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Gen. William Ward

U.S. Army General William E. Ward was born on June 3, 1949 in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Morgan State University and graduated with his B.A. degree in Political Science in 1971. While there, he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and as a Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) was commissioned as an Infantry Second Lieutenant in 1971. In 1979, Ward received his M.A. degree in Political Science from the Pennsylvania State University. He then went on to attend the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

Ward’s military service has included overseas tours in Korea, Egypt, Somalia, Bosnia, Israel, two tours in Germany, and a wide variety of assignments in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. His command and troop assignments include: Commander of 5th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 2nd Brigade at Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Commander of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York and during Operation Restore Hope in Mogadishu, Somalia; Assistant Division Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Commanding General 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army in Hawaii at the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii; Commander of the Stabilization Force during Operation Joint Forge in Sarajevo, Bosnia; and Deputy Commander U.S. European Command. His staff assignments include: Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C.; Deputy Director for Operations of the National Military Command Center in Washington, D.C.; Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation with Egypt in the American Embassy in Egypt; and Vice Director for Operations of the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C.

In 2005, Ward served as the Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, Europe and the Seventh Army. While in this capacity, he was selected by the Secretary of State to serve as the United States Security Coordinator, Israel-Palestinian Authority where he served from March of 2005 through December of 2005. Ward served as the inaugural Commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany from October 1, 2007 to March 8, 2011. Ward is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., the 100 Black Men of America, and the National Society of Pershing Rifles. He is also an honorary member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy club and was awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Morgan State University and Virginia State University.

Ward’s military honors include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Defense Superior Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Legion of Merit with Three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (with Six Oak Leaf Clusters), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters); the Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Expert Infantryman's Badge, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, and the Master Parachutist Badge.

Ward currently serves as the President and COO of SENTEL Corporation.

U.S. Army General William E. Ward was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.180

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/25/2013

Last Name

Ward

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Schools

Morgan State University

Pennsylvania State University

Army Command and General Staff College

U.S. Army War College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

WAR16

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Improve The Foxhole.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/3/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Alexandria

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peanut Butter

Short Description

General Gen. William Ward (1949 - ) Commander of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division during Operation Restore Hope in Mogadishu, Somalia, Commander 25th Infantry Division, Commander of the Stabilization Force during Operation Joint Forge in Sarajevo, Bosnia, US Security Coordinator in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the inaugural Commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany from 2007 to 2011. He currently serves as the President of SENTEL Corp.

Employment

United States Army

Stabilization Force, Operation Joint Forge

25th Infantry Division

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gen. William Ward's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward talks about his maternal grandfather's upbringing in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward talks about his mother's upbringing in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about his mother's education and her employment at the Social Security Administration

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward talks about his father's employment and aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gen. William Ward talks about his father's service as a combat engineer in World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gen. William Ward describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gen. William Ward describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gen. William Ward talks about his sister, Christina Ward Young

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Gen. William Ward talks about his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Gen. William Ward describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Gen. William Ward describes the neighborhood where he grew up in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward talks about his father building their family's home in Baltimore County, Maryland, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward talks about his father building their family's home in Baltimore County, Maryland, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward talks about the community's interest in sports in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about the community's interest in doo wop music

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience in the first grade in Baltimore County, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience in an integrated school system in the 1950s, and his family instilling self-confidence in him

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward talks about his interests in elementary school as well as the schools he attended

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward talks about his exposure to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward talks about his experience in elementary school in Towson, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward talks about his interests while growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward reflects about his non-military oriented childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about attending junior high school in the early 1960s, and meeting his wife in college

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward talks about his interest in political science, playing football, and running track in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward talks about being employed in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gen. William Ward talks about his social experience in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gen. William Ward talks about the poor career counseling that he received in high school, and his decision to attend Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward describes his decision to attend Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward describes his graduation from Towson Senior High School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward talks about his desire to become a lawyer while studying at Morgan State University, pt 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward talks about the influence of his teachers, Maxwell and Sandye Jean McIntyre, at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward talks about his desire to become a lawyer while studying at Morgan State University, pt 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about the reaction in Baltimore, Maryland, to Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward talks about being employed in college, and his experience in the political science department at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience in the ROTC program at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gen. William Ward talks about historian Benjamin Quarles and the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gen. William Ward talks about getting married and being commissioned into active duty in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army in 1971

