Colonel Charles Young
3/12/1864 - 1/8/1922
Colonel Charles Young developed a program that for decades made Wilberforce University the nation’s principal training ground for African American officer candidates. He brought the prestige of being the third African American to graduate from West Point and later the highest ranking black officer in the country to the university and community he called home. While active in the military, Colonel Young served as an officer with the Buffalo Soldiers in the 9th and 10th Cavalries on the Plains and in the Southwest. He served in the “punitive expedition” against Pancho Villa in Mexico and also in the Philippines. Charles Young was the first African American to be appointed a military attaché, a post that required diplomacy, linguistic aptitude, and extensive military experience. Through his unparalleled success as an Army officer, Charles Young provided an example of what could be accomplished despite the obstacle of racial bigotry.