VFW Recognizes Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton Jr.

Becton served during the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War

Today, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) recognizes the distinguished career of U.S. Army Lt. Gen. (ret.) Julius W. Becton, Jr. 

Julius Becton Jr
Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton Jr.

Becton joined the 93rd Infantry Division in the Pacific at the conclusion of World War II and was separated from the U.S. Army in 1946. He later returned to active duty after President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981 to desegregate the military in 1948.

Becton rose to the rank of lieutenant general in 1978 where he commanded the 1st Cavalry Division, the U.S. Army Operations Test and Evaluation Agency, and the VII Corps – the Army’s largest combat corps in Europe during the Cold War. Becton also served honorably in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He retired in 1983 after nearly 40 years of service. 

During his notable career, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, two Silver Stars, two Legion of Merit Medals, two Purple Heart Medals, and the Knight Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Germany. 

After departing service, Becton served as the third director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency from 1985 to 1989 under President Ronald Reagan. In 1996, he became the superintendent of the Washington, D.C. public school system. 

Becton is a clear example of a veteran #StillServing his nation. 

This is part of a series of VFW feature articles to be published throughout February 2020, highlighting African-American veterans who have made outstanding contributions to our military and society.