Positive Change Over Time: Reflections From New Cadet To Major General

Fred A. Gorden


MG(R) Fred A. Gorden was the only African American to graduate in the West Point Class of 1962. During his career, he served one combat tour in Vietnam as an Artillery Battery Commander with 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, and commanded at every level through Division Command of the 25th ID after his two year stint as the Commandant of Cadets. He concluded his career with back to back assignments in Washington, DC as the Commander of the Military District of Washington and as the Chief of the Army Office of Public Affairs. In this interview, he recounts his experiences as a Field Artillery Battery Commander in Vietnam, a West Point Spanish instructor, and battalion and brigade commander. He describes his role as the first African-American Commandant of Cadets at West Point.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics African American Military Experience Character Leadership Race in the Military West Point History USMA 1962
interviewer Rick Black
date 06 August 2016


name Fred A. Gorden
institution USMA
graduation year 1962
service Field Artillery
unit 2/320 FA, 101st Airborne Division, 1/8 FA, DIVARTY 7th ID, 25th ID, MDW
specialty Commandant of Cadets, USMA
service dates 1962 1996