The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Gen. Julius Becton, Jr.

Share on Social Media

Information about Gen. Julius Becton, Jr.

Profile image of Gen. Julius Becton, Jr.

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Military Officer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Cavalry Yellow
Favorite Food:
Liver, Onions, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Aruba
Favorite Quote:
Get it done.

Birthplace

Born:
6/29/1926
Birth Location:
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Military Officer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Cavalry Yellow
Favorite Food:
Liver, Onions, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Aruba
Favorite Quote:
Get it done.

Birthplace

Born:
6/29/1926
Birth Location:
Bryn Mawr
See how Gen. Julius Becton, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Military Officer and federal government administrator Julius W. Becton, Jr. was born on June 29, 1926 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania to Julius Wesley and Rose Banks Becton. He joined the Army Air Corps in July 1944 and graduated from Infantry Officer Candidate School in 1945. While on active duty, Becton graduated from Prairie View A & M College in 1960 with his B.S. degree in mathematics and the University of Maryland in 1966 with his M.A. degree in economics. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College and the National War College. Post his military service, Becton has received honorary doctorate degrees from Huston-Tillotson College, Muhlenberg College, Prairie View A & M University, The Citadel, Dickinson College, and American Public University System.

Becton joined the 93rd Infanry Division in the Pacific at the end of World War II and was separated from the Army in 1946, but returned to active duty after President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981 to desegregate the military in 1948. Rising to the rank of Lieutenant General in 1978 he commanded the 1st Cavalry Division, the United States Army Operations Test and Evaluation Agency, and the VII Corps – the Army’s largest combat corps in Europe during the Cold War. Becton also served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and retired from the U.S. Army in 1983 after nearly 40 years of service. However, his public service career was far from over.

From 1984 to 1985, he served as the director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance in the United States Agency for International Development. He then served as the third director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency from 1985 to 1989 under President Ronald Reagan. In his mid-sixties, Becton began a new career, that of education administrator. From 1989 to 1994, he was the fifth president of Prairie View A & M University, his alma mater – becoming the first graduate of Prairie View A & M University to attain flag rank in the military. In 1996, he became the superintendent of the Washington, D.C. public school system.

Among his decorations are the Distinguished Service Medal, two Silver Stars, two Legion of Merit medals and two Purple Hearts, along with the Knight Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Germany. Becton married to Louise Thornton, and they have five children: Shirley, Karen, Joyce, Renee, and Wesley. They also have eleven grandchildren and three great grandchildren

Julius W. Becton, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on [08/27/2012]

