Profiles of Bravery

2nd Lt. Henry Ossian Flipper

First African American to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy

Henry Flipper

Henry O. Flipper was the fifth African-American to be accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and in 1877 became the first African-American to graduate from the academy. He was the first African-American to be commissioned in the Army, or any other branch of the U.S. military. He also became the first African-American officer to command African-American Soldiers in the Army when he assumed command of Troop A, 10th Calvary Regiment, also known as the Buffalo Soldiers, at Fort Sill, Okla. Before Flipper took command, all African-American units were commanded by white officers.

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