The North Carolina Army National Guard has promoted, for the first time, a black man to brigadier general.
James R. Gorham tells the Winston-Salem Journal he hopes he proves an example to other soldiers of his race that they can attain the prestigious military rank. He said it "gives soldiers the knowledge that they can go from private to general."
The 52-year-old bank vice president enlisted in the Army after high school and later used his military benefits to earn a bachelor's degree from East Carolina University. Through the National Guard, he graduated from the North Carolina Military Academy and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.
His unit was deployed in 2004 to Iraq, where he was promoted to
colonel. He earned his first star to become a general in November.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)