Marine Corps honors legacy of nation's first black Marines - WNCT

Marine Corps honors legacy of nation's first black Marines

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CHERRY POINT, N.C. -

The military is paying tribute to the thousands of people who became our nation's first black Marines.

In honor of Black History Month, Cherry Point invited its members to learn more about blacks in the Marine Corps. The Montford Point Marine Association gave a presentation on base Friday.

The Montford Point Marines were the first black Marines in the country, based at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville.

Keynote speaker Sgt. Maj. Christopher Robinson says the Montford Point Marines endured years of discrimination in the Marine Corps, despite the sacrifices they made to defend our country.

"I owe and every African American—not just African American, this is about all Marines—owe these Marines, these original pioneers, a debt of gratitude, and a measure of our success, because had there not been Montford Point Marines, I would not be standing here, a Marine Corps sergeant major," said Robinson.

About 20,000 black Marines received basic training at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949.

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