First African American Battalion Commander 1st Battalion, 153d Infantry 39th Infantry Brigade (Separate)

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) David Savage Sr.:

LTC Savage Sr. was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He graduated from Horace Mann High School in 1965. LTC Savage received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1986.

LTC Savage’s military career started when he was drafted and served in the U.S. Army from April 19, 1968, to April 7, 1970. In May 1976, he enlisted into the Arkansas Army National Guard and entered the Arkansas Military Academy Officer Candidate School (OCS) Program. Upon completion of OCS, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Branch. LTC Savage served in military assignments from Platoon to Brigade level in the 39th Infantry Brigade (Separate), Arkansas Army National Guard. From 1999-2001, LTC Savage served as the Commander, 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry, 39th Infantry Brigade (Separate), Arkansas Army National Guard. He was the First African American to serve as the Battalion Commander in the history of the 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry.

On June 1, 2004, LTC Savage separated from the Arkansas Army National Guard, however, on the same day, he was recalled to Active Duty by the Secretary of the Army in support of “Operation Noble Eagle” and assigned to the Pentagon Action Center’s Crisis Action Team in Washington, D.C. for three years. LTC Savage retired on July 30, 2007, with over 34 years of distinguished military service to his state and nation.
His military education includes the Army Medical Branch Course, Infantry Officer Advance Course, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) Officer/NCO Course, Communications Security (COMSEC) Custodian Course, Command and General Staff (CGSC) Course and the U.S. Army War College.

For his outstanding service, LTC Savage received several awards and medals to include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (7th Award), National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star (2nd Award), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (2nd Award), Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M-Device, Army Staff Identification Badge, Arkansas National Guard Service Ribbon, Arkansas National Guard Federal Service Ribbon and the Arkansas National Guard Service Ribbon.

LTC Savage also enjoyed a successful civilian career as a professional sales executive with companies such as IBM, Southwestern Bell, State Farm Insurance, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Newspaper. His career achievements included Man of the Year, 100 Black Men of the Delta (1993) and Salesman of the Year, Southwestern Bell (1988). He was an ordained minister at the Rosedale Church of God in Christ in Little Rock, where he also served as a trustee and guitarist. Additionally, he served as the administrator for the Bishop J.O. Patterson Fine Arts Orchestra for the Churches of God in Christ and as a volunteer on the Greenville, Mississippi Arts Council.

LTC David Savage passed away on September 1, 2014, in Little Rock. He and his wife Jo Ann Fountain-Savage have four children and five grandchildren.