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Gen. Vincent Brooks

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Information about Gen. Vincent Brooks

Profile image of Gen. Vincent Brooks

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
General

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Royal Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/24/1958
Birth Location:
Anchorage, Alaska

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
General

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Royal Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/24/1958
Birth Location:
Anchorage
See how Gen. Vincent Brooks is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

U.S. Army General Vincent K. Brooks was born in Anchorage, Alaska on October 24, 1958 to Leo Brooks Sr., an army officer who began his career one year after the military received the order to desegregate and ended his career nearly 30 years later having achieved the rank of major general, and Naomi Lewis Brooks, a schoolteacher and Army wife. Brooks graduated from Jesuit High School in California where he excelled in academics and in athletics, leading to his appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point among the first class to include women. At West Point, Brooks played varsity basketball in his freshman year under Coach Mike Krzyzewski. Brooks went on to graduate with a B.S. degree in 1980 after achieving the historic honor of being appointed as the top-ranking cadet in the U.S. Corps of Cadets – the Cadet Brigade Commander or “First Captain” for his senior year – an historic first for an African American cadet, coming 177 years into West Point’s history, and also102 years after the first African American – Henry O. Flipper – graduated. His went on to earn his master’s degree (Master of Military Art and Science – MMAS) from the prestigious School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth and later served as a National Security Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Still serving on active duty thirty-three years after graduating from West Point as a commissioned officer, Brooks served in command and staff positions in the United States and around the world. His tours of duty with combat units include the 82nd Airborne Division, the 1st Infantry Division, the 2d Infantry Division, the 3d Infantry Division, the 1st Cavalry Division, the III Corps, Third Army/U.S. Army Central, U.S. Army Pacific, and U.S. Central Command. General Brooks has commanded forces in peacekeeping operations and armistice enforcement in Kosovo and Korea, respectively prior to becoming a general; and in combat on four different tours in Iraq, the Middle East and Central Asia, all as a general. Brooks served at the national-level in the Pentagon as aide-de-camp to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and, later, as the U.S. Army’s Chief of Public Affairs. He also served on The Joint Staff as Deputy Director for Political-Military Affairs for the Western Hemisphere, and later as the Deputy Director for the War on Terrorism. On July 2, 2013, he was appointed by President Obama to command the U.S. Army Pacific.

Brooks’ has many military honors and decorations with the highest being the Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters. Brooks was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the New England School of Law in Boston and is part of the only African American family to have three generals within two generations (father, brother, and Vincent Brooks are all Army generals).

Brooks is married to his wife of thirty years, Carol, a physical therapist and educator who also comes from a career Army officer family.

U.S. Army General Vincent K. Brooks was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 20, 2013.

See how Gen. Vincent Brooks is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vincent Brooks' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vincent Brooks lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vincent Brooks describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vincent Brooks describes his Quander family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vincent Brooks talks about his Quander family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vincent Brooks talks about his Lewis family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vincent Brooks talks about his maternal grandfather, James Lewis
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vincent Brooks talks about his Lewis family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vincent Brooks talks about his mother's upbringing in Alexandria, Virginia, and his family's athletic talents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vincent Brooks talks about his maternal family's involvement in the seminary
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Vincent Brooks talks about his maternal grandparents' home in Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vincent Brook talks about his mother's education, her career as an educator, and her active life in the military community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vincent Brook describes his father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vincent Brook describes his father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vincent Brook talks about his paternal family's involvement with the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vincent Brook talks about his grandfathers' involvement as leaders in the middle class community in Alexandria, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vincent Brook talks about his grandfather's bus company, segregation in Alexandria, Virginia, and the integration of the schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vincent Brook talks about his father's interest in music and his paternal family's education and careers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vincent Brook talks about his father's interest in music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Vincent Brook describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Vincent Brook describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Vincent Brook talks about his brother, Leo Brooks, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vincent Brook talks about his sister, Marquita Brooks, and his family's frequent moves while his father was in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vincent Brook describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vincent Brook describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vincent Brook talks about the differences in racial interactions within the military and in civilian society
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vincent Brook talks about attending elementary school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vincent Brook talks about getting bullied in elementary school in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vincent Brook talks about his experience as a child at the Fort Leavenworth military base in Kansas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vincent Brook talks about the similarities and differences between schools on the military base and those in the public sector
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Vincent Brook talks about his interest in human anatomy and medicine while he was in middle school and high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Vincent Brook talks about his relationship with his father, and growing up in a close-knit family with male role models
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Vincent Brook talks about the teachers who inspired him in school