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Marine Corps’ First Black Four-Star General: Michael Langley

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
Marine Corps' First Black Four-Star General: Michael Langley
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Lieutenant General Michael Langley has become the first Black four-star general in Marine Corps history after a Senate vote Monday.

After 35 years serving in the Marine Corps, Langley is the first Black four-star general in the Marine Corps’ 246-year history. Before him, 73 White men have reached the rank of four-star general.

Langley was nominated by President Biden in June to become the commander of U.S. Africa Command, the combatant command responsible for American military operations in Africa. The position puts Langley in charge of roughly 6,000 U.S. troops on the continent. 

“It is a great honor to be the president’s nominee to lead U.S. AFRICOM,” Langley said during his hearing in June. “I am grateful to the trust and confidence extended by him, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.”

On Monday the Senate voted to confirm Langley’s nomination.

 

Lieutenant General Michael Langley 

Langley is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana and graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington. He holds multiple advanced degrees including Masters in National Security Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

According to his Marine Corps bio, Langley has commanded at every level from platoon to regiment, serving in Japan, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

A predecessor of Langley was removed from the position as the leader of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa after using racial slurs in the presence of other Marines.

Major General Stephen Neary was fired from his command in 2020 for the use of a racial slur during physical training outside headquarters in Germany.

“Neary was relieved due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to serve in command,” said a Tuesday press release from Headquarters Marine Corps.

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