WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2013 – In the early stages of American military history, it was rare to find a high-ranking African-American leader, considering the civil inequalities and unrest prevalent in those times.
But an African-American father and son -- Benjamin O. Davis Sr. and Benjamin O. Davis Jr. -- broke racial barriers and led honorably, leaving an indelible mark on America’s military heritage.
The Davis family, fittingly, hailed from the nation’s capital, and perhaps this foreshadowed their impact on U.S. military history. The elder Davis studied at Howard University before entering military service in the 8th U.S. Volunteer Infantry on July 13, 1898, during the Spanish-American War.
Following that service, he enlisted as a private in the regular Army on June 18, 1899, serving as a corporal and squadron sergeant until Feb. 2, 1901, when he earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the cavalry.
Davis Sr. served in a variety of positions, ranging from border patrol duty in 1915 to a professor of military science and tactics at Wilberforce University in Ohio. He also served in the Philippines from 1917 until 1920 as a “Buffalo Soldier.” read more>>>