From the American Revolution to the Spanish-American War

Who was the first African-American general counsel for the U.S. Navy?

Business executive and attorney Togo Dennis West Jr. (1942–) was the first black U.S. Navy general counsel. He had served also as associate deputy general for the Department of Justice, and special assistant to the secretary, deputy secretary, and general counsel for the Department of Defense. From 1993 to 1998, West was secretary of the U.S. Army. He then became acting secretary for Veterans Affairs. Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, he received his bachelor’s and law degrees from Howard University in Washington, D.C.


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