First African-American woman to become a major general in the United States at age 62

Marcia Carol Martin Anderson (née Mahan, born 1957) was the first African-American woman to become a major general in the United States Army Reserve. The first African-American woman to become an active-duty major general is Nadja West.

As a civilian, Anderson serves as Clerk of Court for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

Anderson in 2018

A 1979 graduate of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska a 1986 graduate of Rutgers School of Law–Newark in New Jersey, and a 2003 graduate of the United States Army War College. She is married to Amos Charles Anderson. She originally signed up for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Creighton University because she needed a science credit.

In 2011, Anderson became the first African-American woman to achieve the federally recognized rank of major general in the United States Army, United States Army Reserve or United States Army National Guard.

Anderson retired from the reserve army in 2016 but continued with her civilian job.

“I firmly believe that we are never in control of very much,” Anderson said. “The most we can do is have a set of values and beliefs, and adhere to them as closely as possible.”

“Be a lifelong learner. Accept people for who they are. Accept change because it is inevitable,” she added.

“Do not expect to be rewarded just because you show up on time, do what is expected of you and leave at the same time every day because that is merely C-grade work,” she noted.

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