White House Nominates First Black Marine for Fourth Star

June 9, 2022 5:18 PM
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael Langley delivers a speech onboard amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), during the Fleet Week New York reception ceremony in the hangar bay, May 25, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

President Biden has nominated Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael Langley to lead U.S. Africa Command, the Pentagon announced on Thursday.
Langley is up for a fourth star and to lead the Stuttgart, Germany-based combatant command.

Since November, Langley has been the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and Marine Corps Forces Northern Command, in addition to the commanding general of Fleet Marine Force Atlantic.

Langley graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington at commissioned in 1985. He’s a career artillery officer who has deployed both to Afghanistan and Somalia. The New York Times first reported Langely was under consideration for the AFRICOM job last month.

He previously served as II Marine Expeditionary Force’s deputy commanding general and as the commanding general 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade. He also previously led Marine Forces Europe and Africa and served as the deputy commanding general of Fleet Marine Force Atlantic.

Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, who has led Africa Command since July 2019, is set to retire, USNI News understands.

The U.S. has several operations in Africa ranging from Somalia to support for Western African forces fighting piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Langley, if confirmed by the Senate, would be the first African American Marine promoted to four stars. Seven Black Marines have reached the rank of lieutenant general.

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne is a reporter for USNI News. She previously covered the Navy for Inside Defense and reported on politics for The Hill.
Follow @MalShelbourne

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