The brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi take their mission of “Achievement in Every Field of Human Endeavor” to heart especially when it comes to the serving in the military.
The brothers of the fraternity have excelled and made their mark on the military since WWI, trailblazing paths for those who followed them. In fact,
7 of the fraternities 10 original founders served in the US Armed forces.
We at Watch The Yard have taken time to make a list of some of the notable members of the fraternity who have made their mark on the military. While this list does not include each and every member, it gives an overview of how influential brothers of the fraternity have been.
Take a look at the list below:
Daniel James, Jr.
Daniel James, Jr. is an initiate of the Nashville (TN) Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. He was an American fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, who in 1975 became the first African American to reach the rank of four-star General in the armed forces.
Dennis L. Via
Dennis L. Via was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi through the fraternity’s Alpha Phi chapter. He is a former United States Army four-star general.
Robert W. Smith III
Robert W. Smith III was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi through the fraternity’s Beta Epsilon chapter. He retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of Major General.
Andrew Chambers is an initiate of the Xi chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. He was a commanding general of the VII Corps and the United States Army Central in the 1980s
James B. Knighten
James B. Knighten is an initiate of the Beta Gamma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. He was one of the first twelve African-Americans to become a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps.
Frederick C. Branch
Frederick C. Branch is an initiate of the Alpha Epsilon chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. He was the first African-American officer of the United States Marine Corps.
Russell C. Davis
Russell C. Davis was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi through the fraternity’s Des Moines (IA) Alumni chapter. He was a Lieutenant General and a former Chief of the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia.
John R. Fox
John R. Fox was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi through the fraternity’s Delta chapter. He was a United States Army first lieutenant who was killed in action after calling in artillery fire on his own position to decimate the enemy during World War II. In 1997, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration for valor, for his actions on December 26, 1944,
Gavin A. Lawrence
Gavin A. Lawrence is an initiate of the Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base Alumni Chapter chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. He is a Brigadier General in the United States Army.
Aundre F. Piggee
Aundre F. Piggee was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi through the fraternity’s Gamma Sigma chapter. He is a retired senior United States Army officer in the logistics branch. He assumed duties as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Logistics, G-4 on September 23, 2016. He oversaw policies and procedures used by all Army Logisticians and manages an $11 billion annual portfolio used to fund the Army’s arsenals and depots, maintain equipment, and acquire supplies to ensure the Army is ready to fight any mission around the world.
John W. Shannon
John W. Shannon was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi through the fraternity’s Delta Zeta chapter. He was United States Under Secretary of the Army from 1989 to 1993.
Clifford Stanley is an initiate of the Alpha Lambda chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. He was the United States Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
Frederic Ellis Davison
Frederic Ellis Davison became Brigadier General in 1968, and Major General three years later. This distinction made Davison the third African American to become a general in the Armed Forces.
Midian O. Bousfield
Midian O. Bousfield (Chicago (IL) Alumni c. 1920) was the first black promoted to the rank of colonel in the Army Medical Corps, while commanding the Army’s all-black hospital. In 1942, Bousfield was selected to command the U.S. Army’s Station Hospital, in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, which served 14,000 black soldiers training for combat in WWII. He earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and retired in 1945 as the Medical Corps first black colonel. He was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1945.
Spencer C. Dickerson
Spencer C. Dickerson (Chicago (IL) Alumni 1920) enlisted in the 8 th Illinois Infantry National Guard in 1914. He achieved the rank of first lieutenant and during WWI, he was assigned to serve with the 370 th Infantry and promoted to the rank of captain in the medical corps. His unit was garrisoned to France and upon his return in 1919, he was elevated to the ranks of major in 1926, colonel and commanding officer in the 8 th Illinois Infantry in 1929. He retired as a brigadier general of the Illinois National Guard in 1934, the first black Texan to attain this rank.
Richard L. Jones
Richard L. Jones (Alpha 1915) was drafted into the Army in 1917 and served in World Wars I and II. He was a member of the Army’s all-black Fighting 8 th Infantry. Under Jones’ command, the regiment earned numerous awards for distinguished service. Jones was awarded the French Croix de Guerre and a Legion of Merit medal for his exceptional military service. He retired from military service in 1953 and in 1954 became director of the U.S. Foreign Operations Mission in the Republic of Liberia. In 1955, Jones was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Liberia by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and served as alternate delegate to the Eleventh General Assembly of the United Nations. The National Guard Armory in Chicago, IL was renamed after him.
Frank C. Bacon
Frank C. Bacon (Iota 1963) enlisted in the U.S Air Force in 1945. After an honorable discharge, he obtained a GED in Chicago and enrolled in West Virginia State College, where he joined the ROTC. He served three years as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army before joining the Army Reserve, from which he served for more than 30 years, rising to the rank of Brigadier General in 1989. Bacon was instrumental in the development of the first military academy in Chicago and served as its first superintendent. American Legion Post #2091 was renamed in his honor.
James W. Williams
James W. Williams (Alpha Theta 1965) was commissioned a 2 nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force on March 20, 1967. He became a command fighter pilot with over 3100 flying hours. He was on his 228 th combat mission, including 75 missions over North Vietnam when he was shot down on May 20, 1972. He spent 313 days as the only member of Kappa Alpha Psi as a Prisoner of War in the Hanoi Hilton until being released March 28 1973 during Operation Homecoming. Williams achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel and was a highly decorated soldier of 58 military awards, including 4 Distinguished Flying Cross Medals, 1 Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor, 2 Purple Heart medals, 4 Meritorious Service Medals, 15 Air Medals, 1 Air Force Commendation Medal, 1 Army Commendation Medal and 1 Prisoner of War Medal. Share this on Facebook and Twitter if you think more people need to know this history of notable Kappa brothers who have served in the military.