28 January 2013
CALIFORNIA -- In honor of Black History Month 2013, The National Coalition of Black Veterans Organizations has come together to advocate for the promotion of the late Colonel Charles Young, the legendary Buffalo Soldier who was medically discharged from the United States Army on January 22, 1917. Colonel Charles Young was recalled in 1918 in the grade of colonel after riding 500 miles to demonstrate his fitness to serve on active military duty. The Veterans have drafted a letter (See attached letter with Resolutions) requesting that the President issue a Proclamation elevating Colonel Young to the honorary rank of Brigadier General during Black History Month 2013.
The National Coalition of Black Veterans have stated in their letter to President Obama: “We are firm in our belief that the honor we are seeking on his behalf was earned over a career that spanned more than thirty-two years of honorable service to our nation (1889 - 1922). We are joined in this request by resolutions from the Commonwealth of Kentucky House of Representatives (the birth state of Colonel Young), the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, the Council of the District of Columbia and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.”
As the third Black cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Colonel Young’s accomplishments were numerous. They included becoming the first Black military attache, the first Black Superintendent of a National Park, and the first Black soldier promoted to both the ranks of Lieutenant Colonel as well as Colonel. He also distinguished himself in command positions during the Philippine Insurrection and General Pershings Punitive Expedition. During the latter event, his courageous actions under fire resulted in the rescue of the 13th Cavalry. Colonel Young was the highest ranking African American in the military at the outset of the First World War and until his death in 1922. Colonel Young unfortunately lived during an era of racial inequities, which prevented him from leading combat troops during the First World War. This impacted his opportunity for the promotion we are seeking on his behalf.
Above all, The National Coalition of Black Veterans recognize that “this request is a small measure compared to many of the items that demand the President’s attention. Although symbolic in nature, it is important because it fills an important void in the legacy of black participation and accomplishments in American Military History. We ask that the President’s contribution to the process come in the form of the honorary promotion we are seeking for Colonel Charles Young.”
Please review the letter by CLICKING HERE and related links in the letter to the proclamation. If you would like to interview Charles Blatcher of the National Coalition of Black Veterans, please call (510) 467-9242.