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Gen. Colin Powell

Discussion in 'Roll of Honor & Memories - All Other Conflicts' started by GRW, Oct 19, 2021.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
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    Stirling, Scotland
    "Born in Harlem, New York, Powell’s parents were Jamaican immigrants who arrived in the US on a ‘banana boat’ – a fruit company steamer. After hardly shining at school, he joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps while studying for a geology degree.
    It was the start of a 35-year military career – commissioned as a second lieutenant in an army that had only recently become desegregated. Powell’s first posting was to Georgia where he was refused entry to restaurants and bars because of his colour.
    He was later posted to West Germany where he met Elvis Presley while the singer was doing national service. He recalled: ‘He was thought of well enough by his commanders that he was promoted from private to sergeant... I see him as Elvis the soldier who, by the way, happened to be a celebrity.’
    Returning to the US, Powell met Alma Johnson on a blind date and they married in 1962 (eventually having three children) before he was sent to Vietnam.
    Posted to a jungle region on the Laos border, Powell stepped on a booby trap which poisoned his foot, removing him from front-line service. He was later sent back and was decorated for staggering back into the wreckage of a helicopter to rescue fellow soldiers, despite having a broken ankle.
    The doomed Vietnam conflict and its lack of public support shaped his view, later known as the Powell Doctrine, that ‘war should be the politics of last resort’. Meanwhile, his ascent through the ranks was so swift that, at just 42, he became the US Army’s youngest general. During the Reagan presidency, he was appointed national security adviser in 1987.
    As he helped his boss end the Cold War, Powell won respect on both sides. Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev sent him an engraved shotgun as a present.
    Powell kept a list of 13 rules on his desk which he said saved his life. They included: ‘It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning’; ‘Get mad, then get over it’ and ‘Be careful what you choose. You may get it.’
    In 1989, President George H W Bush named him chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the country’s top military post, after Powell – then only 53 – had even been mooted as his White House running mate.
    He found himself plunged into two conflicts – the invasion of Panama and the first Gulf War.
    Leading a coalition of 35 countries and 500,000 troops to oust Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, Powell enacted his philosophy of using overwhelming force to end a conflict quickly. Following a crushing bombing campaign, the Iraqis crumbled after a 100-day ground war and the loss of only 383 US soldiers during Desert Storm.
    He became a national hero and was given an honorary knighthood by the Queen. His currency was so high, both the Republicans and Democrats sounded him out as a possible vice presidential candidate in the 1992 election."
    Colin Powell - Wikipedia
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  2. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

    Feb 17, 2010
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    Great tribute to a fine soldier and gentleman. Let me just add that the ground war in Kuwait wrapped up after 100 hours, due in part to Powell's assessment that the mission had been accomplished and that there was no need or benefit to carrying on further.
  3. Biak

    Biak Boy from Illinois Staff Member

    Nov 15, 2009
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  4. harolds

    harolds Member

    Aug 9, 2011
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    "We're going to cut the enemy off and then we're going to kill them!"

    "You break it, you own it!"

    Powell had a gift for total clarity in just a few words!

    He will be missed.
    Half Track likes this.
  5. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2017
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    Chambersburg Pennsylvania
    A wonderful man, in so many ways. Very sorry for this and of course never knew he had this Cancer.
  6. the_diego

    the_diego Active Member

    Sep 16, 2016
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    A wholly admirable man. I just didn't like the way he was manipulated into started the second gulf war.
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    R.I.P.. Colin!

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