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Col. Norman McDaniel

Retired United States Air Force Colonel Norman A. McDaniel was born on July 27, 1937 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The son of sharecroppers Fannie Marie and Clyde Oliver McDaniel, he graduated as the valedictorian of the Armstrong High School Class of 1955. He attended North Carolina A&T State University, participated in the AFROTC program, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force (AF) upon receiving his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in June, 1959.

After entering AF Active Duty, McDaniel completed a series of military trainings. From 1961 to 1964, he served in the 23rd Bomb Squadron at Travis AFB, California, and then, was assigned as a Sub-Systems Program Manager on the F-111 Aircraft Development Program at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. In 1966, McDaniel was assigned to Takhli Air Base (AB) in Thailand, where he flew combat missions over North Vietnam. On July, 20, 1966, McDaniel and four of his five crew members became prisoners of war (POWs) when their plane was shot down. While a POW, he was promoted to the rank of Major and was awarded the AF Silver Star for valor and leadership in the POW camps. As one of over 700 American POWs held by North Vietnam, McDaniel was released on February 12, 1973, as part of Operation Homecoming. After returning from Vietnam, he completed the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia and graduate school at the Florida Institute of Technology (earning his M.S. degree in systems management). Between 1975 and 1987, McDaniel completed tours of duty as a System Program Staff officer at AF Systems Command, Andrews AFB, Maryland. He also served as Division Chief for Congressional Activities and Acquisition Policy at Headquarters USAF, the Pentagon; commander of AFROTC at Howard University in Washington, DC; commander of the Air Force Survival Training Wing in Spokane, Washington; and as Assistant Deputy to the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (AD,DUSD) for International Programs and Foreign Disclosure Policy, the Pentagon. During that period, McDaniel also completed the Naval War College, Senior Program at Newport, Rhode Island. After retiring from active duty in 1988, he worked in the defense industry. From 1991 to 2006, McDaniel was a Faculty Member, Department Head, and Associate Dean at the Defense Acquisition University in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. He currently works for himself as a motivational speaker, and part-time, as a Facilitator of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) helping men and women separating or retiring from U.S. military services to succeed in their transition from military to civilian life.

On September 18, 1998, McDaniel served as the keynote speaker at the Pentagon's celebration of National POW/MIA Recognition Day in honor of all of the former POWs, unaccounted for service members and civilians, and their families. McDaniel's military honors, include the Silver Star for Valor, three Legions of Merit, Bronze Star with "V" Valor Device, three Distinguished Flying Crosses (the POW medal), the Purple Heart and the Vietnam Service Medal with fourteen bronze stars. McDaniel is married to Jean Carol (Breeze) McDaniel. They have two children, Christopher and Crystal, and four grandchildren

Norman A. McDaniel was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 8, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.052

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/8/2012 |and| 6/18/2012

Last Name

McDaniel

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Armstrong High School

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Florida Institute of Technology

Virginia Technical University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Norman

Birth City, State, Country

Fayetteville

HM ID

MCD06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida, the Beaches, Mountains in the Summer

Favorite Quote

Make the best of today because today is all you have.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

7/27/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Dessert

Short Description

Colonel (retired) Col. Norman McDaniel (1937 - ) served in the United States Air Force for twenty eight and one half years, achieving the rank of Colonel. He was one of the few African American POWs during the Vietnam War and earned (among many decorations) a Silver Star of Valor for his leadership.

