The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Fighter pilot to speak about life experiences

Veteran fighter pilot Lt. Gen. Frank Petersen will speak Feb. 2 in NSTU Center Corner on NE Campus in recognition of Black History Month.

“I always jump at the chance to speak to college students,” Petersen said. “They’re the future of America and need to learn their potential of political power even while they are still students.”

Petersen became the first African-American pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1952. During the Korean War, he flew 64 combat missions.

While serving in Vietnam, he was named commanding officer of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314, the first black to command a Navy or Marine squadron.

­­­Throughout his 38 years of military service, he flew hundreds of combat missions and was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat V, six Air Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Purple Heart.

In 1986, he became the first black three-star general in the Corps.

Petersen is traveling from Maryland to speak to the students.

“I would like to impart my knowledge and experiences to them so that they might ascertain the skills to ensure a bright future,” he said.

James Varnado, interim director of counseling on NE Campus, said he looked for a distinguished and experienced individual to speak to students.

“We really wanted to look at someone who is a history pacemaker,” he said.

The event starts at 12:30 p.m. in NSTU Center Corner, and admission is free.

Leah Bosworth


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