New College Scholarship Honors First Black Marine Corps Officer

The Marine Corps Recruiting Command, in conjunction with the Naval Service Training Command, has established a college scholarship to honor Frederick C. Branch, the first African-American officer in the Marines.

Branch served in World War II and was recommended for Officer Candidate School. He received his commission as a second lieutenant on November 10, 1945. He remained in the Marines for an additional 10 years, retiring as a captain.

As many as 68 individuals will be eligible for the scholarships each year. Candidates can be of any race, but must attend one of 17 historically black colleges and universities that have Navy ROTC programs. The scholarships will pay for tuition, books, and academic fees. Although room and board is not included, an allowance of $250 to $400 per month is included to help defray living costs.