Army Veteran Vincent K. Brooks is today's Veteran of the day.

During Black History Month, today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Vincent K. Brooks, the first African American cadet brigade commander.

Vincent Brooks was born in October 1958, in Anchorage, Alaska, to Leo Brooks Sr., an Army officer with 30 years of military experience, and Naomi Lewis Brooks, a schoolteacher. Brooks graduated from Jesuit High School in California and showed excellence in both academics and athletics. This led him to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Brooks became the first African American to receive the historic honor of cadet brigade commander, or “First Captain,” in the U.S. Corps of Cadets. He earned this during his senior year at West Point. Brooks graduated with a bachelor of science in engineering in 1980.

Brooks served for 33 years as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. His tours of duty with fighting units include the 82nd Airborne Division as a lieutenant; 1st Infantry Division as a captain; 1st Cavalry Division as a major and brigadier general; 2nd Infantry Division as a lieutenant colonel; Third Army Central (with duty in Headquarters, Coalition Joint Task Force Kuwait) and 3rd Infantry Division (with duty in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Kosovo Forces) as a colonel; Headquarters; United States Central Command; and as commanding general of Third United States Army/US Army Central (ARCENT).

Brooks served at the national level in the Pentagon within Headquarters, Department of the Army, where he fulfilled staff duties as aide-de-camp to the vice chief of staff of the Army and, later, as the Army’s chief of public affairs. He has also served on the Joint Staff as deputy director for political-military affairs for the Western Hemisphere and, later, as the deputy director for the War on Terrorism. Brooks was also commander of Combined Forces Command, United Nations Command and United States Forces Korea.

On top of his military achievements, Brooks holds an honorary doctorate from the New England School of Law in Boston. Brooks also served as a national security fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Brooks is married to his wife of 30 years, Dr. Carol P. Brooks, an educator and physical therapist. Brooks and his wife reside in Austin, Texas.

Thank you for your service!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Writer: Hagen Kenny

Editor: Rachel Falconer and Julia Pack

Fact checker: Vivian Hurney and Shiv Lamba

Graphic artist: Alyssa Morford

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Published on Feb. 5, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.4 min.

Views to date: 207


  1. Tyrone A Singh February 13, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    How do i registered .

  2. Ermea Russell February 11, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    How can we get a program started in Mississippi???

  3. Doug Rutherford February 11, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Want to learn more

  4. Jeff Neal February 10, 2021 at 11:43 am


    Thank you for your service. We served together at the Pentagon. Back then you were a COL and BG, in J5. I was the Air Force Sergeant in SAJM aka the “TANK”.

    Cheers from South Texas, jln

  5. Senior Veterans Care Network February 5, 2021 at 11:40 am

    Thank you for your service Vincent Brooks.

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