Black Marine colonel passed over 3 times receives 1-star nomination

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Passed over for promotion three times, Marine Col. Anthony Henderson may soon see his first star.

The 28-year veteran, with years of experience leading infantry units, is currently the director of concepts and plans at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. He recently was featured in a story by The New York Times about absence of Black generals in the Marine Corps.

The Marine Corps has never had a Black four-star general, the Times reported in August 2020.

At the time of the story Henderson had been denied the promotion to brigadier general three times, despite the resume and reviews normally needed for advancement in the Corps, the outlet wrote.

“Tony Henderson has done everything you could do in the Marines except get a hand salute from Jesus Christ himself,” Milton D. Whitfield Sr., a former Marine gunnery sergeant who served for 21 years, told the Times in August 2020.

Henderson was one of nine Marines nominated for promotion to brigadier general in early March, the Times reported.

“The Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs extends a hearty congratulations to all of our Brigadier General selects,” Capt. Andrew Wood wrote to Marine Corps Times in an email.

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Henderson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In September 2020 Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger said the Corps had problems increasing diversity in its top ranks because diverse candidates ask to be removed from promotion or command consideration at an elevated rate.

“Here’s the realization for us, we didn’t know why,” Berger said at the Women in Defense Virtual Leadership Symposium. “We didn’t know why because we didn’t ask.”

The Corps said it still did not know the answer, but had Marines start taking exit surveys whenever they leave the Corps to find the solution.

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