FRANKFORT, Ky. (KFVS) - Ky., Governor Andy Beshear posthumously promotes Colonel to the honorary rank of Brigadier General.
On Feb. 11. as part of the Legislative Black History Month Celebration held in the Capitol Rotunda. Gov. Andy Beshear posthumously promoted Colonel Charles Young to the honorary rank of Brigadier General in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Brigadier General Young was born in 1864 to enslaved parents in Mays Lick, Kentucky.
Young valued education throughout his life and graduated with honors from high school in Ohio, where his parents escaped slavery.
He taught elementary school and entered the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY.
When he was medically discharged from active duty, Young was the highest-ranking African American officer in the military, having been promoted to Colonel.
“Brigadier General Young was a pioneer that showed groundbreaking dedication to his country and peers while becoming only the third African-American graduate of the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, it is a great honor to recognize General Young for consistently displaying moral courage and selfless service, all while overcoming personal adversity with honor and integrity,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.
Charles Blatcher III, founder and chairman of the National Coalition of Black Veterans Organizations, whose mission it is to raise public awareness of the military contributions of African Americans and other minorities, was the keynote speaker at the event and talked about his support for rank elevation of Brigadier General Young.
“Charles Young is a significant figure in black U.S. military history, you can’t study the subject without coming upon his legacy. … Many Americans past and present felt had it not been for the political and social climate of the times, Colonel Young would have been the first black brigadier general in the regular United States armed forces. We agree,” said Blatcher.
Following his death, Young was given full military honors and burial in Arlington National Cemetery where his legacy as a leader and example to others continues to remind Americans of what it means to persevere and excel through all things.
Young’s promotion is honorary and recognized in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. You can read more about Young.