Powell’s Tenacity was My Motivation

I salute retired U.S. Army General Colin Luther Powell for being a positive example of an African-American success story in today’s military. From serving his country in arms to preserving America’s diplomatic image, Powell is at the apex of achievement on two fronts. Here’s the break down.

Powell became a highly regarded political and military leader in the White House, Congress and the Pentagon.

He first achieved global recognition in 1990 and 1991, as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Powell advised the United States Department of Defense, the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters.

Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and the Persian Gulf War, are additions to his distinguished military résumé.

He was credited with skillfully balancing the political objectives of former President George H. Bush and the strategy needs of General Norman Schwarzkopf and other military commanders in the field.

In 2000, Powell accepted the position of Secretary of State under then President George W. Bush’s administration and became the first African-American Secretary of State in U.S. history.

As a Marine Corps veteran, I respect Powell for being a positive example in today’s military. He has changed the view of minorities in the officer and enlisted ranks. Whether Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, the mission remains the same no matter ones race, ethnicity, or religious group.

We all follow the Uniform Code of Military Justice. We all solemnly swear to support the Constitution, to fight and defend the country and to obey the orders of the Commander-in-Chief. Nowhere in the oath is sex, race, religion, or ethnicity even mentioned as a requirement to serve proudly.

Mr. Powell was motivation. Before going to Marine Corps boot camp in Parris Island, S.C. I thought to myself, if he could overcome racism and diversity, so could I.

I am not going to lie to you and say that it was a walk in the park, but I can say I never gave up.

My military skills helped to developed stronger morals, discipline and a dynamic work ethic that sets me apart from my peers.

You may not support the military or its mission, but understand that there are men and women giving their lives daily to protect you and your families.

African-Americans like Powell continue to make major leaps and bounds every day. Joining America’s Armed Forces is another avenue to consider when making a career choice. The only question left to ask is when will you make your mark on the world?