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Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr.

Marine Corps Lieutenant General Frank Emmanuel Petersen, Jr. was born on March 2, 1932 in Topeka, Kansas. His spelling of Petersen is popular amongst his paternal relatives in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. A maternal ancestor, Archie McKinney served in the 55th Regiment of Massachusetts Infantry during the Civil War. His parents, Frank E. Petersen, Sr., a radio repairman, and Edythe Southard Petersen, met at the University of Kansas. Petersen grew up in South Topeka and attended Monroe Elementary School, the gifted program of Boswell Junior High School, where his classmate was the former University of North Carolina head basketball coach Dean Smith. He graduated from Topeka High School in 1949. Briefly attending Washburn College, Petersen joined the United States Navy in 1950. He entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in 1951 and in 1952 after finishing flight training as the first black Marine aviator, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Petersen later received his B.A. degree in 1967 and his M.A. degree in international affairs in 1973, both at George Washington University. He also graduated from the National War College in 1973.

Assigned briefly to El Toro, California, Petersen was assigned to Korea in 1953. There, he flew Chance Vaught F4U Corsairs on 64 combat missions with Marine Fighter Squadron 212 out of the K-6 Airfield in Pyong-Taek to the Yalu River. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and six air medals. In the 1960s, Petersen experienced the transition from propeller driven fighters to jets like the Lockheed T-33B Seastar, the Gruman F9F Cougar and the Douglas F3D Skynight. In 1968, Petersen became the first African American to command a squadron when he took over Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314), the Black Knights, in Vietnam. VFMA-314 received the 1968 Hanson Award for best squadron in the USMC. Shot down but rescued in the DMZ, Petersen added 250 combat missions to his Korean total. He eventually commanded a Marine Aircraft Group and a Marine Aircraft Wing. In 1975, Petersen took command of Marine Air Corps 32 at Cherry Point, North Carolina and in 1979 became the first African American General in USMC history. Petersen was made Lieutenant General in 1986 and was appointed Commanding General of the USMC Combat Development Command at Quantico, Virginia. When he retired in 1988, Petersen was the first black three star general in the USMC and the “Silver Hawk” and “Gray Eagle” senior and ranking aviator in both the USMC and the Navy. He was awarded still another Distinguished Service Medal for his command services at Quantico.

Petersen spent his civilian years as vice president of corporate aviation for DuPont DeNemours, Inc. Managing their corporate fleet, he traveled the globe, retiring in 1997.

Petersen was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 7, 2007.

Petersen passed away on August 25, 2015. He is survived by five children.

Accession Number

A2007.052

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/7/2007

Last Name

Petersen

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Schools

Topeka High School

Monroe Elementary School

Boswell Junior High School

Washburn University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Frank

Birth City, State, Country

Topeka

HM ID

PET07

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/2/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

8/25/2015

Short Description

Lieutenant general (retired) Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (1932 - 2015 ) was the first African American general in the history of the United States Marine Corps.

Employment

U.S. Marine Corps

U.S. Navy

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes his mother's upbringing in Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes his childhood in Topeka, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls his early entertainment

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. remembers Monroe Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. remembers Boswell Junior High School in Topeka, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls enlisting in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. remembers the death of Jesse L. Brown

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. talks about his childhood wish to leave Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls his experiences at Topeka High School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls his flight training in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls his commission as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls his service in the Korean War

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes his flight missions in the Korean War

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls his recognition as a black pilot

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls learning to fly jet airplanes

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls the Brown v. Board of Education decision

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls his involvement in the First Indochina War

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. remembers forming contrails with planes

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls his marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls petitioning to command a fighter squadron

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. remembers the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes race relations among soldiers in the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. reflects upon the legacy of the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. reflects upon his combat experiences in the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls investigating racial conflict in the U.S. military

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes the perspectives of black soldiers in the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls his promotion to general in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls his vice presidency of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes his duties at E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. remembers writing his autobiography

