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HomeHistory - Young pg 3

Colonel Charles Young p3

Third Black West Point GraduateOn another occasion, Young was credited with averting disaster when he and his men came to the relief of the 13th U.S. Cavalry squadron who were fighting a heavy rear guard action.

Because of his exceptional leadership of the 10th Cavalry in the Mexican theater of war, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was briefly Fort Huachuca's commander in Texas.

Young was devoted to his wife Ada and their two children; son, Charles Jr. and daughter Marie. He was sure to have played the piano, and at least a few of his compositions, when he was home between assignments. Being versatile, he also played the violin and guitar. Linguistically, he spoke several languages.

Colonel Charles Young was the highest ranking African-American officer in the army when WW1 started. He was also the first African-American to reach that rank in the army.

With the explosive arrival of WW1, the public, and especially African-Americans considered the possibility of Young receiving a major leadership role in the war. He had met challenges of racism, bigotry, and discrimination embedded within society and within the military. He had shown himself to be exceptional, not only as an military officer, but also as a leader of men.

But justice and the rule of equality in the military were not for Lt. Colonel Charles Young. When he took his scheduled army physical, the doctors said his blood pressure was too high. Young and his comrades, his supporters, and the African-American news media believed otherwise. On June 22, 1917, Young was retired, under protest.

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