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward talks about General Daniel "Chappie" James and General Benjamin Oliver Davis

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience on his first commission to the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, where he became a platoon leader

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward discusses disciplinary challenges within the U.S. Army during the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward discusses his assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea in 1974

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as a lieutenant in the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward talks about becoming a captain, going to graduate school, and teaching at the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward talks about his experience in the advanced infantry career course

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward talks about the Korean axe murder incident in 1976

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward describes his decision to attend graduate school at Penn State University, and to teach at the United States Military Academy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as an assistant professor of social sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward describes how he became Commander of the 5th Battalion, 9th Infantry

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as Commander of the 5th Battalion, 9th Infantry in Fort Wainwright, Alaska

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward talks about being selected for colonel, and becoming the brigade commander of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division in 1992

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience with the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division during relief efforts after Hurricane Andrew in 1992

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as part of the U.N. relief mission in Somalia in 1992

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward discusses the Battle of Mogadishu and Somali Civil War, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward discusses the Battle of Mogadishu and Somali Civil War, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward talks about his experience as the Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about his experience as the Deputy Director for Operations in the National Military Command Center

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward describes the ceremony where he was promoted to become a brigadier general in 1996

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as Assistant Division Commander for Support at Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation in Cairo, Egypt

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward talks about his assignment as the commander of the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward talks about his assignment as the Vice Director for Operations on the Joint Staff and after the 9/11 attack

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward talks about his principle of "improving the foxhole," and his experience at the Pentagon after 9/11

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as Commander of the NATO Force in Bosnia

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as United States Security Coordinator between the Israeli and Palestinian authority

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about his service as the deputy commander of EUCOM and as the inaugural commander of AFRICOM

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward talks about the formation of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward talks about the goals for the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward discusses the initial apprehension towards the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward discusses the initial reactions to his appointment as commander of AFRICON

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience in Africa as the commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward describes the highlights of his service as the inaugural commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward talks about his engineering leadership experience in the U.S. Army, and receiving the Black Engineer of the Year Award in 2010

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward discusses his retirement from the U.S. Army

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward talks about his life after retirement

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward reflects upon his life and career

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward talks about his family

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward talks about a lesson of accountability from his service in Korea

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward talks about his team philosophy

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Gen. William Ward narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

