Julius W. Becton, Jr.

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Julius W. Becton, Jr.

Lt. General Julius W. Becton, Jr.
Born1926
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Service/branchUnited States Army seal United States Army
Years of service1944–1946
1948-1983
RankLieutenant General
Commands heldVII Corps
Battles/warsKorean War
Vietnam War
Other workFederal Emergency Management Agency director
 
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Julius W. Becton, Jr.

Lt. General Julius W. Becton, Jr.
Born1926
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Service/branchUnited States Army seal United States Army
Years of service1944–1946
1948-1983
RankLieutenant General
Commands heldVII Corps
Battles/warsKorean War
Vietnam War
Other workFederal Emergency Management Agency director

Julius Wesley Becton, Jr. (born 29 June 1926) is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General, former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director, and education administrator.

Becton was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He joined the Army Air Corps in July 1944 and graduated infantry Officer Candidate School in 1945. He separated from the Army in 1946, but returned to service after President Harry S. Truman's executive order to integrate the U.S. Armed Forces in 1948. He went on to serve in the Korean War and the Vietnam War, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant general in 1978 and command of VII Corps in Europe during the Cold War. Among his decorations were the Distinguished Service Medal, two Silver Stars, two Legion of Merit medals, and two Purple Hearts, along with the Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of Germany.

While in the service, Becton graduated from Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University (Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics in 1960), the University of Maryland (Master's Degree in Economics in 1966). He also graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the National War College.

Becton retired from the U.S. Army in 1983, after nearly 40 years of service. However, his public service career was far from over. From 1984 to 1985, he served as the Director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance in the United States Agency for International Development (US AID). He then served as the Director of the FEMA from 1985 to 1989 under President Ronald Reagan.

In his mid-60s, Becton began a new career, that of education administrator. From 1989 to 1994, Becton was the fifth president of Prairie View A&M University (his alma mater). President Becton was the first graduate of Prairie View A&M University to attain flag rank in the military.

In 1996, he became the Superintendent of the Washington, D.C. public school system.

Becton now serves as a director to several corporations, academic institutions, and associations. His many honors include being named several times by Ebony magazine as "One of the 100 Most Influential Blacks in America," and he has also received the Distinguished Service Award Association of the U.S. Army and the Boy Scouts of America's Silver Beaver Award. His autobiography, Becton: Autobiography of a Soldier and Public Servant, was published in 2008 by Naval Institute Press.

Becton and his wife Louise reside in Springfield, Virginia. The couple has five grown children, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

References

Government offices
Preceded by
Louis O. Giuffrida
Federal Emergency Management Agency director
1985-1989
Succeeded by
Robert H. Morris (acting)

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