colonel Charles Young, third black graduate of West Point, was a fighter and a patriot.  We have the honor of getting to know them now.  General Colin Powell and Secretary of the Army Clifford Alexander were warriors. There are not, proudly, too many to name but the number is not so great that we can’t remember.
  Land, water, woods and plains teaming with game became the picture and the promise of America for all who found their way here.  There were and there are disappointments to be sure, but there still seemed to be space, not always attractive tolerance and chances for a person to improve his or her position.  This is where we were born.
 

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY & MILITARY READINESS

 







by:
Howard D. Jackson,

      Major (Retired) USMC

          



  Yesterdays' equal opportunity and today's debate over diversity are recognized as a crucial aspect of military preparedness.  When a commanding officer inspects his or her unit, the quality of interracial relations among the troops and the equality of work, recreational and family support opportunities are integral parts of the appraisal.  This was not always so.  At one time, even the question of whether different and both sexes could ever serve in the military, at once and at the same time, let alone share the same opportunities, was an issue,

 

  Charles Young was the third African American to graduate from West Point. When he died in 1922, Colonel Charles Young was the senior African American in the military services.  Looking back, it is clear that his life was a developmental step in the demonstrated need for diversity in the military.

 

  While the military services were racially integrated in the late 1940s, nearly twenty years later official recognition of the need for programs designed to attack and eradicate race and sex-based discrimination emerged, in the United States Marine Corps. Racial strife of the 1960s manifested itself in incident after incident on installations from Camp Lejeune to Okinawa.  At first, the problems appeared purely social, not particularly military related.  But the Marine Corps was not immune to the racism identified as the underlying cause of the nation’s malady.  The racial polarity that fanned violence in the cities threatened to undermine the ability of entire units to accomplish their military mission.  Clearly, the Marine Corps response to the racial crisis was bred of self- interest. Once the enemy was identified, the issue was joined.  Although no proven resolutions existed, the Marine Corps would not be found wanting for failure to try.  At first, equal opportunity efforts were trial and error with varying degrees of success.  Later, the most successful programs were retained, expanded and eventually, incorporated into traditional Marine Corps training and orientation programs.

 

  Because the Marine Corps was the first among the military services to pro actively lead the battle for institutional change, the definitive steps taken are noteworthy.   In 1961, Major General Dawson, the commanding officer at the Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, initiated an investigation that exposed the racial element involved in an increasing numbers of on-base fights.  Isolated fights among young marines including fights between persons of different races and backgrounds were not a new phenomenon.  At first, the reported cases seemed to involve insignificant disputes over the kind of music played at the enlisted club or arguments over who could dance with whom.  Before long, group fights broke out over which racial group “owned” a particular portion of the base club, the gym or the mess hall.  An investigation led to the development of the Marine Corp’s first organized experiment in preventing racial disorder. General Dawson called for the development and implementation of a grievance procedure reporting directly to him.

 

  In mid 1963, the location of the equal opportunity experiment was transferred to Camp Pendleton, the largest base in the Marine Corps.  General Toby Dunn, the base commander believed that racial incidents and corresponding civil rights issues would continue to surface in undesirable ways unless affirmative procedures and programs were developed to demonstrate that the Marine Corps was committed to equal opportunity and basic fairness for all personnel. Major General Robert E. Cushman, Jr., approved expansion of the new human relations program. Like General Dunn, General Cushman, Jr., was convinced that Pendleton personnel were a microcosm of the nation. 

                                                                                                                                                      

  In time, Camp Pendleton’s Human Relations Program proved its value.  The program direction was problem anticipation and prevention.  Although the Watt’s riots exploded in nearby Los Angeles in 1966, no significant social altercations occurred at Camp Pendleton.

 

  In 1967, the Human Relations Officer billet was established at all major commands in the Marine Corps.  It served as a model for proactive programs and training in the United States Navy and other military services.  Today, there are different challenges.  While all problems are not race-related,  the model established in the Marine Corps will continue to encourage diversity and basic fairness.

 

 

House Resolution 4491
Rep. Jackie Speier Testimony



 Rep. Jackie Speier Testimony - Click Here
 House Resolution 4491 - Click Here



 


House Resolution 4514
Congressman William L. Clay




 
Congressman William L. Clay Statement - Click Here

 House Resolution 4514 - Click Here
 

 



 


House Resolution 5803
Congresswomen Barbara Lee




 Congresswomen Barbara Lee Statement - Click Here
 House Resolution 5308 - Click Here