4$7

DATitle
William E. Ward talks about his interests while growing up
William E. Ward describes the ceremony where he was promoted to become a brigadier general in 1996
Transcript
Okay, now, in light of the fact that you achieved the rank of Four-Star General, were you exhibiting, or did you have--where did you exhibit leadership as a young fellow, growing up? I mean, I know you played sports. But were you in the Boy Scouts or were you in church organizations or, you know--How did you display, you know--?$$Yeah, I think I was--I was a Cub Scout for two years. And then I stopped that. And I don't recall exactly why, but I did stop that. You know, in my little community where we lived, there were probably six or seven of us guys, you know. And we would always play, you know, three-on-three, or four-on-three, football, basketball. I played Little League baseball. And I think, you know, neighborhood activity where we lived--before we moved into our house once my dad [Richard Isiah Ward] finished it--You know, we would do little organized games there, organized--I call them playground sports. Did a lot of that. I think that was my biggest, I guess, set of activities--the largest set of activities I engaged in that would later on culminate into what I eventually did. The YMCA [Young Men's Christian Association], you know, that's where I learned to swim, at the YMCA. You know I'd get on a bus and go downtown in Baltimore [Maryland] by myself to the YMCA on Saturdays and engage in the programs that the YMCA offered. My mom [Phyllis cashen Ward] wanted me--dad wanted me to do that. And I think that's probably the biggest thing. I did sing in a little church choir. But so did a lot of other guys. Obviously, we all did that. So, those are probably the most substantial things. There's really nothing about my childhood, quite frankly, that would automatically point to "Hey, this guy always wants to take charge and be in charge." That wasn't the case at all. I don't think that was, you know, something that was inherent in who I was, you know--anytime I'd get involved in something, I'm going to take charge, I'm in charge. (laughter) That wasn't it. You know--$$Okay. So, you couldn't spot you as a little general.$$No, no. Now, I did like to, you know, I think I've always been pretty organized. I mean, and I've got a cousin who will talk about me playing with little, you know, toy soldiers and things of that sort. I can recall, I used to play with trucks a lot, you know, and what not. In fact, I think, you know, as a youngster, one of the things that I talked about mostly was, you know, I liked to drive trucks, you know. I just was fascinated with trucks.$And being made Brigadier General in '96 [1996]. Now this, this is a big deal. I mean it's a big deal, I think, and we shouldn't gloss over it. What kind of a ceremony is it, and did your parents [Phyllis Cashen Ward and Richard Isiah Ward] get a chance to come in?$$My dad did not. My dad was too ill to make it. My mom was there, and obviously all the rest of my family. But the ceremony was a pretty special one. It was conducted by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, who was my boss. And done there in the Pentagon. A host of friends who I've known my entire life--family. And I think as I was delivering my comments--Once I'd been promoted, you know, I was evoking my dad. Because a lot, you know, certainly who I am and who I was on that day for sure, was reflective of who he was as a man and what I'd learned from him. And so I really was, you know, evoking all that. He was too ill at the time to be there, though. But I clearly made sure everyone knew that, you know, he clearly was a part of my life that was responsible for me having achieved what I had achieved. And basically, because of what he taught me about how to treat people. Because of--not what he said to me, but what I saw him do, and how I saw him treat people. And then clearly, you know, you acknowledge--you know, your family. And my wife [Joyce Lewis] and kids, you know, my mom's sister and aunts, uncles and cousins, and also friends. But the important--you know, the teammates that I served with over those years--the non-commissioned officers [NCOs], the soldiers, all those folks who have been