Major General Arnold Fields

Major General Fields retired from the United States Marine Corps in January 2004 after over 34 years of active military service. At the time of his retirement, General Fields was serving as the Deputy Commander of Marine Corps Forces in Europe, headquartered at Stuttgart Germany.

In June of 1989 Major Arnold Fields was initially assigned as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Readiness, and was later selected to command 3d Battalion, 6th Marines, 2d Marine Division. During this tour, he and his battalion participated in combat operations against Iraqi forces in Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Previous assignments included Director of the Marine Corps Staff at Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. where he assisted the Commandant of the Marine Corps in providing executive oversight of a defense force of over 250,000 personnel including active duty, reservist, and civilians.

Major General Fields is a native of Early Branch, South Carolina, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in November 1969. Completing The Basic School course 21 weeks later, he was assigned to the 2d Marine Division where he held positions as infantry platoon commander and company executive officer.

Major General Arnold Fields holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and a Master of Arts degree in Management. He is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Army War College.

In February 1971, Major General Fields was assigned to the 3d Marine Division, Okinawa, Japan, where he served as an 81mm mortar platoon commander and company executive officer with 2d Battalion, 4th Marines.

In 1986, General Arnold Fields commanded a major unit of the Marine Security Guards who, under a long-standing relationship between the Marine Corps and the Department of State, provided security at U.S. embassies worldwide, including at least 24 U.S. embassies and consulates spanning 17 countries in North Africa and the Middle East. General Fields served as commander of the North Africa and Middle East component. He resided in Casablanca, Morocco, during this period and worked closely with the U.S. Consul General and Morocco country team.

General Fields served as a member of the U.S. Department of State assigned to the Embassy in Iraq where he performed duties as Chief of Staff of the Iraq Reconstruction and Management Office (IRMO). He assisted the U.S. Ambassador and Director of IRMO in coordinating the execution of over $18 billion dollars of U.S. appropriated funds for the reconstruction of Iraq. General Fields returned to the U.S. in October 2005 after serving 14 months in Iraq.

Arnold Fields was the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a position to which he was appointed by The President of the United States on June 12, 2008. He was sworn in to the office on July 22, 2008 by the Deputy Secretary of Defense. The SIGAR reports to Congress and keeps both the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense informed.

The job of rebuilding Afghanistan is shaping up as an ominous sequel to the massive, mistake-riddled U.S. effort to get Iraq back on its feet. A recent Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency report accused SIGAR of failing to meet professional standards for investigators and found deficiencies in the audit division.

General Arnold Fields' decorations include: the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, Viet Nam Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.

Click on the links below for detailed information and photos on African American veterans who rose to the top of their field

Revolutionary & Civil War

The Revolutionary War set precedents for black military service. Both Africans and African Americans fought on both sides of this war, often as a means for a black slave to win his freedom.

World War I

When World War I broke out, there were four all-black regiments: the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry.

World War II

African Americans made up over one million of the more than 16 million U.S. men and women to serve in World War II. Some of these men served in infantry, artillery, and tank units.

Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces.

Vietnam War & Iraq

The Vietnam War saw the highest proportion of blacks ever to serve in an American war. During the height of the U.S. involvement blacks, who formed 11 percent of the American population, made up 12.6 percent of the soldiers in Vietnam.


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