|In 1989, President George H.
W. Bush appointed Army General Colin Powell to the position of Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making Powell the highest ranking officer in the
United States military. Powell was the first, and is so far the only, African
American to hold that position. The Chairman serves as the chief military
adviser to the President and the Secretary of Defense. During his tenure
Powell oversaw the 1989 United States invasion of Panama to oust General Manuel
Noriega and the 1990 to 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. General Powell's
four-year term as Chairman ended in 1993.
|General William E.
"Kip" Ward was officially nominated as the first commander of the
new United States Africa Command on July 10, 2007 and assumed command on
October 1, 2007. He is currently the active military's only black four-star