a part of my experiences in my various units, and what they had done to help the teams that I've been a part of, to be successful. And by acknowledging all of that, it was a big part of it. So, yeah, it's a big deal. It's a big deal, a huge step. One that--you know, when I look back on my days at Morgan [State University, Baltimore, Maryland], even my days as a lieutenant in the 82nd [Airborne Division], you're never thinking that you would achieve that, because clearly I didn't. I know there are some who say, yeah, I just did all these things. But, just never me. I mean, things happen over time and you get selected for a school, and you do it well. And you're able to command a formation. And that happens because you have some great teammates. So, yes, giving thanks for all that. You know, and certainly you're being thankful to the Almighty for all the care that he's provided as you go through all the stages. I talked about being in these various assignments, in Korea. You know, being so cold in Korea as a young captain walking those ridges, checking on my people--I think I'm going to die, I'm so cold. You can't feel your feet, your hands, your ears. Just absolutely, just chilling, chilling cold. You know, being in Germany there before the Cold War hit, you know, there in that mechanized brigade--Knowing that if something happens and the war goes off, your first line is to move, is to march east to stop the invaders that are coming from the east. And you're there, you know, training and preparing for that. You know, in Somalia, as a brigade commander--you know, doing what I did there--knowing that anytime you go out on this mission, you send your soldiers out, you know, they may not come back. You go out, and you're just as vulnerable as they are. And so, when you look at those experiences and you say to yourself, well, why is it that you get through it? Well, you train for it. You have teammates that you count on, that you can depend on, those old stories that you've heard about so much, you know. Why do you do this? You do this for your buddy to your left and to your right. And that is the same true echelon. It doesn't matter how senior you are, or how junior you are. I can recall being in Somalia on one occasion there. And I had a, you know, my driver and my vehicle and, you know a security guard had a machine gun. And we're both under this Humvee, you know, being shot at. And he looks at me, and I look at him. And I said, "I sure hope that machine gun you got got bullets in it." He said, "Sir, this got bullets, and I hope that rifle you got has bullets." "I got bullets, too." He said, "Well, we're both in this thing together." So, that, when you get in those types of situations, it doesn't matter what rank you are, you're still a human being first and foremost. And so, you apply that to all that you do. First and foremost, you start off with human beings. So when I got that, you know, that star--And I'll always remember, I had received a gift from a good friend. And he kind of described to me the points of that star, what each of them meant. And I kind of took that--I said, that's right. This star doesn't belong to Kip Ward. This star belongs to everyone who's been responsible for what Kip Ward is. And each point belongs to one of them. And I talk about my family, my teammates, my God--those things that have contributed to me receiving the star. And then the final one was mine. When you look at it, you know, this star belongs to the combination of all these people--all these events that have gone on in your career to enable you to have achieved this particular milestone. And so, and that's the way I thought about every one of them, you know. Every one--I say these aren't mine. These belong to those who I've been fortunate enough to serve with, and have been fortunate enough and blessed enough so that, you know, the things that I have done have contributed to making the team better. And in doing the best that I could do, to cause what they have done, to make them better as well. And that's what it's about for me. And so, that first ceremony, that first promotion that I had as a brigadier general, that's--those were the things that were, you know, flooding through my mind at that point in time.$$Okay.

