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Blacks could not serve in the Marines, and could only serve limited and menial positions in the Navy and the Coast Guard. There was such a backlash from the African American community, however, that the War Department finally created the 92d and 93d Divisions, both primarily black combat units, in 1917.By the end of World War I, African Americans served in cavalry, infantry, signal, medical, engineer, and artillery units, as well as serving as chaplains, surveyors, truck drivers, chemists, and intelligence officers. With the creation of African American units also came the demand for African-American officers.Some were completely segregated and others allowed for blacks and whites to train together.
Bryan As the people of the United States watched World War I ignite across Europe, African American citizens saw an opportunity to win the respect of their white neighbors.
America was a segregated society and African Americans were considered, at best, second class citizens.
When World War I broke out, there were four all-black regiments: the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry.
The men in these units were considered heroes in their communities.
Although technically eligible for many positions in the Army, very few blacks got the opportunity to serve in combat units. The War Department thought the soldiers would be more likely to follow men of their own color, thereby reducing the risk of any sort of uprising.
Most leaders of the African American community agreed, and it was decided that the Army would create a segregated, but supposedly equal, officer training camp.
They viewed the conflict as an opportunity to prove their loyalty, patriotism, and worthiness for equal treatment in the United States.
Following the Civil War, the Army disbanded volunteer “colored” regiments, and established six Regular Army regiments of black troops with white officers.
In 1869, the infantry regiments were reorganized into the 24th and 25th Infantry.
The two cavalry regiments, the 9th and 10th, were retained.