Employment

Inverness Technologies Facilitation

Motivation Assistance Corps

Defense Acquisition University

United States Air Force

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Norman McDaniel's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about his grandfather seeing Union soldiers pass through Fayetteville, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel describes his father's work as a sharecropper

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Norman McDaniel talks about his older siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel talks about his younger siblings, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel talks about his younger siblings, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel describes how his parents met and talks about the rural, black school system

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel talks about the break-up of his family

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel describes his earliest childhood memory and the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about his schools

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel talks about the military as a viable career track for African American men

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel comments on his high school experience and attending church in North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel talks about the revival meetings he attended at his church when he was a boy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel talks about his interest in engineering and joining the U.S. Air Force ROTC

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel talks about his family members who served in the military and the high school he attended

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel talks about the various jobs he had in high school and his parents' separation

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel talks about where he lived during his parents' separation and graduating from the U.S. Air Force ROTC

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about his teachers and mentors from college, the Civil Rights Movement and going into active duty

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel talks about his training in the U.S Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel discusses the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and his wedding anniversary

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel tells the story of how he and his wife met

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel describes the U.S. Air Force's B-52 bomber planes

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel speaks about his assignments at Travis Air Force Base and Wright Patterson Air Force Base

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel talks about being assigned to Takhli Air Force Base to fly combat missions over North Vietnam

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel describes flying in combat missions on the EB-66C, a medium-sized bomber

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel gives his impressions of Thailand

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel talks about his experience in flight combat on an EB-66B aircraft with a six-person crew, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel talks about his experience in flight combat on an EB-66B aircraft with a six-person crew, pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel explains the purpose of electronic reconnaissance

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel describes being captured by Vietnamese soldiers

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel talks about his survival in a North Vietnamese POW camp, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about his survival in a North Vietnamese POW camp, pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Norman McDaniel's interview

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel describes the Vietnamese soldier's interrogation tactics, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel describes the Vietnamese soldier's interrogation tactics, pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel talks about how the U.S. Army prisoners at the North Vietnamese POW camp organized themselves

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel explains his position on the Vietnam War

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel discusses the ex-Vietnam POW's review of the U.S. Army Code of Conduct

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel explains how his love for his family helped him withstand torture at the North Vietnamese POW camp

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel describes his incarceration at the POW camp in North Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel describes how he was tortured at the POW camp in North Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel comments on how his survival training prepared him for his experience as a POW in Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel talks about what happened to his combat flight crew after their plane went down in Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel explains the types of information his Vietnamese interrogators wanted

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel discusses the number of African American POWs in the Vietnam War

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel tells a story about black and white prisoners at the POW camp in Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about prison life at the Vietnamese POW camp after the Paris Peace Talks

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel describes the prison facility in Vietnam where he was incarcerated

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel describes the food the prisoners ate at the Vietnamese POW camp. pt.1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel describes the food the prisoners ate at the Vietnamese POW camp, pt.2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel discusses the differences in the way prisoners were treated in North and South Vietnam

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel talks about U.S. soldiers' response to capture in Vietnam and a package mistakenly given to him at the POW camp

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel talks about the photos his wife received of him while he was incarcerated in the Vietnamese POW camp

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel remarks on the length of his captivity in Vietnam

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel discusses the long range effects of his capture and torture in Vietnam

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel describes how his faith in God helped him survive incarceration in the Vietnamese POW camp

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel talks about the crisis of faith he experienced during his captivity in Vietnam

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel describes his release from the Vietnamese POW camp in 1973, pt.1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel describes his release from the Vietnamese POW camp in 1973, pt.2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel talks about his return to the United States from Vietnam

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel discusses his adjustment to civilian life

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel speaks about disciplining his children after being held captive in Vietnam

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel discusses returning to college and his career training U.S. Air Force air crew members, pt.1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Norman McDaniel discusses returning to college and his career training U.S. Air Force air crew members, pt.2

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel discusses his work as Commander of the U.S. Air Force ROTC at Howard University

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel shares highlights from his career in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Norman McDaniel discusses his professional work and activities, following his retirement from active duty in 1988

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Norman McDaniel recites a poem he wrote during his incarceration in the Vietnamese POW camp

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Norman McDaniel reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Norman McDaniel talks about his experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, pt.1

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Norman McDaniel talks about his experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, pt.2

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Norman McDaniel talks about learning how to manage his post-traumatic stress disorder