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. talks about his organizational activities

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. reflects upon the Iraq War

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. reflects upon his life and legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. talks about prominent black military leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes his family

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls his flight training in the U.S. Marine Corps
Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr. recalls investigating racial conflict in the U.S. military
Transcript
All right, back to the [U.S.] Marine Corps now. So you discovered that you could be a pilot, and?$$Yeah, I discovered with Jesse Brown's [Jesse L. Brown] death that blacks could in fact go to the [U.S.] Navy flight school. Once I arrived at the Navy flight school, which was relatively easy for me, I discovered there had never been a black pilot in the [U.S.] Marine Corps. And I found that out by the other black cadet, who was about a year ahead of me. And I say the other because we were entering as blacks maybe about one every eight months. His name was Dave Campbell, Dave was a former Marine. And Dave was determined to try the Marine Corps. When I entered, Dave took me under his wing, and he indicated that if he didn't make it then I should try for it. At the time, there had been three blacks to graduate from flight school--a guy named Jesse Brown, a gentleman by the name of Earl Carter, and a gentleman by the name of Floyd [Albert Floyd]. I can't remember Floyd's full name. There were only three who had managed to make it through the syllabus.$$Okay.$$And Dave (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And Jesse Brown was the first one?$$Jesse Brown was the first one. And he of course had been killed in combat in Korea.$$Okay, so let me get--so this is the naval flight school, but the Marine pilots and the Navy pilots are in the same school?$$That is correct.$$All right. But when you come out, you--$$A lot of people don't realize--$$Okay.$$--but all Marine Corps and Navy pilots go through the same training at the same schools. Dave Campbell didn't make it. I did make it, applying for the Marine Corps, and I was the fourth black to have completed flight school, and the first to have been accepted into the Marine Corps.$$Okay. Now, let me go back to Dave Campbell. Now, what happened to him? You know, he, I know you mentioned him in other interviews (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$--as being a real inspiration to you--$$Dave was an inspiration--$$--and somebody that changed your life.$$He was older than I, of course. And you have to realize when I received my wings and my commission, I was only twenty years old. Dave was around twenty-five, and he had gone--well, you had your basic training and then you had your advanced training. And in the advanced training, you were required to have six carrier landings in the more advanced kind of airplane. Dave didn't make it through that, and I was heartbroken, because I felt that Dave was much smarter and much more capable than I, and if Dave didn't make it, I didn't think I had chance in hell of making it.$$Now, was a story behind why Dave didn't make it?$$Dave would never discuss it with me. But he received a down check during those final phases of flight training, and I always suspected that Dave was singled out and they got him. I had a similar incident when I was going through my initial basic training. I received a down check by my instructor, and the other instructors got together and assigned me a new instructor. I had one flight with the new guy, and on my second flight with the new guy we were landed in a grass field. He climbed out of the backseat and hit me on the shoulder and said, "Go fly, and then come back here and land." And that's when I soloed. So, there was an effort to clean things up in the system. But here again, you know, blacks were going through the course, 1-Zs/2-Zs, and again, only three blacks that were going through the syllabus by the time I went through.$Back in the United States in '68 [1968], you got involved in race relations.