General’s family: From segregation to command in 100 years
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The African-American general who now leads the Army’s Fort Jackson in South Carolina is descended from a soldier who served there in a segregated military more than a century ago.
Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle, Jr. is a combat veteran who took command last June. He admits that it gets to him, knowing he’s serving where his ancestor served but under vastly different circumstances.
His great-grandfather arrived at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, in 1918, an African American draftee in a segregated Army that relegated black soldiers to labor battalions out of a prejudiced notion that they couldn’t fight.
Beagle says he felt compelled to enter the infantry as a young man at least partly because African Americans once were largely shunted aside.