Roscoe Robinson, Jr.

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Roscoe Robinson, Jr.
Roscoe Robinson2.jpg
General Roscoe Robinson, Jr.
Born(1928-10-11)October 11, 1928
St. Louis, Missouri
DiedJuly 22, 1993(1993-07-22) (aged 64)
Buried atArlington National Cemetery
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branchUnited States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service1951—1985
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held82nd Airborne Division
United States Army, Japan
Camp Zama, Japan
Battles/warsKorean War
Vietnam War
AwardsLegion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (11)
Silver Star (2)
Bronze Star
 
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Roscoe Robinson, Jr.
Roscoe Robinson2.jpg
General Roscoe Robinson, Jr.
Born(1928-10-11)October 11, 1928
St. Louis, Missouri
DiedJuly 22, 1993(1993-07-22) (aged 64)
Buried atArlington National Cemetery
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branchUnited States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service1951—1985
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held82nd Airborne Division
United States Army, Japan
Camp Zama, Japan
Battles/warsKorean War
Vietnam War
AwardsLegion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (11)
Silver Star (2)
Bronze Star

Roscoe Robinson, Jr. (October 11, 1928 – July 22, 1993), was the first African American to become a four-star general in the United States Army.

General Roscoe Robinson as a West Point cadet

He was born on October 11, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended St. Louis University for only a year and then transferred to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1947. Robinson graduated with a degree in military engineering in 1951.

After graduating he served in the Korean War in 1952 as a platoon leader and rifle company commander. For his actions he received the Bronze Star. Sent back to the United States a year later he became an instructor in the Airborne Department of the United States Army Infantry School. Robinson then went on to graduate from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1963. The following year he received his masters degree from the University of Pittsburgh in international affairs.

In 1967 he served as battalion commander in Vietnam. For his achievements there he received the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, 11 Air Medals, and two Silver Stars.

After Vietnam he served at the National War College for three years as the executive officer to the Chief of Staff. He was promoted to Brigadier General and in 1975 became Commanding General of the United States Army Garrison, Okinawa. In 1976 he was promoted to major general and assigned to command the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. General Robinson was the first African-American to command 82nd Airborne Division.

His final assignment was as U.S. Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee from 1982-1985. After he had completed 34 years of service to the U.S. military he retired in 1985. He was then awarded with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and two Distinguished Service Medals.

After his retirement, he was asked to look over a panel of people who were examining the Korean War performance of some highly criticized army units. He also served on the board of Northwest Airlines. After with a battle with leukemia, Roscoe Robinson, Jr. died on July 22, 1993 at the age of 64, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[1] In April 2000 there was a ceremony and a dedication at West Point for a new auditorium, named "General Roscoe Robinson, Jr. Auditorium" in his honor. The Roscoe Robinson Health Clinic at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg is also named in his honor.[2]

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