$$Race relations with the [U.S.] Marine Corps. The Marine Corps and the [U.S.] Army were having one hell of a time. Traveled all over the world on fact-finding missions in terms of--I'll never forget in Heidelberg, Germany under the [U.S.] Department of Defense team to take a look. And the Army kids were having it pretty tough. It was a lack of manpower. And what was happening is the kids would go to Vietnam for a combat tour, come back stateside or to Germany for about a year or so, and then they'd be going back into Vietnam. And with the racial issues that were taking place, there was a great deal of friction. Even here at stateside they had riots, race riots, at many of the major bases. Even in the Marine Corps, there were two. There was a riot at Camp Pendleton [Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, San Diego County, California] and there was a riot at Camp Lejeune [Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina]. The Army had the same problems. On this fact-finding tour in Germany, I would talk to the kids. And one of these groups wanted to meet with me off-base to discuss issues. And what they wanted to do was discuss what would be the biggest signal to give to the Army to show their displeasure. And what they were concentrating on was killing the Army, the U.S. Army Europe commander, General Polk [James H. Polk], P-O-L-K. And they were serious, they were very serious. They didn't carry out their plan, and when I reported it, it got a lot of attention. It got a lot of attention, because these kids were serious. They were trained to kill; they knew they were going to die, or had the high probability of dying, and they said, "Hey, we'll take somebody out with us."$$Now, this is serious. Now, I've read that there were conflicts, you know, some bloody conflicts during the Korean War down on the ground, too. But this is really a plot to actually blow up the commander of the--$$Uh-huh.$$--U.S. forces in Germany. That's--$$Absolutely, absolutely. In fact, one of my good friends was a guy named Curtis Smothers [Curtis R. Smothers], who was an attorney with the JAG Corps, the Judge Advocate General [Judge Advocate General's Corps]. And Curt was black and had come from the inner city, and was just as smart as he could be. And Curt would tell a funny story about some of these court martials. He would be sitting there with a white attorney, and this young kid, black kid, would come in and they would begin to talk. And this black kid said, "Where's the motherfucker been messing with me? I ain't going to take no more of that shit." And the white attorney would say, "I'm sorry, I don't understand you." And Curt would say, "I understand him, let him go." (Laughter) "Let him keep talking." So, these kinds of things. Another incident was when I was the squadron commander in Vietnam, this is in '68 [1968]. Big commotion in my hooch, in my office, and I looked up and a sergeant major was telling this kid, "You can't go in there." And this kid was black, he was a ground troop. And I looked out at the officer and I said, "That's okay, sergeant major, let him in." And this kid walked into my office and he said, "Okay, you the one. I heard there was one of you over here." You got to realize I was a lieutenant colonel, and I was about the only one in the Marine Corps. I said, "Sit down, son." I said, "Well, what's your problem?" He said, "Well, sir, they're fucking with me." And I said, "Well, tell me your problem." He said, "Well, sir, I guess it all happened when I shot the lieutenant." (Laughter) I said, "Whoa." So these kinds of things were going on, these kinds of things. So very, very severe problems in the [U.S.] military. And they really didn't--I say they, the problems, didn't really resolve themselves until the late '70s [1970s] when everybody finally got their act together, and a lot of this stuff was knocked off. A lot of the bad guys were kicked out of the services. And if you look at the services today, it's the ultimate, I think, in terms of working together, equality, and so forth. It's the place to be, it's the place to be.$$Yeah, we often hear there's a lot more equality in the service (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Absolutely.$$--than in regular life sometimes.$$Absolutely.$$A lot of people say that.$$And you can see it as you go aboard the bases nowadays. When I was coming along, if you saw a mixed couple you would stare. Nowadays, if you don't see a mixed couple, you stare. (Laughter) So it's totally different, totally different.

