Battalion Commander in Vietnam: An Early African-American Leader in the Integrated Army

Clifford Worthy Jr.


COL Worthy graduated as one of only three African-American cadets in the Class of ‘53; in fact the three of them spent almost all four years as roommates. COL Worthy served for a total of 23 years on active duty. His career included a tour as an Artillery battalion commander in Vietnam during 1968-1969, and service as a military assistant to the Undersecretary of the Army from 1971 to 1973. He retired from active duty in 1976 and went on to another fulfilling career with General Motors, primarily in the Detroit area. Listen as he recounts his experiences during the early years of integration in the Army, the challenges of a combat battalion commander in Vietnam, and the similarities and differences between the military and the auto industry.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Race in the Military African American Military Experience Leadership Military Techniques West Point History
interviewer Rick Black
date 09 July 2015


name Clifford Worthy Jr.
institution USMA
graduation year 1953
service Field Artillery
unit 1st Battalion, 83rd Artillery Regiment
service dates 1953 1976