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Colin Powell

Colin Powell is a retired four-star general of the United States Army. He is currently serving as an American Statesman. Powell was the first African-American to serve as the Secretary of State, which he did from 2001 to 2005 under George W. Bush.  Powell is to date, the only African American to serve as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position that he held during the Persian Gulf War. Powell has also served under the National Security Advisor.

Colin Luther Powell was born on April 5, 1937 in Halem, New York City. Powell graduated from Morris High School in 1954 and attended the City College of New York thereafter. Halfway through college, Powell joined the ‘Reserve Officers Training Corps’, where he trained with the Pershing Rifles. When he graduated, he received a commission as a second lieutenant of the Army, which he accepted. Powell was assigned to the 48th Infantry Division as a Platoon Leader.

Powell went on two tours to serve for the Vietnam War; his first tour was forcibly shortened after he was injured by a Punji Stake (a booby trap similar to a wooden spike). In his second tour, he was awarded for rescuing three people from a helicopter crash which he had survived.

After the war, Powell was selected for a highly competitive White House Fellowship under President Richard Nixon. Powell then served as the senior military assistant to Caspar Weinberger, who was the Secretary of Defense at that time. Powell then went on to become the National Security Advisor after the Iran Contra Scandal. His term at the National Security Council was extremely fruitful and Powell was then promoted to four-star General under President George H. W. Bush in 1989. Immediately after appointment, Powell served as the Commander in Chief, Forces Command for a small term. He was then chosen to serve as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff towards the end of 1989. In addition to being the only African-American to have held that position, Powell was also the youngest to have ever done so, he continued to hold the

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