Capt. Samuel Saxton

Captain Samuel Farlee Saxton was born on August 5, 1929 in Asheville, North Carolina to Mary Patterson and Thomas Odell. Although his father left the family, his mother, a former teacher, worked as a domestic to raise Saxton and his four younger siblings. He attended and dropped out of Stevens High School in Asheville during ninth grade in order to work full time. In 1944, he told the World War II draft board that he was eighteen when he was actually sixteen so that he could join the U.S. Navy. Saxton trained as a steward, one of the few Navy jobs open to African Americans, but served as a gunner during intense battles, including the Battle of Leyte in the Philippines in 1944 and at Iwo Jima, Japan in 1945.

At the end of World War II, Saxton left the Navy and earned his high school diploma. In 1946, he joined the U.S. Marines, training at Montford Point, a segregated facility for African Americans at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. Rising through the ranks to become a commissioned officer, Saxton served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In addition to defending U.S. bases in Korea and Vietnam, he managed military prisons in Da Nang, Vietnam and at Camp Pendleton, California. After a serious car accident in 1975, Saxton retired from the Marine Corps and went on to earn his B.S. degree in criminal justice and his M.A. degree in rehabilitative counseling from the University of Maryland.

In 1975, Saxton joined the Montgomery County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Maryland as a deputy director and was later appointed as the director of the department. Renowned as an innovative corrections administrator, Saxton was recruited to be the director of corrections for Prince George’s County, Maryland in 1983. During his tenure, he created several programs to improve inmates’ living conditions and to facilitate their reintegration into society. His comprehensive drug treatment program, The Awakening, gained national attention and earned a visit from President Bill Clinton in 1994. Retiring from Prince George’s County in 2000, Saxton taught courses in criminal justice at Prince George’s Community College until 2004. Throughout his career, Saxton received numerous honors for instituting prison reforms, including the American Correctional Association's E.R. Cass Correctional Achievement Award and the 1986 Austin MacCormick Award from the Correctional Education Association.

Saxton passed away on February 14, 2018.

Captain Samuel Saxton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 9, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.136

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/9/2006

Last Name

Saxton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Hill Street School

Livingstone Junior High School

Stevens Lee High School

University of Maryland

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Samuel

Birth City, State, Country

Asheville

HM ID

SAX01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: ANY

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

Always Faithful. Always Ready.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/5/1929

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Death Date

2/14/2018

Short Description

Captain Capt. Samuel Saxton (1929 - 2018) was the former director of corrections for Prince George's County, Maryland and a retired captain in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Employment

United States Navy

United States Marine Corps

Montgomery County (Md.). Dept. of Correction and Rehabilitation

Prince George's County Department of Corrections

Prince George's Community College

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Capt. Samuel Saxton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Capt. Samuel Saxton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes the origin of his family name

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his mother's childhood in North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his neighborhood in Asheville, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls briefly living in Philadelphia as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls childhood activities in Asheville, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his grade school experiences in Asheville

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls lying about his age to join the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls continuing his education after his enlistment

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Capt. Samuel Saxton remembers enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Capt. Samuel Saxton talks about the integration of the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Capt. Samuel Saxton remembers the integration of the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls serving as a U.S. Marine in the Korean War

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes the military police during the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls his U.S. military service in the mid-1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Capt. Samuel Saxton remembers his marriage to Sylvia Truslow Saxton

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his assignments in the Vietnam War, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his assignments in the Vietnam War, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls serving at Camp Pendleton after the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls serving at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls commanding the Motor Transport Maintenance Company in Okinawa

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Capt. Samuel Saxton talks about how he became a civilian corrections officer

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Capt. Samuel Saxton recalls becoming the director of Prince George's County Detention Center

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his initiatives at Prince George's County Detention Center

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his political opponents in Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his awards for his work in corrections

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Capt. Samuel Saxton talks about his techniques as a corrections officer

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Capt. Samuel Saxton talks about his retirement from correctional work

