In remarks at his promotion to a fourth star, General Michael Langley referred to his new command, saying he was “humbled and honored for the opportunity to take on the stewardship of command of AFRICOM."
He addressed the historic nature of his promotion, the first in U.S. Marine Corp history for a Black soldier.
"The milestone and what it means to the Corps is quite essential," he said, noting "Not just because the mark in history, but what it will affect going forward, especially for those younger across society that want to aspire and look at the Marine Corps as an opportunity.”
Taking lead of AFRICOM hands him a portfolio of challenges stretching across the African continent. In the west, the Sahel is beset with insurgents of numerous loyalties, most especially al-Qaida and other Islamist violence. AFRICOM also has the DRC-Rwanda clash and its reverberations. And in Africa's northeast, the U.S. command is challenged by al-Shabab and other bad non-state actors.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Langley joined the Marine Corps in 1985 after graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington.
He has served in Afghanistan, Japan, and other places in the 37 years of his career.
Nost recently, Gen. Langley commanded the US Marine Corps Forces Command and also, the Marine Forces Northern Command. He also commanded Fleet Marine Force Atlantic.
U.S. President Joe Biden nominated Lt. Gen Langley to full General in June, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in early August.