First African American Full-Time Military Technician Hired in a Supervisory Capacity

Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4) Marcellus Person:

CW4 Person was born in Pulaski County, Arkansas. He graduated from Harris High School in 1967. He continued his education by attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arkansas Baptist College in 1979.

CW4 Person’s life forever changed when he enlisted in the Army in 1967. He served two tours in the Vietnam War. In 1971, he enlisted into the Arkansas Army National Guard, and was the first African American full-time military technician hired in a supervisory capacity. He served as an aircraft systems foreman with the Arkansas Army National Guard Aviation Support Facility at Camp Robinson During the Staff Sergeant Corenna Taylor’s discrimination lawsuit against Major General Jimmie “Red” Jones, CW4 Person served as an Advisor to plaintiff’s counsel, throughout most of the second part of the trial. The Taylor v. Jones case was perhaps the most successful employment discrimination case in the state of Arkansas, and it prompted benefits to thousands of African American citizens throughout the state.

CW4 Person not only served as an Aircraft Mechanic and Equal Employment Manager, but in unofficial roles such as mentor, confidant, and friend. Throughout the course of his military career, CW4 Person, or “Mr. P,” as his comrades called him, received many awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam service Medal, Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.

CW4 Person retired with over 41 years of military service. He passed away on May 14, 2017.