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Norman McDaniel describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community and shares how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$9

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Norman McDaniel talks about his training in the U.S Air Force
Norman McDaniel describes his release from the Vietnamese POW camp in 1973, pt.2
Transcript
Alright, so when you were commissioned, uh, you went right to training and you went to California first?$$No, what happened was I, when I went on active duty, I went to, I was going to navigator training. So, I went to Lackman Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas for two weeks for what they call navigator pre-flight training. And once I finished those two weeks at Lackman Air Force Base in San Antonio, I actually took my basic navigator training at James Connelly Air Force Base in Waco, Texas. So, I went up to Waco, Texas and was up there for about ten months. I completed navigator training there and this was then in the spring of 1960. Now, once you complete basic navigator training, at that time you had a choice to either go into navigator work in the transport airplanes as a navigator, or you could go to radar intercept officer training at that time with the Air Defense Command, where you'd be the back-seater of the fighter interceptors that protected the United States at that time. You know, Captain Chaney was the head of that for awhile there in the 70's. Um, or you could go into what they called bombardier upgrade training. That is, you would go to Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento, California and upgrade to the B-52's and those kinds, where you would be the bombardier. Or, the fourth choice was you could go to electronic warfare officer training at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. Because I had a mechanical engineering background, technical background, I chose to go into electronic warfare. So, in the spring of 1960 I left James Connelly Air Force Base in Waco, Texas and moved to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi where I stayed for almost a year, well, about nine months going through electronic warfare training. Now, once you completed electronic officer warfare training, you would be assigned to fly in the B-52's and the B-58's, I guess--the B-58's, or the B-47's. They had some B-47's at that time. And depending on where you graduated in the class, they had a certain number of assignments available, but you could get your pick depending on how high you ranked in the class. And I wanted B-52's, so I chose the B-52's. And so, in the spring of 1961, uh, I was assigned to Travis Air Force Base [Fairfield, California] in the B-52-G aircraft. But, by way of going to Travis, we went through about three months of what they call combat crew training at Castle Air Force Base in Merced, California. And after completing that combat crew training in the B-52's, then I moved on to Travis Air Force Base, where I performed as an electronics warfare officer in the B-52-G's, from the summer of 1961 until the summer of 1964. Now, in the B-52's, you had a pilot and a co-pilot up front. You had a navigator, a regular navigator, and a radar bombardier in the back downstairs. And then you had an electronic warfare officer and a gunner position we set up top behind the pilots. And so, that's how I performed. We went on training missions. We, at that time had to pull nuclear alert, because at that time we were afraid that the Soviet Union might try something. And we would spend about ten to twelve days a month--we would be sitting on nuclear alert. And that is where you're in a position, if you've got an emergency war order to launch, you had to launch and be off the ground in two or three minutes. And we had designated targets to hit. Um, we, the plan was to re-fuel while you were in flight, but we had designated targets in the Soviet Union to hit, and you would hit those targets. Now, they told us that we would have enough fuel after we hit our targets to go to a safe landing, but I'm not sure that was the case. I think they just wanted us to hit the targets, because I think we probably would have run out of fuel somewhere along the way. But, um, that was part of our responsibility. And we also flew something we call nuclear alert missions about twice a month, called chrome domes. Those were 24-hour nuclear alert missions, where you'd go up and you would stay airborne, because see, we didn't want the Soviet Union to catch us with all of our planes and weapons and bombs and ammunition on the ground. So, we would fly. And our route, we'd take off from Travis Air Force Base about 5:00 in the afternoon. We'd fly from the west coast to the east coast, fly up the east coast up over Iceland, up across Alaska, back over to the west coast, and fly back down the west coast from Washington State on down, and it was 24-hour missions. That was interesting. One other quick thing about that is that I was sitting on nuclear alert when the late President [John F.] Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.$Okay. We were released in groups of 125 in 1973, between February and April. And, uh, we were released in the order of capture. Those captured first were released first, those captured last were released last. Well, the first release was from Everett Alvarez, August, 1964, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, to Ken North, an F-105 pilot that was shot down in September of 1966. That put my crew, these five members of my crew, about 12 or so, from the end of that group, from the last part of that group. It turned out when we found out that we were included in that first group, we also discovered that some of the fellow prisoners who had some illnesses or some long-standing things wrong with them who needed to come out with the very first group that came out, were not included in that list. They just took them strictly by the date of shoot down and capture. So, we were a little bold then. We felt we could argue with the captains a little bit. (laughter). So, we started agitating for them to add those people to the list who needed to come out first, um, since a lot of them were not included on that list. So, what the North Vietnamese did, instead of just benevolently adding those to the list, for each person they added to the list, they took one off. So, a couple of days before we were actually released, uh, they had cut my crew in half. Uh, three of us came back with the first group on February 12, 1973. The other group came back, the other two came back about ten days later with the next group. Now, one of the things that upset the pilot, our aircraft commander Bill Means, was that he said "Well, we all went down together, and we all should come back together." But that's the way we came back. Now, when we were released, we were taken from the prison camp, uh, early on the morning of release, to Gia Lam Airport which is the airport there in Hanoi [Vietnam]. And then the United States--uh, North Vietnam allowed the United States military to fly C-141 medical evacuation planes into Gia Lam Airport to pick us up, to take us back. So, we all were bussed from the prison camp to Gia Lam Airport. And then, uh, there was a little exchange table set up. You had the Vietnamese on one side, and the U.S. on the other side. And so, as the Vietnamese would identify us and call our names, and make the marks on the record, then they would hand us over to the Americans. I will never will forget the full colonel, I forget his name, but I never will forget the face. Boy, one of the faces I liked more than anything I ever saw in the world. It was just such a nice thing, to see a friendly face. So, uh, then they handed us over to the U.S., shook our hands, put us on the plane and then we flew out. There were three planeloads that came out in that first group of 125, and, uh, it wasn't until we broke ground heading out of Gia Lam back to the Philippines, that we really felt like we were out of there. Now, when we took off, everybody was quiet. And then when the plane got airborne, everybody just yelled. The nurses and the medics were all happy to see us. Now, again, uh, I participated in the euphoria and all that, and the celebration, but I didn't feel anything. I knew we were coming out, but I didn't feel a thing. So, when we got to the Philippines, what happened was we landed at the Philippines. They kept us at the Philippines, in the Philippines, at the hospital at Clark Air Base, for two, three, four days depending on what your medical situation was. They wanted to check, evaluate you, see if you didn't have any contagious diseases, see that you weren't so crazy that they couldn't bring you back to the States, and all that. And then after two or three days there, depending on the individual, they then flew us on back to the States by way of Hawaii.

