After 35 years of military service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Lt. Gen. Michael Langley is set to earn one of the highest ranks in the military. If confirmed by the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 21, he will become the first Black four-star general in the history of the Marine Corps, according to NPR. Currently, he is one of only six Black generals serving in the Marines
Born in Shreveport, La., Langley the son of Willie C. Langley, a former, noncommissioned officer in the Air Force. His father, who prematurely ended his own military career to take care of his family after his wife’s passing, inspired Langley to pursue a career in the armed services.
Langley is a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School and College of Naval Command and Staff. He holds multiple advanced degrees, including a Masters in National Security Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
Langley has commanded at every level including in Afghanistan during the war and various posts in Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. Also, he’s held several high-ranking positions in the Pentagon and led U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa. He currently oversees Marine forces on the East Coast.
Last year, he assumed command of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, “after his predecessor was removed amid allegations of using a racial slur for African Americans in front of troops,” reports Stars and Stripes.
Pending his confirmation, Langley would be based in Stuttgart, Germany where he will lead approximately 6,000 U.S. troops in Africa, with 1,300 in West Africa, and another 3,500 at a base in Djibouti.