Gen. Vincent Brooks

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.

Accession Number

A2013.171

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/21/2013

Last Name

Brooks

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Keith

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

United States Military Academy

Jesuit College Preparatory High School

U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies

Harvard Kennedy School

Thomas Jefferson High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Vincent

Birth City, State, Country

Anchorage

HM ID

BRO56

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Alaska

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Hawaii

Birth Date

10/24/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Fort Shafter

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

General Gen. Vincent Brooks (1958 - ) graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point where he became the first African American cadet in the school’s history to be named cadet brigade commander. His family is the only African American family in U.S. history with three generals in two generations. Brooks currently commands U.S. Army Pacific.

Employment

United States Army

United States Department of Defense

Favorite Color

Royal Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:7734,178:14400,250:15673,273:21435,426:29710,554:44896,798:61066,1103:66690,1218:80600,1406$920,0:15440,266:34635,547:35085,554:35835,563:47734,746:59000,958:70724,1134:77648,1249:83732,1362:97387,1489:98572,1513:104350,1608:136330,1955:143604,2073:143974,2079:157438,2309:174647,2622:176920,2677
DAStories

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

DASession

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Vincent Brook talks about his paternal family's involvement with the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia
Vincent Brooks talks about his maternal family's involvement in the seminary
Transcript
Slavery is not part of that line [Brooks' paternal family]. Entrepreneurship is, and so whether it was running painting companies or bus companies and--or assisting underground railroad or helping to build Alfred Street Baptist Church, which is the first African American church in downtown Alexandria [Virginia]. It split away from the First Baptist Church of Alexandria. And they just celebrated 200 years together a few years ago. My father's [Leo Brooks, Sr.] a, an emeritus deacon there, by the way, and most of my mother's [Naomi Lewis Brooks] siblings got married in that church over the years. My mother's mother's family, the Quanders, had historic roots there. But so did the Brooks as it turns out, right there in Alexandria, Virginia, huge church now. It's a mega church, but it wasn't all those years. But it was the foundation of the community, the educators of the community all attended that church, way back in the 1800s.$$Okay, this is, once again, this Mount Calvary?$$Yet another church.$$There's another--(unclear) (simultaneous)$$There are several churches that are really important to my family.$$So the one in Alexandria is what?$$Alfred Street--$$Alfred Street.$$--Alfred, A-L-F-R-E-D Street Baptist Church.$$Baptist, okay.$$And it is right at the intersection of Alfred and Duke [streets] in Alexandria. It's unmistakable right now, 'cause it now takes up several blocks.$This, the Lewis family has quite a few stories as well. I mean there're many, many more I could tell you about. You know, really, one of them that I have to at least open the door to, and we can talk about more if you want to, that area of Seminary, there're some interesting confluence of history and how they manifest themselves. This will open the door to several more questions for you. As I mentioned, my grandfather [James] Lewis [Jr.], and his father's [James Lewis] family were up in the Seminary area. Most of the men in that family worked somehow, related to the Episcopal seminary, whether they were running the boiler room, and we had a relative who did that or if they were doing custodial services or what have you, as was the case in Virginia in that era, the famous Jim Crowe era, it was menial work that they were doing. But they were able to earn a living doing that and take care of their families which were very large right then. Just beyond the Seminary is a place called Fort Ward, W-A-R-D. It's now a historic park, but on the outside edge of Fort Ward is a cemetery, just tucked off on the side. And it's the cemetery for Oakland Baptist Church that I mentioned, which is maybe a half a mile away from there. Now, it's all closed out in woods and housing areas, but that used to be a pathway that would go from Oakland Baptist Church over to the Fort Ward Cemetery. And inside of there are many, many, many layers of my family. So that's where several great grand, and great, great grand relatives are located. And in coming back to the Seminary, the strange confluence that I talked about there, my wife's grandfather was also a cleric. He was Episcopal priest, an African American Episcopal [AME] priest in a time of segregation.$$What was his name?$$His, Odell Greenleaf Harris from North Carolina, from Henderson, North Carolina. And ultimately, he was able to break the color line in the Episcopal Seminary at that very same place, Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. And so on one side, my grandfather and great grandfather and relatives were keeping the facility going. Then ultimately, my wife's grandfather was able to break the color line on--he's got books that are documented. He wrote about it, one was called, 'It Can Be Done', and it's in the library there at the Episcopal Seminary. My mother-in-law helped to get that published years ago. This is just the strange way that life guides us.$$Yeah, this is, this is something. It's remarkable (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$I mean my roots in Virginia are so deep and so broad that it's really, it's fascinating, I mean I could talk about it forever.

Col. Edward Howard

U.S. Army Colonel Edward B. Howard was born on September 13, 1925 in Washington, D.C. His father, Edward W. Howard, was an attorney; his mother, Edith B. Howard, an English teacher. Howard attended Grimke Elementary School and Garnet Patterson Jr. High School before graduating as valedictorian from Paul Laurence Dunbar Sr. High School in Washington, D.C. in 1943. He then attended Dartmouth College from 1943 to 1945 before being selected to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Howard went on to earn his B.S. degree in engineering from West Point in 1949 and his M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1960.

Throughout his thirty years of service, Howard has significant experience with engineering investigations and technical analysis. Howard began his military career in 1949 as a company grade officer, and was then assigned as a signal company commander occupying Germany until 1962. During the Vietnam War he received domestic and international assignments. Howard served as a communications officer in the National Military Command Center at Pentagon and then as an installation commander and staff officer in Bangkok, Thailand where he managed a program to train Thai engineers and directed a fixed communications facility. In 1971, Howard became chief the Frequency Branch in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and in 1973, he was assigned to the board of the Inspector General of the U.S. Army.

Howard served as a signal corps officer from 1967 to 1979 and then became a senior engineer for Flight Systems, Inc. While there, he recommended the criteria for prioritizing the U.S. Navy Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) and developed the U.S. Navy standard briefing for subcontractor manufacturing. From 1983 to 1990, Howard received several senior-level military and civilian appointments, including being named a senior scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and the Army Corps of Engineers. He also provided engineering support the RAIL Company to develop the Unmanned Air Vehicle and Tactical Air Launched Decoy production models. In 1970, he was hired by ORI, Inc., and served as the lead engineer to review the Electromagnetic Interference/Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMI/EMC) plans, specification and program documents.

Howard is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the Dartmouth Outing Club, and Methodist Men. For serving in the U.S. Army during a time of war, Howard was honored with the World War II Victory Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. His military decorations also include the Combat Infantry Badge, the Army Occupation Medal (Germany), the National Defense Medal with the 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with the 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, the Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Howard married the late Willrene M. White Howard on April 8, 1950. They have one daughter, Edith H. Bostic.

