GERNERAL ROSCOE ROBINSON JR.
First African American four star General in United States Army
Oct 11, 1928 – July 22, 1993
Roscoe was born on Thursday, October 11, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended St. Louis University for a short period of time and the enrolled in United States Military Academy at West Point in 1947. He completed his academics and graduated with a degree in military engineering in 1951.
He then met and courted Mildred E. Sims which he married and they were a perfect pair of strength and determination.
He then served in the Korean War in 1952 as a platoon leader and rifle company commander. For his actions he received the Bronze Star. He returned back to the United States a year later he became an instructor in the Airborne Department of the United States Army Infantry School.
He went back to further his education at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and graduated . He further went on to University of Pittsburgh graduated with a masters degree in international affairs.
In 1967 Roscoe 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 brief his general officer assignments included deputy commander and later commander of U.S. Army Forces in Okinawa, commander of his beloved 82nd Airborne Division, deputy chief of staff for Operations for US Army Europe, and commander of US Army Japan and IX Corps.
In 1976 he was promoted to major general and assigned to command the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. GENERAL ROSCOE ROBINSON JR. BECAME IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY AS THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN TO COMMAND 82ND AIRBORNE DIVISION.
General Robinson 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 about 18 one year and eight months of battle with leukemia, General Roscoe Robinson, Jr. died on July 22, 1993 at the age of 64, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He left behind Mille and Bruce and daughter Carol.
In April 2000, there was a ceremony and a dedication at West Point for a new auditorium, named the “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.
THE ROSCOE ROBINSON JR. HEALTH CLINIC at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg.
Distinguished Service Award Medal
Two Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Eleven Air Medal