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U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Michael E. Langley stands at attention during his promotion ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., August 6, 2022. Gen. Langley, who began his career in the Marine Corps as an artillery officer in 1985, is the first Black Marine to be promoted to the rank of General.

Photo by Sgt. Karis Mattingly

Gen. Michael Langley becomes the Marine Corps' first Black four-star general

6 Aug 2022 | Communication Directorate Marine Corps Air Station New River

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Michael E. Langley was promoted to the rank of general on Aug. 6, 2022, in a ceremony at Marine Corps Barracks Washington. 

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger promoted Langley, who became the first Black Marine to be promoted to general. 

"43 years we go from our first African American general to now our first - I think leading to many more - four-star African American generals," said Berger, paying homage to Lt. Gen. Frank E. Peterson. 

Langley was joined by friends and family at the ceremony, including his father Willie C. Langley, who is a proud Air Force veteran. Gen. Langley repeatedly talked about his father as his greatest mentor.

"My daddy told me to aim high, so I aimed as high as I could and found the few and the proud,” said Gen. Langley, a comment which was met with laughter amongst the crowd, most of whom were Marines. 

Langley was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and grew up on a variety of military bases as a child before settling in Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1985. Langley has served in the Marine Corps for 37 years and saw his promotion as a sign to others that Marine Corps service rewards those who work hard to achieve their goals. 

"The milestone and what it means to the Corps is quite essential. Not because the mark in history, but what it will affect going forward, especially for those younger across society that want to aspire and look at the Marine Corps as an opportunity," said Gen. Langley. 

Photos and videos of the ceremony may be viewed at the links here:


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