“It didn’t click with me at first because everyone was asking questions about amphibious things and tactics, and he asked me about Saturday,” General Berger said, laughing during the ceremony.
Captain Ibrahim Diallo, 31, who came from Quantico with Captain Saintilfort, said in an interview that “all these friends started messaging me saying, ‘You’re going to be next.’”
“I don’t know if I can last that long,” he said, “but just by seeing junior Marines see this, they’ll see that no matter what background you come from, you can accomplish something in the Marine Corps.” as long as you perform.”
For the Marine Corps, the promotion of General Langley is a long-overdue step. Since the Corps began admitting African American troops in 1942, the last military service to do so, fewer than 30 have attained the rank of general in any form. No one had achieved the highest rank of four stars, an honor bestowed by the Marines on 73 white men.
Seven African Americans achieved lieutenant general, or three stars. The rest have been awarded one or two stars, a majority in areas from which the Marine Corps does not elect its senior leadership, such as logistics, aviation and transportation.