Today in History: John Lee Becomes First Black Commissioned Officer

John Lee

John Lee First Black Commissioned Officer

On this day in 1957, John Lee, becomes first black commissioned officer.

John Lee, first black commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy was assigned to duty.

The U.S. Army integrated black volunteers with white troops to fight during the “Battle of the Bulge,” the Germans last desperate counteroffensive to break through in the Ardennes forest in Belgium.

Over 5000 African-American soldiers in the Army’s service units volunteered; 2500 of them were accepted. After 6 weeks of training, the black troops were organized into 37 platoons of 40 men each, which were then attached to white units of 200 men each.

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