Col. Eugene Scott

A dynamic leader and manager, Colonel Eugene Frederick Scott was born October 14, 1939 in Miami, Florida. Raised in Chicago, he attended A.D. Sexton Elementary School and Englewood High School where he was a sharpshooter in the ROTC. Scott graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, Florida in 1957. He continued in ROTC at Florida A&M University where he graduated with a B.A. in political science in 1961. Scott entered the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant in 1962.

In Germany, he commanded tank forces and was the principal staff officer for Training and Operations for the 8th Infantry Division Combat Ready Forces. Scott was responsible for the training of 27,000 soldiers. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam from 1965 to 1966 and from 1969 to 1971. Scott completed his twenty-eight year military career as a Post Commander for two major U.S. Army installations with budgets in excess of $200 million. Scott, a favorite of General Norman Swartzkopf, retired just prior to the Gulf War in 1990.

After retirement Scott joined Sengstacke Enterprises as executive assistant to John H.H. Sengstacke. Scott managed the company’s five newspapers and for more than ten years, he served as general manager and publisher of the Chicago Daily Defender. In this capacity and in retirement, Scott has served on a number of boards and committees including: Bronzeville Military Academy; the Illinois Military Flags Commission; the Governor’s Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes; the Attorney General’s African American Advisory Committee; the National Advisory Committee of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois; the Chicago Area Boy Scouts; and as Chairman of the National African American Military Museum.

Accession Number

A2003.282

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/1/2003

Last Name

Scott

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Englewood High School

Booker T. Washington High School

Austin O. Sexton Elementary School

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Eugene

Birth City, State, Country

Miami

HM ID

SCO01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

It Could Always Be Done.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/14/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Colonel (retired) Col. Eugene Scott (1939 - ) served as a post commander for two major U.S. Army installations, and later joined Sengstacke Enterprises as general manager and publisher of the Chicago Daily Defender.

Employment

United States Army

Sengstacke Enterprises

Chicago Defender

Favorite Color

Tan

Timing Pairs
0,0:1952,27:2240,32:5984,113:9728,179:10016,184:20721,282:22302,331:22767,337:46009,558:47305,612:51274,733:56458,872:77770,1027:78670,1048:85641,1115:86199,1122:92058,1198:105775,1418:106423,1428:119710,1591:142572,1817:143830,1832:144348,1840:144866,1851:145236,1857:146716,1890:147012,1895:169980,2215:170380,2221:173100,2248:173420,2253:180349,2354:192125,2500:202440,2618:219260,2841:225476,2903:226345,2912:226661,2917:228952,2963:237702,3061:238458,3071:239382,3090:251324,3271:252983,3290:253615,3299:261120,3414:273290,3547:274005,3564:274655,3575:286417,3748:287635,3769:290650,3798$0,0:8630,176:9190,184:25820,405:35738,612:36086,617:58950,913:59302,918:70422,1053:72438,1088:76218,1167:80334,1225:114350,1581:114890,1590:140996,1915:145284,2003:146564,2025:151752,2069:176345,2442:186185,2537:186640,2546:202675,2884:214828,2972:216346,3017:218623,3082:227874,3223:235050,3300:245340,3668:287822,4288:291512,4351:294546,4400:302205,4487:305055,4547:306180,4571:311952,4612:350140,5130
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Col. Eugene Scott's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Col. Eugene Scott lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about his maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about his maternal family's high level of education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his father, Eugene Scott

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Col. Eugene Scott describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Col. Eugene Scott describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his childhood experience of racial discrimination in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about his childhood years in Chicago, including his experiences at the 1952 nominating conventions

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about his uncle's family

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about his experiences in the ROTC as a student at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about his experience at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about his early dreams of becoming a lawyer

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his experience at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about the challenge of raising a young family while a college student

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his transition from the ROTC at Florida A&M University to a tank platoon leader in Fort Riley, Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about working as a platoon commander at Fort Riley, Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about being sent to Vietnam as an infantryman

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his first encounter with enemy fire in Vietnam

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his experiences with Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his experiences of racial discrimination in the military

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about his postings between two tours of duty in Vietnam

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his second tour of duty in Vietnam

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about fraggings and unrest amongst soldiers during the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about the performance and treatment of black soldiers during the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about politics of the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his return to the United States after the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about teaching leadership at Fort Knox in Kentucky

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about notable students he taught at Fort Knox including General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about HistoryMaker Colin Powell's relationship with U.S. Army General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Col. Eugene Scott reflects upon highlights of his military career

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about the fall of the Berlin Wall

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his transition to the Chicago Defender after retiring from the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about John H.H. Sengstacke and The Chicago Defender

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about the health of The Chicago Defender and its owner, John H.H. Sengstacke

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about what he did to attract talent to the Chicago Defender

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about issues exacerbated by the Chicago Defender's daily distribution model

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about factors behind the decline of the Chicago Defender

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about the Becker-Gould police brutality case and the Chicago Defender's role

