Major General Leo V. Williams, III

General Leo V. Williams, III retired from the Marine Corps Reserve on January 1, 2004 following 33 ½ years of service. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Deputy Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia.

General Williams has commanded at all levels of Marine Corps command, from Battery Commander of a 120-Marine 105 mm artillery battery in Okinawa, Japan to command of a Logistics Group of 10,000 Marines located over 52 sites in the United States and Puerto Rico. His military experience includes tours in the infantry, artillery, aviation, logistics, personnel management, joint service experimentation, and combat development.

Residing in Baltimore, Maryland. Major General Williams presently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Directors, U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, Maryland Chapter of the American Diabetes Association and Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees.  General Williams serves as a Trustee for the University of the District of Columbia and is a member of the Board of Directors, Direct Selling Association and Navy Mutual Aid Association.  General Williams was appointed as a Policy Board Member to the Marine Corps Reserve Policy Board from 1993 through 1996. He also served as the President, Bates Chapter, Marine Corps Reserve Officers' Association from 1993 through 1995.

Major General Williams received a Bachelor of Science degree from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1970 and later earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Illinois University in 1978.  General Williams was selected for promotion to Major General on December 22, 1998.

General Williams served on active duty from June 1970 until September 1978. His assignments included: Staff Platoon Commander, The Basic School; Executive Officer, Battery I, 3d Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division; Headquarters Commandant, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines; Commanding Officer, Battery F, 2d Battalion, 3d Marine Division; Assistant Operations Officer, 2d Battalion, 12th Marines, 3d Marine Division; and Officer Assignments Officer, Manpower Personnel Branch, Headquarters Marine Corps.

General Williams transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve in October 1978. His assignments included: Headquarters Commandant, 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment, 4th Marine Division; Assistant Operations Officer, Amphibious Brigade Support Staff; Detachment Commanding Officer, Wing Headquarters Squadron, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing; and Site Executive Officer, Wing Support Squadron 472, Det. B, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.

Major General Leo V. Williams III is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, Joint Distinguished Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Distinguished Volunteer 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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