Edward B. Howard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 23, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.147

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/23/2013

Last Name

Howard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Occupation
Schools

Grimke School

Shaw Middle School @ Garnet Patterson

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Dartmouth College

United States Military Academy

Purdue University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Edward

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

HOW05

Favorite Season

Holiday Season

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/13/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

6/20/2017

Short Description

General Col. Edward Howard (1925 - 2017 ) is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Employment

ORI, Inc

Rail Company

Science and Technology Program

Flight Systems, Inc

United States Army

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1618,30:3340,99:4488,114:5226,125:5636,131:32886,205:68880,543:69510,551:80084,603:86004,622:112610,908:112910,913:124138,995:124600,1002:137302,1101:138394,1115:139720,1204:140500,1221:162691,1377:163923,1407:164231,1442:185750,1537:188170,1579:212058,1714:233618,1944:234013,1950:236530,1971:256684,2109:257860,2116:266640,2174:269133,2205:276290,2263:285153,2309:285843,2359:298216,2481:309374,2551:313356,2596:313700,2601:314560,2615:315506,2625:319204,2728:327402,2781:327714,2827:328572,2846:329196,2857:331536,3032:337874,3139:355418,3316:357138,3361:366544,3503:370720,3534:377770,3626$0,0:48508,429:56854,543:107695,795:150070,1084:155950,1342:165364,1399:195286,1558:196087,1572:206486,1654:239940,1949
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Edward Howard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Edward Howard lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Edward Howard describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Edward Howard talks about his mother's education and her becoming a teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Edward Howard talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Edward Howard talks about his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Edward Howard talks about his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Edward Howard talks about growing up in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Edward Howard describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Edward Howard talks about his childhood interest in the soapbox derby and tinkering with gadgets

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Edward Howard talks about starting grade school at Grimke Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Edward Howard talks about his experience in elementary school in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Edward Howard talks about going to church as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Edward Howard talks about attending middle school in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Edward Howard describes his experience in high school in Washington, D.C., as a high school cadet

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Edward Howard talks about his interest in becoming a medical doctor, and his joining the United States Military Academy, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Edward Howard talks about his interest in becoming a medical doctor, and his joining the United States Military Academy, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Edward Howard talks about boxing champion Joe Louis

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Edward Howard describes his decision to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Edward Howard describes his initial experience at the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Edward Howard describes his experience at Dartmouth College and at the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Edward Howard describes his interest in photography and staying free of demerits at the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Edward Howard talks about his experience at the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Edward Howard talks about attending Ground General School at Fort Riley, Kansas, and the integration of the armed services in 1948

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Edward Howard describes how he met his wife and they were married in 1950

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Edward Howard describes his experience in the U.S. Army Signal Corp in Korea in the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Edward Howard describes his experience in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Korea in the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Edward Howard talks about attending Purdue University to obtain his master's degree in electrical engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Edward Howard talks about serving on the Army Discharge Review Board

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Edward Howard talks about his service in the U.S. Army and his retirement as a full colonel in 1979

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Edward Howard talks about his medals and commendations in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Edward Howard talks about attending West Point class luncheons

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Edward Howard talks about his career as an electrical engineer after retiring from the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Edward Howard reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Edward Howard talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Edward Howard describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Edward Howard talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Edward Howard describes his photographs

