Michael E. Langley becomes the first Black four-star Marine general
The Senate voted this week to promote Lt. Gen. Michael E. to four-star general, making him the first Black man to receive the distinction.
The Senate voted this week to promote Lt. Gen. Michael E. Langley to four-star general, making him the first Black man to receive the distinction in the military branch’s 246-year history.
The Marine Corps, a force with more than 170,000 active-duty members, announced Tuesday that Langley will publicly receive the promotion, which the Senate approved Monday, at a ceremony Saturday in Washington, D.C., after which he will command all U.S. military forces in Africa, overseeing about 6,000 troops.
President Joe Biden nominated Langley, who was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1985, to lead U.S. Africa Command in June. At a confirmation hearing in late July, Langley told senators he agreed that stemming Russia’s growing influence in turbulent parts of Africa will be a priority. Senators told Langley that the post will entail not only military prowess, but also a significant degree of diplomacy — a characterization he agreed with.
At the start of his term, Biden also successfully pushed through the nomination of Lloyd Austin, the first Black defense secretary.
Langley’s confirmation comes as new Marine Corps initiatives seek to improve diversity and retention, including the launch of a plan, called Talent Management 2030, last November.