General Michael E. Langley claims to be the first black to rise to the highest rank in the Navy The New York Times. The American newspaper called his appointment “one for the history books”.
A sentimental ceremony
Langley received her fourth star at an emotional ceremony last weekend. The 60-year-old Marine is one of three four-star generals currently serving in the U.S. Navy.
During his 37 years of service in the Navy, he held various posts.
In recent decades, fewer than 30 black men have been appointed generals in the US Navy. Only seven generals achieved three-star status, in other cases it was one or two stars. Langley was the first to earn four stars.
A lot has changed since 1942
The Navy was the last military organization to admit African American troops in 1942. In 1942, General Thomas Holcomb, the top general of the Navy, made a highly controversial statement at a welcome ceremony for the first black sailors of that year.
“If I had a choice between a navy of 5,000 white men or 250,000 black men, I would choose a navy of white men,” Holcomb said.
Things have changed since then, Langley told The New York Times. He hopes his appointment will set an example for other black sailors.
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