In 1942, President Roosevelt established a presidential directive giving African Americans an opportunity to be recruited into the Marine Corps. These African Americans, from all states, were not sent to the traditional boot camps of Parris Island, South Carolina and San Diego, California. Instead, African American Marines were segregated - experiencing basic training at Montford Point - a facility at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Approximately twenty thousand (20,000) African American Marines received basic training at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949.
Thomas Mosley was one of the storied Montford Point Marines, the first African Americans to serve in the Marine Corps.
In 2012, he received The Congressional Gold Medal (the highest civilian award in the United States ) for pioneering full integration of the United States Marine Corps. He just recently celebrated his 90th Birthday.