Benjamin O. Davis: U.S. Army’s first African American Brigadier General.

On 16th day of October in 1940, Benjamin O. Davis, became the U.S. Army’s first African American Brigadier General. His promotion to Brigadier General aroused a brief but intense controversy, both on account of his race and because it came just a month before the presidential elections, it was viewed by some as politically motivated on the part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In command of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade at Fort Riley, Kansas, on promotion. He retired in 1941, but was immediately recalled to active duty and assigned to the Officer of the Inspector General of the Army. During World War II, he served in the European Theater of Operations as adviser on race relations in the Army. Returning to his post as Assistant Inspector General he retired again from the Army in 1948 after 50 years of service.

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