28 February 2011

Preserving the Legacy...

Myself, Annie Grimes first AA female commissioned as a Chief Warrant Officer and my lil sis Cpl Candyce Haynes
Although this month has been so hectic for me, moving from VA to NC in preparation to depart to Afghanistan, I felt that I needed to reflect on who made it possible for me to even be able to serve as a United States Marine. So in honor of Black History Month I highlight the Montford Point Marines. These brave men willingly signed up for service in 1942 and unselfishly devoted all they had to becoming Marines, despite the racist and even violent treatment by those who felt that it would ruin the Marine Corps. Hardly ever recognized by Marine Corps history (the treatment of these men is still a black eye to the Corps and this is why it is not taught in Boot Camp or TBS), it is shocking that there are Marines who never even heard of them or don't even realize that if they are stationed at Camp Johnson, NC that was the actual basic training facility for African Americans.  I myself, was unaware until one day as a young Lance Corporal I was curious about the first African American Marines and did the research myself.

So take the time to educate yourself with this well written article: Montford Point Marines:Preserving their Legacy

Pay rememberance to their sacrifices on August 26th with is Montford Point Marines Day

Then reflect on the history that paved the way for African Americans to do great things in the Marine Corps. For that I am thankful.

African-American Marines Timeline

1942: Alfred Masters, first enlisted African-American Marine
1943: Privates First Class Charles E. Allen, Arnold R. Bostick, Mortimer A. Cox, Edgar R. Davis Jr., Edgar R. Huff and Gilbert “Hashmark” Johnson, first African-American Montford Point drill instructors
1944: SgtMaj Charles Anderson, first African-American sergeant major at Montford Point
1945: 2dLt Frederick Branch, first African-American officer
1949: Annie N. Graham, first African-American woman enlisted
1952: LtGen Frank E. Petersen Jr., first African-American to become general and first black aviator, commissioned
1955: SgtMaj Edgar R. Huff, first African-American sergeant major after integration
1965: First Montford Point Marine Association Meeting, in Philadelphia
1968: Annie L. Grimes, first African-American woman commissioned as chief warrant officer
1974: Two years after Gilbert H. Johnson’s death from a heart attack, the Montford Point facility at Camp Lejeune, N.C., was renamed Camp Gilbert H. Johnson, the first military installation to be named after an African-American.
2001: Opening of the Montford Point Marines National Museum

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