Colonel Charles Young p1
Omega Psi Phi is proud to acknowledge and recognize Brother (Colonel) Charles Young. His outstanding military leadership, tenacity of purpose and perserverance have made him a figure to be immortalized in Omega history. Brother Young's demonstrated leadership abilities and mental toughness is certainly a hallmark of success for all to follow and in recognition of his dedicated service, Omega has named an International Award for active duty military excellence in his honor. This award is given at the fraternity's Conclave, conducted every two years.
Colonel Charles Young is remembered and honored as a man of unique courage and inspiration. This was especially true for those of "goodwill", who knew him, and for those who followed him into battle. He stands honored both as an African-American and in the history of African-Americans in the U.S. military.
Young was born March 12, 1864 to Gabriel Young and Arminta Bruen in Helena, KY. Gabriel and his family lived in a small log house on Helena Station Road previously used as slave quarters. The house lay near the small town of May's Lick in southern Mason County, Kentucky.
He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1889. This gave him the honor of being the third African-American to do so, and the first to lead a full career in the us Army. It was 47 years before the US Military Academy at West Point graduated another African American.
His first assignment after graduation was with the Buffalo Soldiers in the 10th Cavalry in Nebraska, and then in the 9th and 10th Cavalries in Utah. With the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, he was reassigned as Second Lieutenant to training duty at Camp Algers, Virginia.
Young was then awarded a commission as a Major in the Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Later, during the Spanish-American War, he was in command of a squadron of the 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers in Cuba.
After the war with Spain, Young was reassigned to Fort Duchesne in Utah where he successfully arbitrated a dispute between Native Americans and sheep herders. He also met one of the many soldiers who would eventually benefit from his encouragement, Sergeant Major Benjamin O. Davis. Later, Davis would become General Benjamin O. Davis, the first African-American to reach the rank of General in the U.S. army.
Special: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated institutes and award in honor of COL Young.
Colonel Charles Young Military Leadership Award was approved at the International level for Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. at the 72nd Grand Conclave in Charlotte, North Carolina in July 2002. The award is awarded annually to a Brother who displays leadership in the Armed Forces on active duty and in the Fraternity at the chapter, districts and international level. The award was approved at Delta Omega Chapter, Third District in Petersburg, Virginia and then on to the Third District (Virginia and Washington, DC) in 2001. It was then approved in Tau Gamma Gamma Chapter, Sixth District (North Carolina and South Carolina) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 2003 and then on to the Sixth District in 2004. Brother Conrado B. Morgan, Pi Gamma 1982 wrote the criteria and requested that the award be approved at the local, districts and international level. Brother Angelo "Twin" Riddick (COL, US Army) received the first Annual Charles Young Award at the Conclave held in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2006.