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Brailsford, Marvin Delano (1939- )

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U.S. Army Officer Marvin D. Brailsford was born on January 30, 1939 in Burkeville, Texas. At age 20, he entered Prairie View A&M University and there earned a bachelor of science degree in biology. Brailsford also attended Iowa State University from 1964 to 1966 and received a master’s degree in bacteriology. He married June Samuel Brailsford; they have three children.

Brailsford was commissioned through the ROTC Program at Prairie View in 1959 and first served as 2nd Lieutenant in the Army. After graduating, he went to Fort Knox, Kentucky to the U.S. Army Armor School where he attended the armor officer basic course. Subsequently, he was transferred to Fort Meade, Maryland where he was platoon leader of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, until 1961. During his time in Maryland, he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. Upon completion of the course, Brailsford joined the U.S. Army Chemical School at Fort McClellan, Alabama where he took the chemical officer advanced course. His stay was interrupted when he was sent to South Vietnam in November 1962. There, for his first mission overseas, he served as chemical adviser to the 22nd Infantry Division, U.S. Military Assistance Group. While in South Vietnam, he was promoted to captain (1963).

Brailsford resumed his studies in 1964 at Iowa State University. He was then transferred to Fort Detrick, Maryland where he became deputy commander for the U.S. Army Biological Laboratories and was promoted to major in 1967. He was then appointed deputy director of instruction at the U.S. Army Chemical Center and School, Fort McClellan, Alabama, a post he held until summer 1972. He moved to Washington D.C. to be logistics staff officer, Operations Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics. While in the Pentagon, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel (1973).

In December 1974, Brailsford was sent to West Germany to be commander of the 101st Battalion, 60th Ordnance Group, VII Corps. He returned to the U.S. in August 1977 and was a student at the U.S. Army College of War. From 1978 to 1982, served as chief of the Program Management Office, U.S. Army Armament Research and Development Command, Dover, New Jersey. He was promoted to colonel on January 1, 1980.

From 1982 to 1987, Brailsford served again in West Germany as commander to the 59th Ordnance Brigade. He was elevated to the rank of brigadier general, in 1985. In 1987, he was transferred to Rock Island, Illinois and became the commanding general of the Armament, Munitions and Chemical Command. In 1988, he was promoted to major general. Brailsford’s carrier culminated in Alexandria, Virginia when appointed deputy commanding general of Material Readiness and executive director for Conventional Ammunition, U.S. Army Materiel Command.

Marvin D. Brailsford retired from the U.S. Army in 1992. He then joined the private sector and became president of Metters Industries and later created his own management consulting company in 1996: Brailsford Group Inc.  In 2009, the Prairie View A&M University named its College of Arts and Sciences after Marvin D. and June Samuel Brailsford. Brailsford’s military awards and medals include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal.

Sources:
Walter L. Hawkins, African American Generals and Flag Officers: Biographies of Over 120 Blacks in the United States Military (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1993); Ben L. Walton, Great Black War Fighters: Profiles in Service (Strategic Books Publishing & Rights Agency, 2012); Brian Sattler, ‘ExxonMobil brings an evening with Lt. Gen. Brailsford for Black History Month’, Lamar University February 18, 2016, https://www.lamar.edu/news-and-events/news/2016/02/exxonmobil-brings-an-evening-with-lt.-gen.-brailsford-for-black-history-month-event.html.

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Sciences Po, Paris

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