Today, a group of over 400 surviving members of the Montford Point Marines was recognized by Congress after receiving the Congressional Gold Medal – the highest honor for a civilian in the nation.
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The Montford Point Marines, the first African-American soldiers trained for the Marine Corp, began their historic tale in this small section of North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune back in 1942.
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Then-President Theodore Roosevelt ordered a directive giving Blacks access to basic training at Montford Point Camp, a segregated and underwhelming facility compared to other Marine campsites. Roughly 20,000 men received basic training between the years 1942 to 1949.
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