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Col. Eugene Scott describes successful growth strategies he implemented at The Chicago Defender

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about endorsing political candidates and partnering with grassroots organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about notable journalists at the Chicago Defender

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about the sale of the Chicago Defender after the death of John H.H. Sengstacke

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about what he would do if he was still in charge of the Chicago Defender

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about his work at Chicago Defender Charities

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about the Bud Billiken Parade

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about the reward of working for The Chicago Defender

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Col. Eugene Scott describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Col. Eugene Scott reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Col. Eugene Scott talks about the National African American Military Museum

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Col. Eugene Scott talks about his experiences in the ROTC as a student at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois
Col. Eugene Scott describes his transition to the Chicago Defender after retiring from the U.S. Army
Transcript
Okay so well tell me about high school now. You started high school here in Chicago [Illinois]?$$I started high school at Englewood.$$Okay.$$So I--my favorite story of Englewood High School is this. When I go to over Englewood they had optional classes for males. You could take ROTC or you could take physical education or you could take band, and I think when I got there all the jocks had filled up the P.E. Classes, so they told me you either take--you could take band or ROTC 'cause all the juniors and seniors were in P.E. They had figured out the system. So I said--I didn't know what ROTC was, so I said I'll take band 'cause I thought well you know I could beat a drum or something like that, that would be nice. So I went over to the band room and the bandmaster said, "What instrument do you play"? I said, "Well I want to play the drums". He said, "We don't need any drummers". He said "What other instrument would you like to play", and I'm like you know, "I really don't know if I can't play drums". He said, "I'll tell you what. We need some fellows to play the French horn", and I'm like French what? I never even heard of a French horn (laughter), let alone even dream that I would like to play it. So he said "Scott, we're gonna put you on the French horn". So, I remember him asking me to manipulate my fingers a certain way and he said okay you passed it the preliminary test, and so after two weeks on the French Horn and I was probably making some ungodly sounds, I remember distinctly one day he came and tapped me on the shoulder and he said, "Scott, I think you need to go to ROTC", and I'm like "Well okay" you know I didn't really like that French Horn anyway. So I go over to the junior ROTC Program, unbeknownst that was going to become my career. Got in the program, had some successes because they had a rifle range at the bottom of Englewood High School, a .22 small bore, a .22 caliber small bore rifle range and I got on the rifle team. Now this is a freshman, and I don't know where the skill--I learned it. Well let me you who taught me. They had these veterans from the Jowl's Post (ph.), the same boys who gave me the award coming out of eighth grade. They would come over and help out the ROTC instructors, and they taught me how to--the techniques of shooting, how you breathe and how you hold that weapon steady and how you squeeze the trigger, not jerk it, but how to--you know how to squeeze the trigger and I got to be pretty good with that damn weapon cause they were teaching me the fundamentals that had come from the military. I didn't know that at that time, but I got to be good so I made the rifle team and I enjoyed ROTC. Well when I left Englewood and went to Miami [Florida] to finish up that senior year, they had no ROTC. They didn't know what the hell--not for black schools. It wasn't that big in the South. Well when I finished high school and head to college, lo and behold the ROTC pops up again, it's the senior ROTC Program. So I go into that program with a heads up over everybody else in the school because I went to junior ROTC. I knew how to do a left face. I knew how to take apart the M1rRifle. I knew how to shoot on a--I knew a lot of things and of course coming in with that knowledge the Sergeant would say okay, Scott you are going to be the acting platoon sergeant or the acting squad leader. So I got props, again because of the successes, I liked the program, you know, and that--but it all started at Englewood with the indoctrination and training and the discipline about you know about the military and I, of course, I had no idea when I was going through it like that I would end up leaving college one day and going to the military the next day and staying there for twenty-eight years.