African Americans in the Military, Revised Edition (A to Z by Catherine Reef

By Catherine Reef

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Austin was selected to be an assistant division commander with the 3rd Army Division (Mechanized) at Fort Stewart, Georgia in July 2001, and his promotion to brigadier general came on January 1, 2002. -led invasion force that intended to disarm weapons of mass destruction and free the Iraqi people from a dictator who supported terrorism. In April 2003, he became the first African American to maneuver an army division in combat when he led the forward headquarters of the Third Army Division, which spearheaded the march of coalition forces into Baghdad that brought about the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government.

Jr. 13 1944. Piloting the P-39 Aircobra, a single-seat fighter-bomber, Archer completed convoy escort and reconnaissance missions. He also flew strafing missions in support of the Allied ground forces invading Italy. In March 1944, Archer’s fighter group was reassigned to the 306th Fighter Wing at Ramitelli Air Base in Italy. In the P-47 Thunderbolt, a rugged, heavyweight fighter, Archer flew 169 combat missions, twice returning to base after having shot down a German plane. On another memorable mission he counted three more “kills,” giving him the five needed to be designated an ace, but the Air Corps credited him with only four.

S. S. Army Recruiting Battalion, Indianapolis. S. Military Academy. At the same time, he was executive officer of the 1st Infantry Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light), which was stationed at Fort Drum, New York. ) Austin also continued his education, earning a master’s degree in education administration from Auburn University in Alabama and a master’s degree in management from Webster University in St. Louis. S. S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. As he rose through the ranks of the infantry, Austin held command and staff positions with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg and in Panama, as part of Operation Safe Haven, the 1994 effort to give temporary shelter to Cubans who had tried to enter the United States illegally and were awaiting passage to Cuba.

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