A story of great personal determination and impressive leadership.
Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen's autobiography provides a critical examination of this remarkable Marine's career, from his accomplishments as the first black pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps to his promotion to Lieutenant General and final service as Commander U.S. Marine Corp Base Quantico, Virginia. At the time of his retirement in 1988, General Petersen was the first and only black pilot to hold command and the only black general in the Marine Corps. A new addition to the Leatherneck Classics series, this story of great personal determination and impressive leadership provides a clear understanding of an inspirational path to success in the military.
Lt. General Frank E. Petersen enlisted in the Navy in 1950 and retired as a lieutenant general in 1988. To date, General Petersen has been the only black general in the USMC.
"Once I found out what being a United States Marine was all about, jumping into the tiger's jaw was just something to do. We'd been trained for combat. That's our reason for being. When the time comes, hell, stick out your can. Let's go. Let's see what the old tiger's got. Let's jump right into his big, old jaw. That's what I was doing that day in Vietnam when that old tiger caterwauled and bit me. I was flying high. A Lieutenant Colonel, Marine fighter squadron commander. Keeper of the keys. . . . And to make it sweeter our call sign was Black Knights. Hypothetical swords at the ready, I pulled that hot pad duty just like I wanted my men to do it. Five- to twelve-hour stints, depending on the threat and the type of call for assistance. Tiger growled. We listened. Marine troops pinned down, deep in the DMZ. Twenty miles north of the Rock Pile, near An Khe. Target, 15 miles into North Vietnam. We fired up the Phantoms, those big, powerful, weirdly beautiful F-4s--and flew right into that old tiger's jaw. . . ."
-- From the Prologue
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