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes the Montford Point Marine Association, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Capt. Samuel Saxton reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Capt. Samuel Saxton describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Capt. Samuel Saxton remembers enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps
Capt. Samuel Saxton describes his initiatives at Prince George's County Detention Center
Transcript
When you came back from your first tour of duty, left Okinawa [Okinawa Island, Japan], came back to the high school [Stephens-Lee High School, Asheville, North Carolina], how was your mother [Mary Lou Patterson] doing at that point?$$Mother was very sickly at the time and I think that's one of the reasons why I went back into the [U.S.] military, is that the need was still there, and I didn't have time to go for me. I had to think of them, again, so that's what I did. I just went back in, made my allotments back out and all of that. By this time, I was in the [U.S.] Marine Corps and I was able to excel pretty quick in the corps.$$Now why did you select the Marine Corps?$$I think that I have always had that inclination to, I didn't like the [U.S.] Navy, you know, so I had been in what was called, the amphibious Navy. I was in the 3rd Amphibious Corps [III Marine Expeditionary Force] which spent a lot of time with Marines and I guess I got the idea since I've always been with them, you know, why don't I. So I ended up with the Marine Corps, within a short time I was already a squad leader.$$Where did you start that service and training? Where, what base, what camp?$$I started that in Okinawa. They, we were so short of troops that if you were already combat trained, you could switch over from the Navy to the Marine Corps, and I jumped at the opportunity because that meant no longer was I a steward, I could go over to the other, even though I was carrying the designation, I sure as hell wasn't fighting like a steward out there, you know, in Okinawa.$$The pay was a lot better?$$It wasn't the pay so much with me, it's that I got my pride back.$Didn't you eventually close this facility [Prince George's County Detention Center, Upper Marlboro, Maryland] and build a new one?$$Yes. While cleaning up one, we had to build toward the other, okay, and the way that occurred is that I had to go before public forums and convince them that they really needed to do something different. It was a hard sell. They knew my reputation, they knew where I was trying to go. Well, the big thing is, is that I learned the secret of how to deal with people who are public figures. Don't necessarily talk to them, I went to the ladies' garden clubs, and wherever they had large numbers of ladies that were associated with the decision makers, and tried to persuade them on what the needs were, and it worked because so many of the so-called politicians were finding it very difficult to stay at home without supporting where we were trying to go, and that was one of the strategies that I used. The bottom line was this, the county exec knew that this place was a political ambush for him, he wanted it changed. A lot of other folks knew that it needed to be changed and in order to convince them to accept the new generation jail, I took my worst critics, and I challenged them to go with me to California. I carried them out to California, it was six of them, and I made sure that I was sitting with the worst of the worst. Kept 'em up near the window and I talked that rascal all the way out to California. When we got out to California, we went to a new generation jail and let them walk through. When they came back, they said, "There will only be one built in Prince George's [Prince George's County, Maryland]," you know, in Montgomery County [Maryland], and they let me build that place. It was a new generation jail in every sense of the word.$$When was that completed?$$Oh, when was that?$$Eighty-seven [1987] roughly?$$Yeah, '87 [1987] roughly. It was not old wine, new bottle. It was a new process, you know. There has not been a riot in that place, there's been nobody raped, it's the way we designed the place. We designed it so it enhances management, okay. It's not only that but it's easy to clean, it's, it's as clean as a hospital, it's even today. We did a lot of things to enhance the thing for the staff themselves, and when the new guys, or new inmates come in, there are two orientations that go on in Prince George's, even today, the one that we give 'em and the one that the inmates give and the one that the inmates gives is far more sophisticated than ours because here's what it basically says, that whatever you did at Lorton [Lorton Reformatory, Lorton, Virginia], you can't do it here, that these people are in charge, they know what they're doing, it's a tight ship, and the best thing you can do is to spend time understanding your problems, and they'll help you with it. I did not try to enforce rehabilitation on anyone, I know better than that, but I do know this. I can limit your options for those things that you know are wrong, I can make it easier for you to follow the right path, and I can stay steady, and if you want to call that rehabilitation, a whole lot of folks know they're wrong and want to change, so you make it easier for 'em to change. If you don't want to change, then we'll deal with you another way. One of the things that people will tell you is don't take what I call the bad news bears and put 'em all in the, in the same bucket, but that's exactly what I did. If you put 'em all in one housing area and they are the people that prey on others, the people they've got to prey on is each other, and then this other group you can work with 'em. I did a lot of study on how to classify and handle that kind of a group and it has worked like a charm. We knocked our recidivism rate down by thirty points in two years. We not only did that, but that place has never lost a lawsuit of any consequence. I think the only one that I ever lost cost me two bucks.