WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps is promoting Col. Anthony Henderson, a combat-tested Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, to brigadier general, a move that cracks the doorway for the service to potentially promote an African-American to its most senior ranks.
The Marine Corps, which had passed over Colonel Henderson for four years, has placed him on a highly selective list of nine colonels to be granted a coveted one star that denotes general rank status — brigadier general. The list, which was signed by President Biden, arrived Wednesday evening at the Senate Armed Services Committee, to start the required confirmation process, according to the committee’s website.
Normally, such promotions would not garner much attention. But Colonel Henderson is a Black man with combat command experience in a service — the Marines — that has never, in its 245-year history, had a four-star officer who was not a white man. And even the one-, two- and three-star Marine Corps officer positions are predominantly white and male — particularly the ones in the combat specialties that feed the four-star ranks.
If Colonel Henderson is confirmed by the Senate, he will become the rare Black general with a shot of getting all the way to the top.