See how Gen. Julius Becton, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Julius Becton's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Julius Becton lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Julius Becton describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Julius Becton talks about his mother, Rose Inez Banks
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Julius Becton describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Julius Becton talks about his father, and his strong work ethic
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Julius Becton talks about his family's involvement in the church
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Julius Becton talks about his brother, and how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Julius Becton describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Julius Becton describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Julius Becton talks about growing up in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Julius Becton talks about his father's job in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Julius Becton talks about his father being his role model
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Julius Becton talks about growing up with undertones of racial segregation in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Julius Becton describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Julius Becton talks about his family's visits to North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Julius Becton describes his experience in elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Julius Becton talks about his brother, Joseph William Becton
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Julius Becton talks about studying mathematics in college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Julius Becton talks about his teachers in elementary school, and his progress to high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Julius Becton talks about his childhood jobs, and his father's income
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Julius Becton talks about his involvement with Saints Memorial Baptist Church since his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Julius Becton talks about his involvement in sports while growing up
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Julius Becton talks about how he met his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Julius Becton talks about joining the Civil Air Patrol in 1941, becoming eligible for flight school, and turning it down to command a unit
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Julius Becton talks about his father's political affiliation and his decision to enroll at Muhlenberg College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Julius Becton talks about joining the Civil Air Patrol in 1941 and the Army Air Corp Enlisted Reserve in 1943
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Julius Becton talks about others who graduated from his high school, and his desire to join the Army Air Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Julius Becton talks about attending Officer Candidate School in 1944
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Julius Becton reflects upon his experience with segregation in the South in the 1940s, and the changes that have occurred since then
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Julius Becton talks about his experience in the U.S. Army while stationed in the Philippines
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Julius Becton talks about his separation from the U.S. Army in 1946, joining Muhlenberg College on a football scholarship, and getting injured there
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Julius Becton talks about playing football at Muhlenberg College, as a center on offense and a linebacker on defense
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Julius Becton talks about getting married in 1948
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Julius Becton talks about returning to the U.S. Army in 1948, and his parents' support of him financially
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Julius Becton describes his experience in the Korean War
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Julius Becton describes how his unit, the 9th Infantry Regiment, Second Division, was integrated in the midst of the Korean War, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Julius Becton describes how his unit, the 9th Infantry Regiment, Second Division, was integrated in the midst of the Korean War, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Julius Becton talks about his return to the U.S. from the Korean War in 1951
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Julius Becton talks about his assignments after returning from the Korean War in 1951
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Julius Becton talks about going to Prairie View A&M University as an assistant professor of military science and to complete his degree
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Julius Becton describes his experience on tour in Germany
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Julius Becton describes his success on tour in Germany, and how he was able to attend the Commander and General Staff College (CGSC)
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Julius Becton describes his experience at Prairie View A&M University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Julius Becton describes his experience at Command General Staff College (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Julius Becton describes his assignment in France
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Julius Becton talks about his experience at the Armed Forces Staff College and the challenges to finding a house for his family in Virginia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Julius Becton talks about earning his master's degree in economics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Julius Becton describes how he was assigned to join the U.S. Army in Vietnam
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Julius Becton describes his experience in the U.S. Army in Vietnam
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Julius Becton reflects upon the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Julius Becton discusses race relations in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Julius Becton discusses his thirteen-point management philosophy in terms of commanding troops
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Julius Becton talks about his service in the Vietnam War and the get-togethers of his command staff
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Julius Becton describes how General Colin Powell was selected to attend the National War College in 1975
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Julius Becton talks about his training at the National War College
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Julius Becton talks about his assignment as the brigade commander of the 2nd Brigade, Second Armor Division in Fort Hood, Texas
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Julius Becton discusses trends in the number of women and their roles in the military between the 1970s and 2012
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Julius Becton talks about his selection and experience as the Branch Chief of Armor and being promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 1972
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Julius Becton describes his experience as deputy commander at Fort Dix, New Jersey
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Julius Becton describes his experience as a division commander at Fort Hood, Texas, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Julius Becton describes his experience as a division commander at Fort Hood, Texas, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Julius Becton talks about mentoring in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Julius Becton talks about his service as the commander of the Operational Test and Evaluation Agency (OTEA)
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Julius Becton talks about being recognized as one of the '100 Most Influential Blacks' by Ebony Magazine
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Julius Becton describes his experience as the commander of the U.S. VII Corps stationed in Cold War Europe
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Julius Becton talks about his appointments as Deputy Commander of Training for TRADOC and as the Army Inspector of Training
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Julius Becton describes his decision to accept the position of Director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance at U.S. AID
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Julius Becton talks about becoming the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Julius Becton talks about his former colleague, educator Arlene Ackerman
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Julius Becton reflects upon the crisis in urban education in the U.S.
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Julius Becton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Julius Becton discusses the crisis in today's community regarding physical and behavioral health
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Julius Becton discusses the prospects for young people who are interested in joining the military
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Julius Becton reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Julius Becton talks about his family
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Julius Becton talks about receiving the George Catlett Marshall Medal in 2007
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Julius Becton talks about the gathering of African American Flag Officers and being honored by the Buffalo Soldiers
  • Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Julius Becton talks about his autobiography, 'Becton: Autobiography of a Soldier and Public Servant'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Julius Becton's interview, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Julius Becton's describes the ceremony honoring his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1983
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Julius Becton's reflects upon the changes in the status of African American soldiers and women in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Julius Becton reflects upon the U.S. Military's repeal of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Julius Becton describes his service as the director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance in the USAID
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Julius Becton describes his experience as the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Julius Becton talks about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) since his service there, and discusses the role of FEMA
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Julius Becton talks about Lieutenant General Russel Honore's service towards disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Julius Becton describes his experience as the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Julius Becton talks about becoming the president of Prairie View A&M University in 1989
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Julius Becton describes his selection as the president of Prairie View A and M University
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Julius Becton describes his experience as the president of Prairie View A and M University
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Julius Becton discusses the reputation of Prairie View A and M University
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Julius Becton describes how he became the superintendent of the Washington, District of Columbia public school system in 1996
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Julius Becton discusses the challenges faced by the Washington, District of Columbia public school system
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Julius Becton describes his experience as the superintendent of the Washington, District of Columbia public school system, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Julius Becton describes his experience as the superintendent of the Washington, District of Columbia public school system, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Julius Becton talks about the challenges that are faced by the public school system in Washington, District of Columbia
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Julius Becton describes his life after retiring as the superintendent of the public school system in Washington, District of Columbia
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Julius Becton talks about his relative, HistoryMaker Thelma Groomes
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Julius Becton reflects upon his life and career, pt. 1
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Julius Becton reflects upon his life and career, pt. 2
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Julius Becton talks about his parents
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Julius Becton talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Julius Becton describes his photographs