Lieutenant General Michael E. Langley could write his name in the history books on Thursday if the Senate Armed Services Committee gives the green light for him to lead all U.S. military forces in Africa.
Langley, who has served in the United States Armed Forces for more than 35 years, would become the first Black four-star general in the Marine Corps’ 246-year history upon confirmation, FOX 5 DC reported. He currently leads Marine forces on the East Coast.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval War College as well as the U.S. Army War College, Langley has loads of experience under his belt. Besides serving in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Japan, Langley has been appointed to top positions in the Pentagon. The Louisiana native has also commanded American forces in Europe and Africa.
“I’m certainly proud and excited, not just for him and his family, but for the Marines he’ll get a chance to lead,” retired Army Colonel Greg Gadson said. “Just think about those young officers that will be able to look and see somebody that gives them hope they can achieve those things.”
The U.S. military is said to have persistent issues pertaining to diversity. Per research by the Council on Foreign Relations, White officials hold over 80% of the high-ranking positions in the military, FOX 5 DC reported.
Stars and Stripes also reported that Marine Corps had only six Black generals as of 2021. Langley was one of them. Multiple Black Marines have climbed up to lieutenant general or three-star general ranks, but not the rank of a four-star general.
“In all the years of service and all the talent that has gone through, you would think that someone would’ve crossed this threshold beyond that,” Col. Gadson said. “We have to celebrate what has happened and more importantly not lose that momentum; not let it be a one-off but let it be a beacon for everyone.”
Langley will command almost 6,000 American troops in Africa if he is confirmed. He will be stationed at a base in Germany.