$Okay. So did you know exactly what you were going to do after you retired?$$Yeah, I knew exactly what I was going to do (laughter), 'cause Mr. [John H.H.] Sengstacke had been talking about come back to the paper [Chicago Defender], you know, over ten years and I'm like I'm not ready. So he called me and said--he called me first and said "are you ready now", and "I'll get back with you, said I got to talk to the wife [Patricia Scott]". What are you thinking if we retire, you know all we knew was the military, I didn't even know how much money to ask Mr. Sengstacke for, you know that's how much I didn't know about civilian life, so I said okay, we're gonna retire, and it was kind of scary and so I called Mr. Sengstacke and said I'm gonna retire. He said "okay, come on up here to Michigan." He lived in Michigan and told me to come up there and let's talk about it. Well, I didn't even know what to talk about you know. Well what, you know, so we finally got down to money and where I should have been probably been asking for a lot more than I asked for, I just asked for something more than I was making in the military, you know, and immediately he said, "Yeah, okay that's fine", (laughter) so I knew then that I'd hadn't asked for enough you know, but so I go back to Fort Monroe [Virginia] and I announce my retirement and everybody is surprised, "oh gee, I didn't know you were going to retire Colonel". "Yep", and I retired like on October 30th, no I retired on September 30th and came to work on the 1st for Mr. Sengstacke. I came up here on a Saturday I think or Sunday and literally started working the next day. So there really wasn't any transition time between--you know so I hit the paper still in my military framework and what I'm amazed at now, I'm accustomed to having like--as a post commander I had three secretaries, one that took dictation; that was her specialty, one that handled my schedule that she gave to me every morning when I walked in the door and one that sort of acted as like a little deputy, you know, but she was really, her grade was a secretary. Eventually I got her title changed and I come to The Defender and I'm not even sure anybody in the building knew how to take dictation you know so it was a big change in the decorum and the order, you know like "what the hell is this about", and the attention to detail and everybody seemed a little bit laid back (laughter) you know so that was a little challenge for me to get over initially and nobody was like--I was like there almost a week before I even got a chance to talk to Mr. Sengstacke, you know, like what am I supposed to do? You know I'm so accustomed in the military to "All right this is your title. This is what you do, this is okay, here's Colonel Scott, okay he's our new da-da-tada." That's not the way it went down with The Defender, 'cause he had some family politics he had to deal with his son, so he came in like--I came in that Monday, Friday. He came in the room and said "okay, this is what your title is going to be. You are going to be the assistant to me okay?" And that was really to protect me again from any of these little ankle biters that are running around. I am working directly for him okay. So I worked for him in that capacity for about three years and my job primarily was the operations officer for his three other newspapers. So I stayed on the road going to Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania, New Pittsburgh Courier], Memphis [Tennessee, Tri-State Defender] and Detroit [Michigan, Michigan Chronicle]. That's all I did keeping him apprised of the status of those papers, passing guidance to them about the changes that he wanted to implement and basically monitoring their financial operation. A very eye opening job, so I'm learning the whole operation.$$After three years, I come back and he says, "Okay now I'm going to make you the general manager of The Chicago Defender in addition to running around." Well I--you know, I'm saying I don't know how well that's gonna work. The general manager needs to be here every day. Nope, I don't care but you still--So he wanted to still be able to send me to Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania] and Memphis [Tennessee] when he wanted to and he did, you know, but of course I didn't go nearly as much as I was going before. I really consumed by The Defender because he really had started to phase out. His brother [Fred Sengstacke] who was the publisher had started to phase out so de facto I became the general manager and the publisher, because I was running the newsroom in addition to running the circulation, the finance office, the public relations and the classified and the advertising, so I learned the operation inside out, and he knew when he was ready to let me move to the next step. He--when he figured out you ready to be the general manager, and so I got a chance to learn the operation. So in addition to teaching me how to be the general manager, I probably learned more from his brother, Fred Sengstacke who was the man that handled the day-to-day operations. I learned a lot about the newspaper business from him.