During the promotion ceremony, the 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps General David H. Berger stated:
I think this morning's ceremony is unique, so do you. I think for 3, probably 3 reasons, at least 3 reasons. First of all, after this morning he will be 1 of 3, "4 Star Generals" in the Marine Corps. We don't have 10 or 12, we have 2 and sometimes we are fortunate like we will be this morning to have 3. There is, in the whole history of the Marine Corps, hundreds of thousands of people have worn the Marine Corps uniform. 55 of them, 55 of them were promoted to 4 Star General; this morning, 56. That's the cut, that's how momentous this is.
Second part, out of all, out of 55, 12 of them have been combatant commanders, 12. You can see where this is headed, right? 1 of only 56, out of that 1 of only 12, and out of that only 1 other one has commanded U.S. Africa Command, Tom, Tom Waldhauser, a great mentor of your and mine, and a great friend of folks sitting in here. That's how small this gets, from hundreds and hundreds of thousands over 200 and almost 50 years, down to, down to that small number.
And the third thing, I think why this is so unique, is the reason we're all so super excited this morning. The first African American General to be promoted to 4 Star General. That's not lost on me either. I learned this week, that some of you all know him personally, did know personally. That 43 years ago, this summer, 43 years ago General Peterson was promoted in the Pentagon by the Commandant, and had his reception right here. You're sitting where Brigadier General Peterson, that afternoon had his reception. I read that this weekend, and that's pretty humbling too. So 43 years, we go from our first African American General, to our first, I think of many more 4 Star African American Generals.
The full video of General Michael E. Langley's historic promotion ceremony can be see here: https://www.facebook.com/FoxNews/videos/381100880825899/