Colin Powell is a strong individual that has over come hardships of his own and that of his country. He is a man that was never satisfied with average and still excels in everything he does. Colin Powell is a leader and a role model to African Americans and the rest of the world.On April 5, 1937 a true hero was born by the name Colin Luther Powell.
He was born in Harlem, New York 12 years after his mother Maud and father Luther Theophilus Powell immigrated to New York from Jamaica. Colin grew up in New York City and proved to be a very intelligent human being. The Powell’s were a very disciplined and religious family, which proved helpful in many cases. Colin skipped a grade in elementary school while excelling in his grasp for the English language. He proved extremely knowledgeable in many subjects.
According to his older sister Marilyn he excelled at map drawing and French, and he was elected class captain. (Senna 9)In 1953 Colin graduated Morris High School at the youthful age of sixteen. He did not have an idea of what he wanted to be all he knew was he wanted to make his parents proud. In the year 1954 Colin took his first step to his brilant future. He enrolled at CCNY (City College of New York).His parents insisted he major in engineering, and he did.
He had no desire to further his education but did anyway to make his parents proud. Early in Colins college career he joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). On June 9,1958 he graduated from CCNY as a ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate. (Schraff 117) As accomplished as Colin already was he still faced racism. He was strong enough to never let this slow him down as he joined the army in 1958.
Colin Powell entered the army as a seconded lieutenant in the infantry. He was first stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia where he furthered his military education. Soon after in October 1958 he was sent to West Germany. While there Colin assumed the position of platoon leader. By the age of twenty-two he became first lieutenant. In December he was transferred to Fort Devens in Massachusetts. This is where he met Alma Vivian Johnson.
Two years later they were married and he was promoted to captain.Not long after his wedding he was sent over seas to a small country in Southeast Asia. He would not stay there for long as the Vietnam War began. In December if 1963 he was deployed to serve our country at war. While at war Colin and Almas first son Michael was born. Powell was injured by an enemys booby trap in July of 1963. A year after being deployed, Colin comes back to the states and sees his son for the first time, and the new Powell family soon moved on to base together at Fort Benning.
In 1965 the second edition to their family was born, Linda.In 1966 Colin Powell received another promotion, making him Major Powell. A year later he was relocated to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
This was where he developed most of his leadership qualities. While being stationed in Kansas Powell advanced his education by studying at the Army Command and General Staff College. This proved effective when he graduated in 1968 ranking second in his class out of 1,244.
(Powell 31) Later on that year Colin Powell was deployed to Vietnam once again. While on his second tour of Vietnam he served as an executive officer, where he created strategies for his troop. A few months later he became the divisions assistant chief of staff. This gave him an even more important role in combat operations. He proved his fearlessness during a helicopter crash rescue in the jungle. After being involved in the crash he went onto rescue everyone else in the crash, and was awarded the Soldiers Medal for bravery.
1969, Colin Powell came home from the Vietnam jungles as a highly rated leader and hero. A year later his third child Annemarie was born. Colin once again decided to further his education by attending George Washington University in Washington D.C. from 1970-1971. While attending college and working a desk job at the pentagon, Colin was promoted once again to lieutenant colonel. By 1972 Powell had received his MBA (masters degree in business administration), and applied for a job in the White House.
(Means 234) At the age of thirty-five Colin Powell was making polices and setting goals for military defense as a White House Fellow. The job did not last long, in the summer of 1973 he was sent to Korea. His assignment was to straighten out some of the troops.
Colin Powell was quoted saying I threw the bums out of the army and put the drug users in jail, the rest we ran for miles every morning and by night they were to tired to get into any trouble. (Senna 36) A year later he returned to Washington. After his proven effective leader ship, he received a job in 1974 working with the assistant Secretary of Defense analyzing military man power. Colin was still on a quest for knowledge and enrolled into the National War College in 1976. He was soon awarded another well-deserved promotion to colonel.
Throughout the next decade Colin dealt with some hardship with the near lose of his son. He also made a great amount of accomplishments. He was promoted to full general and wrote his first book in 1995 My American Journey. After serving his country for thirty-five years Colin Powell reached the rank of a four-star general.
After a unanimous decision, January 20, 2001 Colin Powell was sworn in as the first African American secretary of state.Today, he is still proving himself to the world through the war in Iraq.WORKSCITEDh Means, Howard. Colin Powell: Soldier/ Statesman-Statesman/Soldier New York, NY: Donald I. Fine, Inc,1992h Powell, Colin.
My American Journey New York, NY: Random House, 1995h Schraff, Anne. Colin Powell: Soldier and Patriot Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc, 1997h Senna, Carl. Colin Powell: A Man of War and Peace New York, NY: 1992