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1993 Distinguished Graduate Award


     As a military commander, staff officer, and outstanding leader, Roscoe Robinson, Jr. has served his country throughout a lifetime of extraordinary courage and achievement. In successive positions of increasing responsibility in the United States Army, he has exemplified steadfast dedication to the principles expressed in the motto of the United States Military Academy:Duty, Honor, Country.

     After attending St. Louis University in Missouri for one year, Roscoe Robinson, Jr. entered West Point with the Class of 1951 in July, 1947. Commissioned in the Infantry, his first
assignment was platoon leader with the 3rd Battalion, 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division. In 1 952, he reported to the 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division in
Korea. He served as a platoon leader, rifle company commander, and battalion S-2 during his year of combat with the 31st Infantry, and was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Bronze Star Medal.

     Returning to the United States in 1 953, Roscoe Robinson was assigned to the 11th Airborne Division, and a year later became an instructor in the Airborne Department of The Infantry School
at Fort Benning, Georgia. Following mandatory attendance at the Infantry Officers Advanced Course in 1 957, Captain Robinson joined the United States Military Mission in Liberia.

     In 1960, he began a two year tour with the 82nd Airborne Division, serving successively as S-4, 2nd Battle Group, 504th Airborne Infantry Regiment and then as company commander of "E"
Company of the 504th.

     Roscoe Robinson attended the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, graduating in 1963. In 1964 he was awarded a master's degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. From Pittsburgh, he was assigned to the Office, Personnel Operations on Department of the Army Staff for a three year tour.

     In 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Robinson was posted to Vietnam, where he served as G-4 and then Battalion Commander in the 7th Cavalry Regiment, First Infantry Division. For his utstanding
leadership during a period of close and intense combat, he was awarded two Silver Stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross, eleven Air Medals and the Legion of Merit.

     Colonel Robinson's Vietnam tour was followed by selection for attendance at the National War College.  From 1969 until 1972 he served at Headquarters, Pacific Command in the G-5 Plans
Directorate and as Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff. Forthis service, he was awarded the Legion of Merit. Returning to the 82nd Airborne Division in 1972, Colonel Robinson took command
of the Second Brigade. He was again awarded the Legion of Merit at the conclusion of his command tour. Promoted to Brigadier General, Roscoe Robinson was assigned as Deputy Commanding General, Okinawa Base Command in 1973, and two years later became
Commanding General of the United States Army Garrison, Okinawa.

     In 1976, Major General Robinson assumed command of his old outfit, the 82nd Airborne Division. In so doing, he became the first African-American to command that elite unit.

     His first tour of duty in Europe followed division command; he was assigned to Headquarters, United States Army, Europe as Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations in 1 978 . Two years later,
Lieutenant General Robinson traveled halfway around the world to take command of United States Army, Japan. Then, in 1982, he returned to Europe as United States Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee.

     In 1985, after completing 34 years of commissioned service, General Roscoe Robinson, Jr. retired. During his last tour of duty and at his retirement, he was awarded two Distinguished
Service Medals and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. He is the first African-American to achieve the rank of four-star general in the United States Army.

     Throughout a military career that took him to the pinnacle of his profession, he overcame diversity with courage and an enduring dedication to duty. As a senior representative of his
country in complex and sensitive dealings with foreign powers, General Robinson set a standard of professional conduct and selfless concern for his fellow man that brought honor and
acclaim to the United States and the organizations he represented.

     Accordingly, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy takes pride in presenting the 1993 Distinguished Graduate Award to a great alumnus of West Point,
Roscoe Robinson, Jr., Class of 1951.