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Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks

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Information about Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks

Profile image of Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Brigadier General

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Pork Chops, Greens, Macaroni, Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/30/1932
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Brigadier General

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Pork Chops, Greens, Macaroni, Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/30/1932
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Brigadier General Elmer T. Brooks completed thirty years of service in the United States Air Force in 1985, having held a variety of positions including: Executive to the Director, National Reconnaissance Office, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force (1973-1975); a principal aide to three successive Secretaries of Defense (1975-1978); Commander of a (Titan II) Strategic Missile Wing (1979-1981); head of International Negotiations (arms control), Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1981-1983); and Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Research & Engineering (1983-1985). He had a second career as a government senior executive, serving in NASA Headquarters as Deputy Associate Administrator, Management & Facilities and Space Communications, (1988-1995).

Brooks was born in Washington, D.C. in 1932, where he attended its public schools, graduating from Dunbar High School in 1949. He received his B.A. degree in zoology from Miami University (Ohio) in 1954, and was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program. In 1973, Brooks received his M.S. degree in administration from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He completed The Executive Program of the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia, under the Air Force’s Advanced Management Program in 1978.

Brooks entered the Air Force in 1955, and was assigned to an Air Reserve Flying Center in Pittsburgh as Unit Administrative Officer and then as Base Director of Personnel. He then went to the Philippines as a radar station Commander and later served as a personnel division chief, Headquarters 13th Air Force, Clark Air Base. During the period of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he was a Missile Combat Crew Commander and Instructor Crew Commander with the Atlas F strategic missile system, Lincoln, Nebraska. From November 1965- May 1968, the General served in Houston as a Flight Control Technologist for the Gemini and Apollo space missions at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center. His proudest achievement in his military career was his participation in the development of U.S. arms control policy as the representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He played a direct role in formulating the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties.

Brooks’ awards and decorations include: the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; the Defense Superior Service Medal, with two Oak Leaf Clusters; the Legion of Merit; the Blanchard Trophy, as Commander of the unit which won the best missile wing competition; the NAACP Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Meritorious Award; the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership; and The George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.

Brooks was the seventh child of Warren R. Brooks (b. 1874) a mail carrier and government clerk, and Lelia (Williams) Brooks (b. 1888), a school teacher. He can trace his paternal ancestry back to slavery days. His paternal great-grandfather Albert Royal Brooks, was born a slave in 1818 on a James River (VA) plantation. Albert was first a field hand and later was hired out to work in a Richmond tobacco factory. He also became a successful businessman while yet a slave. Eventually he was able to purchase his freedom and that of his wife Lucy Brooks (the general’s great-grandmother) and three of their children. As a free man, Albert also became a politician and a civil rights activist.

Brooks is married to the former Kathryn Casselberry of Dayton, Ohio. They are the parents of a daughter and three sons. General and Mrs. Brooks reside in Rockville, Maryland.

Brooks was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 10, 2006.

See how Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks talks about his paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes his paternal great-grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks talks about his paternal great-great-grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his childhood neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls the changes to his neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks remembers his neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks talks about Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls celebrations during his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks remembers his father's employment at the WPA
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls the Thomas P. Morgan Demonstration School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks remembers Benjamin Banneker Junior High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks remembers his art teacher, Lois Mailou Jones
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his classes at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his athletic activities at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls the guest speakers at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls the deaths of his parents and aunt
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his friends at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his early employment in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks remembers Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls transferring to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his employment search in Ohio's Miami Valley
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks talks about his wife and children
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his first U.S. Air Force assignment
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his U.S. Air Force assignment in the Philippines
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his intercontinental missile training
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his work at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks remembers the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes his work as a military assistant to the secretary of defense
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks remembers Secretary of Defense Harold Brown
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes his activities with his family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks remembers McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his work with the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes the Cold War disarmament negotiations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his investment banking work in London, England
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his return to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes his career at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his challenges in the U.S. Air Force, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks recalls his challenges in the U.S. Air Force, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes his family's legacy in the schools of Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes Paul Laurence Dunbar High School's facility in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes his organizational involvement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks reflects upon his career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes his values
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks shares his advice for young people
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes his hopes for the African American community of Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Brig. Gen. Elmer T. Brooks narrates his photographs, pt. 2