DASession

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Edward Howard describes his interest in photography and staying free of demerits at the United States Military Academy at West Point
Edward Howard describes his experience in the U.S. Army Signal Corp in Korea in the 1950s
Transcript
What was your--did you have a favorite part of West Point [United States Military Academy], I mean something that really was great that you liked the most about West Point?$$Well, I don't know of anything that, considered a favorite. I, I know I started a series of photographs. Photography was one of my hobbies, so I would put--each week, essentially, I would have a new picture on the bulletin board. And sometimes, I would have them indicate something and ask for a suggested title. I know that I borrowed a Great Dane from one of the faculty members. And I had a fellow who had his full dress uniform show, have that on his arm. We had the dog, he was holding a roll in his hand, and I used that as the barker (unclear) rule in the "Tales of Hoffman." So his name was Hoffman, and that was how, I mean I would ask, put these--as I say, put these pictures on the board, usually on a weekly basis, some significant event or something humorous or whatever you wanna call it.$$Okay, did people like your photos for the most part?$$Oh, I think so, yes.$$Okay, all right, so--okay, what was the worst time at West Point? Was there a time when you thought you weren't gonna make or a time that you thought that you were gonna get in trouble or did get in trouble or--$$It doesn't ring a bell.$$So you never experienced any real, you know, down times or--$$No.$$Okay, and what would you think would be your great triumph at West Point?$$Greatest?$$Triumph.$$Triumph?$$Yeah.$$I guess I stayed essentially demerit free. I didn't get into any problems of demerits or academic problems or anything so that, I could sweat easily. And when you're showing signs of putting out, as they called it, I would give the impression that I was putting out. So by perspiring under pressure, I just managed to survive, so to speak.$$I don't understand that, now, kind of explain that again for us?$$Well, as I say, you wanted, when you're a plebe, your first year, you wanna show that you're absorbing what they want you to get. So by showing that I would, when I would perspire and give--it made it look as if I was really trying to do the right thing. And it lessened any severe treatment that I would get not putting out.$$Okay, so--$$So--$$Go ahead.$$Well, as I say that's, that was showing that you were taking everything that they're giving you. I could show that I was trying to do what I was told to do. So I didn't have any academic, any demerit problems or anything like that from not trying to follow instructions.$$Okay, so if they gave you an instruction, and you were--and if you didn't show that you were sweating, they would, it would indicate that you weren't trying hard enough.$$Um-hum, yeah.$$But you could sweat easier--$$Yes, so--$$So (laughter), it always looked like you were trying.$$(Laughter) Yeah.$$Now, this is a, I guess would be a racial kind of characteristic that--I think African Americans actually sweat easier than white people.$$Oh.$$And I, you know, I'm not a scientist but life has indicated to me that that's true, pretty much. I used to go to band camp, and they used to pass out salt pills to all the white people 'cause they would pass out on the field, 'cause they couldn't--they didn't sweat like me. But I sweated a lot. I never needed it.$$(Laughter).$$But the, it's--so this is something that you can do (laughter) that kept you out of big trouble?$$Yes, I think so.$$'Cause it always looked like you were trying much harder--$$Yeah.$$--because you sweated easier.$$Um-hum.$$But you were trying, though, right?$$Oh, yes.$$Anyway, so, okay. That's interesting, that's interesting.$And I have here--I don't know what comes next exactly, but what I have here is that you were assigned to Camp Cooke in California, is that right?$$(OFF-CAMERA VOICE): Assigned to Fort Monmouth, then he went to--$$Oh, okay, he's goes--okay, you go to Korea first, right?$$(No audible response).$$No, okay. What was the first?$$(OFF-CAMERA VOICE): I think he was assigned to Fort Monmouth and from Fort Monmouth, he was sent to Korea 'cause he went to Korea within six months of his marriage.$$All right, so.$$(OFF-CAMERA VOICE): He goes to Korea in '50 [1950], '51 [1951].$$Yeah, so I'm hearing that you went to Fort Monmouth [New Jersey] and then to Korea, right?$$Yes.$$Is that true?$$Yes.$$Okay, and you're--now, you were in the Signal Corp--$$Signal Corp, um-hum.$$--in Korea. What were your duties as a Signal Corpsman in Korea?$$We, I had the communications element of the division. The division's Signal officer was a Lieutenant Colonel, and I had the wire platoon, wire communications in those days. We did a lot of field wire installations and that sort of thing. We, that is cable to various units we supported, and I recall the unfortunate incident where the division Signal officer was traveling with some of my people, and we had these two and a half ton trucks with wire cable. The trouble, the problems were with mines mostly, whereby a mine was struck by one of the vehicles that I had and the Signal officer was traveling with some people in a jeep. I was in another jeep, and this cable, two and a half ton truck, hit a mine which didn't do too much damage, but the jeep where the Signal officer was, was--when they heard this other instance, when he heard the trouble, he backed up, and he backed over a mine. And that took out the Signal officer and one of my drivers, I believe, was with him and everything. So that they lost their lives in that incident--$$Okay.$$--which was a bit unnerving, so to speak.$$Yes, sir.